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Tipsheet

4.5 Million Jobs? Not So Fast!

Throughout last night speeches at the DNC, repeatedly we heard something approaching a ritual incantation: Obama has created 4.5 million new jobs.

Well, not so fast.  As a CNN fact check points out this morning, there are FEWER jobs in America than when Barack Obama took office in January 2009.  The 4.5 million number holds true only if you compare current employment levels to January 2010 -- the bottom of the employment market, when Obama had already been in office for a year.  Actually, there are only something like 300,000 more jobs now than in January of 2009 -- not even enough to keep up with employment growth (http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/05/politics/fact-check-obama-jobs/index.html?hpt=hp_c1).

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So judging from the way the President and his backers are touting the number, if his policies had created massive job losses (say, 12 million) but 10 million of those jobs came back, he could take credit for creating 10 million jobs -- even though, hypothetically, there would be 2 million fewer jobs than there were before his term in office.  Convenient, no?

Incidentally, let's hope the fact checkers listen and learn: THIS is how one conducts a fact check.  It doesn't rely on impressions, understandings or other subjective tricks intended to transform a statement the "fact checker" doesn't like into a "lie."  It is a clear, concise statement of objective facts backed by hard numbers or other indisputable data.

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