A "new consensus" has emerged on the success of the economic stimulus package, according to a New York Times headline. In touting the supposed success of the legislation, and hinting at support for another round of spending, the Times neglected to mention the widespread fraud that characterizes the administration's attempt at shoring up the economy.
As reported by P.J. Gladnick on Saturday, the Times made sure to attribute its claims to "dispassionate analysts," and asserted that the stimulus is "helping an economy in free fall a year ago to grow again and shed fewer jobs than it otherwise would." Gladnick thoroughly debunked this claim, and others, in his NB post.
In a further show of bias, the Times article makes no mention of the 76,779 jobs that were not actually "saved or created" by the package, but were added to the number touted by the administration (interactive map embedded below the fold - h/t Examiner's Freddoso, Spiering, and Hemingway). Given that this number is roughly 12 percent of the 640,000 jobs the administration claims to have "saved or created," it might merit a mention in the Times's story.
Citing a Democratic congressman who recently proposed a no whining day, on Friday’s Morning Meeting on MSNBC, host Dylan Ratigan asked: “...unemployment, health care, a couple of wars, Americans got plenty to be frustrated about these days...But some people say stop the whining....Is ‘shut up and deal’ the new American mantra?”
Ratigan made that question the topic of discussion for the ‘Trend or Talker’ segment near the end of 9:00AM ET hour of the show with correspondent Contessa Brewer and Financial Times U.S. managing editor Chrystia Freeland. Ratigan explained: “...the congressman, by the name of Emmanuel Cleaver, wants to declare the day before Thanksgiving complaint-free Wednesday.” He wondered: “Worthy proposition?”
Brewer replied: “Yeah, absolutely. Here you get a two-fer. No complaints on Wednesday and Thursday gives you something to be grateful for.” Freeland enthusiastically agreed with the idea: “I think the no whining day is a fabulous idea....What they say in preschools, you get what you get and don’t get upset.”
"[I] think we're building a stairway to heaven in Dow prices on the back of paper and I think that, you know it seems kind of dire to me that 8 percent - 8,000, 9 percent - 9,000, 10.2 - 10,000," Santelli said. "I shudder to think where the unemployment rate is going to be at 11 and 12,000 in the Dow."
President Obama lobbied for government stimulus almost as soon as he took office. In order to gain passage of that $787 billion spending spree, Obama warned of economic "catastrophe" including double-digit unemployment.
Roughly 9 months later, we now have proof that those billions of taxpayer dollars spent didn't stop the unemployment rate from soaring to 10.2 percent. Still, that failure didn't prevent one CNN anchor from asking if a second stimulus might be needed.
CNN business correspondent Christine Romans announced the latest jobs numbers on Nov. 6 during "American Morning. She said, "The unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. It is worse than economists had been expecting - 10.2 percent - we have hit double-digits on the unemployment rate now and this is the highest since the early 1980s. The number of jobs lost: 190,000 jobs lost in the month. That is a little worse than we had thought."
Following Romans' report, CNN anchors John Roberts and Kiran Chetry consulted author William Cohan, a contributor to The DailyBeast.com and Bloomberg, and Diane Brady, senior editor of BusinessWeek magazine. Both guests were concerned about the rising rate of unemployment and Cohan said he didn't see "anything optimistic about these numbers."
The October unemployment rate has just been released and it has jumped to double digits at 10.2%, the worst rate since 1983. Just a little over half a point higher would make this the worst recession since the Great Depression. So how is the Associated Press reporting the growing unemployment numbers? "The economy is rebounding." I kid you not.
This AP report by Christopher S. Rugaber was published earlier this morning before the official unemployment rate was released. Notice how AP tries to cushion the blow by speculating that it would probably just rise to 9.9% for October:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is rebounding from its deepest slump since the 1930s, but it probably won't seem that way when the government releases its monthly employment report on Friday.
Employers aren't expected to start adding jobs for several more months. Many are skeptical about the strength and sustainability of the recovery,
The nation's economy probably lost a net total of 175,000 jobs in October, pushing the unemployment rate to 9.9 percent, according to a survey of Wall Street economists by Thomson Reuters. The Labor Department report is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.
Most economists think the rate will eventually surpass 10 percent, a level last seen in June 1983.
On her segment of CNN Newsroom this morning, anchor Heidi Collins asked business correspondent Christine Romans about Senate action on extending yet again unemployment benefits:
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You're right. And Heidi, all of those things that you mentioned are incredibly important to your money and all of them could affect you very, very near-term here. This extension of the unemployment benefits, it would be the third.
The Senate has passed it. It goes to the House. It's expected to be voted on and passed very, very quickly here. Because, remember, your Congress member and your senator, they are being inundated in their offices with questions from people saying, wait, how am I going to survive when this check runs out? Seven thousand checks running out every week.
It would be a 14-week extension nationwide, 20 weeks of unemployment. More unemployment benefits for the states with 8.5 percent unemployment or more. And this would be paid by a two-year extension of an existing -- existing tax on employers. So this would be paid for by a tax on employers.
It would not come out of your pocket and my pocket. But it would be the third extension here, Heidi. And it's critically important. Like I said, so many people are losing their unemployment benefits right now. Some 200,000 have lost their jobless benefits just as the Senate has been negotiating this.
Laurie Kellman, call your office, check your e-mail, and tap in to your Twitter.
The Associated Press reporter didn't get the memo that recession is supposedly over, and that at a minimum you shouldn't be writing as if it will be with us for a while. She also erred in citing the weak economy as a bad thing for Democrats. The New York Times told us about a week ago that a bad economy is a good thing for Democrats who want to pass state-controlled health care and other freedom-restricting agenda items, because a bad economy increases personal insecurity. They're such pals of the little guy, you see.
Both busts against the conventional media wisdom are in Kellman's brief item from late this morning (bolds are mine):
Health care issues: Hold off for a better economy?
The White House is taking it upon itself to police the news media. The trend started of course with the Fox News Channel, but the administration has moved on to bash other organizations, most recently the Associated Press and car site Edmunds.com. It seems to believe that any criticism of its policies is worth attacking.
The White House claims, in the words of Valerie Jarret, that it will go after any organization that "spreads false news." But the attacks suggest that the administration will take on any outlet that challenges claims designed to further its agenda.
Edmunds calculated the number of cars purchased during the Cash for Clunkers program that would have been purchased without the rebates. The site determined that C4C had incentivized the purchases of only 125,000 automobiles, meaning taxpayers paid $24,000 per car purchase under the program.
Now that the Obama administration is attempting to take a victory lap on the U.S. economic recovery, claiming the $787-billion stimulus passed earlier this year was what did the trick, despite a cost of $160,000 per 'stimulus' job, as ABC's Jake Tapper pointed out, it has come at the cost of the U.S. dollar.
Since then, the stock market has rebounded nicely. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is off a March low of 6,547 points, even topping the 10,000-mark recently. But what has caused this nearly 50-percent jump? According to CNBC's Larry Kudlow - loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, with low interest rates, has made it possible for the markets to rise, with the 'loose' money going into the market.
"The funny thing is, Steven, it has gone into stocks - I mean the stock market guys ... there's no real multiplier for the economy, right?" Kudlow said on his Oct. 30 CNBC program. "But it has gone into stocks and the stock market crowd wants to see the Fed to keep pouring the money in no matter what happens to the U.S. dollar."
The Obama administration continues to push its "jobs created and saved" theme, taking credit for up to a million jobs on account of its $787 billion economic stimulus package (roughly a quarter of which has been spent). But some in the media remain skeptical.
Politico.com announced on Oct. 30 that White House officials planned a Friday afternoon announcement for the same day claiming "at least 1 million jobs" had been saved or created.
Other news outlets, including NPR and CNN, focused on a lower White House claim the same day saying that "more than 650,000 jobs have been saved or created" under the stimulus.
The higher claim of 1 million was based on extrapolation - the White House report examined the first $150 billion of $339 billion stimulus funds spent so far.
When Katie Couric and the folks at CBS start doubting what the Administration says about how effective February's economic stimulus package was, you know President Obama is in trouble.
Consider that on Thursday's CBS "Evening News," Chip Reid began a segment with the following startling statement about a jobs report card to be released by the White House Friday:
Well, Katie, that report is going to claim that the stimulus has already created or saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, but if the administration`s first effort at counting stimulus jobs is any guide, tomorrow`s numbers could be hard to believe.
Readers are advised to make sure youngsters are out of the room, for watching Katie and the Gang say the White House might be fudging numbers could be way too frightening for minors (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t Terri Green, file photo):
It would appear that the Apparatchik Press -- er, the Associated Press -- thinks that part of its job is to soften the impact of embarrassing admissions made by Obama administration members.
Take the wire service's Thursday afternoon AP report by Jim Kuhnhenn on Council of Economic Advisers' chair Christine Romer's observations about the stimulus package. Romer said (in AP's words) that "the government's economic stimulus spending has already had its biggest impact," and will (in Romer's words) "likely be contributing little to further growth by the middle of next year."
As you'll see shortly, AP's headline doesn't reflect what Romer said. Additionally, Kuhnhenn allowed Romer to mischaracterize the economy's performance in the second quarter without challenging it, and saved the big news -- yet another administration official admitting that unemployment will stay near double digit through the end of next year -- for his eighth paragraph.
Here's a graphic capture of Kuhnhenn's first eight paragraphs, posted for fair use and discussion purposes:
As I pointed out Monday night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger, in his Saturday morning report on the federal government's full-year fiscal results, conveniently "forgot" about a major accounting change that enabled President Obama's Treasury Department to report a final "deficit" of "only" $1.417 trillion.
That's hundreds of billion of dollars lower than the $1.75 trillion expected in February. The change, which caused "investments" in financial institutions, General Motors, Chrysler, and other entities to be accounted for on a "net present value" (NPV) basis, had an initial impact of over $175 billion when first implemented. Crutsinger ignored the change, even though its implementation occurred after that February estimate.
Though the end of a fiscal year represents a perfect opportunity to extend readers' understanding of how our government (sort of) works, Crutsinger also did not tell readers that the reported "deficit" is nowhere near the amount of the increase in the national debt that occurred during the fiscal year. As of September 30, the national debt was $11.910 trillion, or $1.885 trillion higher than the national debt a year earlier. That means that the most recent year's "unreported deficit" was $468 billion.
One other area where Crutsinger erred was in his breezy opening paragraph assessment that the precipitous drop in cash receipts during the most recent fiscal year -- officially understated for a reason I will note shortly -- was entirely due to the recession:
Showing that Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have become interchangeable, in the 2:00PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer mistakenly introduced Jackson as Sharpton: “Joining me now to talk about this and the nation’s real problem of joblessness, the Reverend Al Sharpton....I’m so sorry, the – the script in front of me said Reverend Al Sharpton...I know who you are, Reverend Jackson.”
Brewer was just starting to bash capitalism as she made the error: “A Goldman Sachs adviser....Brian Griffith says, quote, ‘we have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all.’” She then sarcastically asked Jackson: “What’s your reaction to hearing someone say, you know, when it comes to income inequality, all’s well, the rising tide floats all boats?” Before replying, Jackson had to clarify his identity: “I’m Reverend Jesse Jackson.” Which prompted Brewer’s apology. Jackson went on to argue that Griffith’s claim was a “vulgar statement.”
Here was a chance for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. to admit he was wrong, and to conclude publicly that government intervention in the private sector doesn't always result in the best of outcomes.
McCain appeared on CNN's Oct. 11 "State of the Union" in a pre-recorded interview and was asked by host John King if the lackluster recovery of the economy warranted more government intervention.
"The president has said he's considering new initiatives to help job creation," King said. "They passed one stimulus plan and most Republicans, including John McCain, have been pretty critical of this $787-billion stimulus passed early in the year. Should the President do more now through government spending, though tax incentives or should he wait because, as you have said many times, we have so much red ink, we can't afford much more?"
BMI's Julia A. Seymour appeared on FNC's "America's News Headquarters" to discuss her latest report, "Networks Flip Flop on Jobs."
During Seymour's Oct. 4 appearance, she told host Shannon Bream some of the findings of her report.
"Let's talk about who was the president 26 years ago, Ronald Reagan. So how were his unemployment numbers, or what happened under his watch covered as compared to how we see them being covered now under President Obama?" Bream asked.
Based on the data, the current job situation for teenagers in America is the worst on record.
According to Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Seasonally adjusted teenage unemployment hit 25.9%. That is the highest rate in the nearly 62 years BLS has been reporting this number. The previous record was last month's 25.5%. The record before that was 24.1% in November and December of 1982. A graphic of the complete history of the teenage unemployment rate that will open in a new window is here.
Unemployment among black teens not enrolled in school is over 50%.
The rate among 20-24 year-olds is also alarmingly high at 15.1%.
Almost alone among establishment media publications -- and even then in an editorial, not a regular news report -- the Wall Street Journal commented on this distressing set of circumstances, identified the most likely cause of the problem, and worried about its longer-term consequences:
Former Clinton Labor Secretary and current Obama economic advisor Robert Reich was laughed at Friday for claiming "the stimulus package is the thing that is actually keeping the economy up, keeping people employed."
In a discussion on CNBC about the larger than expected September job losses reported Friday by the Labor Department, Reich was explaining to hosts Melissa Francis and Lawrence Kudlow how things would be much worse if not for the stimulus package.
He also implied that things won't get better until healthcare is reformed.
In the middle of this absolutely absurd statement, Francis and Kudlow appeared to look at each other with the former breaking out into laughter and the latter doing his best to hold it back (video embedded below the fold):
As the Business & Media Institute's Julia Seymour previously reported, the September unemployment data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a larger than expected decline in non-farm payrolls.
Yet, as employers shed another 263,000 workers, the healthcare industry ADDED -- yes, ADDED!!! -- 19,000 employees.
As NewsBusters reported last month, the healthcare industry, despite dire warnings from Democrats and their media minions that it's in a crisis, continues to add to payrolls month after month during this recession.
Unemployment rose again in September, to 9.8 percent, with 263,000 jobs lost according to Bureau of Labor Statistics release. That followed months of positive economic coverage from the networks and begs the question: how with the network news spin that tonight?
The network news media have been manipulating bad jobs reports in Obama's favor since March as the unemployment rate rose from 8.1 percent in February to 9.7 percent in August. Reporters have found rehired people "doing backflips," in 2009, but the last time unemployment was that high network journalists found people living under bridges and plenty of "hopelessness." That was under President Ronald Reagan in 1982. But when Reagan was facing a similar rising unemployment rate the networks attacked him with it, month after month.
ABC anchor Charles Gibson illustrated how dramatically different the network coverage of Reagan and Obama really were by covering the exact same numbers in totally opposite fashion.(Watch video)
We looked specifically at seven months of coverage in 1982 and again in 2009 that had very similar periods of unemployment where it was going up between 8 - between 8 and the high 9 percent range. And what we found was that the network reporting on ABC, NBC and CBS was overwhelmingly negative to Reagan but positive toward Obama. They were actually 13 times more negative to President Reagan than they were to Obama.
Unemployment is currently at a 26-year-high of 9.7 percent and expected to continue rising. The last president to govern with such high unemployment was President Ronald Reagan.
But in 1982, when unemployment was rising similarly to the way it has in 2009 the network news media were merciless quoting attacks from Democrats, union leaders and the unemployed to attack Reagan's "sadistic" fiscal policies.
2009 was a different story, for a different president. Even though unemployment has shot up from 8.1 percent since February, network reporters looked for "hopeful signs" of an economic turnaround in their jobs report.
The Business & Media Institute just released a Special Report: Networks Flip Flop on Jobs that exposes that double-standard of unemployment coverage from 1982 and 2009 (See video below). The full report is available here, but here are some of our major findings:
Thanks to info "steveegg" at No Runny Eggs linked me to earlier today, I had to add the word "Annual" before "Cash Flow" at this post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) that originally appeared Wednesday.
That's because the system is already running monthly deficits, and significant ones.
Back in February, the system also ran a deficit. It was bad news, but because February is an unusual month containing a full month of payments but only 20 business days of collections (actually 19, since Presidents Day is a federal holiday), I didn't think it was an indicator of a near-term problem when I noted it in early April. I was wrong.
The degree of the decay is obvious when you look at July's and August's results. The drastic decline in year-over-year collections noted in Wednesday's post indicate that September is almost certainly going to be no better, and will probably be worse.
Go to this link and you'll be able to replicate the tables that follow (simply type "7" or "8" at Item 3):
Perhaps ABC is just over-eager to find some of those "green shoots" of economic recovery we're supposed to be seeing. Despite the nationwide unemployment rate of 9.7 percent - a 26-year high - the network still managed to find some "welcome news" on the jobs front.
On September 23, "World News'" Charles Gibson reported that a whopping 12,000 people are being hired in the "recession-battered city" of Las Vegas. While Gibson did mention that "160,000 people applied" for those jobs, Gibson failed to contrast the 12,000 against the 14,988,000 other Americans still out of work.
If any policy maker watches Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story" and is influenced by it - be afraid, be very afraid.
Moore appeared on CNN's Sept. 23 "Larry King Live" to promote his movie, but he shared with host Larry King his thoughts on why the stock market has rallied off its lows, despite a rising unemployment. His reasoning - Wall Street likes joblessness, because it's more for them. Moore outright told King Wall Street wants people unemployed.
"It's crazy, isn't it?" Moore said. "I'll tell you why: Because your employees are your biggest expense. And, as you've noticed in the last few months, as the unemployment rate has gone up, so has the Dow Jones. Now, you'd think, you know - that Wall Street would respond with, ‘Oh my God, unemployment is going up, you know, this is bad for business.' But the reality is, is that Wall Street likes that. They like it when companies fire people because immediately the bottom line is going to show a larger profit."
As FNC's Sean Hannity devoted his show Hannity on Thursday evening to the plight of California farmers who are suffering unemployment because the federal government is withholding water from their crops in favor of saving endangered fish, Hannity began the show, specially titled "The Valley That Hope Forgot," by interviewing comedian and former Democrat Paul Rodriguez, chairman of the California Latino Water Coalition. Rodriguez, who last year supported Barack Obama but famously turned GOP after Democrats refused to help him and other farmers obtain water for their crops, made a plea for help to President Obama on Hannity's show:
Mr. President, with all due respect, we pray that you will read our letter and look at our dilemma. We don't want you to give us a loan. We didn't do anything wrong. We did everything right. We grew more food than anybody else with less water. And for that, our reward was you cut the water off. Come on, what's up?
On Thursday's Hannity show, Sean Hannity hosted a special edition of his program -- titled "The Valley That Hope Forgot" -- in Huron, California, where drought-stricken farmers are suffering because the federal government continues to withhold water to save endangered fish, leaving tens of thousands of farm workers standing in line for hours at food banks. As the show aired amidst a rally of farm workers, correspondent Ainsley Earhardt informed viewers that conditions have worsened since she last reported from the area in April.
Then, actor Alan Autry, a former Republican mayor of Fresno who is also famous for starring in the television series In the Heat of the Night, slammed President Obama for refusing to intervene. As he recounted post-9/11 fears that al-Qaeda would target the water supply to hurt American agriculture, Autry observed that the conditions created by the federal government by intentionally withholding water are similar to what he would have expected in the aftermath of a terror attack. Autry:
One of the things we were charged with by the federal government was to work together locally to protect the water supply to farming communities so they could continue to provide food for the nation. Now, if you would have told me that those – that water would have stopped, I would have believed maybe al-Qaeda struck, not the federal government.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), also known as the Black Press of America, which is a non-partisan 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization, has decided to show its disapproval of South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson's "You Lie" remarks by canceling a convention in the state.
"Rep. Wilson's remarks were racist, disrespectful and a disingenuous violation - not only of President Obama - but to the institution of the presidency and only solidified our position and the importance in not spending Black dollars where Black people are not respected," NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell Sr. said in a statement.
The conference was scheduled for January according to Fox News. Bakewell said the 69-year-old organization, which includes 200 black community newspapers across the country, would exercise its ability to harm the state economically.
On Friday, Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation's unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 9.7% in August, and that the economy lost another 216,000 seasonally adjusted jobs.
In various ways, the press tried to put a happy face on the news and otherwise tried to minimize its impact. It also continued, as it has for years, to ignore what really happened on the ground (i.e., the not seasonally adjusted numbers) during the month; in August, a look at that info punctures any illusion that the employment situation is improving. It also ignored prior-month downward revisions to both June and July totaling 49,000 seasonally adjusted jobs.