Rep. Allen West, Dean of the Jobs Number Truthers

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 5 2012 11:50 AM

Rep. Allen West, Dean of the Jobs Number Truthers

When Jack Welch speaks, Allen West listens. The best thing we can do here is quote the bulk of West's Facebook message to supporters.

We all want the suffering of the American people from this rampant scourge of unemployment to end. However, today's jobs report is confusing to say the least. Previous months numbers have been revised and yet the workforce participation rate remains at a 30 year low. The unemployment rate drops to 7.8 percent, that is where it was in January 2009 when the President took office.  But the U6 computation of unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans remains the same at 14.7 percent. I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here. Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the Presidential election. This is Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book "Rules for Radicals"- a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize. Trust the Obama administration? Sure, and the spontaneous reaction to a video caused the death of our Ambassador......and pigs fly.

Here's one of the many things I don't get about the theory. There'll be another jobs report on the Friday before the election. It's just as likely that unemployment will tick up again in that report; seasonal employment won't have gotten fully underway.

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Sorry, I'm trying to apply logic to a theory that the Obama administration rigs economic data -- not produces alternate data, rigs the data produced by the Department of Labor -- in order to win news cycles. This is abnormal. In 1980, the exact same thing happened with the BLS report. The September labor report found unemployment dropping from 7.6 percent to 7.5 percent. I wasn't there, but a quick Lexising reveals no burst of BLS trutherism. There was, instead, a focus on other elements within the data.

The way things are going, if the GOP doesn't win this election, I'd say there's a 20% chance of a congressional investigation into vote fraud and a 5% chance of an Avignon Presidency set up by those who refuse to believe the election was lost.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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