2016, Affordable Care Act — January 9, 2016 at 10:57 am

Obamacare has led to the Obamaboom — someone should ask Republicans about that


The Affordable Care Act has led us into the best job creation of the century, exactly the opposite of what the GOP predicted


The predictions were ridiculous.

Implement Obamacare and we’ll get a “total economic collapse.” Or maybe we’ll just “ruin our economy.” Rush Limbaugh more modestly said it would cost us “2.5 million jobs, minimum.”

Instead we just got another “beautiful” jobs report, according to economist Justin Wolfers.

2015 was the second best year of job creation this century with 2.8 million new slots created. The first best year of job creation? 2014, with 3.1 million.

The jobs news is so good that the press has to find for the shitty lining in this silver cloud: “2015 Was a Great Year for Jobs. 2016 Will Have a Hard Time Matching It,” reads the headline of a Neil Irwin story in The New York Times.

The piece actually makes a decent point that you rarely hear. Job growth has been going on for so long — the longest expansion of private-sector employment expansion in American history — that it’s difficult to believe there’s much room left to grow:

Here’s some quick math. The lowest the unemployment rate has been in modern times was 3.8 percent in the spring of 2000. For the economy to get to that low level (which coincided with the peak of the dot-com boom, but that’s a different story) with only the current labor force — people who are either working or actively looking for a job — 1.9 million more Americans would need to find work.

The economy isn’t perfect, of course. We still need to reverse the conservative policies that have purposely engineered massive inequality and depressed wages. And we need to draw more workers back into the job market with programs like parental leave and universal pre-K.

But think about this: The job market is more promising than it’s been all century — and it has advanced so much that now our biggest worry is, “Can this keep up?”

That’s quite a problem to have for a president who inherited a nation half a sneeze from a Great Depression.

And ALL the growth began right after Obamacare became law.

President Obama can’t expect to get credit for the immense yet subtle ways he’s transformed the economy in the next twelve months — except from Michael Grunwald who wrote the definitive book on the Stimulus and has just published a killer assessment of the good the 44th president did domestically while no one was paying attention.

But at least we can expect the press to ask the Republicans — who want to take health insurance from 17 million and repeat the exact same policies that lead us into the crash we’re still pulling out from — how they got Obamacare so wrong.

[CC photo by Will O’Neill | Flickr]