The world’s worst defender of statistical manipulation is the government, followed closely by the financial press. Yes, I guess that counts me too. We are two years away from our nation’s next presidential election, which has historically been good for stocks, so I thought I would normalize some of the government’s economic data to give you a better understanding of the true strength or weakness in our economy. I am not trying to persuade you one way or the other, I am merely trying to remove the deception from the data. I will present a case for the bears followed by the bulls, as there are two sides to every argument and I encourage you to make up your own opinion based on the facts.