The June jobs report came out today and it was disappointing to say the least. The economy added 80,000 jobs last month which is below the rate needed to keep up with natural population growth. You can find out all the details you want about that report HERE … but my focus is on how we got to this point in the first place. Economists have been predicting for months now that the 2nd quarter would be poor due to various factors that were foreseeable and predictable. And now the Karl Rove led, anonymous billionaire backed Crossroads GPS 3rd party 501c group is committing $25 million to fund an ad campaign concentrating their firepower on “swing states” to push the narrative that the tepid economic growth is all the fault of one man … President Obama. (source)
With the exception of a transportation bill that President Obama just signed TODAY and been pushing for months and months … there has been an active attempt by the so called “loyal opposition” to prevent the American economy from successfully adding jobs. The bottom line is politics isn’t like playing a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippo. It’s not all fun and games; party before country has become the new mantra of the modern day GOP.
Republicans voted against the American Recovery
We know that 93% of Economists polled agree that the Economic stimulus helped the economy (source). But the economy lost 4 million jobs in 2008 and another 2.2 million just in the first three months of 2009 alone. Of course – Mitt Romney routinely counts those 2.2 million jobs lost under President Obama’s first three months as an Obama policy failure. Let me ask you this – if you had to make a decision between two solutions to save your kid who is on life support and 93% of the doctors said do X versus 7% that say do Y … who are you going to go with? Dr. X of course. The vast majority of Republicans voted against the economic stimulus in 2009. They think that magically America lifted itself out of losing 800k jobs lost a month to 28 months straight of private job gains.
“It’s hard to overstate how serious the collapse in the economy was. We were in free fall.”
~Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics
I’m not exaggerating about how awful the economy was; quite frankly – had we not passed the stimulus and continued down the Herbert Hoover economic school of thought … we would be in a Great Depression right now. But Americans just don’t think that way. Even the Federal Reserve acknowledges the Bush economic crisis has “wiped out nearly two decades of American wealth”. (source) The economy was a disaster … most people just do not remember The Road We Have Traveled since 2008.
The GOP war on civil servants
But – while the so called conservatives continue their war on public sector employees and “government spending” most of which is a result of Bush’s economic policies … what they do not say … what you never hear among the conservative crowds is a very simple mathematical equation. If public sector employment were maintained at the same rate as under George W. Bush … the economy would be almost at 7% unemployment. (source) It is simple math. Republicans know it; Democrats know it. And the Republicans have been ensuring that equation works to their political favor knowing the average American just doesn’t get it. It has gotten so bad that even Mitt Romney has publicly come out against hiring more teachers, police and firefighters – you know … those union goons living off the government teet. (source)
Another example of that war on civil servants is that Congress will not allow the Post Office to be successful. (source) They’re doing EVERYTHING to kill a public institution that has lasted since the days of our founders. But that’s just government excess.
The Economic Policy Institute wrote today HERE:
It should be noted that this counter-factual of 1.1 million additional public sector jobs is a perfectly reasonable benchmark. Before the Great Recession, the number of public-sector workers per 100 people had averaged right around 7.3 since the late 1980s. In other words, having 1.1 million more public-sector workers, which would put us back at 7.3 public-sector workers per 100 people, would simply restore our economy to a normal level of government employment. Further, if the public sector had simply grown in this recovery at the average rate of the last two recoveries, the labor market would currently have 1.2 million more public-sector jobs, so public-sector job growth of this pace is clearly in line with past history.
However, even that 1.1 million public-sector jobs gap leaves out an important component: public-sector job cuts also cause job loss in the private sector, for a couple of reasons. First, public-sector workers need to use inputs into their work that are sourced by the private sector. Firefighters need trucks and hoses, police officers need cars and radios, and teachers need books and desks. When public-sector jobs are lost, it stands to reason that the inputs into these jobs will fall as well, and indeed research shows that for every public-sector job lost, roughly 0.43 supplier jobs are lost.
This isn’t new news … We know that Republicans in Congress are sabotaging America’s economic progress – Congress has been voting down jobs bills over and over and over – (SOURCE):
June 24th, 2010: GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill Once Again, Dems Giving Up (Open Congress)
July 29th, 2010: Republicans block small business plan in Senate (Reuters)
September 28th, 2010: GOP Blocks Bill to Punish Companies that Move Jobs Abroad (CBS News)
November 18th, 2010: House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits (USA TODAY)
November 18th, 2010: Republicans vote unanimously against equal pay for women bill (Raw Story)
December 9th, 2010: Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill (Reuters)
October 11th, 2011: Senate Republicans block Obama’s jobs package (CBS News)
October 20th, 2011: Senate blocks money for teachers, firefighters (WaPost)
November 3rd, 2011: Republicans block $60bn infrastructure bill (Financial Times)
December 11th, 2011: Senate blocks payroll tax-cut extension (MSNBC)
March 29th, 2012: Republicans Block Repeal of Oil-Company Tax Breaks Obama Sought (Business Week)
April 17th, 2012: Senate GOP blocks Obama’s ‘Buffett rule’ for minimum tax rate on millionaires (Fox News)
May 8th, 2012: GOP blocks Senate debate on Dem student loan bill (Associated Press)
Even Mitt Romney’s former adviser admits the Republicans are “rooting against the economy”. (source)
The GOP channels George W. Bush’s ghost; calls for more tax cuts, fewer regulations
You’ll often hear that somehow all of these policies under the Obama administration have choked American business to the point that it just won’t hire. If only we had fewer regulations they said … then we would have economic growth. Except – corporate profits are at an all time high (source) and as Apple, Inc has shown having lots of money in the bank doesn’t mean it goes back to employees and it doesn’t mean your consumers get a better deal. Apple has $98 billion in cash money in the bank … and the vast majority of that is going to the shareholders (source). Fewer regulations allows Wall Street to rob you blind like with oil speculation. (source)
If we have fewer regulations – we can have more banks losing what is now calculated to be $9 Billion on trades using money from YOUR bank accounts i.e. proprietary trading. (source) Mitt Romney has already said he’d work to repeal the Dodd-Frank law that would limit future bank activity such as that. Mitt Romney has said he’d repeal regulations enacted under George W. Bush meant to keep Wall Street honest … and THAT is quite a feat. If we have fewer regulations – we can look forward to more HUGE scandals like the current scandal where multiple banks have been acting against interests of other businesses and consumers to manipulate LIBOR interest rates in clear violation of anti-trust laws. (source)
Hell – if history is any guide … they’ll just make the scandal no longer illegal. Over the past 30 years … what is legal today was not legal before. That’s “smaller government” and the “free market” and “free enterprise” according to Mitt Romney. But as the Federal Reserve Business survey shows … the #1 factor inhibiting hiring is DEMAND. (source) Period. End of story. It’s not regulations and it’s not taxes.
Other miscellaneous Republican economic nonsense
Republicans have blocked the President’s bill to address housing issues HERE.
Remember that time when Mitt Romney said “I’ll take a lot of credit that <the auto> industry’s come back” after he wrote an op-ed in the NY Times called “Let Detroit Go Bankrtupt”? (source)
We know that the present day income inequality that we are experiencing … and vulnerable middle class can be attributed to “various laissez-faire economic policies” i.e. “smaller government” and “less regulation”. (source)
Just a little video of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) completely standing against everything President Obama wants to do HERE.
House Democrats proposed raising the minimum wage to $10; Republicans are against it (source). Many Republicans would like to completely repeal the minimum wage actually.
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