Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Obama’s Numbers Don’t Tell the Truth

President Obama used his State of the Union address to boast about the economy, but we should take his claims with a grain of salt. He likes to cite numbers that don’t tell the whole story. Let’s take unemployment figures as an example. The Department of Labor announced that the economy added 225,000 new jobs in December. The administration says that the unemployment rate is now down to 5.6 percent. But this rate only counts as unemployed those who are actively looking for a new job. The one million Americans who have simply given up looking aren’t counted at all. If we count them, and the millions more who can find only part-time work, the unemployment rate is really twice as large: 11.2 percent. That’s a far different picture of the American economy than the one Obama is promoting.

The President neglects the damage done to the long-term unemployed. Nearly 3 million Americans have been out of work for 27 or more weeks. They face long odds as they try to return to the workforce. When someone has been out of work for eight months, he or she has less than a 50 percent chance of being called for an interview. The number of long-term unemployed workers is not decreasing, but don’t expect to hear President Obama talk about that anytime soon.

Unfortunately, President Obama is not the only man in Washington who refuses to recognize the challenges faced by working Americans. Too many in Congress follow the Chamber of Commerce game plan for the economy. It calls for more immigration that will increase the supply of low-paid workers, amnesty for illegals, and free-trade deals that send manufacturing jobs overseas. Those policies are great for corporate bottom lines, but they are mighty hurtful to average Americans.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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