The editorial board of the Washington Post is very impressed with last Friday’s jobs report. According to the editors, the economy is “on the move” and Obama has “reason to crow” (as no doubt do the editors). The unemployment rate in September dropped 0.3 percentage points, from 8.1% to 7.8%. As one of the Post’s own writers has pointed out, however, the unemployment rate dropped “dramatically” although the economy only added a “modest” 114,000 jobs during the month (which is based on a survey of business).
The 114,000 number is interesting because the unemployment rate is determined not by the business survey, but by a survey of households, and that survey showed an increase of 873,000 jobs for the month. This contradiction is significant and raises legitimate questions about the actual unemployment rate, yet no mention of it is made as the Post praises Obama. By the way, the increase reported by households also just happens to represent the largest monthly increase since 1983, and amazingly enough, it came just in time for the election.
So, we see that facts are irrelevant to the Post’s editors. They ignore a major discrepancy in the unemployment numbers, swoon over the 7.8% figure, and repeat a worn out recitation of Obama’s “achievements” with the economy: the auto bailout, financial-sector rescue, and the stimulus. And of course, without any evidence at all, the editors proclaim that “unemployment probably would have been worse” in the absence of Obama’s brilliance. The idea that Obama’s ideology might have inhibited private activity to the point of offsetting Obama’s actions doesn’t occur to them. Rather, private sector risk aversion is due to the fiscal cliff created by Washington gridlock (i.e., due to the Republicans).
The Post’s editorial is another example of how, after sacralizing Big Government, liberals have no room for either facts (even the facts presented by their own reporters) or reason, and have no misgivings about misleading the public. All that counts for these guys is their ever enduring faith in Big Government.