Here are 5 pieces of good economic news recently. They don’t mean that everything is fine. I could make the contrary argument as well as anyone But there has been some good news – news I guarantee you haven’t heard. Certainly not here. If you are in an election fight you make use of what you have. I guarantee if the situations were reversed Fox News would make sure you knew if every one of the stories below.
Of course some know: Krugman called Obama "One of the must successful Presidents in American History".
This gets to one of the basic problems I have long seen with Democratic politicians. They seem to me to be always apologizing. I was at the Shaheen/Brown debate a couple of weeks ago. None of this was mentioned.
But the truth is there is a very real case to make. It is a case based on three facts:
1. Obama inherited an absolute mess
2. Despite this mess, the stimulus that was enacted (which was too small) and the policies that were enacted (ObamaCare eg) did nothing to slow private job growth as the Republicans predicted. In fact private job growth is faster under Obama since the implementation of ObamaCare than under Reagan.
3. The reason things are not better is because the Republicans at both the state and local level have sabotaged the economy.
This is in large measure reality. Now in my opinion there is a larger systemic issue around globalization and automation that has changed the economy fundamentally. But this doesn't change those three facts.
How many of you have heard any of this from your politician. What I hear in NH is apologies from my Democrats.
1. Barack Obama is on track to create more private sector jobs in his second term than Ronald Reagan and about the same as Bill Clinton. Per the blog Calculated Risk
Term Private Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 9,041 (1,304)
Reagan Term 1 5,360 (-24)
Reagan Term 2 9,357 (1,438)
GHW Bush 1,510 (1,127)
Clinton 1 10,885 (692)
Clinton 2 10,070 (1,242)
GW Bush 1 -841 (900)
GW Bush 2 379 (844)
Obama 1 1,998 (-713)
Obama 2 4,1291 (45)
120 months into 2nd term: 9,910 pace.
Of course, the kicker is the change in public sector jobs. Most of the change in government employment has been at the state and local level, where republicans have been in charge. It is fair to say that the economy has been sabotaged by GOP at the local level, and at the national level by GOP demands.
2. New Unemployment Claims are the lowest since May 5, 2000. With the exception of a brief in 2000, they are now lower than at any time since BEFORE THE 1973 RECESSION.
3. For the first time since the recession began there are actual signs of wage growth.
Per a re-tweet from Bradley Delong quoting Business Insiders : “Overall compensation increased by increased by 0.7% in Q3, and wages increased by 0.8%. Year-over-year, compensation is up 2.2%, with wages up 2.1%.”
4. Consumer sentiment reached a 7 year high.
The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. That's the highest since July 2007, five months before the Great Recession began.
5. Obama had outperformed Reagan on virtually every economic metric that exists. From Forbes:
Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories. Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan. Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.”
The liberal cringes at the last part of this of course.
The point is not that everything is great. The rich have benefited far more than the poor (although news flash, Obama raised the top rate on the rich) and the jobs that are being created aren't great, or even good.
The point is that in general people have done a crap job of defending Obama - and sometimes it makes me wonder why.