Jen Psaki’s used to her fans in the White House press corps tossing her softball questions.
But Psaki got some bad news.
That came when Fox News just destroyed Jen Psaki with this one question.
Forecasters expected 1,000,000 new jobs and the total came in at just 266,000, which was the biggest miss on the monthly jobs report since 1998.
Doocy pressed Psaki for answers about if the administration was suppressing job growth by paying people more money if they stayed home and collected unemployment.
“How does the White House know that people aren’t just choosing not to apply for jobs because the extra unemployment benefits are so good?” Doocy asked Psaki.
Psaki tried to brush it off citing a top administration official—Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen—defending the administration’s policy.
“Well, first, let me say that we have looked at the data, and secretary Yellen referred to this, or, talked about this, on Friday – we don’t see much evidence that the extra unemployment insurance is a major driver in people not rejoining the workforce,” Psaki shot back.
Psaki then pivoted to blame vaccine hesitancy for what kept Americans from filling more of the 7.4 million job openings in the country.
“We actually see the data, and our analysis shows that lack of vaccination, the lower rate, which is why I referred to the data the week that it was taken, it has an impact,” Psaki added.
In Psaki’s haste to deflect blame from Biden and his policies for causing the brutal jobs report, Psaki stepped on a rake.
Psaki claimed more Americans could not go back to work because schools are closed.
But the Biden administration helped keep schools closed by allowing the teachers’ union to help write the CDC’s guidelines for reopening—guidelines many critics thought were actually designed to accommodate the teachers’ union’s desire to keep schools closed.
“Child care has an impact. Schools reopening has an impact,” Psakiexplained. “But there is also the need to pay a livable, working wage. And that’s one of the reasons the president will talk about that this afternoon.”
Doocy was undeterred.
The Fox News White House correspondent responded by pointing out that Bank of America economists said any American making less than $32,000 per year made more money collecting unemployment, and Doocy wanted to know if the administration created a hammock rather than a safety net.
“But as Bank of America economists who were cited in a Bloomberg story say, anyone making less than $32,000 a year is better off financially just taking the unemployment benefits,” Doocy stated. “So is the White House creating an incentive just to stay home?”
Psaki tried to claim economists—in the White House and those friendly to the White House that worked in the private sector—found no evidence this was the case.
“Well, again, the majority of economists internally and externally at the White House don’t feel that unemployment insurance – something that was done at a time to help unemployed people get through a very difficult economic downturn during a pandemic – is a major driver in our unemployment data,” Psaki answered. “That there are other factors, bigger factors, that were contributing, have been contributing, to the numbers we saw on Friday. That’s what we’re working to address. And that’s where I think our solutions should be focused.”
This was Psaki’s second mistake.
Joe Biden later contradicted Psaki by announcing in a speech later that day that any American collecting unemployment and who got offered a job had to take that job or else they would lose their unemployment.
If enhanced unemployment isn’t depressing job growth by creating incentives for Americans not to go back to work, why did Joe Biden threaten to take away unemployment benefits if Americans passed up jobs?
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