Well this was predictable. The new jobs report came out and the numbers are very favorable for President Obama as the jobless rate dropped to 7.8%, the lowest number since he took office. So naturally, the right wing is absurdly claiming there’s a conspiracy to cook the books.
“Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the presidential election,” Florida Republican Rep. Allen West wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Welch, the former head of General Electric lauded for his leadership skills, leveled his accusations on Twitter, joined by a smattering of conservative bloggers and pundits.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch tweeted.
Then Fox News pounced on the conspiracy, leading its website with the headline “JOBLESS RATE DIPS UNDER 8%, BUT IS THE NUMBER REAL?”
Sane Republicans who’ve actually worked in a presidential administration have pointed out how idiotic this is:
“The numbers are put together by trained professionals and in a process that keeps politicians from interfering,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum and a chief economic adviser to former President George W. Bush. “Any sort of suggestion to the contrary is wrong.”
Former Bush administration spokesman Tony Fratto took to Twitter to say: “Stop with the dumb conspiracy theories. Good grief.”
So now we have jobs number birthers. In reality, the jobs report is compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a non-partisan agency. It is headed by a political appointee, but guess what? Obama left the appointee from the Bush administration, Keith Hall, in place when he took office. Hall recently left that position and it remains unfilled, so there isn’t even a single political appointee working at the agency. But those are facts, so they don’t figure in to these crazy conspiracy theories at all.