Saturday, June 9, 2012

Taking Cooking the Books to the Next Level

Within a number of my daily 'Quick Hit' posts, I've been highlighting the efforts of the Obama Administration to 'cook the books' - to manipulate the economic numbers, in particular the jobs numbers, for their own political advantage.  They work diligently to take bad news and try to either make it look a lot less worse than it really is - or to make it look like a positive for the President.

This includes an unprecedented level of revisions being done to past information - revising numbers up or down in a manner to allow a pro-Obama spin on the current numbers.  We've seen past jobless numbers being quietly revised upwards to a point just above the current week's numbers so that the WH press release can reference a 'decline' in the number of jobless.  We've seen the labor participation rates being slashed so that the 'official' unemployment rate (U-3) can drop to give the appearance to voters that the economy is improving.

One of the areas that this is being done is in the number of jobs gained.  We heard all about this yesterday in the President's press conference / announcement where he's touted that his Administration has created over 4 million jobs since 2009, and over 800,000 thusfar in 2012.  But these numbers are 'cooked' for his political advantage. Big Journalism at puts the job numbers in context...
In an onscreen graphic, CNN calls this the number of "jobs gained." What does that mean? Let’s add context. It takes at least 90,000 jobs created per month just for America to break even with job growth. That is the standard. As job growth is critical to this nation's future, it’s important to know what the “break even” number is. Some have said the break even number is as high as 150,000 a month (New York Times number); for the sake of argument, we'll take the lower number (don't say we don't give Obama a break).

90,000 to break even with job growth is a number that every American should know when they are told employment figures, but few do. The media fails to provide that context.

Instead of saying 69,000 jobs were "gained" in May, it should be reported that, “overall the economy lost at least 21,000 jobs.” In every graphic produced by the media, and in every report by the media, that 90,000 number should be considered.

When you take the last three months into consideration, the number overall is 40,000 jobs lost--230,000 jobs “created” and 270,000 needed to break even. Even an old sports guy like me can do this math.

Graphs work well to highlight not only that the Obama Administration has not been successful in creating jobs - but the levels to which they will cook the books to mask their failure.

This graph highlights just to what extent the Obama Administration is cooking the books.  The black line is the 'official' unemployment rate.  The red is the rate if games weren't being played by adjusting the labor participation rate.

This is the graph that shows that today's labor participation rate is at its lowest level in three decades.  Are we to believe that this decline is because of 'boomers' starting to retire?

This next graph highlights just what the Obama Administration's record really is regarding job creation. His policies have not created '4 million jobs'.  What these policies have done is created an economy today that has 12 million fewer jobs in it than it should.

How concerned is the Administration of the revelations of how it is actively cooking the books to create a political meme for the 2012 Presidential election?

So concerned that they are implementing draconian rules and limitations on journalists who write the stories about the economic data issued by the Obama Department of Labor.
Journalists are crying foul at a new Obama policy that will deny them the right to use their own computers to write stories from economic data issued inside the halls of the Department of Labor. Instead, the DoL says, journalists will have to use government-owned computers, government-selected software, and government-owned Internet transmission lines to write their stories about the data issued by the department.

All news organizations have been ordered to remove their computers, tools, and other electronics from the Department of Labor by June 15 and will not be allowed to bring any of their own electronics into the place from that point forward.

How Soviet of the Obama Administration.

Will this step turn out to be a changing point in the relationship between President Obama and the mainstream media?  Or will they sacrifice their principles for the 'greater good' of facilitating the re-election of their ideological partner?

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