Posted: 12/06/13 18:58
by Dave Mindeman
Today's jobs report from the Labor Department was stunningly good. The 7% rate is the lowest in 5 years. Over 200,000 jobs were created - with an average of 195,000 per month for the year. The economy is coming back.
But not everyone is accepting all of this. On December 3rd a number of Republican Committee chairmen, including the 2nd District's own John Kline, sent a letter to the Labor Dept about beginning an investigation into the validity of the Labor Department's employment statistics. This move was applauded by conservative groups....
Americans for Limited Government vice president of public policy and communications Rick Manning, a former Public Affairs Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor, today issued the following statement praising House leaders including committee chairmen Rep. John Kline and Rep. Dave Camp for investigating allegations that the unemployment numbers are being manipulated at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.
This action by Kline and his cohorts goes beyond the highly partisan actions to which we have become accustomed to. This action, however, reeks of a cynicism that can actually hurt the growth potential of the country.
The Labor Department is part of the administration, but the Labor statistics have always been used as a real marker for economic growth and stability. Every administration, Republican or Democrat, takes the Labor numbers, good or bad, and uses them to set policy and plan for the future.
Kline and his chairmen colleagues are insinuating that these number are just one more partisan manipulation in a poisoned Washington well.
Well, maybe its not the numbers that is the problem....maybe it is the critics. The American people need to have confidence in something. We need to know the status of our economy on a regular basis - and if the leadership in Congress will only accept reports that adhere to their partisan take on everything in government, then the American people have lost the means of usable data to keep our economic engine moving forward.
Instead of labor department numbers being called into question, maybe we should be more concerned about the motives of those who call that question.
Cynicism and partisanship are part of the game, but there have to be lines that cannot be crossed. Congressional leaders can spin the numbers or point out policies that the numbers question - but both sides of the partisan divide need to be on the same page in regards to the integrity of those numbers.
We don't need to change the Labor Department - we need to change the cynics and cronies that occupy the chairs of oversight.
Congressman Kline has crossed the line. He needs to stop being part of the problem and work for a real solution.