A dire warning from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) about the financial straits of American families has been scrutinized by left-leaning fact-checker PolitiFact — and found wanting.
On Wednesday, Harris said, “It’s clear in our country right now, almost half of American families are a $400 unexpected expense away from complete upheaval.”
While true that a $400 expense would put a strain on many family budgets, Harris’ characterization of “complete upheaval” doesn’t fit the facts.
First, Harris’ source was a Federal Reserve survey on the 2017 economy, when wages were lower and more people were unemployed.
Second, “almost half” is actually 41 percent, and the survey question did not cover “upheaval,” but rather how the surveyed individuals “would cover a $400 emergency expense.”
The 41 percent were merely those who did not expect to immediately pay off the expense with “entirely cash, savings or a credit card paid off at the next statement.”
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