Good economic news for Obama? Some conservatives insist it can't possibly be true.
Today's jobs report was good. Not beat-the-world, America-is-back good, but pretty good: The economy added 114,000 jobs, almost exactly hitting the expected 115,000; the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent; and revisions to previous months showed the economy was doing better than it initially appeared over the summer. For those who are pessimistic, or who back Mitt Romney and want to portray the economy in its worst light, there's plenty to be unhappy about: Millions of Americans are out of work, GDP growth is slow, and the global economy remains precarious. That's the tack the Romney campaign took in its response, saying the growth just isn't fast enough. "This is not what a real recovery looks like," Romney said in a statement.
Or you could just make stuff up.
A surprising number of commentators on the right seem to be doing just that Friday morning -- and not just the anonymous Internet types who buy into voodoo like unskewedpolls.com. Some of the brightest lights in the business world and conservative commentariat have gone into a conspiracy-mongering overdrive (along with the usual conspiracy theorists). Take Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who said the following on Twitter this morning:
There are several reasons this makes no sense. For one thing, the growth hit the consensus forecast of economists. For another, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a nonpartisan body, and no one seemed to think it was manipulating the numbers before this report. In fact, there have even been detailed descriptions of the incredible secrecy around the report and how late the president receives it. As my colleague Matt O'Brien points out, Welch knows a thing or two about manipulating numbers. During his time at GE, the company began a system of tweaking their earnings that eventually resulted in a $50 million fine. But just because he oversaw a cooking of the books doesn't mean that's a standard national practice.