On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment numbers for the month of April. For the most part, the news was very good and encouraging. The unemployment rate dropped down to 6.3%, which is the lowest it has been since September 2008. Also, the economy added 288,000 jobs, most of which were in the private sector, as has been the case throughout the recovery. Also, the job numbers for the previous two months were revised upwards. For the year, average monthly job growth has been 214,000. The labor force participation rate, however, did decline to 62.8%, after growing the previous three months.
There are various reasons for this besides people being discouraged and completely dropping out of the workforce. In fact, the majority of people who tend to drop out of the workforce do so because of retirement, disability or attending school full-time. However, Rush Limbaugh decided to focus on the reduction of the labor participation rate to suggest that President Obama is ‘cooking the books.’ This is a familiar conspiracy theory that first reared its ugly head just before the 2012 elections, when the unemployment rate finally dropped below 8%, robbing Romney of a nice talking point. At the time, former GE CEO Jack Welch accused the Obama Administration of lying about that September’s job numbers.
On his radio show Friday, Limbaugh not only accused the President of fudging the numbers, he also used the time to complain about the fact that unemployed people in this country are able to eat. Yes, he actually said this.
Below is from the transcript of his show (emphasis mine):
Have you heard about the great economic news? I mean, this is the most amazing — I’m sorry, folks, I’m going to have to come up with some new descriptors, new descriptives, because I’m running out of them. Most amazing, incredible, unbelievable, stunning, you name it. The US labor force shrunk by more than 800,000 people in April. For those of you in Rio Linda, that means 800,000 people stopped looking for work or quit working. The labor force participation rate declined or decreased to 62%. That is the lowest it has been since 1978. What that means is only 62% of Americans of working age have job.
The number of Americans not working, but eating and watching television, probably driving and making cell phone calls, 92,594,000. So 92,594,000 Americans are not working. They’re all eating. “Mr. Limbaugh, what’s the big deal about that? We’re a compassionate country. When people don’t have jobs they should be able to eat.” It used to not be that way Mr. New Castrati. You used to have to work to eat. There’s nothing good here, folks.
You have to love the gall of an overweight radio host who sits in a mansion to do his show everyday, gets paid tens of millions of dollars every year despite losing his employers hundreds of millions of dollars, complaining about people in this country eating despite not having a job.
After whining about unemployed poor people getting meals, Limbaugh then went ahead and stated that the White House is ‘cooking the books’ when it comes to employment figures.
And the regime claims that 280,000 jobs were created in April, and that the unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7 to 6.3%. Never mind that we were told just yesterday that the new unemployment claims have gone up three weeks in a row and economic growth is one-tenth of 1%.
The regime has even revised up the previous two months’ job numbers by 36,000 jobs. I don’t know how this is possible. We were just told that the first quarter GDP was one-tenth of 1%. None of this adds up. Nobody would suggest that the regime is cooking the books in the run-up to the midterm elections. They would never do that. Except we know that they did do that before the 2012 elections. I mean, that would be like lying about the death of four Americans in order to win an election. They’d never do that. The regime would never lie about how four Americans died just months before an election. They’d never do that, right?
Except that they did.
You have to love how Rush shoehorned Benghazi in there. With the GOP apparently trying to use Benghazi as their #1 big ticket campaign issue all the way to 2016, Rush needs to make sure that his listeners here that word at least every other minute. Also, the conspiracy theory about the White House messing with the jobs numbers prior to the 2012 election has been thoroughly debunked. However, things like facts and the truth don’t really faze Rush.
The irony about Rush whining about the labor participation rate and poor people eating is that he is directly insulting a large portion of his audience. In late 2012, Pew Research released a study where they took an in-depth look at the demographics of various news outlets. What they found is that 27% of Rush Limbaugh’s audience is 65 and older. Only Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Chris Mathews had a higher percentage. An additional 24% are between the ages of 50 and 64. Therefore, over half of his audience are senior citizens or close to retirement age. Yet, he’s railing on about the labor force participation rate, despite the fact that a very large portion of his audience isn’t working or will be retiring soon. I’d say it is likely his audience doesn’t get the irony in all of this either.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).