Obama claim: “We’ve added back more than 4.5 million private sector jobs and seen 29 straight months of job growth”. Sounds good huh? But let’s look beyond the hype, shall we? When Obama was took office the unemployment rate was 7.8%, not his fault, but for all his promises to put the country on track the unemployment rate climbed to a high of 10% by October 2009.
Starting in May 2009 the jobless rate stayed at or above 9% for 22 consecutive months with a one month dip to 8.9% then back above 9% for an additional six months. So 28 out of 29 consecutive months of over 9% unemployment on his watch is hardly something to crow about. The “official” number which is what the BLS calls the U3 chart, finally dipped into the 8% range just last October and has remained there for the past 11 months. What many don’t know, is that there is also a U6 chart, which lists also those unemployed who have just plain given up looking for work for at least the previous 4 weeks. This chart shows that the real unemployment rate is 15% or nearly double the officially reported U3 rate.
The fact is, that the official jobless rate had not been below 9% from the month after Obama took office until March 2011, that’s 37 months. So his hype about 29 months of job growth, while not untrue, doesn’t really tell the whole story. Between March 2010 and July 2012 (his 29 months) the official unemployment rate only dropped from 9.8% to 8.3%, a whopping 1.5% or about one half of one percent per month. In the 40 months of data since he took office, only 12 months have seen less than 9% unemployment.
While I’ll give him all of 2009 as an inherited problem from the PEW Charitable Trust study, in August of 2010 4.4 million people—roughly the population of Louisiana—had been out of work for a year or more; an increase of nearly 30 percent since December 2009. That’s a 30% increase in long-term unemployment in the first 9 months of his second year in office. By comparison inherited a bad job market too, worse than Obama’s since Reagan’s was at 7.5% when he took office, but peaked at 10.8% and stayed over 10% for 10 straight months, yet Reagan policies resulted in a drop of 3.6%, from 10.8% to 7.2% by his 40th month in office. So while Obama’s jobless rate peaked at 10% and had only dropped 1.8% over the same first 40 months in office. The Reagan drop of 3.6% took 20 months to accomplish, while Obama’s drop of just 1.5% took 28 months. He has presided over less than half the decline over a 30% longer period time between high and low points., the fact is that things continued to get worse in 2010. According to a
Obama claim: “Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years.” Wow, really? Well, no. Let’s go back to the Clinton Presidency, when Bill took office federal spending was at 23.5% of GDP, when he left in 2001 it was down to only 19.5%, a decline of 4%. Although I was never a fan of President Clinton, the truth is that he and a strong Republican congress cut federal spending more than any administration in modern history.
Now even if you take the second half of TARP, which Obama requested; most of the Auto Bailout which Obama pushed; The Mortgage/Loan Medication Program; The Omnibus Spending Bill signed by Obama March 2009; The Stimulus Bill, and the S-CHIP expansion – take all of this 2009 spending and blame it all on Bush, even then spending is up by almost 24% in Obama’s first term vs. Bush’s last. Spending under Bush, especially in the second term, was huge, a democratically controlled congress, gave Bush Carte Blanche with the purse strings and he went wild like a kid in a candy store. Yet considering the fact that the federal deficit has climbed has much in Obama’s first term as it had from to Clinton’s first term, to claim he’s not a big spender is simply a lie.