Monday, August 16, 2004
On this day:

Senator Kerry's Lies on the Economy

National Review: The Art of Trash-Talking a Good Economy -- Just how stupid does John Kerry think the voters are? by Donald Luskin
Consider some things Kerry himself said about the economy in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention in Boston. For example, he claimed that “here at home, wages are falling.” That’s a lie. According to official numbers from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings have risen 2.1 percent after adjustment for inflation since George W. Bush took office. Over the comparable period in President Clinton’s first term, they rose only four-tenths of one percent. In the same speech Kerry claimed that the new jobs created during Bush’s first term “pay $9,000 less than the jobs that have been lost.” That’s a lie, too. Any honest economist could have told Kerry that statistics are detailed enough to prove that such a specific claim simply does not exist. Kerry, however, sourced his number from the liberal big-labor-backed think tank, the Economic Policy Institute. The EPI’s number is based on nothing better than Bureau of Labor Statistics data on changing employment levels in broad industry groups — statistics that say absolutely nothing about the relative value of jobs gained and lost. That $9,000 number might just as well have been pulled from thin air. If Kerry was after the truth, he could have looked to the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Annenberg has obtained better data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down job gains and losses by specific occupations, not just broad industry groups. This data shows "strong growth in higher-paying employment categories over the past year — more than 1.1 million gained — and stagnation in lower-paying job categories." But, of course, we don’t hear Kerry quoting this research.