“Because more jobs were created in the private sector last year alone than in all eight years of George W. Bush. Look, we did not get into the economic problems we did because President Obama was in office for two months. The ground was laid by the bad policies of George W. Bush, and that came at the expense of the growing middle class and giving huge tax breaks to the billionaires.”
~Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD)
There is this master narrative at play in the media that people seem to have bought into … that master narrative is that we have not seen jobs growth under President Obama. But it isn’t true. Conservatives like to say any number of things:
#1 – They say this has been the most anemic economic recovery since the Great Depression
#2 – They say there have been no new jobs
#3 – They say that President Obama is boosting public sector employment and neglecting the private sector
So let’s look at the facts and let’s compare Obama vs. Bush. As Think Progress shows HERE – it took just after 3 years to get private sector employment back to where it was when he took it over compared to over 4 for Bush. Now – Bush was handed a huge surplus and an overheating economy from Bill Clinton. Bush handed over a $1 trillion deficit, 2 wars and the country was losing 800k jobs a month when Obama first took office. Bush passed huge tax cuts and it very clearly didn’t work.
The reality is that under George W. Bush – it took more than 4 years to get private sector employment back up to where it was before he started; meanwhile – public sector employment grew at the same rate it essentially did under Reagan – the conservative icon. Under Obama – the clear drag on the economy has come from the consistent cuts to public sector jobs.
We’ve already shared this information from Paul Krugman before … there is simply no way that you can compare Bush’s jobs record and Obama’s jobs record and conclude Bush did a better growing private sector employment. The numbers simply don’t bear that out but conservatives don’t want to admit it. Like we shared HERE:
Paul Krugman explains the graph above:
Since former President Bush is going to favor us with a book on How to Succeed in Economic Policy Without Really Trying — and since Mitt Romney is essentially planning a return to Bushonomics — it might be worth looking at Bush’s job record compared with that of Obama so far. I focus on private-sector jobs because both Bush and Romney say that the government can’t create jobs, so only the private sector is real.
So compare private-sector job creation from January 2001 to January 2009 — the Bush era — with job creation from January 2009 to April 2012. Or maybe you think presidents shouldn’t be held accountable for their first year, and want to start either comparison from the first January after inauguration.
And that’s why the Democrats will be comparing Romney to Bush many times throughout the Democratic National Convention. Talking Points Memo explains HERE:
Two days before their convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Democrats are gearing up to present the election as a choice between President Obama’s vision for the future and a return to Bush era policies of the last decade.
Democrats made the rounds on the Sunday talk shows to preview their re-election pitch to Americans, emphasizing that it would be a choice between going forward — their campaign slogan — and letting Mitt Romney double down on the policies of President George W. Bush that caused the economic downturn.
Romney’s response to this is:
“We’re going to finally have to do something that Republicans have spoken about for a long time, and for a while we didn’t do it. When we had the lead we let people down. We need to make sure we don’t lead them down this time — I will cut the deficit and get us on track to a balanced budget.”
But he has yet to explain how he’s going to cut taxes by $5 trillion, extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich, increase defense spending by 25% and not balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. Every independent analysis of Romney’s budget shows his plan will cut taxes on the rich and raise taxes on the middle class by about $2,000. We have shared analysis on an independent study by the Brookings Institute co-chaired by a former Bush administration official HERE:
“It is not mathematically possible to design a revenue-neutral plan that preserves current incentives for savings and investment and that does not result in a net tax cut for high-income taxpayers and a net tax increase for lower- and/or middle-income taxpayers,” the study concludes.
Even if tax breaks “are eliminated in a way designed to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible, there would still be a shift in the tax burden of roughly $86 billion [a year] from those making over $200,000 to those making less” than that.
What would that mean for the average tax bill? Millionaires would get an $87,000 tax cut, the study says. But for 95 percent of the population, taxes would go up by about 1.2 percent, an average of $500 a year.
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