Compare the shill from the latest press (Q) gaggle to Robert W Bush (this blog Sunday 2/8/04 answering Brad DeLong's questions"
"Q Scott, when you talk about the unemployment -- or the jobs being created, is that based on the payroll survey, or the household survey? Because there's -- because of the tax cuts, there's been a tremendous increase in the number of entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses, and those numbers aren't reflected in the payroll survey"
No no no Mr Shill. I don't know who you are but you are over doing it. The "question" is mainly assertions. First (true) that the CPS shows more employment growth than the standard number. Second (false) that there is a huge increase in self employment and in employment in new firms. Third that it is a fact that the tax cuts have caused the (non existent) increase in self employment.
The last claim is a theory presented as fact in the premise to the question.
I assume that a rule of the shill game is that McClellan gets to state the CPS number for January as he did in his answer (odd that he knows it off the top of his head no ?). However the shill is supposed to be asking a question so he can hint at false claims without stating them.
Robert W Shill would have asked with additions in .
Q Scott, when you talk about the unemployment -- or the jobs being created, is that based on the payroll survey, or the household survey? Because there's [a huge difference]. [Do you think that the explanation of the difference is that] because of the tax cuts, there's been a tremendous increase in the number of entrepreneurs that have started their own businesses, and those numbers aren't reflected in the payroll survey"
This way the false claims become a question to which the answer happens to be no (but no one there will notice that the answer is no).
Now McLellan wiffed the softball
MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct, yes. The household survey is different from the payroll survey. And the household survey showed that some -- an increase of 496,000 jobs in January alone. So there are different numbers that you're talking about there. And we can look at both. But, again, you're getting into -- you're getting into the numbers here. The numbers that the President is interested in is theactual numbers of jobs being created and the policies that we aretaking to create an even more robust environment for job creation
Clearly set up for the first 5 sentences. Then McClellan gets knocked out by the guy as he takes a dive. From "But, again, your getting into" McClellan goes off script. He has just mentioned January then he suggests that the question was *not* about actual jobs created. His use of the word "numbers" makes it clear that he believes that statistics are always damn lies. He should have stopped after 5 sentences. Now if he had responded to Shill, he could have just added that he doesn't know why the numbers are different. No one expects a press secretary to be an economic theorist.
"DeLong Mr. President, you are disappointed that your administration has seen a loss of 2.3 million payroll jobs for Americans, aren't you? You wish that the job market had been better?
Robert W Bush you know I don't understand why the employer survey shows a decrease in jobs while the household survey (the CPS) shows a big increase in employment. I guess the key word in your question must be "payroll". I don't think even smart eminent economists such as JBD have a clue as to what is going on with the numbers. I would guess that more people are setting up their own businesses given the improved incentives for entrepreneurship. "