Bill Clinton Was Right. Arithmatic Matters!

President Bill Clinton,  possibly the most polished liar of any US president past or present, while distorting the truth about President Obama’s record since in office, did say something that was  both true and important. During his speech at the Democratic National Convention he related that when asked over the years how he manged to have such good economic numbers, he said he always responded with a one word answer: arithmatic. Yes, Bill, arithmatic does indeed matter. And, we would say in Spanish about this administration: “Estos numeros no quadran” _ literally: “These numbers don’t square”; but the more correct translation is: “These numbers don’t add up”. Maybe we should give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it is not that their math is so bad, as it is that they don’t want to tell the whole arithmatic story. I am not talking about the trivial slips of the tongue like when Joe Biden said the most important word in this election had only three letters _ “jobs”. Well, that is probably close enough for the work you do, Joe. Nor am I talking about Obama¡s little slip this weekend while speaking before a group of manufacturers saying their products were stamped with “three proud words” _ “Made in the USA”. Well, we know that math is not Mr. Obama’s strong suit.

Poor Joe Biden was right about one thing. “Jobs” is the key word in this election. The jobs numbers over the last four years of this President’s term have been horrible, to say the least. Yet, we are constantly being told by Obama and his minions that there has been thirty consecutive months of “private sector” job growth. For the latest month of August the private sector added 96,000 jobs and unemployment fell from 8.3% to 8.1%. Well, there are no lies there unless you consider the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the unemployment number a lie. You see our population is growing. There are approximately 200,000 young people entering the potential workforce every month. So, how does adding 96,000 private sector jobs reduce the unemployment rate? You will want to look at this BLS report. The second line, “Civilian labor force”, shows that 386,000 people dropped out of the labor force; meaning they stopped looking for work  _ they have given up. So, the numerator in the BLS calculation of unemployment rate is smaller and the denominator is the same or , as I believe, bigger because of population growth. Therefore the published unemployment rate went down from 8.3 to 8.1%. If you look a little further down on the BLS chart,, you will see a line “Not in labor force”. This number went up in August by 581,000. But, does anyone ever hear these numbers from Team Obama or the MSM? No! They don’t want the voters to hear about those numbers.

Here is a BLS table of the workforce participation rate since 2002:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9 66.0 65.8 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.1 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.5 64.3
2011 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.1 64.1 64.1 64.0 64.0
2012 63.7 63.9 63.8 63.6 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.5

You can see the workforce participation rate has fallen from a high in 2002 of 66.8% to 63.5% in August of this year.  To their credit, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and Fox News are telling the public about this thirty year low in workforce participation and how the reported unemployment numbers do not tell the true story. But, friends, I’m not sure “workforce participation rate” is something that registers all that well with the average American voter. I would like, Paul Ryan, at least, do a little digging and tell the voters how many people were employed when Obama took office and how many are employed today. I did a little digging and it didn’t take long to find this eye-popping graph.

Those of you with better eye sight than me can pick off how many millions of people were working when Obama took office. Unfortunately, this graph goes only to 2011. I am absolutely sure that Paul Ryan could bring this graph up to date. In my opinion, that up to date graph is what the Republicans should be showing on television several times a day with a voice over saying “When Obama took office, X millions of Americans had jobs. Today, only Y millions of Americans have jobs.” That is what the American voter needs to hear. Bill Clinton was right. It is about arithmatic. And, Team Obama does not want this arithmatic to see the light of day.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

19 thoughts on “Bill Clinton Was Right. Arithmatic Matters!

  1. Two comments:
    1-In total seasonally adjusted total employment Obama’s net job creation is -86,000

    Obama was over +200,000 just two months ago, but total employment has DECLINED the last two months.

    Total employment is not to be confused with nonfarm employment which is what is reported in the Monthly Jobs Report. That number increased while total employment decreased for the 2nd month in a row.

    2-Using the Obama standard… GW Bush created 10.5 million jobs.

    You can see that in the last chart above from 2002-2008.Obama, however, ignores all the public-sector jobs lost in his claim of 4.6 million new jobs. GW’s numbers includes all job categories.

    So, by Obama’s own standard, ‘ol GW created about 2.5 times more jobs than he has.

    1. AZ!!! Where have you been, mate. I’ve been worried about you. I hope all is well and that you will be blogging again soon.

      Yeah, I am getting real tired of hearing about all the jobs “Obama” created and/or saved. There are many millions of people still waiting for his “hope and change”.

  2. Cherry picking statistics to fit a narrative is easy for politicians. Particularly when it comes to the BLS and their definitions of terms and survey methods. In my opinion, there is one simple statistic that the BLS releases that tells the whole story. The number of people employed. In August of 2012 that number was 142,101 million. In Jan. of 2009 when Obama first took office that number was 142,099 million.

    2,000 jobs is a rounding error. Even if you disagree with the BLS and their methodology, at least both numbers originate from the same source. Not that Obama still wouldn’t attempt to spin it with his jobs created or saved garbage. The point is this number of total civilians employed doesn’t even keep up with population expansion.

    For anyone interested, you can go to the BLS archives page and see for yourself –

  3. I have been very surprised that the MSM didn’t and has not touted the decrese in the unemployment rate. We know that the tiny increase was devasting to his lie…. but I think it is important that this is the first time the MSM didnt trumpet the decline. Perhaps a bit of change in the wind?

  4. This morning’s report shows only 96,000 jobs were added nationwide in August – bad news for President Obama. This means the unemployment rate dipped only because many job seekers gave up looking for work – not the way the president wants that number to go down.

  5. I knew Obama was “Mathematically Challenged” when he made his health care speech in Strongsville Ohio and promised a “3000% reduction in health care premiums”, since a 100% reduction would mean that the premiums were $0.00, a 3000% reduction would mean that the insurance companies would be paying us to stay on as customers.

    Still waiting for my check from Blue Cross.

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