Nancy Pelosi’s office blogged about the Department of Labor’s latest jobs report. This graph is included in the brief entry:
From this, Rep. Pelosi declares:
Today’s jobs report marks a welcome step in the right direction for our economy and our families: the unemployment rate is going down. The Recovery Act, which Congress passed one year ago to pull our economy back from the brink of collapse, has already created or saved nearly 2 million jobs so far.
Yet our work is far from over. This recession that President Obama inherited has taken the worst toll on our job market since World War II. Too many workers have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Leaders of both parties must work together to keep our recovery on track by helping small businesses create jobs, investing in our infrastructure and clean energy industries, and keeping police, firefighters, and teachers on the job. Congress will continue to act to build a new foundation for long-term prosperity.
I see the correlation I’m supposed to perceive, but that doesn’t prove what Rep. Pelosi expects me to assume, that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is the reason the graph looks as it does. It’s easy to claim success when you establish superficial results as the standards for success. If she’s going to make this claim, she must defend it with specific details about how money was spent and how that improved the jobs situation. Saying it isn’t enough if you’re skeptical of power rather than merely skeptical of your ideological opponents.
(Via Irene retweeting Markos Moulitsas)