RedState earlier reported that the Jobs Report was published and was a complete disaster. The creation of 194,000 new jobs was far less than the expected half-million. 183,000 workers also left the workforce. This is in addition to the high levels of inflation that the nation is currently experiencing. Stagflation can be used as a descriptive term for the present malaise.
With the bad news hanging out there, the White House trotted out Joe Biden, who had just bragged about people getting fired over vaccine mandates a day earlier, to smooth things over (see Biden’s Bad Effort to Spin Abysmal Jobs Report). The result was an endless list of misleading statements and obfuscations.
Joe Biden, Shorter: Today’s jobs report is amazing. Our economy is recovering.
Do. Do not worry. Don’t be afraid. pic.twitter.com/Uic6Md2hBB
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 8, 2021
They say lies, damned lying, statistics.
This feels a lot like the Obama years, in that the president is taking objectively bad data and twisting it to make it sound like it wasn’t terrible. Let’s take, for instance, the unemployment rate. Although it is hovering below 5%, that’s not surprising. However, this ignores the fact that unemployment is entirely dependent on the number of people in the work force. If people move out of the workforce, like many did last month then, the unemployment rate naturally drops. However, this does not necessarily mean that the employment situation has improved. The labor force participation rate is a crucial factor.
Biden mentions wages. But what use are wage rises when they’re outpacing inflation? The majority of wage increases have been driven by the labor supply, which is okay. However, we’re mainly referring to people making $15/hr from $12/hr. I’m all for businesses having to pay more to stay competitive, as long as it happens organically, but this isn’t organic. It’s an inflationary spike caused by massive government spending, largely on “temporary” entitlements.
Also, the president can pick and choose time frames. One breath he mentions the three-month period. He also cites his presidency. When he dips back into the Trump presidency, he’s careful to exclude the months that did show booming jobs growth. Biden also claims that firings and layoffs have fallen to their lowest point since 1997. Well, yes, that’s because we are in an artificially created labor shortage.
But look, the real question here isn’t whether Biden is lying and misleading with what he’s reading off the teleprompter about today’s report. Yes, of course he is. Rather, it’s whether anyone is buying what he’s selling. I’d posit that they aren’t, and that’s because inflation is such a personal measure for working-class people. All the lofty talk in the world won’t change the fact that gas is exploding in price, or that the grocery bill keeps growing bigger and bigger.
Americans are experiencing the pinch, especially those who are not wealthy or do not have major entitlements. It should cost them $3.50 per gallon to fuel their vehicle. They want to be able to buy a used car or take the vacation they’ve saved up for. Their ability to achieve these things is being hampered by inflation.
That leaves Republicans in the driver’s seat as we head into 2022. GOP candidates should be speaking directly to kitchen table issues, and there’s no bigger one than the economy. Biden can say whatever he wants, but he can’t hide the impact of his policies on normal Americans. That’s the opening that needs to be exploited.