Welch: IRS Revelations Support My Concerns About Unemployment Data

'I was nuts supposedly'

Former GE CEO Jack Welch said a big government bias among federal employees who have to make "subjective decisions" influences the actions and data output at federal agencies Tuesday on "Squawk Box."

Welch noted the latest unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor & Statistics seemed to be perfectly adjusted to reflect a recovering economy in spite of underlying weaknesses he still sees.

New York Times writer Andrew Ross-Sorkin added that revelations of political targeting at the IRS call data from the BLS into further question.

Welch agreed, concluding the IRS story vindicates concerns he voiced last fall about the accuracy of unemployment data during the presidential election:

ANDREW ROSS-SORKIN: Just to put a fine point on it, you are not arguing the numbers, themselves, were manipulated so much as the way, for example of the some of the --

JACK WELCH: The input.

ANDREW ROSS-SORKIN: The input of the numbers in terms of some of the phone calls and the surveys.

JACK WELCH: I'm making a phone call, I'm asking you, did you work an hour? [writing motion] "Employed." The bias has to go that way. It's no matter how good the people are. When their basic job is, bigger government, more jobs, better wages. That all plays into that. So you have the IRS. They want bigger government, better wages, the BLS wants more government and bigger wages. Now you are asking them to make subjective - you don't ask firemen to do that. You ask them to go put out the fire. You don't ask postal workers [to do that], you don't have them put out the fire. You have them do the mail. You don't ask airline controllers to get the planes from here to here safely. They're not making subjective political decisions. These people are making decisions and God bless them, they may be the most decent people in the world, but any of us in those jobs, you could go this way or that way --


JACK WELCH: It's real. I'm telling you, it's real.