Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: November 4, 2011


I think I’ll check, but I’d guess that if you ever looked up the definition of the term “gas bag” you’d be likely find the picture of ex-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi next to it. She’s much more illustrative of the term than say some generic bag filled with hot gas.

Her latest:

“But I’ll tell you this,” said Pelosi, “if President Obama and the House congressional Democrats had not acted, we would be at 15 percent unemployment. Again, no consolation to those without a job, but an important point to make."

At her Oct. 6 briefing, Pelosi said: “Without the Recovery Act and accompanying federal interventions, whether from the Fed or ‘Cash for Clunkers’ or other initiatives, this unemployment rate last year at the time of the election would’ve been 14.5 percent, not 9.5 percent.”

Between her and Debbie Wasserman Shultz, you could compile a book length list of the groundless claims they’ve made.  And this is right up there in the top 10 for Pelosi.  Of course she doesn’t cite any basis for this claim but there it is nonetheless.

So what about her numbers?   Well, lets look at the numbers an agency which at least ran some came up with:

A report published by the Congressional Budget Office in August estimated that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the stimulus signed by President Obama in 2009 would have the impact of reducing the national unemployment rate between 0.3 points to 1.1 points from what it otherwise would have been. The report also said that although CBO initially estimated that the stimulus would cost $787 billion, CBO had subsequently increased its estimated cost to $825 billion.

It was on the basis of these numbers that Barack Obama made the claim that spending this money would keep the unemployment rate under 8%.  It went to 9.5% from about 4.8%.  In real math, that’s 4.7 points.  So essentially Pelosi is just adding the two (9.5 and 4.7 and adding a few tenths) to get her "14.5%” number.  There is obviously no backing for this claim.

Oh and cost per job? Well, pick your number but whichever you choose, these were expensive jobs:

According to the CBO report, 600,000 to 2 million people have jobs as of now that were "created or retained" because of the $825 billion stimulus. If the maximum number of 2 million is accepted, that works out to a cost of $412,500 per job. If the minimum number of 600,000 is accepted, that works out to a cost of $1,375,000 per job.

So any way you slice it, expensive.  But back to Pelosi.  Even if you accept the higher number of 2,000,000 and add that into the unemployed while subtracting it from the employed total and divide it out, you come up with roughly 10.5%. Even if you accept the projection’s top end estimate that 2,000,000 more jobs would have gone, you can’t get to her number from there.

Also note the “points” the CBO report claims might have been shaved by the so-called stimulus.  They are nowhere near the 4.7 Pelosi wants you to believe in.

Yeah, I know, typical political nonsense.  I just have to wonder, and the question and her answer are on video at the link, whether anyone in the press even challenged the numbers?  Since she’s used them twice recently, I’d guess not.  Also note her attempt to again blame Bush and the Republicans with her “300 days the Republicans were in power” and claim they did nothing to create jobs at that time.  And then look at the unemployment rate at that time (mentioned above).  Duh.  Again, I doubt that was challenged.

Typical of the “watchdog press” of today I’d say.  And very typical of Nancy Pelosi and the “lets make numbers and claims up out of thin air” crowd.


Twitter: @McQandO

The Employment Situation: Economic Statistics for 4 Nov 11

It’s all about employment today.

The Monster employment index rose three points to 151 as online recruiting increased in October.

What everyone is really interested in today, though, is the monthly Employment Situation. A disappointing 80,000 net new jobs were created last month, which was well below an already dismal expectation of 90,000 jobs. On the plus side, sharp revisions to prior months were unveiled. September jobs were revised to 158,000 from the originally reported 103,000, while August jobs were revised to  104,000 from the original 57,000. Sadly, we need in excess of 300,000 new jobs per month to begin growing jobs at a rate that will begin to replace the million lost since 2008. Earnings rose 0.2% last month, while the average workweek remained steady at 34.3 hours.

Essentially, the job market remains moribund, though the unemployment rate dropped to 9.0%. But, that drop in the unemployment rate reflects an increase of 277,000 in employment from the household survey, rather than discouraged workers leaving the workforce, which is a positive sign, as that figure has increased for three months in a row. The broadest measure of labor underutilization, the U-6 unemployment rate (Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force) also fell to 16.2% from last month’s 16.5%.

Dale Franks
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OWS in a nutshell

Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” (besides a quote from one of my posts – thank you) had this from blogger Brady Cremeens .  It sums up OWS, as I’ve watched it over the weeks, pretty well.  And, as usual the irony impaired left has missed it completely.

Cremeen’s discussion is spot on:

In a hilariously idiotic display of irony, Occupy Wall Street is experiencing firsthand the failure of the system they are clamoring for. They squabbled over how to properly distribute the over half a million dollars in donations they received.  Some people felt they deserved more because they were doing more activist work, versus those who spent their occupying days playing drum circles or doing, well, nothing. What’s incredible is that the same people arguing over how to redistribute the wealth given them are pushing for a complete American system of wealth redistribution. They see no correlation between their own inability to “fairly” distribute money and that government mandated wealth distribution would just assuredly fail as well, but on a massive, nation-shaking economic scale.

Similarly, the kitchen staff at Occupy Wall Street ran into problems when they felt they shouldn’t have to prepare food for the “homeless and free loaders”. In summary, the group fighting for a socialist nation where everyone is equal regardless of output refuses to serve those who aren’t doing their share. Apparently, hypocrisy and irony are foreign concepts to the Occupy crowd.

What is perhaps most disconcerting is not that a few college kids and hippies are upset about student loans and mortgages, but that this clearly sordid movement has the complete support of major players in the American political system and media. Elizabeth Warren claims to be the “brains behind Occupy Wall Street” (insert joke here), Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and the President himself have all spoken in support of the protests.

It’s the apparent discovery that their system doesn’t work right in the middle of demanding that system be imposed which has me laughing and shaking my head.

The metaphor he uses is perfect:

Asking “Where did the Occupy movement go wrong?” is akin to musing “Where did Michael Moore’s fitness regime fall apart?” The answer: early, often, all over the place.

Yet for some reason, the left, Democrats and the media are embracing it.

The big question is “why”?   Why do they consider this a valuable movement to which they want to attach their political credibility?  What happens when, and it will, it all goes sour.

Consider (from Ace of Spades):

Verum Serum has been on this doggedly. For reporting the truth, of course, Mother Jones and left-wing blogs like Alternet  implied he was part of a right-wing "smear campaign."

Girls are getting raped at these events. That is not particularly the Occupiers’ fault. In any group, there will be some criminals.

What is their fault is discouraging the girls from reporting the rapes, in the interest of PR for the movement. Apparently talking the position that girls should just close their eyes and think of England.

The ABC report John partially praises fails to mention that fact about Occupy.

In a video by Lee Stranahan and Brandon Darby, one disgruntled Occupier is leaving, because someone on the Sanitation Team (???) took a swing at him, and then the Public Relations Praetorian Guard immediately swept in and began telling him no one took a swing at him.

These droids? What droids? Oh these droids.

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Again, if the charges weren’t so serious, the situation would be entirely laughable.  What’s also apparent is the movement is degenerating into what critics predicted it would even while the press continues to give it an overall shine.  One can’t help but think of a rotting fish on the beach with glittery scales.

They are creating a society within their encampment that they’re discovering doesn’t work even while demanding that society be imposed on the whole.  How the press manages to miss that is beyond me.  Well not really.   And it certainly isn’t at all surprising that the left misses it.

But my guess is, when this all degenerates to the state of chaos and violence that the Democrats will end up holding the proverbial political bag of dog poo and trying to explain their way out of supporting this mess.

Should be fun to watch.


Twitter: @McQandO