Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) must feel that her position as chair of the House Progressive Caucus requires her to pump up every statistic she comes across to promote higher taxes and more lavish spending on income redistribution programs. Some days it appears she feels it necessary even to make them up.
On Thursday, she passed along a faulty statistic on her official social media accounts regarding U.S. poverty rates. Jayapal tweeted that America has “nearly one-third of the world’s billionaires” while the country’s poverty rate is “4th highest in the world.” She concluded with the obligatory “Tax the rich.”
Blaze Media reported that a study by Wealth-X from June reports that the U.S. had 788 billionaires at the end of 2019. That figure accounts for about one-quarter of the world’s billionaires, not one-third, as Jayapal alleges.
She goes totally off the rails regarding America’s place among the world’s nations regarding poverty rates. The U.S. ranks around 105th in the world with a 17.8 percent poverty rate. Meanwhile, Mexico comes in at 41.9 percent and South Africa at 50.5 percent. According to World Population Review, Guinea-Bissau has the world’s fourth-highest poverty rate at 69.3 percent.
After receiving sharp criticism over her claim on social media, Jayapal deleted her tweet.
Recently, she has been appearing in various media outlets warning that she intends to direct the House Progressive Caucus to kill the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill before the House unless the Biden administration’s massive $3.5 trillion spending bill clears the Senate by budget reconciliation first. The progressive caucus has more than 40 members.
Jayapal told CNN that the House has to “deliver on the entirety” of the Biden plan. Her caucus will insist on Congressional spending on child care, paid leave, free community college, climate change, Medicare expansion, immigration, and housing.