The NY Post reports:
The Census Bureau’s Philadelphia office wasn’t just corrupting the nation’s unemployment rate by fabricating data. It was also filing false information about inflation in this country.
Just how large an effect this fraud was having on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — and consequently the cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients and others — is not yet known.
Some background: Along with its monthly unemployment survey, the Census Bureau conducts thousands of interviews to figure out what Americans are buying. Once Census determines purchases, the information is turned over to the Labor Department, which then calculates how much prices have increased.
The whole survey is very long, messy and unpopular, both inside government and outside. And it is likely to be changed drastically in the years ahead.
Despite that, the CPI is still the sole determinant for retiree and military pay increases. And it is used by the Federal Reserve, companies and a lot of other organizations that need to determine how fast costs are rising.
I began writing about what was happening in the Philly Census office back in November, when I learned that a data collector named Julius Buckmon had been caught in 2010 falsifying information that went into Labor’s Current Population Survey, which determines the nation’s unemployment rate.