If the headline seems familiar it’s because we have heard the East Coast version of this story before, and it was a couple of years ago.
In 2012, a whistleblower in the Philadelphia census office said that unemployment data in that region was being faked. (NY Post report):
Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.
And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.
“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.
The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.
That hole wasn’t closed up.
Two years later, we’re heading into the mid-terms and here’s another census worker in another region claiming that the unemployment numbers — which have been going down in recent weeks — are being faked (NY Post report, again).
When I spoke with this whistleblower earlier this year as part of my investigation of Census, she told me that hundreds of interviews that go into the Labor Department’s unemployment rate and inflation surveys would miraculously be completed just hours before deadline.
The implication was that someone with the ability to fill in the blanks on incomplete surveys was doing just that.
The Denver whistleblower also provided to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform the names of other Census workers who can spill the beans about data fraud in other regions.
Census is broken up into six regions. Cheating has already been proven in the Philadelphia region. And with this whistleblower’s letter, Census authorities now have allegations that the same kind of nonsense was going on in Denver — that office covers Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
I asked recently the Denver whistleblower her opinion on the surveys Census is providing. “When the question is asked about data quality, my answer would be simple, there is none,” she said.
“I wouldn’t trust any data from the Census Bureau,” she added.
It’s the Census Bureau that conducts the interviews that the Labor Department turns into the unemployment numbers. So the information that the bureau is or is not gathering is critical.
Two years ago, President Obama used the Census Bureau’s information to make the case for his re-election.
Two years later, the president is doing the same thing.
Progress: The unemployment rate just fell to 5.9%, the lowest rate since July 2008. #ActOnJobs
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 3, 2014
The president’s claims have been based on bogus numbers, both times.