The president’s chief of staff is arguably the most demanding job inside any White House. President Joe Biden’s top staffer, Ron Klain, isn’t making things easier for himself lately with the absurd things he’s posting on Twitter.
Klain is what we can only call a Very Online person. He is constantly tweeting and sharing other people’s posts to his half-million followers in an incessant effort to cheerlead for his boss and the Democratic Party more broadly. While this is the role of any outward-facing political staffer, Klain is taking his shilling so far that he’s now just making embarrassing public statements on the regular.
For example, Klain recently tweeted that “America is back at work” alongside this graph, which shows the opposite.
America is back at work. https://t.co/msPBhjTEng— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) December 3, 2021
The Biden staffer boosted the graph hoping to show that the labor force participation rate, the percentage of people working or seeking work, is back to normal after the pandemic. Yet it actually shows that it’s still significantly below pre-pandemic levels, even a year and nine months later. Anyone with eyes can clearly see this.
In actuality, we are 8.2 million jobs below the pre-pandemic trend, according to economist Aaron Sojourner. So much for America being “back at work.”
We're 8.2 million jobs below the pre-pandemic trend. pic.twitter.com/WhZcR5AZXP— Aaron Sojourner (@aaronsojourner) December 3, 2021
Klain also tweeted a claim about government COVID-19 lockdowns that is so absurd it’s difficult to take seriously.
“Stronger COVID measures produce STRONGER ECONOMIC outcomes,” he wrote. “That's why jobs, growth, and economic activity are UP this year, significantly over last year.”
Nope. Stronger COVID measures produce STRONGER ECONOMIC outcomes. That's why jobs, growth, and economic activity are UP this year, significantly over last year. https://t.co/06j5K7Qeb5— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) December 1, 2021
As any respectable economist will tell you, in the real world, trade-offs exist. While the extent to which they successfully slow the spread of COVID-19 is highly dubious, government lockdowns and restrictions on economic activity clearly do not “produce stronger economic outcomes.” Are we really supposed to believe that outlawing people’s livelihoods and restricting businesses’ ability to operate is good for the economy?
Such a far-fetched notion is contradicted by both common sense and most available data.
Indeed, many studies have shown that government restrictions were the biggest factor behind the pandemic economic downturn. And red states ended lockdowns earlier and have had lighter restrictions overall. It’s no coincidence that during the recovery, red states have consistently had much lower unemployment than blue states, on average.
Klain is free to argue that lockdowns saved lives and were worth the many life-threatening trade-offs, a highly debatable proposition. But to claim lockdowns had no economic downsides requires Olympic-level mental gymnastics that only a partisan robot can justify.
Klain also recently shared a satirical post praising Democrats for stretching data absurdly to take credit for tiny drops in gas prices. It’s unclear why he would do so unless he wrongly believed that the post was meant seriously.
All in all, it’s hard to see what, if any, good is coming from Klain’s Twitter use. He should do his boss — and America — a favor and log off for a while.
Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a Washington Examiner contributor and co-host of the BasedPolitics podcast. Email him at email@example.com.