There is only one thing the President should talk about in his State of the Union and that is Jobs. If we look at what President Obama inherited, the GW Bush administration had eight years of private sector job losses and only had a net job increase due to government hiring
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that private sector employment decreased by 673,000 over the eight years of GW Bush, while public sector employment increased. Total jobs created under the eight years of the GW Bush administration totaled 1.08 million. Ironically, increased public sector employment allowed for the Bush administration to not be the first to have net negative employment over its term since Herbert Hoover.
Total private sector jobs created since 2010 by the Obama administration number over 2 million (more than the total for the eight years of George W. Bush). President Obama has cut public sector employment by over 357,000 since taking office.
President Obama’s initial 2012 budget, despite yowling from the right that he never submitted any for a vote in 2011, was rejected in the US Senate at the same time as the Senate rejected the US House Budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI).
But, the US House Budget plan passed through the House on an almost party-line vote and supported by all the GOP Senators was projected to cost as many as 800,000 jobs and a 2% decrease in GDP in 2012.
The next jobs effort of the Republicans was to foment a false debt ceiling “crisis” which if the US had defaulted on its debt would have been catastrophic in causing a 5% GDP drop in 2012 and a loss of some one third of the value of US equities.
Republicans point to the recent Obama administration decision to deny a permit for the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada through the US to the Gulf Coast as “job killing”. The permit decision was forced by the recent Republican amendments to the President’s jobs plan requiring an immediate decision when the State Department (involved because the pipeline crosses an international border) said its internal review of the permit would not be done until 2013. The numbers of jobs created by the pipeline was a hotly contested issue. One independent analysis showed fewer than 7,000 temporary jobs over two years, the industry claimed some 20,000 jobs. The permit could still be re-submitted and decided in due course.
Lastly, we keep hearing the Republican canard that the US House has “passed 30 jobs bills“ which are “languishing in the Democrat [ic] Senate,” according to US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Nothing could be further from the truth. The House has passed what it calls “jobs” bills but, not one bill will directly create a single job, anywhere.
Employment is expected to increase over the 10 years between 2008 and 2018 by some 12.6 million without additional governmental impetus. Projected employment growth is greater than that during the years of the GW Bush Great Recession. Unemployment is now at 8.5%, the lowest since February 2009. And see here.
President Obama has taken several steps to keep down and to bring down unemployment since taking office. Building upon President Bush’s investment of TARP funds in GM and Chrysler, President Obama injected more billions into the companies’ financial arms. GM creditors balked at the administration’s plan to pay GM’s bills and the Obama administration tossed GM into bankruptcy, and set up new management. The company emerged from bankruptcy, and recently regained its spot as the world’s number one seller of vehicles. GM has repaid some $23 billion of a $53 billion government investment. The government still owns some one-third of the automaker’s stock. Chrysler has repaid some $5.9 billion of its government loans with interest. Saving the two auto makers likely saved some 3 million jobs.
The Obama administration’s Stimulus Bill included over $787 billion to stimulate employment with grants to states for employment of police, firefighters and teachers, money for infrastructure projects and tax breaks for the Middle Class and businesses.
The money worked to slow unemployment and to allow sates to continue to provide necessary services to citizens. The Obama administration says the bill saved some three million jobs. One conservative economist’s analysis demonstrated the bill worked and staved off a deeper recession or a depression and had a multiplier effect of 4.
Now that the stimulus bill’s money has been spent or committed, continuing and new job creation efforts have been proposed by the Obama administration. The American Jobs Act proposed by Obama would, according to one independent analysis, add some 1.9 million new jobs and increase GDP by some 2% in 2012.
There are two diametrically opposed views as to what will work to keep America’s economy growing and more Americans working. Republicans have put forward not a single plan to put a single worker back to work. In fact, all the Republican lies and chicanery around the budget and deficit would cost the job market, stock market, the GDP and average Americans dearly if allowed to be put into place.
President Obama has saved some six million jobs and increased private sector employment by over 2 million since he took office. Unemployment is down to 8.5%. More jobs could be created if the President’s Jobs Act were passed immediately. It’s time for the Republicans to get serious about taking steps to help America and working Americans and to quit the partisan gamesmanship of “making sure Barack Obama is a one term president.”