I know that this is the middle of a heated election season, and that people's politics will trump reason most of the time, but I just want to say that as a neutral party here, and someone who knows economists at BLS, Labor Dept, and BEA, that the idea that politicians can influence the data is utter nonsense. The methods of collecting and analyzing these data are public and transparent, and the economists working on them guard their independence extremely jealously.
You can argue that the economy still sucks if you want, but please avoid baseless conspiracy theorizing.
Homer: [looking at watch] Two hours? Why'd they build this ghost town so far away?
Lisa: Because they discovered gold over there!
Homer: It's because they're stupid, that's why. That's why everybody does everything.