Why Skepticism of the Unemployment Number Wasn’t Unfounded

Last week, when it was reported that the national unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped from 8.1% to 7.8% with a notable uptick in hiring, many people simply couldn’t believe it. Economists across the board were completely blindsided. None of them had predicted any significant change to the number – certainly nothing along the lines of a .3% decrease. There had been no surge in economic growth, and a mere month earlier, a drop in the workforce participation number was so staggering that journalist George Will categorized it as “depression-level.”

It didn’t take long for some big names in the business world to deduct that the new unemployment number was too good to be true.

Former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch tweeted to the world, “Unbelievable job numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.” The connotation was clear. Welch believed that the numbers were artificially adjusted to help the Obama administration’s re-election bid. He later, in a column for the Wall Street Journal, tapped down his implication that the books were cooked. However, he doubled-down on his assertion that the numbers were inaccurate.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli expressed similar initial skepticism in the number. He predicted a month earlier that the unemployment rate would miraculously drop right before the presidential election. When it happened, he said on national television, “I told you they’d get it under 8% – they did!”

Santelli wasn’t the only one who anticipated such an outcome. Conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have been predicting for months that such favorable news for the Obama administration would be unleashed as an October Surprise, right before the election, targeting undecided voters.

Many from the Democratic side of the aisle blasted the skeptics for their inclination to search for a conspiracy theory to explain the drop. And why wouldn’t the Dems cry foul? It was an outrageous accusation, after all – not a trivial and inconsequential claim like suggesting for eight years that a Republican president didn’t actually win the 2000 election. Seriously though, the Democrats had some ground to stand on this time because the numbers are largely explainable, even if they were in no way worthy of the praise that President Obama lavished on himself when announcing the news to cheering supporters.

Mitt Romney reacted in the right way by categorizing the unemployment report as a statistical anomaly that doesn’t accurately represent the jobs situation in the country. After all, that’s the truth. Much of the past year’s drops to the unemployment rate haven’t come from a significant rise in hiring, but rather from a large number of people dropping out of the workforce or settling for part-time work because they can’t find full-time work. This month’s report was little different. And let’s face it: Even if we had a healthy workforce participation rate that didn’t project the real unemployment rate at somewhere around 12%, a 7.8% unemployment rate would still be absolutely dismal. A far cry for sure from the 5.6% rate President Obama told us in 2009 that we’d be the beneficiaries of right now, under his leadership.

Still, it’s hard to dismiss the reactions of people like Welch and Santelli as easily as the Democrats did. Though they probably share conservative views of the economy, they are not inherently partisan people. They aren’t political hacks who are placed in front of the cameras to bash one political party while championing the other. They’re well-respected businessmen who have a deep understanding of how the economy works.

Why, then, did they feel compelled to put their reputations on the line to insinuate that President Obama’s team had cooked the numbers? The answer is simple. It’s because the administration has given people ample reason to suspect that they’re absolutely capable of it.

Don’t believe me? Let’s just look at a couple of recent examples…

A few weeks ago, the Obama administration sent a memo to the Department of Labor telling defense contractors not to obey the WARN Act. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act requires employers to give their workers a minimum of 60 days notice prior to potential mass layoffs. Mass layoffs are expected to ensue due to automatic defense cuts scheduled to begin on January 2nd under the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act.

You see, perhaps the biggest albatross for President Obama has been the chronically high unemployment rate throughout his presidency. It has taken a huge toll on his re-election hopes, despite his proclamations that things are getting better. If it were confirmed just a few days before the presidential election (and that’s exactly when the pink slips would have to be sent out) that massive job layoffs were indeed going through, that would tarnish Obama with hugely negative publicity. Thus, the administration doesn’t want that news to attract any attention.

Not only did the administration direct contractors not to follow the law, but they pledged that the U.S. government would pay for any legal fees that would incur from fired employers suing the contractors for not following the law. In other words, tax payers would be on the hook for Obama’s decision to break the law in order to help himself politically.

So, here we have a concrete example of the president ordering a law be broken in order to produce a false perception of the U.S. jobs picture (and paid for by us), purely to help his re-election campaign. If he’s willing to do this, why wouldn’t Americans be skeptical that he’s capable of using any other methods at his disposal to do the exact same thing?

Let’s look at all the deceit that’s come from the administration regarding the murderous attack on our U.S. consulate in Libya. For weeks, the incident was blamed on a protesting mob that got out of control. The problem is that we now know that the mob never existed. We were told that the fictitious mob’s anger was fueled by an anti-Islam video made in America. The problem is that we now know the video had absolutely nothing to do with the attack. No one had either seen nor heard of it beforehand.

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton actually stood next to the coffin of murdered ambassador, Chris Stevens, and partially blamed that video for his death. President Obama himself addressed the U.N. General Assembly, two weeks after the incident, condemning the video. Susan Rice did the same thing on five morning talk shows. The creator of the video was even hauled off to jail in front of news cameras by U.S. law enforcement officers for a supposedly unrelated charge. Yet, as the timeline clearly shows, the administration knew all along that the video played no role whatsoever in the attack. It was a coordinated terrorist attack, purposely committed on the anniversary of 9/11, and the highest-ranking members of the administration lied about it.

President Obama has been in the unusual position of being a Democratic president who is enjoying strong public approval on his handling of foreign policy. This is primarily due to the successful Bin Laden raid. The death of ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Libya, however, was bound to change that narrative very close to the election. Instead of the media immediately questioning the breathtaking lack of security provided to our men in Libya, they were thrown a sparkling object in this anti-Muslim video. The distraction effectively deflected accountability away from the failings of the U.S. government for weeks.

It hurts one’s head to think about how the scapegoat idea must have gone down behind the scenes. Someone working for our government had to specifically seek out a completely unrelated entity to assign a fabricated motive to, in order to pull the charade off. A month has gone by since the attack, and the only answer we have as to who did it? has come in the form of a collective shoulder-shrug by numerous U.S. officials. Considering the administration has a well-documented history of deflecting anger onto third parties whenever they come under heavy scrutiny, there’s definitely some likely suspects. Regardless, the American public has been lied to when it comes to what went down in Libya.

What kind of conclusions are Americans expected to draw when it comes to things like this? You see, this isn’t about conspiracy theories, but rather reactive mistrust earned by the Obama administration. Their first instincts, when things for them go south, are always to distract the public from the realities of the situation.

As a rule of thumb, it’s always healthy for the public to be suspicious of government. However, the government shouldn’t be a constant source of reflexive dishonesty. So when our leaders insist on being precisely that, especially around election time, they shouldn’t be surprised when level-headed, reputable people throw their hands up in the air in disbelief.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • Wheels55

    So, is Obama’s campaign in full desperate smoke & mirrors mode? Consider: the still weak economy, Fast & Furious executive privilege cover-up, Libya cover-up, the WARN Act waiver, ObamaCare having to go to the Supreme Court and almost losing (and still having changed), made-up issues (like the so-called war on women) to deflect attention away from the real issues, hardly any promises made 4 years ago being kept…
    The answer is yes. If Obama wins, it truly shows how dumb Americans have become.

    • curious11

      Yes!… They live in their sheltered neighborhood enclaves or ghettos… And the youth especially are disconnected from day to day domestic affairs. So many youth prefer to talk smack on socio networks, MTV, online gaming, and live one day at a time with little or no goals!

  • Robertrth

    Someone explain to me, in very simple language because I am apparently a complete idiot, why Obama is President in the first place and why he stands a very good chance of winning re-election?

    • Wheels55

      Because: 1) you are not an idiot for asking that question   2) there are enough idiots who don’t ask that question and 3) polls ask many people who barely know who is President, let alone the real issue and events.

    • John Daly

      He’s the president because the country had Bush and Iraq fatigue, John McCain came across too much like Bush. Obama was a historical figure with unprecedented media adoration, who said lots of pretty stuff and had a great smile. That’s why he won in 2008.

      He stands a good chance of winning now, because people still like his public persona, and they aren’t yet convinced that its his policies that are what is sending us over a cliff. Plus, enough people believe that Mitt Romney is exactly the man the Obama campaign has portrayed him.

    • curious11

      Everyday his chances are eroding! Mitt and his supporters have to stay strong and invigorated til victory day… “oh happy day”!

  • JoyComes

    Great report!  Thank you John for pulling together so much information.

  • wally

    Yes, the deception goes on and on. To add fuel to the fire is to include Fast and Furious to the list. Everyone who has been following this has to come to the conclusion that Obama and Holder have been hiding the truth. The Obama administration doesn’t want guns in the hands of citizens. He wants gun control followed by confiscation of fire arms. They start by saying that only automatic weapons are the target but all gun owners know that is only a camel’s nose under the tent. The UN is in on the plan to prohibit and confiscate guns. Hillary will be the first to sign a treaty with Obama for gun control  so they do not have to address this issue with the voters. My fear is that the might succeed during a lame duck session if Obama is defeated.

  • Worldbuilder

    Mr. Daly,
    Well done! This is perhaps your best article posted on Mr. Goldberg’s site. Do you have any predictions about the October job report?

    • John Daly

      Thanks.

      Not a clue on what the October jobs report will look like. If the professional economists can’t predict this stuff, I certainly can’t.

  • venter

    You coveered it all.
      The embassy, 7.8% unemployment,  The Video caused  riots ,  the creation of  5,000,000 jobs, the 2,300+ pages  of Obamacare that won’t raise taxes= all of these things we are to believe are true.  I hope more influential people  would be brave enough to speak out the way Jack Welch did . Lies about Libya need to be investigated.  Americans need to have faith in the  government.  The last month has been depressing for us.
    We need to give a Mitt a chance at the job of president.  Obama needs a break. He can go back to community organizing perhaps on  Seasame Street with Big Bird.  However Big Bird is a self made millionaire worrying about his taxes going up

  • venter

    Good article.  It is a disgrace that we have to listen to the garbage coming out of Washington.  How is that we know that September is a month we  are  anxious because of 9/11 .  I am more alert on and about 9/11 when traveling.  However our President was not able to protect our embassy and the people working there.  I read about the horrible things done to the Chris Stevens before he died.  Someone has to be held responsible for his death and for the riots . The constant talk about the video only fanned the fires of hell.  No  one saw this video except for one person in Libya,  then e-mailed his friends the info about it, ‘Then the riots started.  Are we  to believe that AND 7.8% unemployment AND the 5,000,000 jobs, AND Obama care won’t raise taxes AND Joe Biden.  The big Question…. will Hillary be thrown under the bus again.   Once by Bill, Oprah and now Joe.  Hillary could be  a game changer if she was strong.  I am betting on Big Bird  ( who is worrying about the IRS )  

  • Deny916

    “Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton actually stood next to the coffin of murdered ambassador, Chris Stevens, and partially blamed that video for his death.”  This is one of the things that angers me most of all.  How dare they do something like that and murder Ambassador Stevens all over again!  Our people were MURDERED over there and not because of some stupid video that nobody even saw, and those bums won’t even level with us.  I’m no Intelligence Officer and even I could tell it was terrorism!

    I don’t put anything past these people for lying or  being decietful.  They will do ANYTHING to get idiot boy re-elected.  I don’t believe anything they say or do, or claim they don’t do.  This administration has to be the worst that has ever been in office.  Those books were cooked.  I have a feeling a lot more stuff will all of a sudden be rosy–just before election day.  Don’t fall for this people.  Obummer must go!!!!!!!

    Most EXCELLENT article John!  Well said!

    • bookman65000

      Chicago politics at its worst, if that’s possible.  I agree that we haven’t heard, or seen, the last of any kind of deceit or downright criminality that these thugs can conjure up.  It’s gonna’ be messy….

      • Deny916

        Yeah.  I mean at least you KNEW Al Capone was a criminal!

        • Hiralph60

          Al Capone was LOVED by the PEOPLE in Chicago. He opened up the Soup Kitchens during the Depression etc. He hurt & killed many but not the regular people if you know what this means.watch Boardwalk Empire & you will get it. Like NOOKY THOMPSON etgc  Obama is hurting us all & if re-elected the future will be worse for everyone.  

  • GlenFS

    The Obama team has also demonstrated their willingness to influence pollsters with whom they disagree by direct intimidation.  So, would they do this if they could… you bet!

  • Jeffreydan

      We have learned that California’s figures, which are worse than the national average, weren’t counted. Anyone know if the 7.8% changes once CA is part of the equation? 

    • Patrick

      Pardon me for asking, but exactly HOW do we know CA wasn’t counted in the national average for this month. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just asking how do you know?

      • NS Sherlock
        • Patrick

           Thanks, makes sense. No conspiracy to fudge the numbers (numbers didn’t come in on time due to California being short-staffed) , but definitely deceit on Obama and the DOL ‘s part in omitting that fact. In any case, I did think it was quite unusual for there to be quite a big jump down considering the state of the economy. Interested to see if these reports will be officially corrected or what November’s reports will look like.

          • NS Sherlock

            I agree, or, what ‘miracle’ will happen next.

  • NS Sherlock

    The past 4 years has been built on lies and ways to deceive the public. If we knew everything these scumbags have done, cooking the books is probably insignificant. (I believe none of what I hear and only half of what I see from these dickheads.) The only people who vote for these bottom-feeders will be people who are corrupt, looking for the next hand out, or are welfare moochers who do not know the meaning of keeping their pants up. 

  • Ike

    This article has me fearing this election…how FAR will they go to taint the truth? 

    • Deny916

      I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet Ike.