The Birth Certificate 4-Step

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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It’s a trap! The most paranoid scenario: I’m assuming the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the October employment statistics on schedule.  The paranoia that would accompany a delay (this close to the election) would be too destructive, even if the delay was justifiable. But if the Obama administration were really playing politics with the numbers in the way the paranoids fear, do you think it would merely delay the release of the numbers? Not cunning enough!

The obvious Machiavellian four-step would be 1) delay the release of the numbers 2) wait for the Romney camp to get caught up in the paranoia and publicly demand that the administration release the numbers 3) at the moment of maximum dramatic tension, release the numbers! 4) Have the numbers be unexpectedly good. … There is precedent for this maneuver. …

P.S.: I don’t think the bureuacrats at the BLS cook the data. But I don’t think it’s implausible to worry that census workers in the field might somehow–spontaneously, subconsciously, and subtly–inflate the “household” employment numbers when it looks like those numbers might decide a presidential election. Call me Jack. … If the new”establishment” numbers–reported directly by employers–confirm the relatively good news in last month’s household survey, though, paranoia will be difficult to sustain. …

Mickey Kaus