WASHINGTON - We are in the sixth year of the reign of Obama where America's prolonged economic illness is met with one excuse after another. Where accountability is evaded at all costs by replacing Harry Truman's "The Buck Stops Here" with "Blame Somebody Else."
Exhibit A: Last week, administration supporters, advisers and the news media were insisting the anemic number of jobs created in December (74,000) and January (113,000) was due to the severe winter weather and would soon turn around.
But if the polar vortex was the cause of the lower jobs count, how is it that construction was one of the relatively stronger job sectors in the last two months?
After December's shockingly weak jobs report, liberal economists and administration officials were predicting we would see the monthly jobs count soar in the new year.
President Obama told the nation that 2014 would be "a breakout year," but the minuscule number of jobs added last month fell far below the 200,000 jobs predicted by forecasters.
Liberal Wall Street economist Mark Zandi said he was "very sure" December's tiny job count would be "up and revised away" in the months to come.
Zandi, one of the talking heads on the CNBC business channel, insisted the economy was on the brink of seeing much higher job growth in January.
"I wouldn't pay any attention at all to these numbers," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" about the worrisome December report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When the show's host, Andrew Sorkin, asked him "to take us a month out. What do these numbers... look like?" Zandi replied: "It's 200 k, we're looking at 200 k monthly job growth."
Jared Bernstein, a former top economic adviser in the Obama administration, similarly wrote a column in The New York Times saying December's jobs number "will later be revised."
But the one thousand jobs added, after the feds had massaged December's numbers, didn't change the math equation much, and there were grave doubts job creation would improve significantly in the coming months.
Even Washington's top economic reporters, who had been talking up the Obama economy every chance they got, were surprised as the back- to-back, shallow jobs reports came in.
"This was supposed to be the year the economy took off. Instead, new data released Friday show that 2014 stumbled out of the gate," wrote The Washington Post's economics reporter Ylan Q. Mui.
This was "the second straight month of lackluster hiring," Mui wrote, noting that economic analysts were now saying "that the results reflect a genuine slowdown in economic growth."
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