One claim made by supporters of extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits is that 160 million Americans will have their taxes increased if the legislation does not pass. For example by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: “The payroll tax cut that the president proposed would put $1,500 in the pockets of 160 million Americans.”
I noticed that Dem pols and most news stories were claiming 160 million workers will be hurt if the Republicans don't extend the payroll tax bill.
They are all using that same exact number.
Now, I'm a numbers guy and the 160 million seemed high to me so I went to the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] website. They report there were only 140 million people working in the civilian workforce [see attached PDF]. The military would only add another two million at most.
Next I googled "160 million workers" and I got about 3,000 news hits. It seems the MSM must be getting their stats and data from Nancy Pelosi!
Well, truth be told, she is an impeccable source if you're looking for Marxist class-warfare rhetoric.
Hat tip: Tony. Related: The curious case of 200 nearly identical MSM headlines