If you watched Fox & Friends interview Mitt Romney on Tuesday morning, you heard from the inestimably chipper Steve Doocy that the Federal Reserve announced on Monday that forty percent of Americans’ wealth had been wiped out in “the last three years.” One problem. It’s not true.
No doubt the Fed report made for sober reading, showing that median household net worth was in 2010 at its lowest level since 1992 when adjusted for inflation. But the years studied — the height of the recession with a cratering housing market — were 2007 to 2010. Not (for the time-challenged) the last three years.
A separate Fed survey released last week showed that total family net worth actually climbed 4.7 percent in the first quarter of this year, putting it at about 28 percent above recession lows, according to the AP.
Never mind all that, though. Doocy asked the former Mass. governor and GOP presidential candidate to respond the report thusly:
It was a jaw-dropping statistic that was flashed across the country yesterday, the Federal Reserve has figured out that over the last three years the net worth of the average American family has fallen 40% over three years, wiped out two decades worth of America’s wealth, mainly because house values have dropped. When you saw that number, that American debt, or American wealth down 40% in three years what did you think?
Romney, it should be noted, either didn’t hear Doocy’s error, or didn’t care to correct it.
Subsequent Fox reporting in later hours correctly noted the study’s actual timeframe.