Bless her heart, sometimes our buddy Debbie Wasserman Schultz makes conservatives' job far too easy. The DNC Chairwoman appeared on Fox & Friends this morning and made some interesting assertions about the national unemployment rate. An early Christmas gift, perhaps?
Carlson: Unemployment has gone up precipitously since [Obama] took office.
DWS: That is simply not true....you just said the unemployment rate has been going up since he took office, and it hasn't.
Carlson: ...is unemployment higher now than when President Obama took office?
DWS: (Pauses to construct spin) Unemployment is nearing right around where it was when President Obama took office, and it's dropping.
Okay, that was fun. Now let's talk about facts:
Unemployment rate when President Obama took office: 7.8 percent.
Current unemployment rate: 8.6 percent.
"Real" (U-6) unemployment rate when President Obama took office: 14.1 percent.
Current "real" (U-6) unemployment rate: 15.6 percent.
Civilian participation rate when President Obama took office: 65.7 percent.
Current civilian participation rate: 64.0 percent.
Approximately two million fewer jobs exist in America today than when President Obama took office, even as millions of discouraged worker have abandoned the labor force. This sobering phenomenon is what accounted for much of the illusory drop in the November unemployment rate; nearly three times as many people fled the workforce as added jobs last month. Righty Jim Pethokoukis from AEI and WaPo Lefty Ezra Klein agree: If the labor force had simply remained static since January 2009, the current unemployment rate would be 11 percent. As for the promise vs. reality stimulus comparison (the narrative DWS insists "doesn't work" anymore), let's review the actual data:
The White House projected that by passing the unpaid-for $825 Billion "stimulus" program, the unemployment rate would be settling around 6.5 percent right now. That's...not happening -- but remember, President Obama informs us that he didn't over-promise on the economy. Oops. In short, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was profoundly, surpassingly wrong about nearly everything she said in the clip above. What a surprise. I'd love to see her explain these numbers:
Less than one year out from Election Day 2012, voters remain overwhelmingly pessimistic about the economy, and their concerns are taking a toll on President Obama's re-election chances. Just 41 percent of Americans think Mr. Obama has performed his job well enough to be elected to a second term, whereas 54 percent don't think so.
Given her tempestuous relationship with the truth, I wouldn't be surprised to hear her claim that these are the highest presidential approval ratings in recorded human history. (Cough).
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography