COMMENTARY | The day after President Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the 1976 presidential election, my brother Raymond Barnes, 7 years old at the time, admitted why he opposed the Democrat. He alleged that Carter “was going to dump all of the cooking oil into the river.” What anti-Obama partisans are alleging about Friday’s jobs report is just as childish and make-believe as my brother’s assertion.
The Hill reported Friday that former GE Chairman Jack Welch and Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., accused the Obama administration of manipulating the 7.8 percent unemployment rate for September, figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Welch made his accusations by tweeting, “Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers.” West used Facebook to call the report “Orwellian to say the least.”
If the BLS wanted to put out false numbers, why didn’t it begin doing so earlier in Obama’s presidency, given that he’s been continuously hammered by Republicans over the unemployment numbers being over 8 percent? There’s never any shortage of make-believe theories from Obama’s detractors.
I give Romney’s campaign credit for one thing — it’s not buying into the foolishness, but is acknowledging the 7.8 percent unemployment number to make an argument for electing the GOP candidate.
USA Today reported Sunday that Romney’s adviser Ed Gillespie criticized the White House on “This Week,” alleging that “celebrating an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent with 23 million Americans out of work or unemployed or underemployed tells you a lot about the failure of this administration’s policies.”
Nonetheless, West’s and Welch’s accusations come from the anti-Obama playbook of disregarding anything positive that happens during the Obama presidency. Listening to these people, one would think that our country has seen nothing but 100 percent gloom and doom since Obama took office. Their rhetoric gets tiring.
Furthermore, Politico reported Sunday that Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics’ chief economist, commented on “State of the Union” that such charges over manipulating the unemployment figures are “counter-productive because it seeks to undermine the legitimacy of the political process.”
West and Welch are supposed to be adults, yet they are lobbing unfounded charges just like some kid with a wild imagination. They don’t deserve to be cut any slack for espousing their imaginary world onto rational adults for the sake of sowing more discord in this country.