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Since Obama was elected, the public sector has lost about 600,000 jobs. If you put those jobs back, the unemployment rate would be 7.8 percent.

But what if we did more than that? At this point in George W. Bush’s administration, public-sector employment had grown by 3.7 percent. That would be equal to a bit over 800,000 jobs today. If you add those hypothetical jobs, the unemployment rate falls to 7.3 percent.

At this point the Obama presidency is net positive on private-sector jobs. Since February of 2009 — remember, Obama wasn’t president for most of January — the economy has added, on net, 780,000 private-sector jobs. Hence the president’s comments: The private sector’s job creation machine is basically working, even if it would be nice to see it working faster. The public sector, conversely, has been losing jobs.
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31 comments
 
Keep spinning the numbers. Makes no sense. Fact remains that Obama lost (net) jobs during his tenure. Economic growth is at a very slow pace. Doesn't look like he (nor his team) have a clue how these things work. Their in a hole and it doesn't look good regarding his re-election chances.
 
Republicans have decided that firemen, cops, nurses, teachers and snow plow drivers were some how not worthy of a living wage!
 
Creating public sector jobs is political suicide right now. The best we can hope for is infrastructure stimulus to boost the private sector.
 
Public sector employees in WI have had their jobs saved thanks to Scott Walker.
 
+Ferdinand de Greef You're just repeating Romney talking points. It doesn't mean anything.  Romney knows how the economy works and Obama doesn't.  That's just a bunch of b.s.
 
+s.bradford colson They should be grateful. They could have been part of the 600,000 that have nothing.

Walker is helping Obama by keeping unemployment down.
 
+Ferdinand de Greef Blaming Obama for nets jobs lost would be akin to prosecuting a paramedic for blood lost after they arrive on the scene of an accident. Facts are that lax regulation at the conservative-gutted SEC allowed CDO's to crash the economy. You even stated it yourself: we're growing again after the worst recession in our lifetimes--a remarkable feat given the recovery window on something so dramatic is ten years. And we grappled with a swine flu outbreak, the deep water horizon explosion, two wars and Kim Kardashian being unleashed on the US.
 
What has not yet been discussed in this thread is the concept of economic cycles. You can't create jobs out of thin air, and policies take time to have an effect. If Obama was able to get most of his policies enacted through Congress, and we were to watch the effects years down the road, then and only then can we say that the policies were successful or unsuccessful. It doesn't matter who is in office after the new election, there is no way that they will be able to have a quick (less than 2-4 years) and significant impact on the employment rate. I'm not using specific numbers because it is just infeasible to say with any degree of certainty how long it would take, in any possible scenario, for us to get back to pre-recession employment levels. However, since this is the worst recession since the Great Depression, it is worth noting that it took over a decade for the employment rate to return to its prior state. As history will dictate, it is going to take several more years for us to get back to pre-recession levels, provided that the global economy doesn't implode first!
 
No. Stimulus [both spending and the right kind of tax cuts] can have an impact on time scales as short as a month. It may or may not change the long term fundamentals in a positive way, but it can "artificially" inflate the economy very quickly.
 
+Jason Clinton The policies of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 crashed the economy eventually in 2007. Lax housing and lending policies from Frank and Dodd. More liberals that have no clue how the economy works. This is Obama's economy and Obama's 5 trillion dollar added debt. He has nothing to show for but more ballooning debt and high unemployment, no housing recovery, slow growing economy and international mayhem. This all makes it very hard to get re-elected. He and his team are in a ditch and are losing popularity quickly (even from Dems) and they have no solutions to get out of it except blame everything and everybody else that is not named Obama.
 
+Oran Switzer I was suggesting that employment/GDP could not be "significantly" affected on a short timeframe. Sure, if Congress doles out a couple hundred million dollars, freshly printed at the mint, it will have an impact. But, like you said, it won't change the long-term fundamentals. If a New New Deal is put into place, you can get people to work, but you cannot "resurrect" a battered economy like ours and restore pre-recession employment levels in several months time. If you disagree, tell me how to do it, I'm curious! The jobs that we had previously that were lost, a fair number of them no longer exist. I would imagine that you'd have to create new jobs/markets and get them functioning correctly, to give you a jump start.
 
+Abe Cano It had a short term impact on jobs because nearly half of the money went directly to saving or create jobs -- the indirect money that may or may not have created or saved jobs was mostly "spent" in the form of tax cuts!
 
+Jason Pimentel Are you going to teach your own children? Plow and repair your own roads, put out your own fires and arrest, try and house your own convicts? The very idea that public employees are the problem is stupid beyond reason.
 
I think people are forgetting that the "economy" has mostly recovered. The wealthy had a recovery and they are now seeing growth -- not as much as they would like, but a majority of Americans have seen none of that recovery, and that's not a new story. That reality doesn't fit well into the narrative when you're trying to sell more tax cuts for the wealthy from already historic lows.  Stop trying to make it an easy sell. If it were easy, we would be convinced already.
 
+Ferdinand de Greef  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were victims of the credit crisis, not culprits.

Start with the most basic fact of all: virtually none of the $1.5 trillion of cratering subprime mortgages were backed by Fannie or Freddie. That's right - most subprime mortgages did not meet Fannie or Freddie's strict lending standards. All those no money down, no interest for a year, low teaser rate loans? All the loans made without checking a borrower's income or employment history? All made in the private sector, without any support from Fannie and Freddie.

Meanwhile, in the private sector, the amount of subprime loans originated jumped to $600 billion from $335 billion and Alt-A loans hit $400 billion from $85 billion in 2003. Fannie and Freddie, which wouldn't accept crazy floating rate loans, which required income verification and minimum down payments, were left out of the insanity.
 
+Oran Switzer Remember the "Jobless Recovery" the Bush administration touted as the new normal to cover the fact they saw 3 million jobs created in 8 years? The jobs bills presented by Democrats have been filibustered, so continuing to blame the president is naive, or simply mean spirited.
 
If it's all the fault of Obama and Barney Frank, then the implication is that there was nothing wrong with the Bush policies.  Does anyone really want to go back to Bush? 
 
I don't get why republicans would even care if public sector jobs were lost except to use it against dems. Some republicans have stated that the US Government is not responsible for creating jobs because they believe jobs to be a separate issue from the economy. If republicans cared about jobs they would think of something else better than to lower taxes even more.

Ultimately the whole issue is moot though because I believe even under a strong socialist administration we still would only see marginal job growth because we're losing jobs to things beyond our control; the global market, the rise of 2nd world nations and advancing technology. I believe there will be much much fewer jobs available in the next 50 years mostly from new technologies and eventually almost no jobs beyond that. And then what we will we do in a capitalist economy? Go back to fiefdoms?
 
+Jason Pimentel Maybe not you, but the way the right has moved the goalposts without acknowledging it, it's fair to paint them as implicitly advocating for the extreme position. Suggesting that a shrinking public sector and weakening regulatory regime is "rampant big government" or calling health reform a "government takeover" after even the public option was abandoned, leaves us only to imagine how far they are willing to go.
 
+Oran Switzer We are all wondering what exactly a neo-republican administration with 60 red seats in the senate would actually look like and what they'd decide to do with America. Realistically though they'd probably do what the dems did in 2008, not much.
 
so, the R's got everything they wanted while crying that they did not get anything
 
+John Larberg if you take GOP at its word, look at the Romney-endorsed Ryan plan and Romney's tax and defense pledges:

-- Replace Medicare for everyone under 55 with vouchers for private insurance.

-- Raise defense spending, putting in a floor of 4% GDP

-- Cut taxes for the "job creators"

-- Repeal Frank-Dodd regulation of Wall Street
 
+Jason Pimentel Did I misread that you feel that the public sector workers that still have jobs should simply be grateful?
 
You can extend that to all who are employed.
 
+Jason Pimentel the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 had nothing to do with the crash.  "...that 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision and another 30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations."

Boiled down, the vast majority of the nasty ugly subprime loans that got us into this mess weren't CRA loans.  CRA loans had higher scrutiny, although CRA rules in general were eased in 2001 and again in 2005.  Even if there had been a lot of cruddy CRA loans, a larger cause is the slicing and repackaging of terrible loans with good ones, slapping a AAA rating on them, and selling them as stable investments.

http://www.businessweek.com/investing/insights/blog/archives/2008/09/community_reinv.html
http://www.newamerica.net/blog/asset-building/2008/its-still-not-cra-7222
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