Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte

Rich Galen

9/6/2012 10:08:00 AM - Rich Galen
I am not one to whine about the Liberal bias of the national political press corps. It's there. You know it. I know it. THEY know it.

The GOP can either rail against the media gods or design a game plan to get around it; something Republicans have gotten pretty good at going all the way back to Richard Nixon's "silent majority."

However. There were two numbers released yesterday that, if this were a convention to re-nominate a Republican President, would have been on every commentator's lips - from Fox to MSNBC: 4.5 million and 46.7 million.

The 4.5 million number is how many jobs Democrats claim have been created during President Obama's term. However, CNN reminds us that the number cited by Keynote Speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is carefully measuring job growth since January 2010.

The private sector, non-farm people payroll figure stands at 111.3 million. When Obama took office, that number was 111 million.

Thus the 4.5 million new jobs is really only 300,000 new jobs.

Ok. A rounding error.

But, CNN goes even farther:

"The jobs that have come back aren't the same ones that were lost.

"According to a study released last week by the liberal-leaning National Employment Law Project, low-wage fields such as retail sales and food service are adding jobs nearly three times as fast as higher-paid occupations."

If you include public sector jobs, the CNN fact check concludes,

[O]verall, there are still fewer people working now than when Obama took office at the height of the recession.

Don't hold your breath waiting for Al Sharpton to jump on that.

Mostly silence from the other 15,000 reporters in Charlotte, too.

Hush.

Now to that 46.7 million number. That's the number of Americans who are now depending on Food Stamps to feed their families.

Bloomberg.com quoted Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as saying:

"Too many middle-class families who have fallen on hard times are still struggling. Our goal is to get these families the temporary assistance they need so they are able to get through these tough times and back on their feet as soon as possible."

Whoa! Check Please!

Too many middle-class families have fallen on hard times? The same middle class families Obama has been focused on for each and every one of the past 1,325 days since his Inaugural (not counting fund-raisers and golf outings)?

No one - with the possible exception of graduate students - thinks that qualifying for Food Stamps is a good thing.

A year or so ago, when Newt Gingrich called Obama "the Food Stamp President," I was on the CNN set with John King when he told of his dad, having lost his job, needed to apply for Food Stamps.

Tears welled up in John's eyes and I could feel his dad's humiliation. It was a very moving moment.

The failure to help middle class families lies directly at the feet of Barack Obama. This astonishing 46.7 million number has nothing to do with Republicans wanting to change the tax code. The tax code has been exactly the same during Obama's entire term.

Under Obama's guidance about 1.5 million additional middle class families' incomes have slipped to the point that they need Food Stamp assistance. And that's not since January 2009. That's just in the past year.

I am not opposed to those who are legitimately in need temporarily receiving food stamps, unemployment insurance, or any other form of government assistance. We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world and the $16 trillion deficit will not disappear by withholding that assistance from those who need it.

What I am opposed to is a President who sees that as a fact of life in America. Another "new normal." I would much rather (and I suspect most recipients would rather) the President see these programs as emergency aid while those receiving them are being trained to re-enter the workforce in a growing economy.

That 46.7 million number has everything to do with yet another number: 8.3 percent - the current official unemployment rate. As you know that number will be updated on Friday and there is no chance it will dip below 8 percent.

Fewer Americans working. More Americans on Food Stamps. Is it why Obama thinks he deserves to be re-elected?

Oh, and according to Bloomberg.com, the two states with the highest growth in food stamp use? Louisiana and … North Carolina.

But, keep that to yourself in Charlotte.

Hush. Hush.