20:24 GMT20 June 2021
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    In late March, Joe Biden unveiled a hefty $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package aimed at reinvigorating the US economy.

    US President Joe Biden mistakenly said in a recent White House speech that five former leaders of the Federal Reserve had declared that the POTUS’ American Jobs Plan proposal “is going to grow” the country’s economy, CNN reports.

    The $2 trillion blueprint, which was rolled out on 31 March, stipulates a hike in corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent, among other things, and to spend more on an array of infrastructure projects and other initiatives.

    CNN cited a White House official as admitting that Biden was “inaccurately referring to an opinion article published in the Washington Post that day by five former leaders of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not five former leaders of the Federal Reserve”.

    What’s more, the ex-IRS commissioners said nothing about economic growth, noting instead that Biden's American Jobs Plan would make the tax administration system "far fairer and more effective" and "produce a great deal of revenue by reducing the enormous gap between taxes legally owed and taxes actually paid”, according to the US news network.

    FILE PHOTO: People line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020
    Bryan Woolston
    FILE PHOTO: People line up outside a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020

    CNN also claimed that Biden was wrong when he argued in separate remarks last week that the economic firm Moody's Analytics had found that the Infrastructure Plan would create up to 16 million more jobs in the US.

    The news outlet insisted that in reality, Moody's calculated that the passage of the plan would produce about 2.7 million additional jobs rather than 16 million.

    Many Twitter users have, meanwhile, quipped at Biden’s most recent attempt to defend himself against critics, who argued that the expanded unemployment benefits offered in the COVID-19 relief bill passed in March were stopping Americans from taking new jobs.

    “If you’re receiving unemployment benefits and you’re offered a suitable job, you can’t refuse that job and just keep getting unemployment benefits”, the POTUS said.

    Netizens immediately started posting sarcastic comments, wondering what a “suitable job” means and wishing Biden “good luck with that”.

    “The POTUS and his party do not understand or acknowledge incentive structures. This is why the American people should not entrust them with economic policy”, one user asserted.

    Biden earlier touted the COVID-19 relief plan as “historic” and capable of "rebuilding the backbone" of the nation, while also giving working people "a fighting chance".

    The nearly $2 trillion bill, signed on 11 March, provides a one-time $1,400 paycheck for US citizens making less than $75,000 a year and married couples that make less than $150,000. The legislation was adopted after the US economy shrank 3.5% in 2020 due to the restrictive measures imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, something that saw millions of Americans lose their jobs.

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    Tags:
    Jobs, taxes, economy, coronavirus, COVID-19, Joe Biden, US
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