Loose Lips and Economic Dips

Is someone finding out the monthly Unemployment number before it is announced? Skeptics among us have thought yes. Today, Michael Barone confirms it.

Barone cites the Carolina Journal which has some eye popping information. It “reports that staffers in North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue’s office have been getting advance word on monthly unemployment statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is highly illegal under federal laws and violates what I have understood to be a strong tradition in the BLS and other government statistics that no one – no one at all, not even in the White House – gets advanced word ahead of the public announcement of government statistics,” he says.

The rationale for the secrecy is to stop any collusion between people that would give someone an advantage in the markets. Integrity in government agencies is another. We expect them to be free of political influence. Obviously they are not.

In Perdue’s case these leaks gave her people a heads up so that they would be ready with their talking points when the data is released and help her look better. Evidently someone was doing it for her previous and fellow Democrat governor, Mike Easley, in ’03 and ’04, according to Barone’s sources.

Perhaps that’s another reason why the American people no longer are believing what the government (and the media) put out as fact. The vital component of trust has been lost. This is something the House Education and the Workforce Committee needs to look into.

Lately it seems that the eruptions of corruption are coming so fast it’s hard to keep up with them. Solyndra, MF Global, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther voter fraud, Light Squared, the stimulus package; almost daily something spills out. That makes it harder for the public to keep up with them all, which may be what they are hoping.

It is interesting that this case involves North Carolina because that is where the DNC will have its 2012 convention. Maybe they are trying to protect themselves by cheating like this; if these scandals become more widely known they may deeply regret their convention state choice.

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