Monday, July 30, 2012

Associated Press Rewrites Economic History

Orwell Would Be Proud

Today's Associated Press reports that the Obama campaign plans to give former President Bill Clinton a more prominent role in the upcoming Democratic Convention.  News outlets from Fox News to MSNBC and everywhere in between are republishing the story as "news." (See here, here and here for examples.)  In "reporting" this story, the AP, like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell's 1984, attempts to rewrite economic history.   In particular, the story asserts that the move to highlight Clinton will:

"remind voters that a Democrat was in the White House the last time the American economy was thriving."
The statement that "a Democrat was in the White House the last time the American economy was thriving" is simply false. In 2005, the nation's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in the first quarter, 5.1 percent in the second quarter, and 5.0 percent in second and third quarters.  (See this report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)   Moreover, as previously noted on this blog,  the unemployment rate was at or below 5.0 percent for all 24 months of 2006 and 2007.  Indeed, between late 2005 and early 2008, the nation's unemployment rate was at or below 5 percent for 30 straight months.   By contrast, during President Obama's Administration, the unemployment rate has exceeded 8 percent for 41 months, and job growth is stagnant compared to that experienced during the Reagan Administration, for instance.

Perhaps Republicans should feature George W. Bush at their convention, to remind the American people just how robust the economy was less than a decade ago.