Liars Figure and Figures Lie

02/05/2010 14:59

Last week, the Obama administration trumpeted a 5.7 percent growth in the fourth quarter gross domestic product as evidence that its economic plan has resuscitated the economy, all thanks to the massive government stimulus program. But as Mark Twain famously quipped, "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics." When the bigger the lie is the more believable it is, why stop short of using statistics?

Due to the inventory reductions brought on by corporate bloodletting, fully 3.5 percent of that 5.7 percent is only a one-shot depletion of inventory that won't be replaced until demand resumes. Alarmingly, the remaining 2.2 percent growth rate is 0.8 percent below the neutral minimum job creation threshold. This continuing negative growth condition explains why businesses shed 735,000 jobs over the last six months of 2009. Other indicators reveal a 0.1 percent year-to-year growth rate, a 14.6 percent drop in businesses future output investments, and stagnant or shrinking wages from a year ago.

Most revealing is the fact that since Democrats seized control of Congress in 2006, the private sector has lost almost eight million jobs while the unemployment rate soared past 10 percent. Democrat policies have helped created some jobs, though -- those in the federal government, which will hit 2.15 million employees this year, the highest since Bill Clinton declared that "the era of big government is over."

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