More government lies: The IRS, Benghazi and the economy

Why does the public distrust the government?  Lies. Photo: AP

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 ― Did the Internal Revenue Service lie about targeting conservative political groups? Does the United States Government lie to the American People about Benghazi?. YES and YES.

And now lies are catching up on the economic front, because none of the brilliant presidential advisers can figure out this truth: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Senator Susan Collins says there is a “profound distrust that the American people have in government.” A generation of small lies from government agencies has created an age of disinformation and mistrust of government, on everything from the Internal Revenue Service to the 2012 Benghazi Attack. 

The current generation of liars started under President John Kennedy, when out-of-work Americans who stopped looking for jobs — even if this was because none could be found — were labeled “discouraged workers” and excluded from the ranks of the unemployed. Today’s unemployment statistics are grossly undereported.

President Lyndon B. Johnson orchestrated a “unified budget” that combined Social Security with the rest of the federal outlays. This innovation allowed the surplus receipts in Social Security to mask the emerging federal deficit.

President Richard Nixon created a division between “core” inflation and headline inflation. If the Consumer Price Index was calculated by tracking a bundle of prices, so-called core inflation would simply exclude, because of “volatility,” categories that happened to be troublesome, and thus in the “headlines.” At that time it was food and energy, as it is now.


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Under President Ronald Reagan, the Bureau of Labor Statistics decided that housing was overstating the Consumer Price Index and substituted an entirely different “Owner Equivalent Rent” measurement based on what a homeowner might get for renting his house. This methodology, controversial at the time but still used, sidestepped what was happening in the real world of homeowner costs. Some say that led to the mortgage crisis today.

Under President George H. W. Bush, officials moved to reorient U.S. economic statistical measure away from old industrial-era methodologies toward the emerging services economy and the expanding retail and financial sectors. Skeptics said the underlying goal was to reduce the inflation rate in order to reduce federal payments on everything from interest on the national debt to cost-of-living outlays for government employees, retirees and Social Security recipients.

Under President Bill Clinton, the convoluted Consumer Price Index changes proposed under Bush were implemented. And the Clintonites tinkered with the unemployment number, in part by changing its housing economic sampling, disproportionately eliminating inner city households. That is believed to have reduced black unemployment estimates and eased worsening poverty figures.

We have created an era where government employees and statistics produce erroneous information on a regular basis.


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Is it any wonder that Internal Revenue employees or the US State Department would then use misinformation to target United States citizens or conduct cover ups? The United States economy cannot be fixed with the wrong ― or at the very least inaccurate ― statistics. The Federal Reserve has record low interest rates and  home buyers are enjoying record low mortgage rates, and still little job growth.

To get the economy back on track, the Federal Reserve  must use the correct statistics, and once that is accomplished, the real facts would reveal that the US economy is still shrinking and the recession is not over. The correct statistics would also point toward proper corrective action. To regain the trust of the American  people, simply start by telling the truth ― first with Benghazi, and then with the economy.


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