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Fed likely to cut bond-buying stimulus

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Comments (4)
  • jimlewin
    , contributor
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    3%-really? I have been and always will be skeptical of government statistics that are inextricably intertwined with political agendas. The reporting of these statistics have developed into an art form in the Obama Administration. Yes-I know that the Fed is technically not a government agency. To me it looks more like a supra Federal agency with little accountability to our elected representatives. Sure gives me a warm, secure and fuzzy feeling all over.
    30 Jul, 06:46 AM Reply Like
  • Herb Smith
    , contributor
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    so which is it: Obama is reaching into the subservient agency to manipulate its statistics, or the agency is not accountable to our relected representatives?

     

    I do know first hand about these agencies and I think the federal statistical agencies do an excellent job of playing it straight, while media people -- who know nothing about the way they actually operate - cast about baseless suspicions and make snide comments to besmirch their reputation. And, there is nothing secret about these agency operations. It's just a matter of reporters and pundits too lazy to inform themselves of the truth about how these agencies do their work.
    2 Aug, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • jimlewin
    , contributor
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    Herb, ever hear of the IRS and its "accountability" to Congress? Do you really believe the unemployment statistics put out by the Labor reflect the actual unemployment in this Country? Or how about the stats put out by the White House that Obamacare(ACA) will save Americans hundreds of billions of dollars? Government agencies have thousands of very bright and clever lawyers, statisticians and accountants whose primary job is to wordsmith reports and fluff up agency statistics. It is true that historically statistical and scientific agencies were largely immune from political shenanigans but that no longer is the case. Just look at the so called science behind the EPA's carbon/global warming "statistics". These are far from "baseless suspicions" and the only snide comment I see quite frankly is yours.
    4 Aug, 04:52 AM Reply Like
  • Herb Smith
    , contributor
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    jimlewin, You say, "It is true that historically statistical and scientific agencies were largely immune from political shenanigans but that no longer is the case." If the White House were calling on BLS and Census to cook the unemployment numbers, wouldn't the House GOP be investigating that? That would be a real scandal (much bigger than the IRS scandal IMHO) and I would join the chorus of those calling for heads to roll over that. If the White House did attempt to get the agencies to cook the unemployment numbers, I trust that staff at BLS and Census would report it to the press.

     

    By “statistical agencies” I am referring to those whose mission is to collect and assemble data: BLS (employment, unemployment, CPI, etc.), Census (pop, pop characteristics, and economic census data), and BEA (National Income & Product Accounts). As you know, the statistical agencies are NOT in the business of projecting or estimating the future under policy scenarios such as Obamacare estimates, budget outlooks, etc. which are necessarily much more subjective and judgmental endeavors carried out by OMB, CBO, and other policy-oriented executive agencies.

     

    Unfairly criticizing the statistical agencies risks harm to their budgets and imperils the basic data so essential to understanding our economy. Unfortunately, the work of the statistical agencies has become part of a more general distrust of government. The fact that some crooked bankers rigged LIBOR rates and laundered money does not mean all bankers are crooks who should be distrusted.
    10 Aug, 06:04 PM Reply Like
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