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Thursday, September 02, 2004

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 Bush to alter economic stats again

When faced with a seemingly insolvable jigsaw puzzle, my father used to joke, "If the piece doesn't fit, cut it and make it fit." My Dad was never serious, of course, but a similar logic seems to be behind W's latest misleadership.

Last week, the Census Bureau released statistics showing that for the first time in years, poverty had increased for three straight years, while the number of Americans without health care increased to a record level. But instead of changing its economic and health care policies, the Bush administration is announcing plans to change the way the statistics are compiled. The move is just the latest in a series of actions by the White House to doctor or eliminate longstanding and nonpartisan economic data collection methods: it will be the first modification of Census data in 40 years.

This is not the first time the White House has tried to doctor or manipulate economic data that exposed President Bush's failed policies.
  • The Bush administration dropped the government's monthly report on mass layoffs, which also had been eliminated when President Bush's father was in office.
  • Bush also unilaterally changed the start date of the last recession to benefit his reelection bid. For almost 75 years, the start and end dates of recessions have been set by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private nonpartisan research group. But the Bush administration decided to toss aside the NBER, and simply declare that the recession started under President Clinton.
In George Orwell's 1984, the party slogan was "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." See a pattern here?

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