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The unemployment rate, Politifact, and facts. Do they even go together?
Welcome to VoteFacts.  The reporters over at Politifact took a look at this statement,

"Our unemployment rate has been higher than 8 percent for more than two-and-a-half years, far above what the Obama Administration promised with the 'stimulus.' " 

They rated that statement – Mostly False

First, let's look at the unemployment facts according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Was the unemployment rate higher than 8 percent for more than two-and-a-half years between the passage of the stimulus in February of 2009 and the time of this Politifact report in October 2011?   Here are the BLS numbers.

2009 - Jan- 7.8%; Feb8.2%; Mar – 8.6; Apr – 8.9%; May – 9.4%; Jun – 9.5%; Jul – 9.5%; Aug – 9.7%; Sep – 9.8%; Oct – 10.1%; Nov – 9.9%; Dec – 9.9%

2010 – Jan - 9.7%; Feb – 9.7%; Mar - 9.7%; Apr - 9.8%; May - 9.6%; Jun - 9.5%; Jul – 9.5%; Aug - 9.6%; Sep - 9.6%; Oct - 9.7%; Nov - 9.8%; Dec - 9.4%

2011 – Jan – 9.0%; Feb – 8.9%; Mar – 8.8%; Apr – 9.0%; May - 9.1%; Jun - 9.2%; Jul - 9.1%; Aug - 9.1%; Sep - 9.1%; Oct 9.0%

In other words, the fact is, the unemployment rate was higher than 8 percent for that two-and-a-half year time span.  Unfortunately, those facts did not warrant any sort of, "Half True", or even "Somewhat True" conclusion by the Politifact reporters.  But let's continue.

The next part of the statement is whether or not these unemployment rates were, "far above what the Obama Administration promised with the 'stimulus.'"   

Here is the graph produced by the Obama Administration in the push for the passage of their stimulus package.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 9.53.49 AM

And here is what that Obama Administration report said:

“First, the likely scale of employment loss is extremely large.  The U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2.6 million jobs since the business cycle peak in December 2007.   In the absence of stimulus, the economy could lose another 3 to 4 million more.   Thus, we are working to counter a potential total job loss of at least 5 million.  As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.

It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.  There is the obvious uncertainty that comes from modeling a hypothetical package rather than the final legislation passed by the Congress."

So, the unemployment rate was higher than 8 percent for two-and-a-half years.  Which means that part of the statement is true.  And those unemployment rates were far the higher than the 7 percent that the Obama Administration predicted in their report leading up to the passage of the stimulus.  So that part of the statement is also true.  Yet, rather than a "Mostly True", or "Half True", or even, "Somewhat True", they chose "Mostly False".   Based upon what?

Their Mostly False ruling is based solely upon the fact that Mr. Boehner used the word "promise", while the Obama Administration made a "projection".   Apparently that word difference, and that word difference alone, is the only thing that matters in a truth rating over at Politifact.  Do you think that this kind of thing, making facts irrelevant in their truth ratings, which is a common theme with them, means that we should consider all of their ratings "arbitrary" and not necessarily based upon the facts?   Head over and vote.

Resource Links

Obama Admin Stimulus Report, Pages 3, 4

Politifact is a registered trademark of the Tampa Bay Times and the Times Publishing Company, St. Petersburg, FL.
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Voting Key

Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True