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Rick Perry: Unemployment Rate ‘Doctored’

Former Texas Governor and probable 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry is peddling conspiracy theories again. His latest involves the unemployment rate, which currently stands at a nine-year low of 5.6 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Iowa, Perry let loose with this line regarding the latest good news from the Labor Department, which he did not bother to support with any facts:

“It’s been massaged, it’s been doctored.”

Perry is hardly the only prominent Republican to accuse the Obama Administration of not being honest when it reports unemployment data. Former General Electric CEO even went as far as to call out the city of Chicago when he made his accusation, saying in 2012:

“Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change numbers.”

Welch was then echoed by former Florida Congressman Allen West, who chimed in, saying that what was at work were:

“Chicago style politics.”

Chicago style politics? As opposed to what? Florida style politics, in which you subvert the will of the people by stealing a Presidential election?

There is, however, one problem with all the conspiracy theories about cooking of the books when it comes to unemployment numbers: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is organized and functions in a manner which makes it impossible for any Administration to manipulate the numbers to their advantage. Betsy Stevenson, former chief economist at the Labor Department, explained it this way:

“Anyone who thinks political folks can manipulate the unemployment data are completely ignorant of how the BLS works and how the data is compiled.”

But since when does Rick Perry need facts to back his flighty accusations? This is the same man who said he would eliminate three agencies of the federal government if elected President, and then was only able to name two of them.

One bit of good news for residents of Texas does come to mind from this latest bout of verbal inanity from Perry: he is no longer governor and has joined the ranks of the unemployed.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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