Friday, January 7, 2011

Jobs Up, Boehner Complains

The US Labor Department has just released its December employment data. As the Labor Dept.'s website says, "The number of unemployed persons decreased by 556,000 to 14.5 million in December, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent. Over the year, these measures were down from 15.2 million and 9.9 percent, respectively."

Not bad. Many remain jobless, but the drop in the unemployment rate was substantial, the biggest one-month drop since 1998 (also under a Democrat). The still-high figure of 9.4% is the lowest since July 2009.  According to Nancy Pelosi, now the House Minority Leader, President Obama and the Democratic Congress created more jobs in 2010 than George Bush did in all of his eight years. The new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, from whom I have yet to hear a single statement or sound bite that is both substantive and coherent, replied that the data shows the need to cut spending in order to grow the economy.

Boehner pulled that positively Hooveresque conclusion from his ass.  He, Cantor, and the rest of his crowd just cannot accept that federal spending has a stimulative effect. To be more precise, they happily spend when they are in power and when the money goes to their districts. Spending, and the deficit, become problems only when Democrats are in control.

Did you notice how Republicans, primarily Boehner, railed against the federal deficit ever since Obama took office, but changed their tune late last year when it looked like they were going to score a victory for their richest benefactors by getting Democrats to agree to Bush-era tax cuts for all (by holding the unemployed hostage, no less). Then, for several weeks Republicans laid off the deficit rhetoric and instead insisted that we should never raise taxes in a week economy, as if the richest 2% of America would suffer. Now that they secured the tax cuts for the rich, Republicans are back to inveighing against the deficit.  

As for those jobs, Boehner should get an eyeful of the chart below. It's from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Obama has done remarkably well given the catastrophe handed to him by Bush and Wall Street.

ThinkProgress has a nice summary of Bush's record of job creation:

As the Wall Street Journal noted in the last month of Bush’s term, the former president had the “worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records.” And job creation under Bush was anemic long before the recession began. Bush’s supply-side economics “fostered the weakest jobs and income growth in more than six decades,” along with “sluggish business investment and weak gross domestic product growth,” the Center for American Progress’ Joshua Picker explained. “On every major measurement” of income and employment, “the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein observed, parsing Census data.

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