Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from the LA Times

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Joe Biden update: Wrong again on jobs

May 7, 2010 |  5:44 pm

BidenJoeGoofHandsUpEyesWideap

Late last month Vice President Joe "I Still Have My Job, How About You?" Biden was at one of his regular political fundraisers, trying to elect the next John Murtha.

And the Delaware Gaffer stepped into one of the most common political traps. Even after all those years in the Senate waiting for Obama to grow up, Biden made a prediction, against White House advice, he confided.

As The Ticket reported here, while the Democratic president was out playing golf again, JB predicted flat-out that the administration would report a seemingly wide range of monthly job-creation numbers of between 100 and 200,000 for April. Here are Joe's actual words:

We’re going to be creating somewhere between 100 and 200,000 jobs next month, I predict.

Yes, that's a silly statement. Translating the Biden-speak, what he really meant was....

...between 100,000 and 200,000 new jobs. But you'd think if you're the No. 2 guy in the presidential administration gathering and reporting your very own numbers that you could get them right, especially with a sneak peek.

Friday the Labor Department reported creation of 290,000 new U.S. jobs in April. Which means Biden was off by about 42% from his most optimistic prediction and off 90% from his lowest prediction. Other than that, he was dead-on.

This is, of course, good news for 290,000 Americans (presumably legal residents), their families, creditors and means there now are less than 6 million more new jobs to create before we're back to where we used to be well before the 2009 $787 billion Obama stimulus bill that was going to keep unemployment below 8%.

Normally, when bad job numbers come out, a Democratic president is off in Keokuk talking green energy. But President Obama was so happy with today's increase that he stuck around and issued a short-for-him 18-paragraph, on-camera statement of self-congratulation calling it "very encouraging news."

The president spun the jump in the nation's unemployment rate from 9.7% up to 9.9% as good news because, he said, that means more once-hopeless job-seekers are now less hopeless. The actual rate of unemployment, the U-6 rate counting those who've given up, again increased in April, this time two-tenths of a point to 17.1%. (FYI, these kinds of statements make sense in Washington.)

The actual Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show only 14,000 new jobs created in construction, for instance, while the largest job growth came, of course, in the deficit-ridden category of government -- 66,000. That's almost 100 new government hires every hour all month. A pretty good hiring clip of about one new taxpayer-funded job every 40 seconds.

It was Biden who, understandably, was out of town today, traveling in Europe and preparing to celebrate Ocho de Mayo.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Your job is to click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Follow us @latimestot  Or Like our Facebook page right here.

Photo: Associated Press (file).

Comments 

Advertisement










Video