July 9, 2012

Obama's jobs deceptions

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, there are some interesting employment numbers when you start to dig through the data and try to see what's been happening in the economy.  The reason you have to dig, is because the president won't give you the straight goods when it comes to the employment situation in the Unites States.

There's enough spin to make a Chinese silk factory jealous.

To level set on the spin, here's what the president said, via Politico
President Obama said at a campaign event on Friday that the June jobs report shows the economy has taken "a step in the right direction."

The report showed unemployment remained unchanged in June at 8.2 percent and the economy added 80,000 jobs.

"That overall means that businesses have creatd 4.4 million jobs over the past 28 months," Obama said at a rally in Poland, Ohio. "That’s a step in the right direction... But we can't be satisfied because our goal was never to keep on working to get back to where we were in 2007."

"We've got to grow the economy even faster, and we've got to put even more people back to work," he said.
He's right about one thing - we do indeed need to grow the economy faster (Note the word 'even' in his sentence? More spin). There have been a number of talking points from the president and other Democrats (like Nancy Pelosi) around the notion that the president has created more private sector jobs than president Bush.  FactCheck has pointed some of them out.

But consider the following (again, the source is BLS data) [all numbers are seasonally adjusted]:
  • Obama hasn't really added more private sector jobs than Bush did in his entire 2 terms. Since Obama took office in January 2009, the private sector has added approximately 160,000 jobs.  President Bush saw a big loss of private sector jobs in 2008, but also inherited a recession weeks after taking office yet still managed to see a net gain in jobs of roughly 193,000 in the private sector from January 2001, through December 2008.
  • Obama's private sector job results fared far better after Republicans took control of Congress and put the brakes on his radical agenda.  When Obama had a Democratic Congress (Jan 2009 - Dec 2010), the private sector lost almost 2.9 million jobs. Since the Republicans took, from Jan 2011  to June 2012, the private sector has added just over 2.9 million jobs, cancelling out those early, Democrat job losses.
  • The public sector job slashing at a federal level at least, is a myth. While Democrats controlled Congress, the federal government added 78,000 jobs.  Since the Republicans took Congress, the federal employee payroll has been reduced by only 31,000 jobs.
  • Federal, state and local governments combined have slashed jobs - but only from stimulus spending levels.  Current government employee levels are in line with January 2007 levels.  When the Democrats controlled Congress, all levels of government combined added 136,000 jobs. Since the GOP stepped, 192,000 jobs have gone. This may be in part due to Republican cost cutting but don't forget the Democrat-controlled Senate STILL hasn't produced a budget in years.  In fact, the growth in government jobs matched the recession and not coincidentally the stimulus spending.  Calls to freeze government job cuts are liberal the-sky-is-falling fear tactics. These jobs peaked in May 2011 and have been declining as that spending bubble has ebbed.
Deception is all the president has on jobs.  He doesn't create private sector jobs, the private sector does.  All the government can do to allow the private sector to create jobs is create a favorable environment for them to do so.  With Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the soon to expire Bush tax cuts soon to expand tax rates, Obama and Democrats have done anything but create a friendly business environment.  When you add onto that the picking of losers and subsidy winners who subsequently turned into losers (Solyndra for example), and the burgeoning debt burden on the country, it's easy to see why companies have shied away from expanding.  Not only is the president trying to take credit by fiddling with the numbers, I think he believes his own hype and thinks that he truly is a business-friendly president. It would be laughable were it not so sad and appalling.
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