Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lies and Damned Lies...

At right is an updated copy of a graph I've been publishing periodically for the past year and a half (click to enlarge).

The dark blue line represents the unemployment levels then-candidate Obama confidently predicted would result from his stimulus plan.  The light-blue line is what he predicted would result if his stimulus plan wasn't passed.

His plan was passed and is now being played out.

The red dotted line are the “actual” unemployment numbers.  Note that they are worse than what he said would have happened if we didn't pass his plan.  So if we buy his own logic, his plan made the unemployment worse, not better.

The teal dotted line is Timmy Geithner's current forecast for unemployment – still at 8% for the 2012 campaign.  That can't make his boss too happy.

And naturally, since these numbers are provided by the government, they are significantly “cooked” through many “adjustments” (this is not an Obama innovation; this has been going on for decades).  The worst of these is simply leaving out all those people who have been unemployed longer than six months (and that's a lot of people!).  The convenient, but clearly incorrect, assumption is that these people have given up looking for work.  Depending on which source you choose to believe, including these people would add between 8 and 12 percentage points to the government-published numbers, making the real unemployment rate somewhere between 17% to 21%.

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