Joseph Stiglitz appeared on 'Up w/ Chris Hayes' to discuss the jobs report released on Friday. Several prominent conservative figures, including former GE CEO Jack Welch, have accused the Obama administration of skewing the numbers to appear in its favor.
"No president, maybe except Nixon, would actually try to change what the Bureau Labor Statistics does or what the DEA does. These are really independent agencies and the idea that they would do that is literally absurd," Stiglitz said.
Stiglitz said the only thing that presidents can do is explain the numbers and put them in context of larger economic tides.
"You don't monkey with the numbers because that would destroy your credibility," he said.
Friday's report showed that unemployment had fallen to 7.8% after 114,000 jobs were added last month.
Although some Republican politicians and conservative commentators have questioned the accuracy of the figures, officials deny any wrongdoing.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told CNBC that it's "really ludicrous" to suggest that BLS manipulated the data.
"To think that these numbers could be manipulated ... It's impossible to do it and get away with it," said Keith Hall, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to the AP. "These numbers are very trustworthy.
Watch Stiglitz in the video above, courtesy of MSNBC.
CORRECTION: A typo in a previous version of this article stated that Welch is the CEO of GM. It has been corrected.
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<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-report-conspiracy-theory-baseless_n_1942685.html">Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, tweeted</a> on Friday that President Obama's team must have cooked the September jobs numbers in order to help his reelection chances. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-report-conspiracy-theory-baseless_n_1942685.html">these claims are baseless</a>: The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an independent agency that conducts scientific random surveys.
Rush Limbaugh On Jobs Report
Long before <a href="https://twitter.com/jack_welch/status/254198154260525057">Jack Welch accused the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a> of cooking its books to help President Obama on Oct. 5, conservative talk show host <a href="http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/02/03/happy_days_are_here_again_in_obamaville_raw_jobs_numbers_tell_very_different_story">Rush Limbaugh claimed in February</a> that the Bureau of Labor Statistics' seasonal adjustment of the jobs numbers amounted to cooking the books to help President Obama. He said that "the raw number" from December to January meant "we lost two million jobs." But economists agree that seasonal adjustment is critical for month-to-month measurements, since there are seasonal factors that add noise to the data otherwise. (Hat tip: <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-conspiracy-theories-2012-8?op=1">Business Insider</a>.)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/donald-trump-federal-reserve_n_1882256.html">Real estate mogul Donald Trump told CNBC</a> in September that the Federal Reserve is "creating phony numbers and they're doing it through stimulus." The Fed has bought securities in its three rounds of quantitative easing, which many economists argued has had a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/federal-reserves-bond-buy_n_881805.html"> real effect on the economy</a>.
Republican political strategist <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/media/2008/12/09/33404/rove-oreilly-economy/">Karl Rove and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said</a> in December 2008 that journalists exaggerated the economic crisis then so that anything under President Obama would be an improvement. But the economy really was in a deep recession at the time.
Erin Burnett ON Fed Stimulus
<a href="http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/31/fed-chairman-ben-bernanke-defends-stimulus-that-cost-1-million-per-job/">CNN anchor Erin Burnett said</a> on her show "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Aug. 31 that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may embark on another round of quantitative easing, a type of monetary stimulus, in order to help Obama get reelected and keep his own job. But the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is independent and makes its monetary policy decisions based on how the economy is doing. Also, Bernanke is a registered Republican and was appointed by George W. Bush.
Rush Limbaugh On Financial Crisis
Conservative talk show host <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/12/22/34058/limbaugh-democrats-indy/">Rush Limbaugh claimed in December 2008</a> that President Obama helped cause the financial crisis so that he could gain power. (Hat tip: <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-conspiracy-theories-2012-8?op=1">Business Insider</a>.)
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who believes America should abolish the Federal Reserve and go back to the gold standard, <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/04/14/the-conspiracy-theorists-history-of-gold.aspx">said in 2010</a> that the New York Fed might not have any gold in its vaults, according to The Motley Fool. Actually, <a href="http://www.newyorkfed.org/education/addpub/goldvault.pdf">it does</a>.
Erin Burnett On Food And Gas Prices
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/erin-burnett-federal-reserve_n_1866971.html">CNN anchor Erin Burnett claimed</a> on her show "Erin Burnett OutFront" in September that the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures have caused food and gas prices to rise. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/erin-burnett-federal-reserve_n_1866971.html">there has been no correlation</a> between the two.