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Trump claims credit for Obama jobs recovery

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Donald J. Trump, the world’s most infamous liar, takes credit for things he had nothing to do with. He did it with the stock market, which he claimed shot up because of his election when, in reality, it has been steadily going up for the last eight years without his help. And he did it again the other day, with his bogus boast of being responsible for the new unemployment numbers, the lowest in a decade.

The Trump narrative, which his credulous Republican base will happily swallow, is that the jobs situation was horrible until he took the oath of office. Unemployment (according to their fantasy version) was spiraling out of control. And yet, take a look at this graph, from the weekend’s Wall Street Journal, which ran a story on the unemployment numbers. It shows the U.S. jobless rate since 2000.

You don’t have to be a Nobel laureate in economics to notice some very obvious trends:

  1. From 2000 until about 2008 (i.e., most of the George W. Bush administration), the unemployment rate (the blue line) remained more or less steady.
  2. Around 2008, it soared upward, hitting nearly 10 percent during the Great Bush Recession.
  3. And then, around 2009, it began a steady and significant decline, heading downward at a dramatic 45% slope, which continues to this day.

In other words, anyone who credits this current president for today’s unemployment rate is blowing smoke out of their rear end. The decline in unemployment has been going on for eight years—coterminous with the two Obama administrations—and would have continued throughout the first five months of 2017 even if America had elected Lady Gaga. But, as Dana Bash, on CNN, noted, “President Trump will try to take credit for a better-than-expected Friday jobs report ‘whether he deserves it or not.’”

Well, we’ll never be able to stop the boaster-in-chief from his fake claims. As long as Republican congressmen get out there and repeat his lies to the news cameras, and as long as evangelicals and tea partiers believe everything Bill O’Reilly, oops, Sean Hannity tells them, Trump will get away with this stuff.

Now, the sickening thing in the Wall Street Journal article is that you’d never realize unemployment has been dropping since 2009. In the long article (by Eric Morath), there’s not a word, not a hint about the rate declining under Obama’s watch. No credit whatsoever to Obama; it’s as if the unemployment rate suddenly began going down at noon on Jan. 21, 2017. I’ve written before how the Wall Street Journal’s reporters (as opposed to their op-ed propagandists) are said to be pissed off at the paper’s horrible reputation for putting Republican partisan politics before objective journalism. The Morath article is the poster child for this unprofessionalism. Real journalists not only reports facts, they put them into context. Morath has utterly (deliberately?) failed to do that. It just shows why doubts about the Wall Street Journal’s integrity remain. The Murdoch family is still instructing reporters, or their editors, to exaggerate Trump’s “successes,” to impugn anything any Democrat does (especially Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama), and to obfuscate “news” in such a way as to further Trump’s false narrative. As a certain celebrity often tweets, #Sad!

  1. Bob Henry says:

    Your readers might find this version of the WSJ report easier to read:

    And here’s a separate link to the “Steady Decline” accompanying exhibit you took a snapshot of:

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