Bush vs. Obama: Unemployment (September 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.

On the first Friday of every month, I update the unemployment numbers so that I can compare the unemployment rate under President George W. Bush with the unemployment rate under President Obama at that time. The genesis of this ritual began when I felt compelled to respond to some left-leaning sites that 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 September, the private sector added a robust 137,000 jobs in the nineteenth consecutive month of private sector job growth. This development is very positive news. The country also had a net employment gain of 103,000 total jobs (private and public). That said, 103,000 still falls short of the 125,000 jobs needed each month just to keep pace with the growth of the working-age population.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate again remained unchanged at 9.1%. This number remains 1.8 percentage points worse than President Bush’s last full month in office in December 2008. It also marks 32 consecutive months in which the unemployment rate has been 8% or higher in the 33rd month of the Obama Presidency.

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. The good news is that the month ended with more people employed at the end of September than were employed at the end of August. The bad news is that the civilian labor force increased faster than the number of new net employees.

The civilian labor force ended August at 153.6 million vs. September’s 154.0 million. In contrast, 139.6 million people had jobs in August. The number of people with jobs increased by about 398,000 people from August to September, whereas about 423,000 people entered the labor force.

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. That said, the labor force participation rate increased 0.2% in September from 64.0% in the previous month, and it is the second consecutive month that it increased.

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

Therefore, it is a positive sign that more people are beginning to return to the labor market. That said, since the civilian labor force is the denominator in the unemployment rate, its increase is an important reason why the unemployment rate remains stubbornly at 9.1%.

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 tenure, the private sector lost a net 346,000 jobs, if one attributes the first 19 days of January 2009’s job losses to Bush, and the remaining 11 days of job losses to Obama (the private sector gained a net 141,000 jobs if one attributes all of January 2009’s job numbers to Obama, and all of January 2001’s numbers to Bush). Surprisingly, this number includes the 3.78 million private sector jobs lost in 2008, and an additional 515,000 in 2009 if one attributes the first 19 days of January 2009’s job losses to Bush.

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

In contrast, under President Obama’s administration, the private sector has still lost a net 1.96 million private sector jobs (2.47 million if one attributes all of January 2009’s losses to Obama). If Bush and Clinton get credit for the January 2009 and January 2001 numbers, respectively, the private sector would still have lost 1.63 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 each job the private sector cut under George W. Bush, the private sector eliminated ~6 jobs under Barack Obama (if one attributes January 2009’s job losses to Obama, the private sector eliminated ~18 jobs for every job it created under Bush). While the private sector job outlook has improved recently, the economy still must create 1.96 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.

90 Responses to Bush vs. Obama: Unemployment (September 2011 Jobs Data)

  1. Scott Erb says:

    Hmmm, not sure if Obama isn’t an FDR. I think you underestimate him. I recall (due to my age!) how Democrats were underestimating Reagan in 1983. Time will tell.

    • Well, I definitely haven’t been impressed so far. That said, I’m not surprised. It’s unfair to expect someone with zero leadership experience prior to be President to instantly be a good leader.

      • Albert farina says:

        Why is that Conservatives and Republicans choose to have amnesia about the hand Obama was dealt and a GOP obstructionist agenda. THE GOP doesn’t care about helping the Country only winning the White House.

        • Albert,

          Thanks for stopping by. I agree that Obama was dealt a tough hand. That said, he had 3 years to turn it around yet unemployment is still almost a percentage point higher than when he started. Plus, Democrats controlled Congress for Obama’s first two years in office, so blaming a bad economic record on one year of “obstructionist” GOP policies and a tough hand 3 years ago, are poor excuses. At some point, the President needs to accept his share of the blame. This man doesn’t deserve re-election based on his economic track record (though he does deserve re-election on his national security policies).

        • Darrin Bell says:

          Sean, Democrats controlled Congress for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, but they faced a constant filibuster from Republicans who voted in lockstep to block the President’s agenda. To break that filibuster, the Democrats (many of whom were conservatives) would have also had to vote in lockstep. In other words, you’re arguing that they could have easily rammed through Obama’s agenda, if only they’d been as disgustingly partisan in their voting record as the filibustering GOP. So when you say there’s been “one year” of obstructionist GOP policies, that’s disingenuous. They’ve been obstructing the President and the Democrats since day one of the Obama administration. Three years, not one.

          Which speaks to the FDR comparison: If FDR had faced such an obstructionist group of Republicans during his first term, FDR would have been “no FDR.”

        • Brian says:

          The “infamous healthcare bill” wasn’t as vigorously opposed as you’dlike to believe – all it took was another GOP earmark, the Bush tax handouts. Or don’t you remember? Do you remember the GOP supporting the infamous healthcare mandate? It was so no one could get a free ride. Remember when Reagan saved Medicare?

          • Randy says:

            That wasn’t going to work until the administration started making special deals for votes. Exemptions here, Cornhusker debacle there…they bought the vote. It was disgraceful especially since Obama ran on the concept of Full Disclosure…”you have to vote for the bill before we can find out what’s in the bill”…thanks Pelosi and Reid, that makes perfect sense to me!

        • Sunny says:

          who cares about the years before…. what matters is what obama is doing now… which sucks. why does every liberal always say… well, you know, he had to fix everything from the 8 years before him…. well guess what, number 1, YOU PROBABLY VOTED FOR BUSH.. and if he was so bad in the first four years, why was he re-elected for a second term? and number 2, do those 8 years even matter any more? let’s focus on these past four years.. and CHANGE OBAMA’S ADDRESS 2012 !!!!!!!!!!

          • Seriously. It is time for President Obama to accept his share of the responsibility.

            • Randy says:

              A great professional football team is no longer on top, so they hire a new coach. After 4 years his record is worse than when he took over and he doesn’t think it’s his fault. The draft choices were overrated, there was a key injury, the assistant coaches aren’t doing the job, the other teams won’t trade players to him, the scouts have made bad decisions on free agents…Sounds like Obama! We know that coach would be fired, let’s hope Obama is fired.

    • Mike says:

      Comparing Numbers as a Net without looking at a Trend Line is misleading as can be.

      If you look at the TREND of Pres Bush’s numbers, there is nothing to suggest that his numbers would have stayed even instead of getting WORSE, and even WORSE than Obama’s numbers

      Yes, Obama’s 9.1 was 1.8 percent worse than Bush’s High. But Bush’s rate climbed by over 2 points in the final year of his office. There is nothing to suggest it wouldn’t have climbed another 2+ points afterwards.

      Comparing Net Numbers and not including Trend Lines, is misleading

      • Comparing trend lines without aligning them to key drivers would be an even worse methodology. The factors that led to the recovery in job growth did not suddenly change the moment President Obama took office. The claim that unemployment would have been 2 percentage points higher under Bush based on a high level trend line analysis is a very tenuous and weak argument. The factors that influence unemployment extend far beyond Presidential policies.

  2. Chris Van Trump says:

    I was under the impression that a significant chunk of the 103,000 was the 45,000 or so Verizon workers who returned to work after being on strike since August…

  3. middlemolly says:

    Sorry, Sean, but January 2009’s losses belong completely to Bush. As it appears that you carefully read the BLS monthly report, you will notice that the time for which data is collected for a given month, the “reference period”, is, for any given employer, the pay period that contains the 12th day of that month. So, in the case of January of an inauguration year, all of January’s data is as of the pay period that contains the 12th, which is rarely as late as the 20th, Inauguration Day. Therefore, it seems safe to allocate all job losses and gains for the month of January to the outgoing President. In fact, a certain percentage of the job losses and gains for the month of February should be allocated to the outgoing President as well, but I think it would be difficult to figure what that appropriate percentage should be.

    But the 700,000 jobs reported lost in January 2009 all belong under the Bush bucket, as they were all reported gone somewhere around January 12th, over a week before Obama was inaugurated.

    Here’s a link to the BLS document that describes the “reference period” and how they collect employer data:

    . http://www.bls.gov/ces/cesregrevtec.htm

    • If you read further down in the link, it appears that in March of any given year, the numbers for each month are revised according to unemployment insurance records. So while you are correct that the first and second preliminary estimates are based on a sample of employee records reporting for the 12th of each month, the numbers would have been reconciled to the more accurate unemployment data for the entirely of January 2009 in March of 2009. Furthermore, I believe the surveys ask employers to estimate how many employees they expect to have by the end of a given month in that reporting period. I still have to do some further digging to confirm, but I believe that is the case.

      Here is the language from the site:

      “Sample-based estimates remain final until employment levels are reset to universe employment counts or “benchmarks” for March of each year; the benchmarks are primarily derived from Unemployment Insurance tax records. The annual benchmarking process results in revised data back to the last annual benchmark for not seasonally adjusted series and back 5 years for seasonally adjusted series.”

      • I took a look at a sample survey. It looks like the 12th is just a placeholder to allow the BLS to gather the numbers in time for the end of the month. However, the full month’s data is ultimately reconciled using unemployment insurance data.

        Here is a link to a sample survey:

        bls.gov/ces/idcf/forma_sp.pdf

    • Molly,

      After pouring through more data on the BLS site, it is still not clear what period the unemployment data covers. I think it may be worth my calling the economist mentioned on the website on Monday to clarify. If it turns out that it only includes employees as of the 12th of the pay period for the revised data from unemployment insurance records, then all the January data should be attributed to Bush. If that is the case, then my October update to this post will update the two charts to reflect this along with an explanation of how the methodology would have changed.

      Thanks for pointing this out.

  4. Casey Jones says:

    As you have shown in the first chart, Bush was losing up to 800,000 jobs a month and led the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression. And you think it is a fair to compare jobs numbers under Bush’s entire tenure with Obama’s, without taking that into account? Bush inherited a very healthy economy that had balanced books and he destroyed it. Obama inherited an economy in meltdown and has worked his butt off to save and create jobs. All the leading studies by economists agree the Recovery Act created or saved millions of jobs. What have the Republicans done, except tried to block every attempt to stimulate the economy? Nothing. How many jobs bills have they put forward? None.

    • “As you have shown in the first chart, Bush was losing up to 800,000 jobs a month and led the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression. And you think it is a fair to compare jobs numbers under Bush’s entire tenure with Obama’s, without taking that into account?”

      Casey, the only reason I starting publishing this series is because a left-leaning blogger posted the first chart comparing Obama’s first two years and four months with President Bush’s first and last year. I am merely showing the entire record to balance the scales.

      “Bush inherited a very healthy economy that had balanced books and he destroyed it.”

      Actually, he inherited a technology bubble from Clinton that burst shortly before he took office. Eight months into his Presidency, the economy experienced another exogenous shock in the form of 9/11. It is true that President Bush made plenty of mistakes, but so did the Democratic Party. Both parties are to blame for both the Bush and Obama periods.

      “Obama inherited an economy in meltdown and has worked his butt off to save and create jobs.”

      I agree that he inherited an economy in meltdown. That said, any reasonable person should expect a little progress since then. But there hasn’t been much progress in nearly three years. At this point, the President needs to acknowledge that what he’s been doing isn’t working. The unemployment rate is still 25% higher than when President Obama took office. If it were at 7.7% now, I would be happy to give him credit for turning things around. But the statistics show the opposite. The U.S. poverty rate hit an all-time in 2010, and the number of foot stamp recipients has exploded to include 46 million Americans.

      Appearing on Oprah and ESPN does not constitute “working hard” to me. The president is clearly out of his depth. You can’t really blame him though, since he never led any major organizations until he took control of one of the most important management jobs on the planet. Before I took charge of a meager $10 million, 16-person tank platoon, the Army provided me with nearly four years of intense leadership training. Obama’s had none for the most powerful management position on the planet.

      “All the leading studies by economists agree the Recovery Act created or saved millions of jobs.”

      I never disputed that. You can clearly see the jobs’ picture improving in the charts. The problem with the Recovery Act is that it was a short-term jolt that hasn’t addressed the underlying fundamentals of the problem. It also didn’t help that Obama wasted tremendous time and political capital on Obamacare when he should have been focused on the economy.

      “What have the Republicans done, except tried to block every attempt to stimulate the economy? Nothing. How many jobs bills have they put forward? None.”

      The Republicans have certainly been obstructionist. There is no doubt about that. The fundamental problem is that both sides are insisting on their ridiculous ideological programs, when they should be taking pragmatic steps to fix the economy. For instance, we need another stimulus, which the Republicans would likely fight tooth and nail. The Jobs Plan that the President is proposing is the same short-term, brain dead program as the stimulus, only half the size, with twice as much class warfare. Both parties need new ideas, because the ones they are proposing don’t really address the fundamental problems.

      • Mark says:

        If the Republican party had not devoted itself to the single-minded task of defeating Obama in 2012, and instead worked with the Democrats on programs and policies that created jobs for American workers, then the current economic malaise could be pinned on Obama. But the fact is that the Republican party has done nothing to try and improve the economy for fear that it would mean another 4 years of Obama. If the Republican party met the Democrats and Obama half-way and passed legislation proposed by Obama and the Democrats then this would be Obama’s economy. Instead the Republicans have spent the past 3 years endeavoring to prolong the recession and weaken the economy so Obama would be defeated. We will never know how many people would be employed and how much we could have cut the deficit if Obama’s plans had been initiated. Therefore, it is impossible to blame this economy on Obama’s policies because the Republicans made sure his plans were never enacted. The current incarnation of the Republican Party is a disgrace. They have abandoned the American middle class and poor and have done nothing to repair the disaster of 8 years of Bush. Fortunately the majority of Americans recognize this and in November of 2012 they will return the House to the Democrats, along with the Senate and White House. This time, unlike in 2008, it will be a majority that won’t be stopped by Republicans repeatedly threatening filibusters. Over the next 4 years Obama will finally be able to repair the damage done by Bush and the Republicans.

        • Mark,

          You do realize that the Democratic Party controlled the House, the Senate and the Presidency for the last 2 out of 3 years, right? During that period that passed a $787 billion stimulus – the largest in the history of the United States, and Obamacare.

          Obama owns this one.

      • Randy says:

        The thing that is infuriating is that the first stimulus gets blamed on Bush. The election was over and Obama and the Congress was going nuts that something had to be done immediately it couldn’t wait for the inauguration of Obama. The rhetoric was frightening and basically bullied the exiting President into signing onto the bill. This stimulus was the brainchild of Obama and his team, so if it didn’t work that is on them also.

  5. Disgusted Again says:

    Wow, I knew you would cop-out and not answer those very simple questions I posted, but I didn’t think you’d go to a completely new format so others couldn’t see how you avoid facts that contradict your biased version. How can you post comments like “appearing on Oprah and ESPN does not constitute “working hard” (while not pointing out he has taken roughly half the vacation time that Bush did during the same period of time), “wasted tremendous time and political capital on Obamacare” (obviously pure opinion combined with a Republican slur), “same short-term, brain dead program” (are you describing the program that moved us from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every month to creating jobs every month?), etc. What would the unemployment rate, poverty rate, and number of food stamp recipients be today if President Obama had “done nothing” and our country had continued on the path it was on before he became President? How about looking at what the numbers would be today if he had only stabilized the numbers so they remained flat from Bush?

    I don’t understand how you can say you don’t dispute the Recovery Act created or saved millions of jobs, and in the same post say “what he’s been doing isn’t working”, “brain dead program” and “twice as much class warfare”. You really can’t see any bias there? The income tax rate for the wealthy was 50% while Reagan was President, but a lower rate is considered “class warfare” under President Obama during a time when deficits are such a major concern for Republicans? The gap between the wealth of the haves and the have nots is the underlying problem and the real “class warfare”. If the wealthy feel the need to horde more of our country’s wealth, then they shouldn’t expect the economy to improve. Expecting Americans to get by with lower wages, higher monthly insurance rates, higher tuition rates, higher transportaion costs, etc. and expecting an increase in consumer spending is absurd. Consumer spending is about 70% of our country’s GDP, and if you keep leaving consumers with less to spend they will obviously spend less. When consumers have money to spend, companies get customers. And when companies are selling products, they need to hire more employees to keep up with demand. Companies don’t hire employees they don’t need just because they have more money.

    • Actually, I did answer an additional one. I’ve answered three of your questions in all, and you’ve answered only one of mine. Until you provide a substantive response to two more of my questions, there is simply no point in arguing with someone who refuses to substantiate any of their claims.

      Feel free to continue posting whatever you like on this site (so long as it is respectful and avoids foul language), but until you take the time to substantiate your claims as I have in a previous comment thread, I am no longer wasting my time engaging in a pointless, and one-sided discussion.

      Why haven’t I addressed your more recent points, you may ask? Because when I see your name, I look for an answer to one of my previous questions. Unless I see the answer, there is no point in further discussion.

    • BTW, here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)?
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today?
      6) What was it when Obama took office?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
      8. By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

  6. Disgusted Again says:

    I posted 20 questions, you avoided answering all of them. You said you believe you had already answered 2 of them and followed with your own questions. I posted my questions first, so why should I have to answer your questions before you answer mine? What’s you “logic” there? Why are you afraid to answer simple questions like:
    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8) When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Those are just some of the questions you can’t seem to answer for some reason. You’ll notice one of the big differences between my questions and yours is yours revolve around giving President Obama “credit” for Bush policies. The fact that you can’t even ask an unbiased question shows your blatant right-wing prejudice.

    As for as the answer I had given you, it was to your “Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers” question. I told you I never said they should or shouldn’t be. I told you I even asked you for some net numbers that you can’t seem to answer for some reason. I asked you what numbers you used to get your net number, and you couldn’t answer that question. I asked you how many private sector jobs were created and how many total jobs were created. If you honestly used “i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost” to get to your net number, then you must have the “jobs gained” amount you used right? Why would you have a problem posting it? You didn’t actually calculate it maybe? You used inaccurate numbers you’d rather not admit to? Why would someone who calls himself “rational” avoid answering the question? The only “reasons” you’ve given so far are on par with a 6 year old. “No, you first” or name calling as an excuse to not answer. You’ve already said you had a problem with the numbers I’ve posted, so why would you need me to give you more numbers before posting yours? Not very “rational” on your part.

    • “I posted my questions first, so why should I have to answer your questions before you answer mine? What’s you “logic” there?:

      Reciprocity. Additionally, in many cases you are asking me to prove claims you made. The burden of proof is on you, not me. I am not doing your work for you.

      “I told you I even asked you for some net numbers that you can’t seem to answer for some reason.”

      This is an outright lie. This was the answer I posted several days ago, which you obviously ignored:

      “You still owe me one more answer, but to be kind, here is how I arrive at the net numbers under Obama: If you go to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, download the total number of private sector jobs in each month from January 2009 to August 2011 (tomorrow, you will be able to add the September numbers). For each month, subtract the previous month (this gives you the change in private sector jobs) — that is, Jan 2009 minus Dec 2008 + Feb 2009 – Jan 2009 +…+ August 2011 – July 2011. Because Obama took office on January 20, 2009, in the latest version of this post, I only give him credit for the last 12 days of the month. Therefore, I multiply January 2009′s job losses by (31-19)/31 to get -325.6k for Obama and -515k for Bush in January 2009. I add the -325.6k to the job losses in February of 721k, etc. If you add all changes in private sector jobs all the way up to August using this methodology, you get to a net number of 2.137 million private sector jobs lost during the Obama adminstration. If you blame Bush for all of January 2009, then 1.811 million private sector jobs would have been lost under the Obama administration. If you performed the analysis for total nonfarm employment, the numbers would look even worse because of local and state jobs lost.”

      BTW, here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today?
      6) What was it when Obama took office?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
      8. By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

    • “name calling as an excuse to not answer”

      In your first post on this site, you called me a right-wing bigot. I have not once used ad hominem in our interactions. Please be accurate in your accusations. I do have a record of everything you wrote…and so does anyone who follows this site.

  7. Rick the Right-Winger says:

    Hey Disgusted Again,
    theres something called a school, a library, and research, or even google you lazy f–k. At least you show you can count to 9, so that’s a start.

    Who gave you that name anyways “Disgusted Again”? Sounds like something your wife or boyfriend would say of you right after sex.

    Go get your mom to help you with your homework and then come back and try to argue whatever it is youre trying to argue here. From where I stand everyone else in here can have a discussion with you just fine if you’d shut up for a minute and do your own work for once. Produce a graph or something…

    …unless your mom took your crayons away.

    Also, change your name to “Redundant Again” its more fitting.
    Also, you’re a bitchy whiner.

  8. Disgusted Again says:

    Do you realize you dance around the questions and continue not answering them? Why do you keep avoiding them? Even your one “answer” (which I never saw posted before now) isn’t an answer to my question. You spend an entire paragraph dancing around the answer, but can’t just post a number? Jobs gained – jobs lost is the formula YOU posted, so why won’t you post that jobs gained number?

    And are you now using the “he called me a name first” excuse to not answer questions? You are a right-wing bigot and your questions to me are evidence of it. If I called you a Republican would that offend you too? You call yourself a “rational republican”, but your comments are filled with example after example of your right-wing bias. So why are you offended by my pointing out my observation?

    I’m glad to hear you have a record of everything I wrote. So why not repost my questions with your answers? My questions are my way of taking you by the hand and walking you slowly toward the answers to your own questions. But you’d rather have me post the numbers for you? Will you accept them coming from me over coming from you? From my very first post you’ve responded with little more than ad hominem attacks over responding in kind. You completely ignored two thirds of my original post right from the beginning (if you still have a record of everything I wrote, you should be able to look it up to confirm). I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

    • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today?
      6) What was it when Obama took office?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
      8. By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Disgusted Again says:

        I’m giving you the same thing you’ve given me. I’m just following your lead.

        • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

          1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
          2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
          3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
          4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
          5) What is the unemployment rate today?
          6) What was it when Obama took office?
          7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
          8 ) By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Rick the Right-Winger says:

        Hey dumbass, if no one else will, I’ll answer them in the same retarded way you keep asking them.
        1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
        Deficit?
        2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
        Interest?
        3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
        Iraq? Afghanistan?
        4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
        Unpaid?
        5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
        Jobs?
        6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
        Continued?
        7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
        Ended?
        8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
        Agree?
        9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?
        Increase?

        Now here’s some questions for you, and some free answers:
        1) Who blows goats? You do.
        2) Who f–ks their mother? You do.
        3) Who talks about holding another guys hand and taking a walk somewhere? YOU DO. Gross.

        • Disgusted Again says:

          Your “answers” are more than our “rational” friend has accomplished. It is interesting he finds your posts acceptable comments for his website. Maybe it’s what he expects from someone who calls himself “right-winger”.

        • Rick the Right-Winger says:

          ‘Your “answers” are more than our “rational” friend has accomplished. It is interesting he finds your posts acceptable comments for his website. Maybe it’s what he expects from someone who calls himself “right-winger”.’

          Who are you talking to?

    • Rick the Right-Winger says:

      Hey! Another 9 questions.This sounds like a f-ed up 9-9-9 plan, except that instead of coming from a pizza box, they’re coming from a tampon box because someone’s clearly on their rag.

  9. Disgusted Again says:

    I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

    • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add ?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today?
      6) What was it when Obama took office?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
      8 ) By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Disgusted Again says:

        and, I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

        1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
        2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
        3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
        4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
        5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
        6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
        7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
        8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
        9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

        Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

        • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

          1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
          2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
          3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
          4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
          5) What is the unemployment rate today?
          6) What was it when Obama took office?
          7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
          8. ) By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Mark says:

        Based on the name of this blog I thought I had stumbled upon a unique blog. Until I saw the comments you allowed Rick The Right Winger to post. You claim you will gladly allow comments that oppose your opinion as long as they are respectful and void of crass language. But you allow The RW to insult, swear and demean another commenter because he supports your position. Too bad. I really thought you were different from the rest of today’s CONServatives.

        • Take a look at Shannon’s comments. You’ll see the same from the left’s perspective.

          I try to avoid censoring folks unless their language is rife with profanity.

          You’re right though. Sometimes I am a bit too lenient at times. I will strive to do better.

    • Rick the Right-Winger says:

      Because you’re a f–k.

  10. Disgusted Again says:

    I’m not sure what your goal is with this game, but I can play it.

    I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

    • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them :

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include)?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today?
      6) What was it when Obama took office?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office?
      8. By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Disgusted Again says:

        You still haven’t fixed the “ignore or evade” in your post.

        I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

        1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
        2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
        3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
        4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
        5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
        6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
        7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
        8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
        9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

        Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

  11. Disgusted Again says:

    and again, I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

    • Here are my questions again so that you can continue to ignore or evade them:

      1) Why shouldn’t the jobs numbers be net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)? You evaded this question by saying “I never said they should or shouldn’t be.” Yet you still refer to a jobs gained number.
      2) In your opinion, how much debt did Obama add?
      3) How did you arrive at your 2.5 million jobs number?
      4) Please quantify what you mean by the Bush “job loss” handover (i.e., when precisely did it start and how many jobs did it include) ?
      5) What is the unemployment rate today ?
      6) What was it when Obama took office ?
      7) Is unemployment better or worse today than when Obama took office ?
      8. ) By your estimation at what rate is Obama adding to the national debt?

      • Disgusted Again says:

        Is this an example of your 4 years of leadership training? I’m following your lead, but fail to see the logic in this path you’ve chosen. I’ll soldier on to see where you’re going with this.

        You still haven’t fixed the “ignore or evade” in your posts.

        I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

        1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
        2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
        3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
        4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
        5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
        6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
        7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
        8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
        9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

        Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

  12. Disgusted Again says:

    You still haven’t fixed the “ignore or evade” in your posts.

    I’ll respond in kind by reposting questions you were unable to answer again:

    1) What was the deficit when President Bush left office?
    2) How much interest has accrued on that deficit amount since then?
    3) How much has Iraq and Afghanistan cost since then?
    4) How much has President Bush’s unpaid for drug plan cost since then?
    5) How many jobs were being lost per month when President Bush left office?
    6) If that rate had continued, what would our unemployment rate be today?
    7) When do most economists agree the recession ended?
    8 )When do most economists agree the recession began?
    9) As a percentage, how much did President Bush increase the country’s debt?

    Why wouldn’t a “rational” unbiased person, who claims not to be right-wing bigoted, be able to answer these questions….

  13. Rick the Right-Winger says:

    Take a hint, “Debauched Again”, everyone’s done with you here. Your flame’s burnt out. Adios.

  14. Disgusted Again says:

    You’re unwillingness to post real, unbiased numbers stills stands? I’m still trying to understand why someone who considers himself “rational” would post so much ridiculousness over posting a number he used to get his net number. Jobs gained – jobs lost is the formula YOU posted. You should have a total “jobs gained” and a total “jobs lost” number if you got your “net jobs” number that way. You’ve posted quite a bit over posting that number. Why?

    I sincerely suggest you look over my past comments and look at your replies. If you’re honestly “rational”, you’ll see you’ve avoided truly responding. If your goal is to convince me I’m in the wrong, you’ll need to use real numbers. The biased numbers you’re posting may work for people who don’t bother to look for themselves, but people like me don’t rely on biased sources for our information. Maybe in a decade or so you’ll realize your method is more about creating enemies than allies. I would never have guess your responses came from someone with years of leadership training.

    • Rick the Right-Winger says:

      Hey Doused Again. Woke up and checked and yep, you’re still unwanted.

      “If your goal is to convince me I’m in the wrong,..” You still don’t get it – no one in here is about proving someone “wrong” or to actually change someone’s opinion. You took a confrontational stance right from the start which is obviously ego-driven and everyone’s tired of reading it.

      A subtle hint was tried, then a more obvious one, and you still sit there trying to Lord over everyone telling us all to supposedly sleep “it” off, when “it” is simply just everyone’s annoyance of you.

      Whine all you want on your exit, but still EXIT. If data was all you really wanted you would have found it either here or somewhere else long ago, but that’s obviously not what you want here. One-upmanship, self-gratification, and your own ego-stroking are the only goals you have which show that no matter what #’s anyone throws up in response to you, they’ll never be good enough.

      Shut up and go start your own blog. If anyone responds, you can have it out with them. Until then, quit trolling here. In the meantime, here’s a response to your 9 questions that I think successfully conveys the opinion of the room towards your repeated badgering:
      1) F
      2) #
      3) #
      4) K
      5)
      6) O
      7) F
      8) F
      9) !

      Take your meds and go home.

      • Disgusted Again says:

        Maybe you needed a longer nap. I see you’ve posted more examples of right-winger thinking. Does your implied swearing make you feel like a grown up? I guess for people like you it’s easier than thinking.

  15. I like the longer view with a broader context. I believe that no president has much more than a minor effect on the economy which is made up of trillions and trillions of individual buy and sell decisions. I have written about that here.https://sites.google.com/site/orthovoxwritings/home/columns-2011/110909-false-faults

    • I very much enjoyed your post, and mostly agree with your conclusions. I believe Presidents can help or hurt the economy on the margin. For instance, while I believe the stimulus was not structured in the best manner, I do believe it had a role in helping to stabilize the economy. Contrariwise, I believe the PPACA passage reduced the rate of hiring in this country because it made labor more expensive.

      To borrow your analogy, the President may not be able to turn the ship of state on a time, but he does have the capacity to blast away small patches of ice in the ships’ path with the cannons of policy.

  16. Pingback: The Facts Will Always Tell On You… Obama | The Revolution Road

  17. Disgusted Again says:

    I think I’ve given you plenty of time to check, or even calculate, the number of private sector jobs created. Here’s a quote from the same people you got your graph from: “the private
    sector has added 2.6 million jobs—an average of 136,000 per month.” If you add all the private sector job numbers since February 2010 together yourself, you should get 2,577,000 private sector jobs created. Wasn’t the number I originally posted 2.5 million? Didn’t you attack me for posting that number? I’m trying to understand why a “rational” person would attack me for posting an accurate number that could easily be verified using his own sources. It should have been the number you used in YOUR “i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost” equation.

    I guess the first step is to see if you agree with your own sources. The next step is to look at when President Obama’s policies were implemented and how quickly you believe those policies began moving us from loosing jobs to creating them.

    • That’s fine, but you also should be including all the private sector jobs lost from January (or February 2009). The result is a negative number. What makes February 2010 so special?

      Since, you answered one of my questions, here is an answer to one of yours: the recession officially began in December 2007.

      • Disgusted Again says:

        I never said anything about February 2010 being “so special”, I’m just totaling the number of private sector jobs created to be used in your “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation. In my original post I gave you that number and you dismissed 2/3rds of my post to attack that 2.5 million private sector job creation number. I was very surprised by your strong rejection of a number I got from your source.

        I’m glad we can agree I posted an accurate number. The next step is took look at President Obama’s policies and how they impacted job creation. There’s a lot more room for disagreement over exactly how many of the “jobs lost” are due to President Obama’s policies, like the Recovery Act that was passed in February 2009. I see significant improvement in job numbers after the bill had passed. If the Recovery Act did “little to nothing”, then the job loss rate should have continued on at its then current rate of around 700,000 jobs lost/mo. (or more if the rate of increasing loss continued). I believe to flatten the rate of job loss could be described as “little to nothing”, but to turn it into job growth for more than a year and a half is very significant improvement.

        • I think it’s certainly fair to say that the stimulus helped decrease the rate of job loss. That said, I just don’t think this particular stimulus was the most efficient way to achieve it (I.e., fewer $ for long-term infrastructure projects, more $ to stimulate short-term demand). I think Obama’s policies took a turn for the worse when he passed his healthcare bill in March 2010. At that point, private sector job growth declined by about +70k jobs a month to something like +$6k as employers responded by reducing hiring. I wrote a series on regulatory uncertainty that quantifies this effect (I believe it is part III of the series).

          My beef with your number is that you cannot claim that Obama “created” 2.5 million jobs. The relevant number is the net number, which is negative. The jobs created number is actually probably higher than 2.5 million, because the numbers you cite are only positive “net” numbers. However, the jobs lost number is about 2 million bigger than the overall jobs “created” number. So on a net basis jobs were lost during the Obama administration. I don’t believe the BLS reports the jobs created vs. lost. They just report the net numbers. Otherwise, by your definition, positive jobs were created under every President, even when the net number was -800k in a month.

  18. Disgusted Again says:

    I’m familiar with many business owners and their decisions on hiring aren’t based on the healthcare bill that won’t be fully implemented until 2014. We’ve only seen growth in private sector jobs since it was passed, so at worst the private sector job growth number would be larger than it is. And “regulatory uncertainty” has always existed since laws can always be changed. If Republicans believe “uncertainty” is costing our economy so many jobs, then why are they adding to the uncertainty? Their focus should be on ideas on creating jobs in the near future, not partisan ideas that may or may not impact hiring some time in the distant future. There’s plenty of room for debate on your personal opinion of the heath care bill, so I’ll keep my focus on the “jobs lost” part of the equation before moving on.

    The only way you get your net negative number is by giving President Obama “credit” for job loss numbers from the previous administration. That’s on par with blaming President Obama with $14 Trillion of debt and pretending most of that debt didn’t existed before he was elected. Is your goal to honestly look at the numbers and see how President Obama’s policies have impacted them, or is your goal to try to find a way to distort the numbers for your political bias? An unbiased person sees an obvious improvement in private sector job growth since President Obama took office.

    I’m not sure how you don’t recognize your personal bias. Even your responses to my comments keep spinning what I said into some biased version of something I never said. You posted your “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation many times and I’ve spent weeks trying to get you to say what your “jobs gained” number was. I’m not sure why an unbiased person would take issue with posting the number, but weeks later you finally admitted my original post was accurate. I never said jobs lost aren’t considered. For some reason you keep pretending I’ve said it somewhere and you keep trying to get me to explain why I believe it to be true. If you were to flip that graph around and our economy immediately started losing jobs after President Obama’s policies were being implemented, I would be blaming him for all the jobs lost, not just the jobs lost in the last 20 months. My goal is to see what impact President Obama’s policies have had on job growth. All the months of job growth occurred after his policies were in place, not a mix of before and after. We’re approaching 2 years of continual private sector job growth since President Obama’s policies have been in place. His job numbers would be even better if government job growth had increased by over a million jobs like it did under President Bush vs. about 600,000 of government jobs cut under President Obama. You use those lost government jobs against President Obama, so are you for or against those cuts?

    I’m going to give you a non-political example to consider. Imagine that a profitable company hired a new CEO and that CEO made policy changes over years that turned the company from profitable to at risk of bankruptcy. The company had accumulated billions in new debt over those years and the losses were projected to continue. The company was loosing an increasing number of customers every month. Now imagine that CEO gets replaced. The new CEO decides a massive advertising campaign is needed to get customers back. He decides the company needs to invest in new equipment too. That spending adds to the company’s debt, but customers are coming back and the company is profitable again. Most people would judge the new CEO based on what he did, not what the previous CEO did. The new CEO would get “blamed” for the amounts his policies cost, not a total of his and those of the previous CEO. The new CEO would be rated based on how much things had improved from when he was hired, not based on how the company’s current numbers compare to the numbers from years before he was hired. The new CEO wouldn’t be “blamed” for unprofitable contracts that were signed long before he was hired. Someone with a bias against the new CEO could definitely find ways to spin the numbers to show the new CEO should be replaced, but most rational people would judge the new CEO on his performance alone. If the company was $10 Billion in debt before the new CEO took over and that debt was now $11 Billion under the new CEO, the new CEO wouldn’t get “credit” for the entire $11 Billion. The new CEO would get credit for the amount of that $11 Billion that he was responsible for. The new CEO would get “credit” for the amount profits increased and the increase in customers from when he took over, not how those profits or the customer count compare to numbers from years before he took over. If you are familiar at all with how things work in the business world, this should be very easy for you to understand and agree with. Now ask yourself why you assess President Obama in, what should be obvious to you, such a biased way.

    • “The new CEO would be rated based on how much things had improved from when he was hired, not based on how the company’s current numbers ”

      That’s right. When “CEO” Obama was hired, unemployment was 7.8%. After nearly 3 years it has increased to 9.1%. I think any reasonable observer would consider that this was not an improvement.

    • So February 2010 is a special date, since that is the date when net private sector jobs went from negative to positive. You are only adding the positive net numbers and ignoring the negative ones to fit your narrative. President Obama signed the Stimulus in February 2009, yet you aren’t including net private sector jobs in your figures until February 2010, when the numbers just so happen to fit your narrative. If you don’t see any bias or hypocrisy in cherry picking statistics here, I simply don’t know what else I can say. Even liberals include the February 2009 numbers in the official record. The 2.5 million job created figure is derived from Okun’s law, not a cherry picking of net private sector jobs data. They simply couldn’t credibly make that claim.

  19. Disgusted Again says:

    You keep ignoring what “CEO” Obama inherited from “CEO” Bush, why do think you need to do that? And there you go again implying I said something I didn’t. I’m just getting the numbers for YOUR “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation. How many times do I need to repeat that statement? The significance in the date is that only growth has occurred since then. If you were correct in your biased self-deception that President Obama was responsible for the job loss numbers you put so much effort to “credit” him with, then why wouldn’t that jobs graph be reversed? If you were to flip the numbers around and over 700,000 jobs/mo. were created before President Obama took office and after implementing policy changes that number began to plummet, I’m sure you wouldn’t wait until the monthly net became negative to blame President Obama for job loss. Would you? Of course not. So who’s doing the “cherry picking” here? Obviously it’s you. You completely ignore the majority of what I say and go off on a distorted tangent trying to twist something I never said into something you believe you can argue against.

    Here’s a real simple one for ya, fill in your own biased numbers in this equation YOU posted over and over again; “Jobs created” minus “jobs lost”. If I wanted to “cherry pick” numbers, I would have included the 3 months of government job growth. But unlike you, I’m more interested in facts over blindly pandering to a political party. You can’t even post the numbers for your own equation, talk about lacking credibility. And you call yourself “rational”? I think typical right-wing hypocrite is a far more fitting description of your viewpoint. A “rational” person wouldn’t feel such a need to distort the facts to affirm his preconceived conclusions.

    • I already posted my methodology – twice. It is the same methodology used by several left-leaning websites. Unemployment is 9.1%. When Obama became President, it was 7.8%. This is a statistical fact, not subject to manipulation or partisanship. Private sector job growth has been sclerotic and it has not kept pace with the ~125k new job seekers entering the jobs market each month – hence a higher unemployment rate.

      Call me what you will, but ignore these facts at your own peril.

  20. Disgusted Again says:

    All anyone needs to do is look over previous postings to see who’s ignoring the facts. You’ve posted YOUR “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation numerous times (far more than twice, just look up) and I’ve asked you to post those numbers numerous times. Instead of just posting your “jobs gained” number, you’ve spent weeks dancing around it. That is a fact everyone can see. Why are you so afraid to post the “job gained” number? Will some harm come to you? Will you loose your car or house? Will your significant other leave you? You’ve attacked me for weeks for posting the “jobs gained” number in my first post, only to finally acknowledge it was accurate. So what is preventing you from posting it yourself?

    Now for a few more facts you ignore for some reason. If you look at the rate of job loss for the year prior to President Obama taking office, you see a steady increase in unemployment of about 60,000 more jobs lost/month over the previous month. That rate of monthly job loss ends up at about 750,000 jobs lost/month before President Obama. So if President Obama’s policies had “little to no impact” on the job loss rate, the rate of job loss should have continued to grow by about 60,000/month. If his policies had just brought an end to the additional 60,000 jobs lost/month, we would have had a constant rate of about 750,000 jobs lost/month since President Obama took office. Instead, we see a steady improvement of over 50,000 jobs/month over President Obama’s first year. That’s a more than 110,000 jobs/month swing from 60,000 additional jobs lost/month under the last year of President Bush and the 50,000 jobs/month improvement under President Obama. How is that not improvement to you? What would the unemployment rate be today if President Obama did little (job loss was a flat 750,000/month) or nothing (job loss rate had continued increasing by an additional 60,000/month) as you suggest?

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private sector job growth has been “an average of 136,000 per month” for over a year and a half now. You may be including the number of government jobs cut in your numbers. Which reminds me of another question you still haven’t answered, “His job numbers would be even better if government job growth had increased by over a million jobs like it did under President Bush vs. about 600,000 of government jobs cut under President Obama. You use those lost government jobs against President Obama, so are you for or against those cuts?” You say one of your reasons for being a Republican is smaller government, but you’re using a reduction in the size of government as a negative when it applies to a Democrat. Still can’t see your bias?

    • And as I’ve posted on numerous occasions, BLS only reports the net number. Additionally it is impossible to prove a counterfactual. Neither of us have any idea if things would be better or worse without Obama’s policies. We do know that hiring accelerated after passage of the stimulus, and that it decelerated following passage of the PPACA.

      We also know that the unemployment rate is 1.3 percentage points higher than when President Obama took office.

      Sure things would look less bad for Obama if we arbitrarily imposed the constraints of only counting months with positive net private sector jobs (which is around February 2010), and ignored public sector job losses.

      You continue to beat a dead horse with an argument that weakens with each additional post.

      Anyone can make the President look like the Messiah if they torture the statistics enough. A sign that you are offering a weak argument is the fact that not a single liberal has come to your defense. If you take a look at yesterday’s poll, nearly 50% of my readership is liberal.

      You can keep pounding your head against the wall accusing me of irrationality, but the fact is that unemployment is worse now than it was in January 2009, and Obama has been President for nearly two years and ten months.

      You need to get over whatever issues you had with Bush and admit that Obama now owns this economy.

      I think at this point we should simply agree to disagree, because no amount of rational argument is going to convince you to accept the official government statistics.

      • Disgusted Again says:

        I find it very interesting that you would say “Neither of us have any idea if things would be better or worse without Obama’s policies.”, after you’ve filled numerous posts criticizing President Obama. Wouldn’t that statement make every negative comment you’ve posted mute? Wouldn’t it make your article itself a specious argument?

        And look who’s beating the dead horse. I just used YOUR source to come up with the “jobs created” part of YOUR “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation which you’ve posted numerous times. Weeks later you still won’t post the numbers you used in YOUR equation. You really are naive if you believe that makes me the one who’s argument “weakens with each additional post.”

        I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make with your “nearly 50% of my readership is liberal” comment. None of my posts required someone to come to my “defense”. And the only person who came to YOUR “defense” on YOUR website was “right-winger”. Do you believe his comments helped your argument in any way?

        Whether or not I had issues with President Bush has nothing to do with my opinion of President Obama. I don’t “cherry pick” my numbers like you do when forming my opinion. I acknowledge facts like the state of our economy, the debt and the rate of job loss when President Obama took office. You like to pretend it all started with President Obama and your spin on the numbers is evidence of that. If you have an issue with President Obama’s policies and their impact on the economy, then you shouldn’t need to “credit” him with anything from the previous administration.

        It’s too bad someone who calls himself rational would feel the need to ignore the numbers from his own sources just because they counter his biased spin on the facts. Everyone who reads your responses to my posts sees you do little more than dodge and evade. I even got to the point of numbering my question in an attempt to bring an end to your dodge and evade policy. I guess in your mind a “rational republican” needs to avoid stating any of the facts that aren’t distorted against our president. Apparently you need to “credit” President Obama for anything negative from the previous Republican administration in order to create your “rational” argument against President Obama. Is it any wonder “right-winger” felt the need to jump in to save you?

        • “And look who’s beating the dead horse. I just used YOUR source to come up with the “jobs created” part of YOUR “jobs gained – jobs lost” equation which you’ve posted numerous times. Weeks later you still won’t post the numbers you used in YOUR equation. You really are naive if you believe that makes me the one who’s argument “weakens with each additional post.””

          No you didn’t. Because you clearly don’t understand the distinction between “net” numbers and “jobs created”.

          Sigh. Let’s just agree to disagree. If we cannot agree on “official” government statistics, then we won’t agree on anything.

  21. Disgusted Again says:

    I forgot to ask you about Whirlpool’s announcement of job cuts. For some reason they said their decision was due to lack of demand and increases in in material costs (steel, copper), but no mention of concerns over the healthcare plan. Maybe some tax cuts for the wealthy will get them to buy lots of extra washers and dryers they don’t need.

  22. Disgusted Again says:

    Yep, I did exactly what I said. I used the monthly “net” numbers used in the graph YOU posted from the U.S. Bureau of Labor to find out what “net” numbers you used in YOUR “net numbers (i.e., jobs gained – jobs lost)” equation. It’s too bad you can’t accept the “net” results from your own posting source. If you disagree with what I posted, then feel free to post the ” jobs gained – jobs lost” numbers you used. I’ve asked you to post those numbers numerous times, but you won’t do it for some reason. It’s real easy, just post YOUR “net” “jobs gained” – YOUR “net” “jobs lost” numbers. I assume you’ll use “official” government statistics like I did. You should notice an immediate improvement in the monthly “net” private sector job loss numbers after President Obama’s policies started being implemented. That “net” improvement works out to over 50,000 jobs/month over his first year. Feel free to calculate that monthly improvement in private sector jobs number yourself and share your findings.

  23. Brian says:

    Sean,
    I just stumbled upon this blog. Even if everything you say is true. I would rather stick the with the “failed leadership” that is trying to get us out of this mess, than the failed policies of the Republicans that have placed us in it.

  24. Cherokee says:

    Save America and vote Obama out of office this election year before he ruins our country any further. Sean, thank you for your service to our country and keep up the good work. God Bless you and God Bless America.

  25. alno28 says:

    Seriously, If I were a conservative I would be trying to hide that chart not trying to put a negative spin on something that is actually positive for president Obama.

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