We’ve recovered all the jobs Bush killed or, as the GOP says, time for a new Bush
After a record 51 months of consecutive job growth, America has finally recovered all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. We now have 98,000 more jobs than January 2008 — a record for this country.
This is a bittersweet victory considering that population growth means millions more are out of work than in 2008, which was hardly a great economy for the middle class after 28 years of conservative economics.
Republicans love to point out that the labor force is at a 36-year low, which shows at least two things: 1) the economy is far from fully recovered and 2) Baby Boomers, who make up a huge chunk of our workforce, are retiring.
When the right complains about the lack of a full recovery, they’re bragging about how badly George W. Bush screwed up and how effectively the GOP has sabotaged our growth.
We would have recovered all the lost jobs about a year far earlier if Republicans didn’t decide to use the worst economic crisis in more than 70 years to do something America has never done before — cut government spending and jobs during a jobs crisis.
Of course, we did have the federal Stimulus, which when fully implemented in January of 2010 began this record streak of job growth. But much of that impact was dulled by cuts at the state and local level. In Michigan and Wisconsin for instance, big cuts to the public sector and long tax breaks for corporations resulted in stagnant state economies — even as the auto rescue kept the economy from cratering.
On the federal level, they’ve cut food stamps and cut millions off emergency long-term unemployment benefits — targeting pain precisely at those who are suffering most in this economy.
And the justifications for their actions have all been proven wrong — comically, ridiculously, insultingly wrong.
Republicans predicted the Stimulus from Congress and the Fed would lead to rampant inflation. Inflation, if anything, is too low.
Republican predicted Obamacare would hurt the job market. There have been 7.7 million new jobs since it became law, about 1 million of which are in health care.
Republicans said raising taxes on the rich would trigger another crash. Tax increases on the rich and super rich in 2013 and 2014 have led to the best year of job creation so far since 1999.
The uninsured rate is the lowest Gallup has ever recorded and its Standard of Living Index is the highest.
If you want to know what our economy would look like if Republicans got their way, we can just look at the Eurozone, which focused entirely on austerity. Our economies started in the same place and our unemployment dove as theirs rose without the deficit/debt reduction promised.
If we wanted the economy to be back to where it was in 2008, Republicans could do that in a minute by putting all the public workers they’ve fired back to work. Of course, if they were in power they would. We know this because they spiked government spending under the recessions Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush inherited. Austerity isn’t something they believe in. It’s a philosophical cloak for their desire to prevent a full recovery.
Despite some promising economic news, this is not the time to celebrate a new economic boom. But it’s always the time to remember that Republicans aren’t actually complaining about the economy.
They’re bragging about how good they are at sabotage.