“My View” from the Oct. 5, 2012, edition of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.”
Anything but good news! That could be the mantra of the Republican Party right now — hoping for gloom and doom from now until November 6. Keep the flow of negative news that will reinforce the desire, they desperately hope, for Mitt’s magic wand to replace the hand of President Obama at the tiller of the ship of state.
So it must have been devastating this morning to see a good jobs report — the 31st straight month of private sector job growth, bringing the total number of private sector jobs created under the president to over 4.6 million; and the unemployment rate dropping by 0.3 of a point to 7.8 percent! The rate is now below where it was when the president took over as the George W. Bush cataclysm was gaining steam. Shouldn’t we all be overjoyed?
Well, not if you are a hyper-partisan voice of the corporate plutocracy like Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, who found himself squarely in the first stage of grief — denial — and tweeted out the following message: “unbelievable jobs numbers – these Chicago guys will do anything — can’t debate so change numbers.”
Come on, Jack. The notion that the Department of Labor plays games with these numbers for political reasons is silly, ludicrous and insulting to government workers who have reported news, good and bad, faithfully for many decades. It strikes me, Jack, that there have been a few more cases of corporate gamesmanship with financial numbers than cases where the government wasn’t honest in the past few years. In fact, didn’t your company, GE, have an accounting issue that led to a big SEC settlement not so long ago?
So Jack, now that you have made this outlandish claim, where is your proof? Your evidence? The facts to substantiate your assertion? Or is it just a partisan screed?
You might recall that when my office charged GE, then under your leadership, with a range of improprieties, we had the proof, and a judge forced your company to take out full page ads admitting your wrongdoing. The key, Jack? Evidence and facts.
But more importantly, why should anybody be surprised that we are finally digging out of the trough? I know, the corporate titans want to believe that until their taxes are cut to zero, nothing good will happen.
But here’s the thing: Over the past four years, the steady effort at a Keynesian stimulus, monetary policy that has cut interest rates to near zero, and smart government investments in the auto sector and, yes, even green energy, have begun to have an impact. So while Mitt Romney thinks he can solve our fiscal problems by firing Big Bird, the White House has actually begun solving our problems by focusing on a jobs agenda. And thankfully so.
That’s “My View.”