Truth About Jobs

Truth About Jobs

By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: October 7, 2012

If anyone had doubts about the madness that has spread through a large part of the American political spectrum, the reaction to Friday’s better-than expected report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should have settled the issue. For the immediate response of many on the right — and we’re not just talking fringe figures — was to cry conspiracy.

 

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Leading the charge of what were quickly dubbed the “B.L.S. truthers” was none other than Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric, who posted an assertion on Twitter that the books had been cooked to help President Obama’s re-election campaign. His claim was quickly picked up by right-wing pundits and media personalities. 

It was nonsense, of course. Job numbers are prepared by professional civil servants, at an agency that currently has no political appointees. But then maybe Mr. Welch — under whose leadership G.E. reported remarkably smooth earnings growth, with none of the short-term fluctuations you might have expected (fluctuations that reappeared under his successor) — doesn’t know how hard it would be to cook the jobs data.

Furthermore, the methods the bureau uses are public — and anyone familiar with the data understands that they are “noisy,” that especially good (or bad) months will be reported now and then as a simple consequence of statistical randomness. And that in turn means that you shouldn’t put much weight on any one month’s report. Continue reading “Truth About Jobs”

Republican super PACs ramp up spending in House races

Republican super PACs ramp up spending in House races

Nancy Pelosi is pictured. | AP Photo

The common thread in ads this week is a focus on the Dems’ agenda under Pelosi. | AP Photo

By JAKE SHERMAN | 9/17/12 4:59 AM EDT

With 50 days and counting until Election Day, a pair of outside political groups supporting House Republicans is unleashing $7 million of TV ads in contested congressional districts.

A pair of related groups linked to House GOP leadership, the American Action Network and Congressional Leadership Fund, is launching a fresh $3 million advertising campaign targeting races in the Midwest, California and one in Texas.

This is on top of $4 million that the YG Action Fund – a super PAC associated with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – has on television in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Massachusetts. Continue reading “Republican super PACs ramp up spending in House races”

Romney campaign unveils first TV ad for swing-state Wisconsin

By Meghashyam Mali – 09/09/12 06:19 AM ET

Mitt Romney‘s campaign on Sunday unveiled its first television ad for Wisconsin, targeting President Obama on the economy.

The ad is the latest in a series titled “A better future” which are set to air in key battleground states.

The video opens with a clip of Romney from his Tampa, Fla. GOP convention address.

Romney campaign unveils first TV ad for swing-state Wisconsin. Continue reading “Romney campaign unveils first TV ad for swing-state Wisconsin”