WASHINGTON - We heard some real whoppers in this year's campaign but the biggest of them all was President Obama's wildly exaggerated jobs claim.
Let's review this one for historical accuracy, because millions of voters swallowed it hook, line and sinker as he repeated it throughout his campaign as the honest to God gospel truth. Even after his bogus jobs number was shot down by reporters and economists alike.
"Over the last three and a half years, we have focused on righting the ship, making sure that we didn't slip into a depression, saving an auto industry, creating 4.5 million new jobs, getting health care done, helping young people go to college," Obama said.
But Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler said the president's 4.5 million new jobs claim was misleading at best and, others said, flat out false when you learn the tricky way he came up with his figure. Here's what Kessler wrote:
"The president loves this jobs figure... But it is quite misleading because it refers to private sector jobs, not all jobs, and because it is based on a date (February 2010) that puts the president's jobs record in the best possible light," he wrote this summer.
"The total number of jobs -- private and government -- created in the U.S. from February 2010 is 4 million," he added.
But Obama's "job growth number is still negative if you start counting from the beginning of Obama's presidency," the Washington press corps' ace fact tracker explained.
"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job creation in Obama's entire presidency is plus or minus a few hundred thousand jobs, depending on whether you date his presidency from January or February of 2009. At this point, Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president since World War II," he said.
Wow, that's quite a record when you think about it. Even so, millions of Americans who voted for him either believed he created lots of jobs, or it didn't matter to them one way or the other. These were die-hard Obama supporters who were willing to follow him off the cliff if need be in order to demonstrate their loyalty to a failed presidency.
It's been said by some of the president's partisans that we're in an economic era they call "the new normal." That is, persistently high unemployment that will likely continue for many years, creating a large, permanent, jobless class, as we've long seen in Europe where the unemployment rate is now 11.6 percent.
But, as in Europe, the real U.S. unemployment rate is much higher than the average rate that the feds hand out on the first Friday of each month.
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