Washington Post Fact-Checker: Romney's Use of Accurate Number Is a Lie

May 29 in Colorado, Mitt Romney said the following:

That stimulus he [President Obama] put in place — it didn’t help private sector jobs, it helped preserve government jobs. And the one place we should have shut back — or cut back — was on government jobs. We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.”

Today at his fact-checking perch, in a piece titled, "Mitt Romney’s inaccurate claims about government workers,"  Glenn Kessler awards Romney three Pinocchios, and says this:

On the face of it, private sector jobs have increased under Obama and government jobs have fallen, making Romney’s assertion incorrect. But it is not clear how much credit one can give the stimulus bill for the growth in private sector jobs. (The auto bailout boosted the number of auto jobs, but that was a different program.)

If one assumes Romney was referring to federal workers, then his statistic is accurate but his comment makes little sense. He says he wants to cut back government jobs, even though Obama added jobs in areas that Romney identifies as critical — and even though such cuts in government employment would further reduce overall employment. We had given him Two Pinocchios for the previous way he had used this 145,000 figure but given the context of this statement, we have no choice but to increase the number.

We're going to take on this nonsense one-by-one.

First off, the obviously intelligent Kessler chooses to act stupid as he wonder what government jobs Romney was referring to in the 145,000 number. Could it be state jobs? Could it be federal jobs? Could it be both?

Well, since the number of federal jobs under Obama have increased by 145,000 and Romney cites the number 145,000 ... duh. Moreover, Obama isn't responsible for jobs created or lost in the states, the states are. Obama is responsible for the federal government, which has bloated its payroll by 145,000.  And I have little doubt that if Obama was responsible for state payrolls, those numbers would be just as bloated.

So let's stop playing dumb, Mr. Kessler, and get to the rest of it, because what is said here is downright dishonest:

[Romney] says he wants to cut back government jobs, even though Obama added jobs in areas that Romney identifies as critical[.]

What does that have to do with the veracity of Romney's claim that 145,000 government were added to the federal payroll? I guess that by reading Romney's mind in some alternate universe, Kessler is able to verify that Romney would've increased jobs in those same areas -- hence, he's a big fat liar.

Is it possible Romney might have chosen to beef up those areas using private sector contracts?

Is it possible that while beefing up that area, Romney would've decreased the federal payroll in other departments?

Well, because liberals don't think this way, the very idea of such a thing probably never crossed Kessler's mind.

Finally, there's this nonsense:

On the face of it, private sector jobs have increased under Obama and government jobs have fallen, making Romney’s assertion incorrect. But it is not clear how much credit one can give the stimulus bill for the growth in private sector jobs.

But earlier, in his own analysis, Kessler had already written this:                           

Our colleagues at Wonkblog summarized the results of the nine best surveys attempting to gauge the economic impact of the stimulus bill. Their conclusion: “Six find that the stimulus had a significant, positive effect on employment and growth, and three find that the effect was either quite small or impossible to detect.”

Okay, so three of the nine studies back Romney up, but obviously those don’t count. Nor does something called OPINION. No one in their right mind believes the nearly $1 billion in stimulus did more good than had Obama simply done nothing.

Once again we see the partisan tactics utilized by these dishonest media fact-checkers. Three analysts and anyone with a brain agree the stimulus has been a major flop when it comes to job creation and it is a FACT that the federal payroll (which Romney was OBVIOUSLY referring to) has jumped by 145,000. But in order to protect Obama, Kessler does rhetorical gymnastics to call a fact and a perfectly reasonable and informed opinion, a lie.

What Kessler's worried about is how this line of criticism could damage Obama. Thus, Kessler attempts to nip this criticism before it gains any traction. 145,000 new government (union) workers brought on during a brutal recession and massive  deficits is appalling, especially as the states reduce their government workforce.

145,000 is the population of Alexandria, Virginia, for crying out loud.

From stimulus to hiring, Obama is all about the government and has failed and bloated all along the way.

This is what we should expect, though, from a Washington Post that has been caught lyingshilling, campaigning, and covering up for Obama for months now. 

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC


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