Friday, October 5, 2012

A Cornucopia of Debunking for GOP Theory that Obama Cooked Employment Data


pic by Brian McFadden

The jobless rate today went down to the lowest level since 2009 when Obama was sworn into office. And he gets full credit because the Republicans wouldn't lift a finger in Congress to help American get back to work.

U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8 percent
The rate declined from 8.1 percent because the number of people who said they were employed soared by 873,000 — an encouraging sign for an economy that’s been struggling to create enough jobs.
The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009.

. . . The revisions show employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.

The 7.8 percent unemployment rate for September matches the rate in January 2009, when Obama took office. In the months after Obama’s inauguration, the rate rose sharply and had topped 8 percent for 43 straight months.
. . . The September employment report may be the last that might sway undecided voters. The October jobs report will be released only four days before Election Day.

This is bad news for Mitt Romney, who wants everyone to believe the economy is in shambles and in need of a business guy like himself to take charge. Mitt would rather compare the U.S. to train wreck economies like Greece and Spain, and insist on cutting programs because we need "austerity." But he can't make that case if more people are going back to work.

So the conservative reaction has been predictable. As with the Poll numbers, they are attacking the messenger and attacking the humbers. The GOP is crying "Conspiracy" again because that's all they have.

From Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric:

Psychological projection much? Jack Welch was once accused of cooking the books for GE and at the time was described as a "modern day robber baron" much like Mitt Romney.

In fact, today all I can think about is Mitt's accountant - now there is a guy who knows how to cook the books.

Conn Carroll of the conservative Washington Examiner tweeted:

Here are some others via BuzzFeed

Yeah, sure ~ on the royal orders of Caesar Obama, the lockstep Bureau of Labor Statistics conspired to only call Democratic households to find out if anyone had gotten a job recently, and whoever answered the random phones in those households lied, every single one of them, because they knew Obama needed some good economic news two days after the first debate, which Romney was sure to win. *eyeroll*

Funny, ain't it, that we never heard a claim of statistics fraud when the numbers were bad for the last four years. And now suddenly they are all wrong, and everyone is shooting wildly at the humbers.

Matt Yglesias used logic to debunk attacks on the Bureau of Labor Statisticson Slate:
. . . Trustworthy economic data is a very valuable public good that serves as a useful production input for tons of private businesses. It also helps smaller-scale government agencies and nonprofits make smarter decisions. And last but by no means least, precisely because the BLS is credible presidents know that they'd take an enormous political hit if they were seen as manipulating it.

Keith Hall, former head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Wall Street Journal that cooking the books is impossible, even the "Chicago Way" as Jack Welch insinuated:
“There’s nothing wrong with the numbers,” said Mr. Hall. “The only issue is the interpretation of the numbers. The numbers are what they are.”

. . . The unemployment rate estimate is derived from a survey of households, which came up with an estimate that 863,000 jobs were added for the month.

But the separate establishment survey from which the official payrolls number is derived reported a more modest seasonally adjusted gain of 114,000 jobs in September. That was below the consensus forecast of 118,000, though the previous two months were revised higher.

. . . “The household survey is much smaller. When you look at something like labor force and employment levels, the uncertainty of those numbers is much larger,” said Mr. Hall. “Within two months, the household survey could show the unemployment rate eking back up.”

Unfortunately, the debunking is coming too late for Republicans who saw "Morning Joe" on MSNBC this morning, when Scarborough spent several minutes muttering "These numbers just don't add up. It doesn't make sense."

Video via Media Matters

He seems to have missed the part about these being "revised numbers." Doh!

Mark Halperin tried to talk him down, also via Media Matters

If you go just based on Twitter right now, and the people I follow who are conservative - they're about to make a huge mistake. They're gonna say BLS numbers are horrible, some people are already saying the numbers are made up to help the president politically. They have to find a way to talk about the economy and why Governor Romney would be better, not to try to - it's exactly what they did with the polls the last two months, to attack the methodology. These numbers are good. They're not only good symbolically, they represent the economy moving in a better direction.

I'm sure we will hear more of this, the last desperate gasp of a dying party.

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