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Media Matters for America is a great site. If you don't already use it as a resource and support it financially, you should certainly do the former and consider doing the latter. They provide all kinds of factual information to refute rightwing talking points.

One of the recent talking points we've been hearing is that President Barack Obama is responsible for the fact that there are 2 million fewer jobs in America now than there were in the time period shortly before he was elected. The implication is that his policies are to blame for the 'missing' jobs. It's also being used by Mitt Romney and others to try to discredit the accurate claim that Obama's administration has actually created millions of jobs!

Multiple factchecking sites have refuted the claim that somehow Obama's to blame for the fact that this economy currently has 1.9 million fewer jobs than in years past. But MMFA did a bang-up job of it a few hours ago.

I mean, the rightwingers make all kinds of distorted arguments intended to mislead the listener. That's why Media Matters exists, in fact - because of those dishonest discussions of political topics! And that's why Politifact.com and Factcheck.org, while they aren't perfect, are important too. For example, a recent argument by Mitt Romney was that there are 25 million unemployed Americans. It's dishonest in that it tries to pretend that we shouldn't be looking at the official unemployment figures, and it's also wrong because he included part-time workers in that number!

And I could list countless examples, but the one that Media Matters for America cites today is the 2 million jobs lost claim. It's dishonest. It's used to mislead. It's done to defame Obama unfairly.

Here's a relevant snippet from that article by MMFA.

According to economist Robert J. Shapiro, the economy shed almost 8 million jobs under Republican policies before the Recovery Act could affect the economy.

From December 2007 to July 2009 -- the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy -- private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months. The tally, to date: Mr. Obama can be held accountable for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000), while the Republicans should be held responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs.  

Where else in the mainstream media have you heard this? Not anywhere, right? And that's a failure on the part of the MSM. Whenever Romney, or Limbaugh, or anyone else tries to make this claim, the media should do their research and refute it. They're supposed to be telling the public the truth, not simply being transcriptionists for the rightwingers! Telling the truth and educating their listeners and readers doesn't make them the liberal media. It makes them do their jobs.

In that same posting, MMFA also points out that Paul Krugman, who has won a Nobel Prize for his insights into economics, has debunked this talking point.

Paul Krugman points out (that) such claims about Obama's job record are "deeply misleading" because they take into account job losses that occurred during Obama's "first few months, before any of his own policies had time to take effect".
Mr. Romney claims that Mr. Obama has been a job destroyer, while he was a job-creating businessman. For example, he told Fox News: "This is a president who lost more jobs during his tenure than any president since Hoover. This is two million jobs that he lost as president." He went on to declare, of his time at the private equity firm Bain Capital, "I'm very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs."

But his claims about the Obama record border on dishonesty, and his claims about his own record are well across that border.

Start with the Obama record. It's true that 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs now than when Mr. Obama took office. But the president inherited an economy in free fall, and can't be held responsible for job losses during his first few months, before any of his own policies had time to take effect. So how much of that Obama job loss took place in, say, the first half of 2009?

The answer is: more than all of it. The economy lost 3.1 million jobs between January 2009 and June 2009 and has since gained 1.2 million jobs. That's not enough, but it's nothing like Mr. Romney's portrait of job destruction.

Incidentally, the previous administration's claims of job growth always started not from Inauguration Day but from August 2003, when Bush-era employment hit its low point. By that standard, Mr. Obama could say that he has created 2.5 million jobs since February 2010.

So Mr. Romney's claims about the Obama job record aren't literally false, but they are deeply misleading.

Or as Paul Krugman said in early January....

Do (the jobs numbers over the past 3+ years) look to you like a president who “lost jobs”, or like a president who inherited an economy in free fall? You can accuse Obama of not doing enough to promote recovery — and I have (although the biggest villain here was Romney’s own party). But to claim that Obama caused the job loss is indefensible.

Please support Media Matters' efforts - they do good work.

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