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More unemployment statistics for dummies

September 22, 2012

[J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM and 96.1 FM in Reno. Listen to Broad View live Saturdays at 2:00 PM Pacific Time.]

We’re in the middle of campaign season and it’s a presidential election year, so naturally the lies are flying around like winged monkeys on a kidnap mission. Dishonest politicians are so common we’re used to them, which is kind of sad, but one thing I hope we never get used to is blatant dishonesty from a sitting president.

The first time it happened, with Richard Nixon, Americans were so upset the man had to resign before he was impeached. The second time it happened, when Bill Clinton looked into national TV cameras and said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” he was impeached.

Generally, we don’t like it when our president callously spouts bald-faced lies at us... but that’s exactly what the current president does on a daily basis. An opinion piece published this week at Power Line was titled, “Is Barack Obama America’s Most Dishonest Politician?” That’s a good question, one I’ve been answering with a definite “Yes!” for the last four years.

Our current president seems incapable of shame.

The opinion piece specifically refers to Obama’s appearance on David Letterman Tuesday night where the president claimed George Bush left him with a $1 trillion deficit, which is untrue by a factor of two and a half, and said he didn’t know what the national debt was when he took office and doesn’t know what it is now.

Although that’s an impressive string of unadulterated bullshit, especially for a sitting president, I don’t think it’s Obama’s biggest lie – not even close. His biggest lie is the one he utters in every campaign speech, which means about twice a day, every day, seven days a week, because – let’s face it – campaigning for election is pretty much all he does.

His biggest lie is about the unemployment situation.

Back in December I wrote a column detailing, better than anybody else before or since, the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a branch of the Labor Department, is fudging unemployment numbers to make Obama look better. The unemployment rate has been artificially lowered by dropping unemployed people out of the labor force so they no longer count as unemployed. In the December column I explained exactly how that is done mathematically. To my alarm and disgust, since then I’ve discovered seven other techniques used to propagate Obama’s big lie:
1.  Seasonal adjustments are abused to artificially improve the employment rate. For example, for July the BLS reported the economy added 163,000 jobs, but 377,000 of that was added as a seasonal adjustment so actually we lost 214,000 jobs.

2.  There is also a birth-death model used by the BLS to “infer” job creations. Like the seasonal adjustment, the birth-death model is abused to make things look better. For example, the July numbers also included another 52,000 jobs added by this adjustment. If you’re keeping track, the official announcement of 163,000 jobs gained was actually 266,000 jobs lost.

3.  Under Obama there’s been a massive increase in Social Security disability rolls. Those people – 5.9 million since he became president – are automatically subtracted from the labor force making the unemployment rate look better.

4.  New legislation this year allows the Labor Department to pass out $100 million dollars to businesses to prevent layoffs. This will keep people temporarily and artificially employed at taxpayer expense... hopefully until Obama gets through Election Day.

5.  On November 1 the Budget Control Act of 2011 will require millions of 60-day layoff warnings to defense contractor employees. These layoffs are directly attributable to the president’s mismanagement of federal spending, but the warnings will hit four days before the election which is somewhat awkward for him. So the Labor Department is telling businesses to ignore the federal law requiring those layoff notices.

6.  Obama, often with Labor Department-produced audio-visual aids, uses February of 2010 as a starting point when bragging about job creation – instead of January of 2009 when he took office – because February 2010 was the low point. Naturally, when you start with the low point, the trend looks positive.

7.  Monthly BLS statistics are supposed to be kept secret until the day they go public to prevent anybody from taking advantage of advance notice, but Democrats in North Carolina were recently caught getting advance notice anyway, allowing the Democrat Party to craft appropriate spin ahead of time.
Notice that each of these seven techniques involves the complicity of the Labor Department. They’re either producing fudged numbers or leaking secret information to Democrats. Like so many government agencies, the Labor Department has become an unofficial branch of the Democrat Party.

President Obama’s lies about job creation are evil. Not only does the constant misinformation stop us from solving the unemployment problem, imagine the tens of millions of desperate jobless people who have been told for over three years now that the problem is not the economy, it’s them.

That's... today’s dose of common sense.

"Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable." – Mark Twain

"The American people are tired of liars and people who pretend to be something they're not." – Hillary Clinton


From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       



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