In case you missed it, at the end of last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that the unemployment rate had finally dipped below 8%, but just barely. This of course prompted CEO moron du jour, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch to declare that the BLS figures were fixed in order to deceive voters into supporting President Obama. There’s already a score of rather good articles picking apart all the reasons this claim is utterly baseless, but none quite as brilliant as Barry Ritholtz’s piece, which notes-
“GE’s revenues grew 385% under [Welch’s] watch, but the company’s market cap grew 4000%. How did that happen? GE increased earnings over the years, and with stunning regularity, managed a quarterly profit beat. Indeed, it was too regular: After the 2000 crash, we learned of earnings manipulation and accounting shenanigans. The criticism was GE Capital acted as an opaque leveraged hedge fund that always be counted on to help GE beat by a penny. (GE eventually had to settle accounting fraud charges with the SEC). So if anyone knows a thing or two about cooking the books, its GE’s Jack Welch.“
This reminds me of a similar incident in March, which may have cost José Hernández his chance at representing California’s Central Valley in Congress. The quick overview of it at NASA Watch hits all the points – he’s been defamed as having misrepresented himself as an astronaut, when he was one. The first comment on the article though points out a really interesting connection – the law firm helping to slander him was involved in both other famous Republican smear campaigns (such as the “Swift Boat” ads) and some less well known ones (including claiming that California Governor Jerry Brown was ineligible for office). All other comment threads can now feel ashamed in comparison.
At this point it seems pretty clear that in spite of all the allegations of Democrats lying, there’s another major political force that actually twists the truth for financial and professional gain, including in all its meta glory, claims that Democrats are the real liars.