RUSH: We have an audio sound bite here from Obama, the press conference I mentioned an hour ago. He went out there and he was praising his economy. He was heralding first-time unemployment rate as being under 5% for the first time in seven years. That’s essentially since he took office. The first time. When have you ever heard that referred to: “The first-time unemployment rate is now at 4.9%”? What’s that? Does anybody have any memory of hearing the unemployment rate referred to as “the first-time unemployment rate”?
Well, there’s a reason he said it. It’s because it’s the only way you can ignore the 94 million Americans not working, not in the labor force. The first-time unemployed. In other words, people applying for unemployment benefits for the first time, 5%. They’re added to the 15% who have been getting unemployment for four years and have run out. He’s not talking about them. So this is a sleight-of-hand thing. Four point… (interruption) They did. They released the numbers, 4.9% unemployment rate with 150,000 new jobs created.
This is an abject joke. It’s a total joke. And it comes the day after Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vie for the Democrat nomination by telling their voters they know how truly rotten this economy is. And yet here’s Obama out there heralding it today, the very next day. Less than 24 hours later, there’s Obama out there essentially contradicting everything his two would-be replacements are out saying. And watching CNN on this — this was interesting, too.
After Obama finished and had told everybody how great the economy is and how great the jobs picture is, CNN cut immediately to a story on how the bottom is falling out of Wall Street. Meaning they went straight to Obama to negative economic news on Wall Street, which they used to not do. They would not do anything to contradict Obama. If he’s going out there talk about how great the economy is, they would either follow up with something else or find something in the economy they could say was reflecting of what Obama had just said or illustrative.
But he was answering questions, and there’s a reporter from Fox News, Kevin Corke, who said, “Mr. President, how can you improve workforce participation levels?” See I am convinced that before we started talking about the labor force participation rate, the Drive-By Media had no idea what it was. I don’t think they did. Like baseline budgeting. Until we spent many days detailing here, I don’t think too many people really knew what it was. Likewise, the unemployment rate, there are two numbers they release: U-3 and U-6. And I get the two confused.
U-3 is what they talk about every day. U-6 is the real number. U-3 is the “first-time unemployment,” and U-6 is the sum total of everybody, even those who have given up looking for a job, and that number’s 15%. In the African-American community, do you know where that number is? It’s at 25%. And if you even narrow it down to unemployed African-American youth? Whew. Folks, it’s so bad as to be obscene. There isn’t any robust economic news that Obama can talk about, except — and not even now can he do that — Wall Street.
So, anyway, Kevin Corke says, “Mr. President, how can you improve workforce participation levels? Because as much as people talking about ‘the recovery,’ so few Americans are now, relatively speaking in the job force, in the job market, especially compared to 2008.” It’s amazing this guy got out of there without a black eye, ’cause basically what this reporter said to Obama, “You know, your first-time unemployment rate number doesn’t mean anything ’cause there’s 94 million Americans not working! What are you gonna do about getting them back into the labor force?” And here’s what Obama said.
OBAMA: (haltingly) We’re still at a point where the labor force rate is lower than it has been historically. Some of that’s explained by demographics.
RUSH: Oh, yeah.
OBAMA: The population’s getting older.
OBAMA: And so you would expect that there is some decline, but it’s not fully explained by Americans getting older. Some of this is still the hangover from what happened in 2007/2008.
OBAMA: I got a lot of letters from middle-aged works who got laid off —
RUSH: It’s Bush’s fault!
OBAMA: — not confident about their current skills, and so have not yet reentered the workforce. They need to get retrained.
RUSH: That’s right. It’s Bush’s fault! Of course. That’s why. Why didn’t we think of that? It’s from 2007-2008. “Some of this is still the hangover from what happened in 2007/2008.” Yeah, yeah. All that labor force participation rate mumbo jumbo, 94 million Americans not working? That’s Bush’s fault. Ever heard of Hurricane Katrina? Sure! Iraq war? That’s Bush’s fault. (And you rub your hands together if you’re Obama, and you leave stage, and another successful economic fraud press conference is in the books.)