Facts Schmacts


I’d like to share two recent items from the always-interesting files of “don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”

First up is a head-scratching comment from Governor Deval Patrick this morning during his monthly “Ask the Governor” radio appearance on WTKK.  He was responding to a caller who basically accused the Governor of wanting to take over the Probation department so he could replace one set of crony hires with his own.  Governor Patrick responded by saying “we’ve had to lay off 6,000 people” in state government and added that “we’ve had to reduce headcount across government in order to help close the budget gap.

The problem is, both of these statements are demonstrably incorrect.  As a recent Pioneer Institute analysis revealed, there are more state employees today than there were in 2008 (and more than when Patrick took office in 2007).  While the number of state employees did decline between 2008 and 2009, the decrease was roughly one-tenth of the 6,000 employees Patrick claims to have laid off.

I don’t know what else to say about this one other than he is just plain wrong.

Second, a Boston Globe story yesterday revealed that those glowing, optimistic jobs reports we keep getting from the Patrick/Murray administration do not tell the whole story.  I’ve written several times about the spin vs. reality of these monthly reports, but the Globe report (based on an analysis by Northeastern) added a new wrinkle.  While the Patrick/Murray administration has been taking credit for our dropping unemployment rate, it turns out that the number of underemployed in Massachusetts has been on the rise.  The Globe goes so far as to say the number “has been accelerating at an alarming pace.”… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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