Back when Mitt Romney was telling the truth about what he would do to create jobs, it was noted that his plans were like the Bush years except on steroids. Once he and Ryan are forced to own those previous plans, and they will be, these five points will kill them.
1. Improvement in unemployment numbers
When talking about the economy, the trendline is what is most important. There are different ways to judge the trendlines during a president's time in office. One of the fairest ways is to start one year after the president's term begins and end one year after his term is over. This allows time for one's policies to show an impact, and also shows how the president's policies affect his successor before the successor's policies have had a chance to make an impact. From the BLS we get this chart of unemployment numbers starting with January 2002, one year after President Bush took office:
As you can see, between January 2002 and January 2010, President Bush gained 4 whole percentage points, while President Obama has lowered unemployment by 1.9 percentage points thus far.
It is no accident that President Obama has such a positive trend. The almost immediate effect of the ARRA on the number of initial unemployment claims is very striking. Steve Benen at the Maddowblog has this graph showing the effect of the stimulus on initial unemployment claims:
2. Private Sector jobs growth:
Private sector jobs growth is usually what Republicans want to focus on most since they believe there should be fewer government jobs. But when compared with the jobs creation numbers of previous presidents, the private sector grew faster in the first three years of the Obama administration than it did in three of the previous five administrations — the exception being Bill Clinton’s administrations, when private sector growth was more rapid. In both of George W. Bush’s terms as well as in the first three years of the George H. W. Bush administration, though, the private sector grew more slowly. (link)
3. That private sector job growth is even more impressive when you see the public sector's drag on the economy.
As Think Progress has noted, poor performance in public sector jobs growth has likely cost 750,000 private sector jobs. The main drag on the economy has been the public jobs sector. Public sector employment has made modest gains of 73,000 jobs over the last 3 months, with 10,000 of that coming in September. But since June 2009, there has been a net loss of 569,000 jobs. (pdf link) This is mostly due to cuts at the state and local levels, mainly in red states which Tea Party Republicans seized control of in 2010.
This huge drag on the economy stands in direct contrast to the Bush years, where public sector jobs were the one bright spot in the Bush economy. Without all his public sector jobs, Bush's record would have been even more awful. And the fact that President Obama has improved the economy with negative growth in public sector jobs is nothing short of astounding. Here is a comparison of the two records on public and private sector jobs:
4. Manufacturing jobs growth
Alternet's response to President Clinton's convention speech included a systematic comparison between Democratic presidents and Republicans and found that President Obama's manufacturing growth is better than all but one of the last nine Republican Presidential terms. Of all nine Republican terms going back to Eisenhower, only Reagan's second term was better:
Based on all three of our measures, Obama’s manufacturing jobs record is currently better than eight of the nine Republican presidential terms. President Ronald Reagan’s second term does slightly better than Obama’s incomplete first term, but the numbers are close enough that this may change once we have all the numbers.Here is their graph showing from first quarter of term to first quarter of next term(see all three graphs here):
Here is the most recent BLS (pdf) graph of President Obama's manufacturing jobs numbers:
5. Republicans, nationally and at the state level, have tried their best to deny President Obama any success on the economy.
Starting with what Republicans are doing at the national government level, Paul Ryan and others met on the night of President Obama's inauguration and vowed to block him at every turn, be completely uncooperative and deny him any successes. (link)
The main point here is that the President's American Jobs Act has been blocked by Republicans in congress. Recently we had the first anniversary of the original obstruction of this specific bill and Think Progress shared three estimates of the jobs AJA would create:
–Moody’s Analytics estimated the American Jobs Act would create 1.9 million jobs and add two percent to gross domestic product.Of course that isn't all the national Republicans in congress are blocking. More on that here.
–The Economic Policy Institute estimated it would create 2.6 million jobs and protect an addition 1.6 million existing jobs.
–Macroeconomic Advisers predicted it would create 2.1 million jobs and boost GDP by 1.5 percent.
–Goldman Sachs estimated it would add 1.5 percent to GDP.
Back to the state level, as noted above, much of the negative growth in public sector jobs comes from Republican-controlled state legislatures and/or governors. Here is a graph showing some of those details:
One of the governors with a big deficit in public sector jobs is New Jersey's Chris Christie. Recently, New Jersey Policy Perspective released a report (pdf) on how much public sector job loss was affecting the state's economy. Here is some of what the report said (link):
[I]f not for the loss of public-sector jobs, New Jersey’s 2011 unemployment rate would be more than a full percentage point lower: 8 percent instead of 9.3 percent. That rate would be even lower when accounting for the effect of public-sector job loss on private-sector employment.Among other things, the report calls for the federal government to "provide targeted financial assistance to state and local governments that meet specific criteria promoting efficiency in public services." President Obama has proposed the American Jobs Act that would include money to do that very thing. Unfortunately, the legislation has been blocked by the Obstructionist GOP congress.
Unlike the previous two recessions, public-sector jobs continued to be lost after the latest recession began. This is a marked change in strategy from earlier recessions, when public-sector jobs were maintained or added during and after the downturn to help the state to recover more quickly.
New Jersey's problems are unfortunately all too common. Because of this pervasive issue,The Economic Policy Institute has recently suggested that aid to state and local governments should be the top priority for job creation.
Without all this Republican obstruction, unemployment might easily have been below 6%.(link) But when one considers the lengths to which Republicans have gone to sabotage the economy, an overall lowering of the unemployment number by 1.9% is downright awe-inspiring.
9:36 PM PT: Thanks for the rescue!