Sometimes I do contemplate how much easier it would be if I were a Republican. For members of the GOP it’s not about truth or reality, it’s just about saying whatever they think conservatives want to hear.
All it would take for me to have thousands of conservatives blindly cheering nearly every word I say would be for me to walk out on a stage with a Bible in one hand, a flag in the other and a gun strapped to my back while proceeding to bash gay marriage, Muslims, President Obama and all of the “evil America-hating liberals.” Again, it wouldn’t matter if what I was saying was factually accurate, as long as it was what conservatives wanted to hear.
Unfortunately I was “cursed” with common sense, the ability to think for myself and a strong fondness for those pesky things known as facts. These are all qualities that are extremely frowned upon within the GOP.
So it should come as no surprise that Rick Perry was busted by fact-checking site Politifact for making an absurd statement about our nation’s unemployment rate.
It was reported that during a breakfast event in Iowa, Perry said of our nation’s unemployment rate, “It’s been massaged, it’s been doctored.” That’s a statement Politifact rated as “Pants on Fire,” which is the rating they give to statements that are absolute and complete lies with no wiggle room whatsoever for an inkling of truth.
Though I must point out that while Perry tried to discredit our nation’s unemployment rate at this event, not too long ago he bragged about Texas having a low unemployment rate – even though it’s calculated the exact same way as it is nationally.
The way we calculate our unemployment rate now is the exact same way we have for decades. While it’s an imperfect formula, it’s not something that’s been magically altered since 2008 to make Obama’s jobs numbers seem better than they actually are. They haven’t been “massaged” or “doctored” in any way.
It seems that what Perry was trying to talk about was the fact that our labor participation rate is the lowest that it’s been since the 70’s. Let me be clear, that has nothing to do with how the unemployment rate is calculated. But even the labor participation rate is a nearly impossible number to really accurately calculate considering there are many factors (outside of the economic health of the nation) that cause people to “fall out” of the labor pool. In fact, many economists expect that the labor participation rate will decline as baby boomers begin leaving the workforce. And being that the labor participation rate currently sits at 63 percent (it was at 66 percent in 2008) it’s a fairly safe assumption that baby boomers retiring do play a big factor in that decline.
But none of this matters; Perry said what he thought conservatives wanted to hear and that’s all that counts to those people. And even though Perry just recently bragged about Texas’ low unemployment rate (again, calculated in the exact same way as the national rate), Republican hypocrisy typically knows no bounds when it comes to pushing whatever propaganda they think will help them win votes.