Two things are certain: Democrats only seem happy when they’re exposing what a horrible place America really is, and Sen. Kamala Harris is testing the waters for a 2020 presidential run.
The third truth: always be skeptical of the fact-checkers at PolitiFact.
On Monday, Harris posted a video in which she tells of America’s rent crisis, and how just about everywhere in the country, a person working a full-time job at the minimum wage can’t afford a 1-bedroom apartment.
In 99% of counties in America, a person working a full-time job at the minimum wage can’t afford a 1-bedroom apartment. This is a crisis and folks deserve solutions. pic.twitter.com/W5SUlRrsG7
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) July 23, 2018
PolitiFact decided to check into Harris’s claim and found it “mostly true.” But Commentary’s Noah Rothman noticed one thing …
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 25, 2018
That image might be difficult to read, so here’s the highlighted bit from PolitiFact’s write-up:
She was referring to a recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which shows that “in only 22 counties out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent.”
Harris didn’t refer to the concept of “fair market rent,” which is defined as the “40th percentile of gross rents for standard rental units.” The underlying study she referenced doesn’t say that a minimum wage worker can’t afford any housing in almost all of the United States, but that a minimum wage worker can’t afford the average-priced housing unit.
With that said, Harris’s claim is still a largely accurate characterization of the magnitude of the rent affordability problems that many people face.
Yes, a lot of people have trouble paying the rent, so PolitiFact is giving her the benefit of the doubt, even though “the underlying study she referenced” says only that “a minimum wage worker can’t afford the average-priced housing unit.”
Maybe if you’re an adult making minimum wage, you’ll have to settle for a less-than-average-priced housing unit? Or get a roommate?
Most minimum wage workers can't afford to eat either. And by easy I mean have a lobster dinner every night.
— Nick Brown (@nwbvt) July 25, 2018
I mean it's almost like they except the cheapest apartments to be rented by poor people.
— Nick Brown (@nwbvt) July 25, 2018
And less than 3% of working age wage earners make minimum wage or less at any given time. Mere details!
— ConservativeLA (@ConservativeLA) July 25, 2018
Q: When did American politics start focusing on minimum wage workers as if that's really a thing. A: Never because most people actually own a house that they bought with money that they earned. GAWD.
— Deduction Science (@DeduSci) July 25, 2018
Wouldn’t the most generous legitimate reading be “half true”? Truth is meaningless if “she’s wrong but her heart’s in the right place” is mostly true.
— James Garcia Alver (@JayAlver) July 25, 2018
PolitiFact works on a "does it feel true, though?" balance scale.
— Dirty Jokes Are Haram (@xchixm) July 25, 2018
Close enough for government work.
— John Linder (@linderje) July 25, 2018
PolitiFact is a joke https://t.co/f6YYCk3c5B
— PoliMath (@politicalmath) July 25, 2018
— Michael (@MichaelCraig18A) July 25, 2018
This is the tactic that @KamalaHarris uses consistently, to great effect, for the uninformed. She poses half truths and offers no solution, only rhetoric. She basically says nothing.
— A Reasonable Gentleman (@theandrewloyal) July 25, 2018
Oh really: Wonkblog claims minimum wage workers can't afford a 2-bedroom apartment anywhere https://t.co/tmBdDUb30k
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 13, 2018