11.20.2013 0

Was Jack Welch right? Whistleblower alleges Obama administration cooking jobs data

WelchBy Robert Romano

Jack Welch might have been right all along.

An anonymous whistleblower in a New York Post column by John Crudele is alleging  that unemployment jobs data in the current population survey conducted by the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics was manipulated in 2012 to help Barack Obama get reelected.

According to the source, specifically, the Oct. 5, 2012 jobs report was faked — just in time for the election. Worse, the practice reportedly continues to date.

That was the report that showed a 0.3 percent drop in the unemployment rate, helping it get below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months, an Obama administration “stimulus” pledge.

Up until that point, the nation had experienced the longest period of high, sustained joblessness since the Great Depression.

Then, suddenly, the survey found a miraculous 873,000 new jobs in the household survey, despite the fact the establishment survey of employers only showed a total of 114,000 jobs created. In a statement, Americans for Limited Government warned the data was wrong, or worse manipulated.

Former General Electric CEO Welch tweeted out, “Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers.” He and others who questioned the numbers at the time were widely derided. But were they right?

ALG President Nathan Mehrens said the allegations were “extremely serious,” noting “financial markets and economic policy makers all over the world depend on the integrity of jobs data to make informed decisions.”

Mehrens warned, “This is a case where distorted data will result in distorted policies that harm the well being of the global economy.”

Particularly, the Federal Reserve has said it is waiting until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent before it begins raising interest rates.

But beyond that, the idea that the numbers may have been manipulated to achieve an electoral outcome is so far beyond the pale it really does makes one wonder. Has the government’s statistics office have become no more reliable than Iraq’s former information minister, Baghdad Bob?

So far, the whistleblower has not come forward, but according to Crudele, “is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.”

To that end, Mehrens called for Rep. John Kline, chairman of the House Health, Education and Workforce Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to investigate any potential wrongdoing.

“To get to the bottom of this, the whistleblower identified in the Crudele story must be allowed to testify in front of the appropriate House committees. If true, major reforms will be needed,” Mehrens said.

According to Crudele, a Census employee, Julius Buckmon, was told to fabricate information by his superiors. “It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told Crudele.

And the anonymous source said, “He’s not the only one.” At least some of these incidents are documented in confidential Census documents, according to the story.

In the meantime, a Bureau of Labor Statistics official has told CNBC that “the incident has been reported to the Commerce Department Inspector General Office for investigation.”

That is good, but if we only knew then what we know now. It is impossible to definitively say how it would have definitively impacted the 2012 race — it was decided by just a few hundred thousand votes in swing states.

If these allegations prove to be true, it calls into question not only the legitimacy of the current White House office holder, but all of the government’s economic reporting systems. Can we believe what the government tells us anymore?

Jack Welch didn’t think so. And he may have been right after all.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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