New National Review piece: Goolsbee’s Gaffes

My piece at National Review Online starts this way:

The Obama administration is having a difficult time explaining the unemployment rate, which has been above 9 percent for 27 consecutive months and is today 1.3 percentage points higher than it was when Obama took office. The October numbers, due to be released on Friday, are unlikely to look any better. So, his administration goes to great lengths to spin its own unique set of facts.

Just look at Austan Goolsbee’s Friday interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show. Despite having stepped down as Obama’s chief economic advisor in August, Goolsbee continues to do media shows supporting Obama’s economic policies. Goolsbee declared: “I deal only in facts, Sean.” Here is a simple fact check of Mr. Goolsbee’s claims.

Hannity: We heard that unemployment wasn’t going to go above 8 percent.

Goolsbee: When they made that 8 percent prediction, that was the same prediction being made by everyone. But you forget the other half of the thing, which is if you did nothing, the rate would go to 8.9 percent, and it was already above that before the first part of the stimulus even went out.

Mr. Goolsbee is just plain wrong. When the Obama administration got into office, they made optimistic promises about their stimulus program, claiming that during 2009, unemployment would stop rising and then fall. The unemployment rate in January was 7.8 percent. In late February, the administration claimed that it would average just 8.1 percent for the year if the Stimulus was enacted. . . .

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