We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Gateway Pundit is consistently one of the most intellectually dishonest political bloggers out there.
I am no Clinton admirer, but here is what Gateway obscures with his statistical game playing:
The unemployment rate was 7.49% when Bush 1 left office. The rate declined every year Clinton was in office, falling to 3.97% in 2000. Economists don't worry about the future when the rate is falling steadily. They worry when the rate is rising sharply.
The rate rose to 6% by 2003, dipped to 4.63 again in 2006 and has been rising since, now over 7.00% That is a vastly different record from Clinton's record. The two men begin and end their terms in exactly the opposite positions.
Gateway's game is to present the average unemployment rate for each administration and pretend that the average figures suggest comparable economic pictures. That's like treating all million dollar average bank balances as the same, regardless of beginning and ending balance. Guy #1's account rises from zero to 2 million in a year, while Guy #2's account falls from 2 million to zero in a year. Both men have 1 million dollar average balances. So, Gateway says, "what's the worry about Guy #2 bleeding cash. He's doing just as well as Guy #1. You're just biased against Guy #1."
But there is more trouble with that post. What Gateway leaves out of his fallacious analysis and what is most worrisome to economists now is not the absolute level of unemployment, but that the rate is rising sharply at the same time that consumers have also slammed the breaks on their spending. Retailers reported the worst season in 40 years. There are an alarming number of personal, retail and manufacturing bankruptcies impending, there are millions of over-leveraged homes out there, there are millions of mortgage foreclosures in the hopper and bank borrowing has ceased even with an effective interest rate of zero. There is no juice left in monetary policy at the same time that we're running huge fiscal deficits compared to a surplus in 2000.
All of these problems make that 7.00% unemployment figure much more worrisome than if the 7% represented a falling rate in an accelerating economy.
I appreciate your caution about judging the severity of the situation and I don't pretend to know either, but Gateway is serving up nothing but partisan baloney.