Monday, June 8, 2009

David Axelrod revises job numbers upward

On Sunday, Face the Nation aired an interview with Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod in which he told Harry Smith of CBS that:
The stimulus itself has produced hundreds of thousands of jobs and projects all over this country and it is just now gaining momentum...
This was in response to a question by Smith regarding the persistent poor employment numbers. The video is here. The podcast is here. This line comes at about 11:38 of the podcast.

Up to this point, the White House has been careful to use the phrase "saved or created" when they talk about jobs and the stimulus. Even though he includes, "and projects," Axelrod seems to be way out on a limb to state that the stimulus has, "produced hundreds of thousands of jobs."

Here is Reuters from May 27th:
The U.S. economic stimulus plan has created or saved 150,000 jobs since it was enacted 100 days ago, top White House economic officials said on Wednesday...
And Yahoo news, also from the 27th:
"In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs," Obama said, touting spending on alternative energy, keeping teachers and police officers in work and small businesses.
Both of these statements would seem to be at odds with Mr. Axelrod's assertion. Perhaps he simply misspoke, and, if given the chance, he would have corrected himself on the spot. Unfortunately, Smith seemed to be simply reading a list of prepared questions and appeared oblivious to Axelrod's answers, so there was no follow-up at the time.

On the other hand, deeply held desires have a way of inoculating American governments against reality. (WMD, anyone?)

The Obama administration isn't entitled to their own facts anymore than the Bush administration was. Mr. Axelrod's claim for the stimulus plan is inaccurate and reflects poorly on him and the President whether it was an outright fabrication or simply sloppy rhetoric.

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