More jobs were created so far this year than in George W. Bush’s eight
There’s no doubt that our recovery has been purposely stifled by the party that bequeathed us the financial crisis. But we just had the best jobs report of the recovery.
The only attack Republicans could put together to sour this good news was to ignore it or point out that part-time employment rose.
“The number of people working part-time involuntarily is down by 640,000 from its year ago level and by more than 1.6 million from its peak in 2010,” economist Dean Baker explained. “There are more people voluntarily working part-time, but this is a positive.”
An increase in voluntary part-time work a sign of a economic uptick. It also shows Obamacare is freeing people to work part-time without fear of losing health insurance.
The jobs news is so promising that Republicans will soon have to do what they’ve done over and over in this recovery: Sabotage.
This chart shows consumer confidence, the best indicator of the demand we need to create new jobs:
It dipped drastically in 2011 because of the debt-limit standoff. Then again at the end of 2013 because of the “fiscal cliff.” Then again last year because of the government shutdown.
All of these “crises” were created by Republicans who used the legislative process to purposely inspire insecurity in consumers.
Chastened after their disastrous shutdown fiasco, the GOP made a budget deal and won’t have a chance to shut down the government until September, which would be an insane thing to do right before the election.
So they’re doing the next-best thing: Purposely killing 700,000 jobs.
There are more than 100,000 active projects paving roads and rebuilding bridges, modernizing our transit systems. States might have to choose which ones to put the brake on. Some states are already starting to slow down work because they’re worried Congress won’t untangle the gridlock on time.
The Obama Administration has offered a 4-year reauthorization plan called the Grow America Act and in May the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes transportation spending for six years.
Funding remains uncertain and leaders the Republican-controlled House so far have only floated what AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Ed Wytkind called “a ridiculous proposal” to fund highway projects by eliminating Saturday mail delivery.
One Republican Senator Bob Corker has proposed increasing the gas tax, a proposal no other Republicans have embraced. The House plan cuts road funds even below to what they’d previously negotiated. The White House wants to close corporate tax loophole, which violates the only principle Republicans actually adhere to: The rich and corporations shall not pay one more dime in taxes.
The budget deficit is down almost $200 billion so far this year compared to last. Far more than enough needed to fill the gap in the Highway Trust Fund.
The Week‘s Ryan Cooper says cutting the deficit has been President Obama’s biggest mistake. While he did buy into deficit hysteria after the 2010 election, the truth is austerity at a local, state and national agenda has been the entire thrust of the GOP’s economic platform. They were willing to risk doubt and disaster over and over to make sure it happened.
Cutting public spending is how the Republicans have kept this recovery anemic and one of the reasons that getting all the jobs back Bush destroyed took so long.
But when your party’s ideas suck, your only hopes are stopping people from voting and keeping your boot on the throat of the economy.