Bush vs. Obama: Unemployment (June 2011 Jobs Data)

Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Update: Click here for the most recent jobs statistics.

I have started posting an article each month comparing the unemployment rate under President George W. Bush with the unemployment rate under President Obama at that time. I felt compelled to publish this article because some left-leaning sites were comparing Obama’s first two years and four months in office with Bush’s last and worst economic year (the above chart shows the most recent incarnation of this narrative).

In light of today’s jobs numbers, and the fact that both liberals and conservatives have been using my charts in flame wars, I am continuing the tradition, and posting an update.

In June, the private sector added 57,000 jobs in the sixteenth consecutive month of private sector job growth. Again, this is moderately positive news. At least the country had a net employment gain. However, it is also important to note that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revised last month’s private sector employment gains of 83,000 down to 73,000.

More bad news is that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate actually ticked up in June from a whopping 9.1% to an even worse 9.2%. This number is 1.9 percentage points worse than President Bush’s last full month in office in December 2008.

Unemployment Rate, Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Furthermore, the unemployment rate only accounts for the percentage of the unemployed who are actively seeking employment. It does not include people who have given up on finding employment.

Both the Bush and Obama presidencies have been marked by a steady decline in the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate measures the number of people in the labor force as a percentage of the total working-age population. The labor force participation rate dropped 0.1% in June after holding steady at 64.2% for the previous five consecutive months.

Labor Force Participation Rate, Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Therefore, the unemployment situation is even worse than it appears, because it does not account for people who have been forced to exit the labor market, because they can not find jobs.

Putting the Numbers into Perspective

President Bush’s overall record continues to look far better than President Obama’s to date. Over President Bush’s presidency, the private sector created a net 141,000 jobs. Surprisingly, this number includes the 3.78 million private sector jobs lost in 2008.

Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In contrast, under President Obama’s administration, the private sector has still lost a net 2.87 million private sector jobs. If I blame Bush and Clinton for the January 2009 and January 2001 numbers, respectively, the private sector would still have lost 2.03 million private sector jobs under the Obama administration.

Again, the point of this argument is not to assess blame on either administrations’ policy. It simply puts the numbers into perspective.

For every job that the private sector created under George W. Bush, the private sector eliminated ~20 jobs under Barack Obama. While the private sector job outlook has improved recently, the economy still must create 2.87 million private sector jobs to break even.

The country still has a long way to go to restoring full employment and the President is running out of time. According to The New York Times, no sitting President since Franklin Roosevelt has won re-election when unemployment was over 7.2% on election day.

And President Obama is no FDR.

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About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Conservative clean energy crusader, national security hawk, financial analyst, engineer, and former military officer.
This entry was posted in Business, Finance and Economics, Media, Policy, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Bush vs. Obama: Unemployment (June 2011 Jobs Data)

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    Bush’s final fiscal year ended on Sept. 30, 2009, which completely blows your argument out of the water.

    • My argument started with the first chart in the post, which was posted on a liberal website. I am merely using the same convention as that site going forward. It was a response to that specific argument. Therefore, someone on the left set the terms of the debate. I am merely keeping it consistent.

      Plus, Obama was President for 9 months during which time he passed a $700 billion stimulus. You think Bush deserves credit for that too?

      C’mon.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        The stimulus was a five year program and only added a small amount to the 2009 deficit. And something you right-wingers never consider: The stimulus had more in tax cuts (to appease a few Republicans) than in spending.

        • The data you posted on your site shows more spending than tax cuts. It looks like a 60/40 split (very rough math) to me.

          Am I missing anything?

        • Rick the Right-Winger says:

          Am I missing anything?
          Yes. The unemployment rate graph also represents Bens wife’s sex drive when I (or any Republican) walks into the room. We’re the blue.

        • Ben Hoffman says:

          You’re including non-discretionary spending.

        • Rick the Right-Winger says:

          “Rick you should read this post”. – lame attempt to try and get traffic over to your site ben. It was a stupid post then and a stupid post now. Read the comment I put below it anyways – Its still true.

          Besides, everyone here knows its only a matter of time before you start spewing your usual crap which always happens once you realize how outmatched you are in a room. (Maybe your letting the crap on your site fertilize a while?) Either way, c’mon Ben, tell us how you think our soldiers are un-American or how you believe Republicans want to destroy this country just like you say over and over again on your own self-glorifying site (think you could put your name in even bigger font, Ben?)

          Your comments are the equivalent of a mental choke boner and I can’t wait for these guys to run intellectual circles around you. Grab your lotion in one hand and your Krugman talking points in the other like you usually do and lets see what you’ve got for these boys that’ll resemble something original for once. Bring it on, Choke Boner!

        • Ben Hoffman says:

          Looks like Rick got his panties in a wad. 🙂

        • Rick the Right-Winger says:

          “Looks like Rick got his panties in a wad.”

          WOW! Snappy comeback Ben, and from what I can tell, typical of your type of response, too (i.e. to TURTLE)
          How about commenting on your regular “Republicans hate America” discourse that I called you out on? Or how about restating your belief here that there’s a “Republican Quest to Destroy America”, or that you believe Christians commit “Terrorism w/ Rape and Abuse”? Let’s see who’s really wearing the panties, here, Benny boy, instead of you coming in here dodging the questions and pretending to be what you’re not.

      • Mark Smith says:

        Don’t you find it at all disturbing that your comments are not very popular? Maybe that’s because people are tired of people like you supporting a party that supports the rich and cares less about them. Did you ever think about that? Toss away all your fancy numbers for a second and ask yourself why a republican controlled congress would stand up and say NO to NEEDED tax cuts for the middle class, but continue to get the upper class their tax cuts. Respond to THAT for once and stop trying to think you are much smarter than everyone else because you can copy a paste a few graphs. I’ll put my 1600 SAT score up against you any day, not because of my SAT score, but becuase I obviously was gifted with COMMON SENSE and the ability to care for my fellow man, two traits you lack completely.

        • “Don’t you find it at all disturbing that your comments are not very popular?”

          I didn’t realize I was competing in a popularity contest.

          “I’ll put my 1600 SAT score up against you any day”

          What? Do you want a cookie? Or perhaps a big shiny gold star?

          One’s credentials mean nothing here, only the strength of one’s argument. Based on all of your sweeping generalizations, blanket assertions, and ad hominem, I would say that you are not doing that 1600 much justice.

        • In my experience the higher the IQ the less common sence that person has…..Im sick of people playing the blame game and then lying about making america a better country. If your worried about the needy try worrying about people like my step dad, he worked at the VA hostpitol for almost 40 yrs and spread the wealth comes along 2 months after he retired and guess who Uncle Sam took $40,000 from? He now works a $7 and hour job when he should be enjoying the fruits of his labor! Think about the destruction thats been wrought on the citizens of this great nation. You Sir are arrogant and self centered!

      • FDR says:

        And if a Republican president came into power in 2008, they wouldn’t have passed a multi-billion dollar stimulus? Anyone remember the dire straits we were in? I guess most right wingers have never bothered to study up on how the US recovered from the Great Depression.

        • Well Bush passed TARP and a quarter trillion dollar-ish stimulus, so my guess is that a Republican president would have passed a second stimulus as well. I’ve never personally argued here that that was a bad move. Where Obama went wrong was passing Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. The former decelerated hiring because of the increased uncertainty of hiring new employees. The latter inadvertently forces banks to hoard cash rather than loaning it out to businesses and consumers. Both slowed the recovery at a time when Obama should have been moving heaven and earth to get the economy moving.

          And FDR’s make work policies and lingering disasters like social security didn’t turn the Great Depression around. World War II and the growth opportunities associated with the destruction of Europe and Japan did.

          • James Smith says:

            The Republican president Herbert Hoover’s four years in office caused the unemployment rate to reach 24.9% by 1932. Unemployment then fell dramatically in FDR’s first term, from 25% when he first took office to 14.3% in 1937. Can you see how the Democrats have to come in and save the day. All the Republicans know how to do is get us in these big messes that Democrats have to clean up after they are done in office.

            • You do know that when Obama took over, unemployment was 7.8%. Now it’s 8.3% over 3.5 years later. I don’t think you should be comparing him to FDR. The stats simply don’t support your case.

              • James Smith says:

                This clearly points out which president does a better job with the economy. Obviously, you can do whatever you want to defend your Republicans but simple statistics paint the real truth. President Obama is fixing the economy because the unemployment rate was 3.9% when President Bush took office in January of 2001. President Bush then left President Obama with 7.8% unemployment rate when he left office for which the unemployment rate continued to climb until President Obama could fix it. The unemployment rate continuted to climb up to 10% in November of 2009 after about one year President Obama could get a stimulus passed for which it has been steadily going back down to where it is now at 8.3%.

                If President Obama gets another four years you will see the unemployment rate even continue to go down to where the Democrats left it with President Bush when he first took office. Moreover, if the Republicans would have worked with President Obama by passing his jobs bill to get Americans back to work, by not filibustering every bill the Democrats brought to congress, and by not trying to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act over 30 times in the House of Representatives, more people would be back to work. Just remember what your good friend Mitch McConnell said right after President Obama got elected. The first thing we have to work on is making President Obama a one-term president. We do not care about the housing crisis, the wars that President Bush got us into, or that the economy is going into a depression, all we care about is to fight the Democrats every step of the way to make sure President Obama fails.

                Now the Republicans got what they hoped for and can say, “Are we better off than we were four years ago?” The answer still is YES, we got President Bush and the destructive policies of the GOP out of the way. Now watch us improve the economy!!! And by the way, we live in less fear after Osama Bin Ladin is dead and General Motors is out of bankruptcy and again is the largest automobile producer in the world. I am glad that Governor Mitt Romney was not in there. He would have let General Motors go bankrupt which have made the unemployment rate even worse.

              • James Smith says:

                Thanks to the Republicans they have fought the Democrats every step of the way to impede progress. The unemployment rate is still going down to where it was at the height of the boom.

          • James Smith says:

            So if a Republican President left office with the highest unemployment rate of 24.9 % to a Democratic President which then started lowering it right away right after he got into office, then I guess you can say that both of them share the highest unemployment rate in history right? And, by the way, can I ask you where you get your statistics for presidential unemployment rates?

          • James Smith says:

            The Dodd Frank Act was needed to prevent another housing crisis in the future. For example, four years ago I bought a house for $326,000 with an interest only loan. My payment and interest was out the roof. My interest was about 12% on my first loan, and on my second it was higher, and my payment on my interest-free loan was $2,631.00 a month for a $1,700.00 sq. ft. house. Four years later my wife and I purchased a 2,200 sq. ft. four bedroom house with a pool, Jacuzzi, barbeque pit, three car garage, and a loft for $184,000 without having to take a second loan out on the house. Now our payment which includes taxes and insurance is only $1,200.00 a month at a 4.25 % fixed interest rate. That cuts $142,000 off the cost of our loan for a much better and bigger house with a lot lower interest rate which saves us $1,430.00 a month in house payments every month. Well, if Dodd Frank did not work for the rich I am sorry but it sure worked out very well for us. I am truly sorry if not everyone could not take advantage of the Dodd Frank Act. Just remember, deregulation caused the housing bubble to burst in the first place. The banks were being greedy putting people in homes they could not afford just banking on the fact that they will lose them and they will make out no matter what. For example, they could put people in homes that were cheaper so that they could afford them. They were giving out interest-only loans and going with stated income which they no longer can do just to give them a bigger house and make more off the interest. Moreover, they cannot gouge the homeowners with huge interest only loan rates that do not have anything going towards the principle. All I can say is good luck defending this one!

            • James,

              You getting a lower interest rate had nothing to do with Dodd Frank. You likely got a lower interest rate in spite of the bill. However, all that additional paperwork you had to sign promising your first born son – that was Dodd Frank.

              Interest rates are low because the Federal Reserve is keeping them that way for the time being.

              “The banks were being greedy putting people in homes they could not afford just banking on the fact that they will lose them and they will make out no matter what. For example, they could put people in homes that were cheaper so that they could afford them. They were giving out interest-only loans and going with stated income which they no longer can do just to give them a bigger house and make more off the interest. Moreover, they cannot gouge the homeowners with huge interest only loan rates that do not have anything going towards the principle. All I can say is good luck defending this one!”

              James, you can still get interest-only loans today. Moreover, the people who signed loan agreements with interest-only terms or ARMs are also responsible for making poor financial decisions. No one put a gun to their heads. I didn’t buy a house until three years ago, because housing prices were crazy. After the financial crisis, prices came down and I bought what I thought was reasonable for a 30-year fixed mortgage.

              • James Smith says:

                Well, first of all, I agree that Dodd Frank probably did not give me my low fixed interest rate of 4.25%. I do know that it is put in place to protect the consumers to make sure that we do not go through another housing bubble crisis like this again. Second, whatever happened during President Bush’s years that led us to our failing economy and housing crisis? Now it seems that President Obama is in office and I am far better off than I was four years ago. How come the banks did not offer me a fixed interest rate the first time I bought a house? It was probably because I got taken advantage of by the greedy banks because it was my first time buying a house and I did not understand their dirty tricks. Do you think that people that have to sign their signature a thousand times should have to hire a lawyer to not be taken advantage of when buying a house? Why is it the second time after my bankruptcy and foreclosure that the banks come to their senses and did not offer me an interest only loan right off the bat and only offered me a fixed interest rate of 4.25% for 30 years? I did not have to ask them they automatically did it for me. How come the second time three years after my bankruptcy and foreclosure I was trying to buy a house that cost $127,000 and the bank denied us for credit reasons but when I reapplied to a different mortgage for another house a month later they approved us even though the new house cost $184,000 which is $57,000 more? That seems pretty retarded to me as if our credit score just magically improved over night to make us eligible for a more expensive house. Anyways, I am glad they did not approve us because we got a way better deal on a much nicer and bigger house the second time around.

                • James,

                  With all due respect, stop being a victim. It’s not the bank’s fault they didn’t offer you a fixed interest loan; it’s your fault. Why didn’t you ask for a fixed interest loan? I did.

                  Many liberals don’t take responsibility for their actions. The credit crisis has plenty of blame to go around, from a Republican White House to a Democratic Congress to greedy bankers to greedy consumers. Everyone had a hand in this mess.

                  • James Smith says:

                    I agree that it is everyone’s responsibility about the housing crisis. I should have asked for a fixed rate mortgage up front but I was under the impression that my credit was lousy and I was going to refinance again after a year or so when I improved my credit score. Unfortunately, the economy and housing crisis took a dump which made it impossible to refinance or walk away from our house. At the time I was happy to have the mortgage because once you own a home it is a lot easier to refinance your house to a lower mortgage rate. I was naive so definitely I am taking the blame for that as well. I was just worried that if I did not jump right away into buying a house I would soon be paying over $500,000 for a house like the people in California. I was afraid to buy a house when they hit $100,000 many years ago. I got scared when the housing boom took off and the houses were becoming more and more unaffordable and jumped into buying a small house even though they were all over $300,000 at the time.

              • James Smith says:

                Well, first of all, I agree that Dodd Frank probably did not give me my low interest rate of 4.25%. I do know that it is put in place to protect the consumers to make sure that we do not go through another housing bubble crisis like this again. Second, whatever happened during President Bush’s years that led us to our failing economy and housing crisis? Now it seems that President Obama is in office and I am far better off than I was four years ago. How come the banks did not offer me a fixed interest rate the first time I bought a house? It was probably because I got taken advantage of by the greedy banks because it was my first time buying a house and I did not understand their dirty tricks. Do you think that people that have to sign their signature a thousand times should have to hire a lawyer to not be taken advantage of when buying a house? Why is it the second time after my bankruptcy and foreclosure that the banks come to their senses and did not offer me an interest only loan right off the bat and only offered me a fixed interest rate of 4.25% for 30 years? I did not have to ask them they automatically did it for me. How come the second time three years after my bankruptcy and foreclosure I was trying to buy a house that cost $127,000 and the bank denied us for credit reasons but when I reapplied to a different mortgage for another house a month later they approved us even though the new house cost $184,000 which is $57,000 more? That seems pretty retarded to me as if our credit score just magically improved over night to make us eligible for a more expensive house. Anyways, I am glad they did not approve us because we got a way better deal on a much nicer and bigger house the second time around.

          • James Smith says:

            Do you ever think about all the people that are working part-time because their employers do not want to provide healthcare to its employees? Healthcare reform is necessary because we all are in this together. Do you believe that winner takes all or are we all in this together? People without healthcare coverage hurts us all because they ones that do have healthcare coverage pay higher rates for the ones that use it and decide not to pay their hospital bills. I took my son in because he was vomiting and had diarrhea. We did have insurance but our copay is more than $1,000.00 for which we are making payments on at $50.00 a month. We are paying this because others do not want to pay their fair share to help lower my costs.

            • “Do you ever think about all the people that are working part-time because their employers do not want to provide healthcare to its employees?”

              Talk to any restaurant owner and they will tell you that the only way to save costs (because of healthcare) will be to higher fewer full time workers and rely more on part-time workers so the restaurants would have to provide expensive healthcare policies. The market always responds to hamfisted policies. Unfortunately, the way the market will respond will make the average American worse off. Policies have consequences.

              “We are paying this because others do not want to pay their fair share to help lower my costs.”

              Why is it my responsibility to lower your costs?

              • James Smith says:

                You ask why it should be my responsibility to pay for your healthcare costs. I do not want you to cover my healthcare costs; rather, what I do want is for you to pay your fair share so that my healthcare costs do not include your costs as well. Everyone needs to pay. If you drive, the states force you to buy automobile insurance. If you live, you should be required to pay healthcare coverage. People say you are not forced to buy car insurance if you do not want to. That is true, you can decide to not drive and take the bus and the states cannot force you to buy automobile insurance. Well, that can be true with health insurance, you can just decide to die and not get sick and therefore you do not have to buy healthcare coverage. The Heritage Foundation said, “If someone chooses not to buy healthcare coverage and has a heart attack while out on the streets, should we let him just lay there and die because he decided not to buy healthcare coverage? No we won’t, but everyone else will pick up his tab for him.” Is that what you want, is for everyone else to pick up their tab because they choose not to be responsible and pay for their own share of healthcare costs? Governor Romney didn’t think so in Massachusetts. I believe healthcare premiums should be divided 50/50 between the employer and the employee but everyone should chip in. Obama care has refunds that bring this cost down for small businesses so they will not have to pay the full price anyways. This would help to lower my rates so that I do not have to pay over $1,000 for my copay just to take my child in to see the doctor. What about a kid born with heart problems? The insurance company says, “Sorry your child has met their lifetime capped limit and you are out of luck. Do you think they have our backs? They have told us with our first child, “Sorry, your wife became pregnant a month before your insurance kicked in, therefore, we do not cover preexisting conditions.” WHAT A SHOCKER!!!

                • To be fair, the individual mandate is the only thing I like about the bill for many of the reasons you mentioned as well as it will lower some costs. What I hate about the bill is more government involvement and a penalty that will encourage many employers to drop healthcare forcing many Americans to use government exchanges. I also hate the $1.6B price tag.

                  • James Smith says:

                    Obama Care is copying Singapore’s health care system which is the most efficient in the world right now. Take a look at this website and you will see what I mean. http://healthmatters4.blogspot.com/2011/01/which-country-has-most-efficient-health.html
                    We currently rank the lowest in health care efficiencies out of 25 countries in the study right now. You should be happy that we are headed in the right direction by changing our health care system towards the country that is doing it the most efficiently. That is one thing I like about President Obama. He looks at which country is doing things the most efficiently and he replicates it. I just hate how when he does everything the Republicans first started doing and then they want to impeach him for it such as the individual mandate that copies Romney Care and taking the same money out of Medicare just like Paul Ryan’s voucher program. Like President Clinton said in the Democratic National Convention, “It takes a lot of brass for Paul Ryan to criticize President Obama for taking the same exact money out of Medicare to the penny that Paul Ryan proposes to do. Besides, the Congressional Budget Office which is bipartisan says that it will increase the cost of health care by $2,000.00 for every citizen after the Republicans turn Medicare into a voucher system.

  2. Rick the Right-Winger says:

    If anyone’s wondering why Ben isn’t firing the big ammo right now, it’s because he’s frantically digging through his Paul Krugman archives for a retort to pass off as his own.

  3. Alan Scott says:

    Sean ,

    It is not entirely fair to compare one President to another because the conditions each faced are not identical . But since life is not fair, we have to do it anyway . Obama came into office with an economy going down from the banking collapse and high oil prices, and later the BP disaster . Bush had the dot com bubble burst, 911, and Katrina . Both had Pelosi and Reid, which I consider almost up there with the rest of the disasters .

    I no longer have the exact figures before me, but as of May using monthly unemployment figures Obama averaged in the low 9%s . Using annual unemployment rates Bush averaged in the low 5%s . I calculated a 4% difference in average unemployment . I did not do as Hoffman did , give credit or blame for the first year to the previous President . Even though that year’s budget was the previous President’s one, each current President made enough decisions to take responsibility .

    Again you can argue all kinds of stuff, but using the same measuring stick except for the fact that President Obama has had a much shorter time frame than Bush , so I used monthly stats for Obama and yearly ones for Bush , clearly Obama will have to have impossibly low unemployment rates in the future to come close to Bush over the next 1 and a half, or 5 and a half years .

    If unemployment had magically gone down in Obama’s first year, his supporters would have given him credit . Kinda like how Clinton took credit as things improved during his first year . After 2 and half years President Obama has to take credit for averaging over 9% unemployment .

    • Alan,

      I completely agree with you.

      • Mark Smith says:

        And you woul completely be wrong. Anyone with average intelligence can look at the rate unemployment was going up and see that Obama’s simulus package helped to stop the increase. Now it has to come down, but it isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. It never would have gotten to where it was had it not been for GW’s failed policies, so you don’t just put a two year time limit on it and state that Obama should have fixed it by now. Considering that republican lead Congress is doing everything literally within their power to ensure that unemployment stays where it is NOW so they do have a chance to beat him in the next election, that doesn’t say much about your republicants in office. The American people know better and that’s why Obama will win the next election. Maybe your comrades will think about that before making issues out of simple things like tax cuts for the middle class when giving welfare to the rich didn’t take an “act of Congress”.

    • Mark Smith says:

      You say that Bush had 911 to effect his presidency, but he attributed GREATLY to his own issue the way he handled it. He used it as an opportunity to use the emotions of the American people, lied about WMDs and invaded a country that had nothing to do with 911 so he could make the money he made via Haliburton and other private industry which were NOT NEEDED AT ALL….since over a trillion dollars was spent on Haliburton alone, a company that got the job without having to even vie for it by the way…and considering the vice-president once RAN Haliburton and GW had ties to it as well, THAT should have not been acceptable. So look at all that money wasted unnecessarily and you tell me why we spent so much money under GW? His buddies made off like bandits!

      • Are you seriously making the argument the Bush spent a trillion dollars on Haliburton alone? Just for laughs, can you post your source? Since entire industries don’t make that amount of money in a single year (for instance the entire semiconductor industry is $300 billion).

    • James Smith says:

      Yes, thanks to doubling down on trickle-down economics that allowed President Bush to destroy the economy. What do we do with this extra surplus money that is left over that President Clinton left us with? Let us increase spending and give it away with Bush’s tax cuts instead of paying down our National Debt. Let us spend it on wars over oil to help keep gas prices low. Let us bomb every country that says they have a chemical weapon and spend billions rebuilding their country for them. Moreover, Republicans reunite and make sure our first priority is to make sure President Obama remains a one-term president rather than worrying about the high unemployment, housing crisis, and economic depression that President Bush left the next president to worry about. That way we can regain the presidency and go back to policies that give tax breaks to the rich and go back to deregulation in order to take care of us rich folks on the backs of the middle class!!! The unemployment level has constantly increased while President Bush was in office for eight years. It is going to take President Obama more time to fix this countries mess thanks to all the opposition of the GOP!!!

      • James,

        The unemployment rate did not “constantly” increase under Bush. Just look at the chart. President Bush didn’t “destroy” the economy either. It’s more complicated than that. Again, everyone had a hand in the mess. It is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

        • James Smith says:

          The reason I say that President Bush destroyed the economy is because he was left with the biggest surplus in history left by President Clinton and rather than paying down the deficit they decided to give out Bush’s tax cuts especially to the super rich. Moreover, he doubled the national debt while in office before giving it to President Obama. Even the Republican presidents quadrupled the national debt before giving it to President Clinton. Now President Obama wants for the super-rich to go back to paying the same tax rate as under President Clinton. Sure, President Obama has spent his fair share of stimulus money also but it is also for good reasons. The high unemployment levels, automakers going into bankruptcy, housing bubble burst, and the second worst economy in history forced him to do it. Most of the money was well spent on green jobs which eliminate our carbon footprint to prevent future disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Isaac. Moreover, the Obama Administration started forcing the automakers to start selling their battery powered cars in order to get the stimulus money which does us all good. One day I hope to be energy independent and have solar panels on the roof of my house making my power bill go away while also charging my electric vehicle I can charge for free. Another reason his stimulus is a great way for us to spend money is because it lowered our fossil fuels imports from the Middle East from 60% to 40%. We are on our way to energy independence. My opinion is that Republicans only want for people to pay fewer taxes and let the Democrats worry about our national debt. The Republicans are proposing spending two billion more on our military even though they are not asking for additional money. I assume it is because they are war mongers hoping to dictate to the world that we have the strongest military so one day we can force our values onto the rest of the world. It is important that we fight the Taliban because of 911. But why are we going to war with every country because they want to rid them of nuclear missiles and spend billions of our own money rebuilding them? They would be afraid to use their nuclear missiles because every other country would come in and annihilate them off the face of the earth. That is what happened to Japan when they tried getting us involved in the World Wars.

  4. Alan Scott says:

    Sean,

    I have now located my original figures . Taking annual unemployment numbers President Bush averaged 5.3% . Using monthly unemployment figures President Obama averaged 9.3 % . Taking into account that my numbers could be off a little, a 4% differential is still huge .

    I expect President Obama’s voters to cite every statistic but those above . Actually , I was just rereading the previous posts and something struck me as distressingly funny .

    ” The stimulus was a five year program and only added a small amount to the 2009 deficit. ”

    Didn’t the Central Planners in the old USSR advance their economic disasters in 5 year plans ?

    • “Didn’t the Central Planners in the old USSR advance their economic disasters in 5 year plans ?”

      Yes. These plans were remarkably effective at increasing pig iron production, but also resulted in massive bread lines. 😉

    • Mark Smith says:

      GW inherited 3.9% unemployment. You have no point. Look where he LEFT IT. The only reason his employment numbers went up at all were jobs produced by his illegal war and you want to give him credit for that? But once that was done, then where was he…when he left, anybody can see that graph going STRAIGHT UP and it continued when Obama took over until Obama finally stopped it…it was like stopping a massive leak. Then Obama had to fix the leak. When will you geniuses get that trickle down economics will NEVER WORK?

      • Illegal war? What are you spineless? He responded to ATTACKS on America! Also our troops had everything our country could provide to keep them safe! what other military has body armor?

        • Anjetto says:

          I’m going to regret jumping in on this but, ALL western nation’s military have body armour. Most of it is broadly the same when it comes to performance and weight. Shit, even Japan’s military has body armour and they’re not technically allowed to leave their own country. That’s a very bad point to make. A better point to make would be your military’s kick ass tanks and satillite intigrated communications and survelliance grid, that works head and shoulders better than what a lot of other nations have.

          You could probably argue Afghanistan as a proper (If incredibly unwise) target for retribution, but Iraq was something that we Europeans thought was completely random. Well, not random, there are a lot of factors that lead up to that and almost none of them were honest. All of their reports of WMD’s came from one person who admits he was ‘pressured’ into saying those things. When Americans say that we knew the had WMDs they weren’t listening to other people. Both France and England have gone on record as saying that Iraq had disarmed when they said they had. Their military intelligence even advised against invasion. British news sources regularly stated that it was a foolish and costly war to consider. The exact opposite of American news stations.s

          America going to war is inevitable, Ike warned of the ‘Military-industrial complex’ and it’s come true in my opinion.

  5. Scott Erb says:

    Sorry to disappear for a week – out vacationing in New Hampshire (thought I’d have time to blog, but I was wrong). Anyway, you know that I don’t see this as relating to either Bush or Obama. Starting in 1981 the US began to increase debt, start a growing current account deficit, and we have thirty years of living beyond our means to make up for.

    President Reagan (whose administration started the borrow and spend debt spiral — albeit they were in cahoots with the Democrats, so you can’t blame Reagan alone), is the last President since FDR to win with an unemployment rate above 7.2%. Reagan’s first three years also saw dismal economic numbers, in that he can be compared to Obama. Obama does not have the luxury Reagan had of being able to dramatically increase debt — that won’t work this time. Reagan probably would have won re-election even if unemployment was at 8% or so, so i don’t think the 7.2% number is magic. Debt to GDP went from about 30% in 1980 to 60% by 1990. That was a debt binge. Private debt binged as well. Now we have to learn to live beyond our means again. I think we’ve got a few more years of economic rebalancing before we start to see better numbers. I hope not, but…an even worse case scenario looks at all the debt accrued by industrialized states since the early eighties and imagines a default spiral. That would be ugly.

    • I agree that unemployment has complex causes that you cannot ascribe to one person alone. That said, I like to post this each month, just to keep a running tab of the situation. People on both sides seem to respond well to it.

      I hope you are enjoying New Hampshire. It is a beautiful state. I’ve spent several weekends there in the past ten years.

  6. Alan Scott says:

    Hi Scott ,

    I have a lot of disputes with what you just posted in your comparison of Reagan and Obama . First off President Obama ‘ has ‘ dramatically increased the public debt . The difference between him and President Reagan is that Reagan seems to have gotten something for it . The other ‘ biggie ‘ you left out was inflation . Inflation when Reagan came in was a bigger problem than unemployment . For some reason, everyone who seeks to defend President Obama by comparing him to Ronald Reagan, always, always, leaves that little fact out of their analysis .

    It’s true that if you wish to only compare the unemployment rates of Obama and Reagan, then President Obama is doing far better at this point in his term. For a comparison I give you :

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt

    1983 is comparable to 2011. Again at this point in time Reagan had 10 straight months well over 10 % . Obama is at 9.2 % for June .

    Now if you look at where both Reagan and Obama are or were at this point in regards to inflation , Obama is also doing about the same as Reagan , so you could make the point that even on this Obama is doing good . Then again statistics do lie . Inflation was not near the disaster going into the Obama years that it was going into Reagan’s first term .

    http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/

    • Scott Erb says:

      Alan,

      My main point is that neither Obama nor Reagan really deserve blame or credit, the economy is beyond the control of the President. I stand by my claim that in the eighties the US made a disastrous choice to start running up high deficits, increase debt, and start an ever growing current account deficit that has made our economy vulnerable (China could undermine it if it wanted to). That’s left us in a position of severe imbalance that will take some pain to correct. Yes, Reagan got something for his increased deficits — but that’s because if you’re running a fairly sound budget, you can get away with high debt. I pay my credit card bills on time. If I needed to, I could run deficits for a few months and it wouldn’t harm my overall financial standing. The US has been increasing debt for 30 years, with the current account getting progressively worse until 2008. That leaves us in a position where more debt will do more harm than good (which obviously puts me at odds with people like Krugman who want more stimulus).

      Reagan’s “prosperity” was built on debt and lower oil prices. But Reagan isn’t to blame, the Democrats were involved too. For the last 30 years this has been a bipartisan effort at creating a true economic crisis which endangers our world standing. If the two parties stop pointing fingers and recognize that they made this together and they need to fix it together, we’ll maybe be able to give the next generation something to look forward to.

      • Mark Smith says:

        It is very simple…trickle down does not work. The economy has to involve spending the dollar. As much as you haters do not like that fact that people get welfare, nobody stops to think that every penny those people get they spend. It’s is like medicine for the economy. But people are so stuck on the fact that we give people money on welfare. The worse is that they make it sound like blacks are getting all this money. The fact is, there are more WHITE PEOPLE on food stamps than blacks. Regardless, at least that money gets SPENT into the economy somewhere….when the upper class gets welfare (as in the form of tax cuts), where does that money go? It certainly isn’t producing JOBS at all. It gets BANKED. That GREED is the essential reason trickle down economics will never work.

  7. CBenj says:

    For me, the point of the 1st graph is to illustrate how the trend of shedding jobs at 700,000/mo. reversed into positive territory (albeit not as fast as any of us would have liked). Another table I’ve seen puts unemployment at 7.3% at Pres. Bush’s departure from office, and at 9.2 now. But that one,like your second graph, fails to recognize the momentum with which the economy was falling until it bottomed out with unemployment at 10.3 % or so. We saw some job recovery back into the high 8%s before these last few discouraging months of slow job growth. I know it’s much more complicated than this, but it’s not fair not to recognize that we are still experiencing the residual effects of the initial downturn. As much as we all hated TARP, auto bailouts, stimulus, and QE2, at about the time they kick in we can see unemployment easing. In fact, I wonder if the recent backsliding in jobs indicates that the Administration wasn’t aggressive enough when it might have been in order to provide the momentum necessary to weather obstacles to recovery. It was, after all, the greatest economic shock of most of our lifetimes. The effects of decade unsound tax policy, a misguided (and off the books) war, and poorly regulated banks are going to take more than a couple of years to overcome.

    • CBenj,

      I agree that TARP and some stimulus were needed. I think we had something like a $1 trillion GDP hole. The problem, however, with Keynsian measures are that they are a crude tool. My are good at staving off disaster, but not so good at generating long-term sustainable growth.

      I think the problem is that both sides need to think of imaginative ways to create new jobs, but both Democrats and Republicans are stuck in their old ways. The Democrats wrongly think they can spend their way out of this, while Republicans wrongly think they can cut taxes and things will magically turn around. The problem is that this country has some long-term structural problems that it has to work through. The problem is neither party is really working through them.

      • Ben Hoffman says:

        The Democrats wrongly think they can spend their way out of this

        The stimulus was just that: a stimulus. It wasn’t a long term fix and the spending part of it did what it was supposed to do, which was create or save jobs. It also gave us infrastructure upgrades and investments in alternative fuel technologies.

        Republicans blocked bills that would have created long term growth. One was a bill that would have created a lending program for small businesses. Another was a bill that provided tax incentives to companies that brought jobs back to the U.S.

        Republicans want our economy to fail because they think they’ll benefit from it politically. They should be imprisoned for treason.

        • C’mon, Ben. You don’t really think Republicans want our country to fail economically, do you? What could they possibly hope to gain from an economic collapse?

          It’s just like arguing that Democrats wanted the United States to lose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it certainly felt that way for me, most Democrats likely thought what they were doing was in the country’s best interests.

          • Anjetto says:

            I’m not as cynical to believe that they’re actively trying to destroy the country I do think the right is partaking in some risky gamesmanship when it comes to re-election. The betterment of the people should be their primary goal and it doesn’t seem to be.

            Either way, if I were a conspiracy theroist I could argue that they *Do* want the country to fail because, as we saw in Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia in the 20’s and 30’s and Greece now extermists can very easily come to power during a crisis. If that was something they wanted I suppose they could do it… I don’t think that’s their goal, that’s a thing someone whose actively evil sets up, not something that happens because people dissagree or are misguided.

        • Mark Smith says:

          Sean Patrick Hazlett says: Monday, July 11, 2011 at 20:46
          C’mon, Ben. You don’t really think Republicans want our country to fail economically, do you?

          I’ll answer that. Yes, they do. Because when the economy is bad, employment becomes CHEAPER. They dont’ want it to fail altogther and we all know that won’t happen. But as long as it is limping around, yes, big business benefits every bit from it. They have complete control and labor becomes much cheaper as people feel lucky to get jobs no matter how less they are getting paid for it. This is how the anti-share-the-wealth theme works.

        • Yet Chrystler doesnt have to pay back its billions! Fiat 1 America 0

  8. Scott Erb says:

    A friend of mine (a professor of American Government) just posted this on facebook — I haven’t verified it, but she’s usually got her facts right: “In 2001, revenues were at 19.5 percent of gross domestic product and spending was at 18.6 percent of GDP. That was our surplus. In 2010, revenues were at 14.9 percent of GDP while spending was at 23.9 percent. That’s our deficit: Revenues are down and spending is up.”

  9. Alan Scott says:

    Scott,

    I look at it as the private economy verses the public economy . Reagan ran up deficits for two reasons . One was to rebuild the military after it’s post Vietnam decline . That build up was part of a larger strategy to bankrupt the USSR . I argue that it was very cost effective because ending the cold war saved hundreds of billions of dollars . The other reason was the Democratic Congress during Reagan could not restrain itself from it’s centuries old practice of buying votes using entitlement programs . Well it seems like centuries .

    Anyway Reagan did everything he could to grow the private sector. It was not just tax cuts. It was streamlining regulations . And that does not mean no regulation. Complying with thousands of pages of confusing, contradictory regulations is just as costly as taxes . That also hopefully means you have competent regulators. We obviously had incompetent ones overseeing Bernie Maddof, BP, and the mortgage industry . A growing private economy throws off a lot more tax revenue to support a parasitic public sector .

    Now look at our current chief executive . He constantly bashes businesses and corporations . And the ‘ rich ‘. Reagan did not do that .President Obama’s constant class warfare has created the climate of fear . Investors know they have a target on their back. This stupidity has frozen $ 2 trillion dollars of Private capital. If you unleash that capital, a real stimulus would occur . The other ideology Obama inherited from Carter is a love of bureaucracy . They both believe you can micromanage an economy with thousands of pages of rules . It failed horribly under Carter and it’s failing again under Carter 2.0 .

  10. Pingback: Carter vs. Obama: Unemployment | Reflections of a Rational Republican

  11. Pingback: Bush statistics | Aunoma

  12. Pingback: Reagan vs. Obama: Unemployment | Reflections of a Rational Republican

  13. Mark Knowlton says:

    The economy during the Bush Administration was distorted by a housing industry employing millions building homes for people who couldn’t afford them. The unemployment rate would have been considerably higher were it not for the fraud in both the mortgage industry and Wall Street. Comparing the smoke and mirrors economy of the Bush Administration with the historic financial catastrophe the Obama administration inherited is all fodder for political propaganda not a serious discussion that seeks solutions for our economic problems. The relentless campaign by the Bush Administration to enrich wealthy campaign donors through tax cuts and loopholes is a drag on our economy putting millions out of work due to lost revenues. This won’t be Obama’s economy until those tax cuts are gone.

    • “The economy during the Bush Administration was distorted by a housing industry employing millions building homes for people who couldn’t afford them. The unemployment rate would have been considerably higher were it not for the fraud in both the mortgage industry and Wall Street. Comparing the smoke and mirrors economy of the Bush Administration with the historic financial catastrophe the Obama administration inherited is all fodder for political propaganda not a serious discussion that seeks solutions for our economic problems.”

      I’ve heard a lot of excuses for Obama’s economic underperformance for the past three years, but this rationalization is by far the imaginative narrative I’ve ever seen. I could use the same argument for Clinton — Clinton’s economic record was all smoke and mirrors. If entrepreneurs didn’t invent the Internet, millions of jobs wouldn’t have been created and the unemployment rate under Clinton would have been considerably higher. Of course, I won’t make this argument, because it requires proving a counterfactual — which is impossible.

      “This won’t be Obama’s economy until those tax cuts are gone.”

      How will removing those tax cuts decrease unemployment? I fail to see the connection. As far as I know, increasing taxation reduces economic output because people have fewer dollars to spend on consumption. That is the Democratic argument for extending the payroll tax deduction (which I competely agree with), right? What am I missing here?

      • Mark Smith says:

        Clearly you are comparing apples to oranges if you want to compare Clinton to any of your republican presidents. Clinton did not spend a fraction against the debt ceiling that Reagan, Bush and GW Bush all spent. In fact, GW spent more during his presidency than ALL OTHER PRESIDENTS COMBINED and still left us in a shabby economy. What do you not get? Trickle down does NOT WORK. DO you not understand the basics to a working economy? The dollars HAS TO GET SPENT. That does NOT HAPPEN with high gas prices and the rich continuing to pick the pockets of the middle and lower class. When there is no money being spent, the economy crashes. These are basic essentials to a working economy. Whent he upper class takes control, that money gets banked and thus they control everything…they control the economy. The dollar is NOT getting spent. As they produce, there is no TRICKLE DOWN becuase the key factor in TRICKLE DOWN is that those who work for them get paid and they then spend that money. That’s not happening because those who work for the greedy rich do NOT LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY. Thus your key factor in a trickle down economy is gone. For someone who used to be an officer in the armed forces, that only tells me you are a sheep who continues to push for idealizations that do not work for anyone but the rich who teach you. That’s unfortunate. There used to be a time in this country when our leaders cared about the PEOPLE of this country and not money. That time came long before republicanism became popular.

        • Do you actually believe the rich are “picking the pockets of the middle class.” Really? What’s your argument? Make blanket assertions all you want, but until you make a strong argument, all I am hearing from you are the standard liberal talking points that the liberal elite use to control their “sheep.”

        • Mark Smith says:

          The rich are absolutely picking the pockets of the poor and middle classes…they picked the poor pockets so much that there is nothing there to pick anymore. The middle class is fading away. You want to sit there and argue that that one of the issues we have in our economy are rules being placed upon the rich to prevent them from doing this or that? You fail to mention how many rules prevent people in a lower class from starting up businesses that could compete with other businesses but they are unable to do so because the upper class gets laws passed all the time to prevent it. Try opening a BAR somewhere if you don’t have the money. The liquor license ALONE will cost you more than a year’s rent for the location you want your bar. Why? Are you telling me that the cost for a liquor license establishes whether or not I can run a bar any better than you can? Try opening a restaurant. By the time you have to pay for all the licenses and inspections, you can’t afford it. So do you honestly think that the people in a lower class has the opportunity someone born into money has? NO. You can sit there all you want and talk about equal opportunity. It doesn’t exist. The rich control gas prices. Stock markets are manipulated illegally all the time. Yes, the people with money control all aspects of life they can to prevent someone else from competing and they do so by getting into the lives of policiticans and funding them money on EVERY LEVEL. Don’t sit there and act as if it doesn’t happen. So many laws that are passed are there to keep the poor from succeeding in life…now the rich have found a away to get around hiring them even at fair wages. Who in their right mind thinks someone’s TIP should be part of their WAGE? That shoudl have NOTHING to do with a business owner. But waitresses are paid well below minimum wage. The continued use of money to create laws that make it tougher and tougher every day for anyone without a set amount of money to succeed in this country isn’t part of what I was taught that this country was all about. People like you who turn a blind eye to it and ask for examples like the specifics you just got will only turn your faces and think up another excuse, but it happens EVERY DAY.

          • “You fail to mention how many rules prevent people in a lower class from starting up businesses that could compete with other businesses but they are unable to do so because the upper class gets laws passed all the time to prevent it.”

            This is called regulation, and it is more often championed by the Democratic Party than it is by Republicans.

            “Try opening a BAR somewhere if you don’t have the money. The liquor license ALONE will cost you more than a year’s rent for the location you want your bar. Why? Are you telling me that the cost for a liquor license establishes whether or not I can run a bar any better than you can? Try opening a restaurant. By the time you have to pay for all the licenses and inspections, you can’t afford it. So do you honestly think that the people in a lower class has the opportunity someone born into money has? NO. You can sit there all you want and talk about equal opportunity. It doesn’t exist.”

            Again, these laws exist to raise revenue by tax-loving liberals.

            “The rich control gas prices. Stock markets are manipulated illegally all the time.”

            These arguments seem to be approaching “tin-foil hat” level. Please tell me how the rich control gas prices. By what precise mechanism does it work? You cannot explain it, but it is not true. Gas prices are determined by the laws of supply and demand.

      • Mark Smith says:

        Do you not honestly see how removing those tax cuts might actually produce jobs? I thought you were this intelligent former officer of the army? The large amount of money being given to the rich that is not getting spent can be used to create jobs elsewhere since they are obviously not jusing it for that very reason which is how they got voted in the first place. That tax money can be used by our government to produce jobs. The big business isn’t doing it.

        • “That tax money can be used by our government to produce jobs.”

          Are you seriously making this argument with a straight face? Jobs to do what? Paint rocks. The Soviet Union tried implement your advice, and failed miserably. Centrally planned economies don’t work for long.

  14. Mark Smith says:

    Anyone who has a basic knowledge of algebra can look at the graph of unemployment that you see above and tell that Bush’s failed presidency left such a high increase in unemployment for Obama to have to come into office and fix that you can NOT put that blame on Obama. Obama’s policy stopped a rate that was OUT OF CONTROL that could have easily been much higher. How can you even think Obama should SHARE responsiblity for a rate that clearly started during GW’s time as president. His failed polices killed this economy and killed employment, period. You can’t judge the person who comes into fix it expecially when Congress continues to do everything possible to disallow him the tools for which he needs to do so. You can whitewash this informatioon any way you want, but facts are facts. A TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMY has never worked and will never work. You can NOT continue to cut taxes in the top and give them welfare and expect it to magically “trickle down”. There is too much greed for that and it only creates the serfdom you are clearly seeing in our economy while it continues to destroy the middle class. All your fancy and delusional incorrect interpretations of these numbers will never change that.

    • Mark,
      I fail to see your point. You are making plenty of assertions yet don’t bother to back any of them up with actual evidence. Nor do your assertions match the actual data. The fact is that when Obama took office, the unemployment rate was at 7.8%. Today it is 8.5%. By any objective standard, that number is worse than it was when he started. Anyone with a basic knowledge of Algebra knows that. Did Obama inherit a terrible economy? Yes. Have his policies stopped the hemorrhaging? Yes the stimulus helped, but more recent policies like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank have either ignored the fundamental problem of lack of economic growth, or made things worse.

      It’s time to be objective and stop blaming everything on the last guy, especially when we are three years into this administration. The left’s dissembling rationalizations for Mr. Obama’s lack of economic performance are frankly getting old. Even by Obama’s own standard, he has failed.

      • Mark Smith says:

        You fail to see any points because you do not WANT to see any points. Cleary you are not near as intelligent and you think you are. If you can not look at a graph and see the rate of increase and then see that rate of increase in unemployment STOP, then clearly you don’t WANT to see it…it is there. A ten year old can recognize it army boy.

        • Are you sure you aren’t a twelve-year-old boy?

          I never argued that the second derivative did not increase with the advent of the stimulus. You did. I agreed that the stimulus had to be done. My contention is that the President could have done more rather than wasting all his political capital on Obamacare. Dodd-Frank legislation also did not help. You, yourself seem to be bemoaning all the regulation involved in starting a liquor store. That, my friend, is no plot by the rich to keep a man down. It is regulation sponsored by Democrats to raise revenue, which has the unintended consequence of keeping the man down. Rather than blinding spouting off liberal talking points, you might want to further education yourself about many of these issues.

      • Mark Smith says:

        What don’t you get about a rate going up? That’s right, he took office it was at 7.8% and headed UP at a very high angle of increase. Did you ever try to stop anything in motion? It doesn’t just stop. There’s a REASON it was in motion. That rate of increase of unemployment certanily had everything to do with housing market stop and all those created jobs when the banks knowingly gave all those people money they knew coudln’t get paid back…and the banks ddn’t lose anything. GW hooked them up didn’t he? But the jobs were no longer there were they? So Obama was supposed to create jobs left by GW? He was supposed to pay for his illegal war? These aren’t assertions army boy..These are facts.. You can’t just push them away with fancy talk. That’s why nobody buys into your BS all over this thread. I dont’ see anyone agreeing with you. You don’t have to be a genius to see that trickle down economics does not work.

      • Mark Smith says:

        So I guess you have to b ea little smarter and know something about RATES right? Accelraton maybe? Do you want to argue that the RATE of unemployment changed? Please, lets go there! Where was the RATE of unemployment when Obama took office. Since it is headed DOWN now, certainly he changed the RATE left to him by GW. Anyonw with simple algebraic skills understands RATES too…apparently you do not.

      • Mark Smith says:

        Do you not have any basic knowledge of RATES? Do you know when something takes off and increases from point A to point B, the change in a given range of time is known as its RATE of CHANGE. Look at the RATE it was increasing…if not for Obama, had it stayed at that rate, it may have hit 20%…maybe hire. If Obama had not intervened, unemployment easily could have gone up over 20%. It was headed in THAT direction. THAT rate of change in unemployment was left to us by GW Bush…thank goodness Obama came in when he did or we’d have seen 20% PLLUS unemployment. His stimulus package clearly stopped that upwards rate and your little graph shows that. It then started coming down…to sit there and say “where was it at the poit he came into office” is absurd…clearly if you see where the rate finally STOPPED…all of that is on GW. That upwards rate of unemployment belongs to HIM. No president come in and stops the reactions of another in 6 months….those are all results of GW’s failed policies. But the fact that someone like yourself can jump on here and errantly point out that Obama is responsible somehow for that rate is wrong. That was GW’s increase, not Obama’s and where it ended was ONLY DUE TO OBAMA’S STIMULUS. The timing of both demonstrate that clearly.

        • “If Obama had not intervened, unemployment easily could have gone up over 20%.”

          Now you are just making things up. What is your basis for this argument? The president’s economic team predicted we’d be at 7.5% unemployment without a stimulus.

          “That was GW’s increase, not Obama’s and where it ended was ONLY DUE TO OBAMA’S STIMULUS. The timing of both demonstrate that clearly.”

          Again, you’re wrong on this point. There were actually two stimuli. The first was a ~160 billion stimulus in 2008 under Bush, and a second $787 billion stimulus under Obama. Both helped stem the rate of job loss. I never said it didn’t. However, you remain stuck in your liberal talking points, and ignore everything I say. My point has consistently been that the actions Obama took subsequent to the stimulus were not helpful. That is my argument.

          “No president come in and stops the reactions of another in 6 months”

          That’s right, but I am not taking about 6 months. I am talking about THREE YEARS.

      • Mark Smith says:

        Is there anything else about rates you need to learn? I’ll be happy to educate you.

  15. James Smith says:

    The average unemployment rate of Republican presidents is higher than the average unemployment rate of Democratic presidents since the Great Depression. What do you say about that tidbit of information? Moreover, the highest unemployment rate for any president was with a Republican president and the lowest unemployment rate in history was with a Democratic president. Does this proove that Trickle Down Economics works? Even Ronald Reagan had a higher unemployment rate than Obama and he did not have all the mess President Obama had to deal with. Just look at the graph and you can see where Bush left us. Don’t you think that part of the crisis President Obama had to deal with was from the trillions of dollars President Bush spent on fighting unnecessary wars? C’mon, it does not take a genius to know that spending money to support Bush’s oil interests are not worth the human lives expended. All this because Republicans think it should be on our tab to spread capitalism to the world. One of these days the Republicans are going to wake up and see the real truth.

    • “The average unemployment rate of Republican presidents is higher than the average unemployment rate of Democratic presidents since the Great Depression. What do you say about that tidbit of information? ”

      Well it’s an irrelevant data point (true or untrue) in the context of a discussion focused on only Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

      “Moreover, the highest unemployment rate for any president was with a Republican president and the lowest unemployment rate in history was with a Democratic president. ”

      This is just false. Please take a look at unemployment rates during the Great Depression under FDR and get back to me on that one.

  16. James Smith says:

    By the way, you have to respond to this message because I did not click notify me of follow-up comments via email on the two previous posts.

  17. James Smith says:

    Hoover left office with a 24.9 % unemployment rate to FDR. So I guess you can say they both share the highest unemployment rate right. Afterwards, FDR made in go down to 14.3% in 1937. It looks like the Democrats are cleaning up the Rebublican’s mess they made doesn’t it?

  18. James Smith says:

    Can I have your personal email address because this website keeps blocking me posts and does not let me post them adequately.

  19. James Smith says:

    When President Bush started his presidency in January 2001 the unemployment rate was 4.2% which kept climbing the eight years until President Bush left office in January 2009 and left the unemployment rate at 7.8%. When President Obama was in office the unemployment rate continued to rise to 10% in October 2009 until the Democrats got the stimulus package signed into law and bailed out the American automakers that were bankrupt under President Bush’s time in office. Since October of 2009 the unemployment rate has been steadily going back down to where it is now at 8.3% in July 2012. Give President Obama four more years without obstruction from the GOP and he will make it go back down to the rate that President Clinton left it to President Bush.

    By the way, are we better off than we were four years ago? Yes we are, President Bush and the destructive GOP is out of the way and we are making progress. We killed Osama Bin Ladin for which many said President Obama would never do because he is a Muslim/terrorist. Well, President Obama really is not a Muslim or terrorist for that is he? He saved America’s automakers from going into bankruptcy which would have skyrocketed the unemployment number. Governor Romney would have allowed the automakers to go into bankruptcy so that Bain Capital would be able to come in to break the company up, and sell the company into pieces and make millions off of it. Thank God Governor Romney was not allowed to do that.

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