According to the just released Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the country added 200,000 private sector jobs in December; bringing the total number private sector jobs added in 2011 to 1.6 million. The report also states that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.5%; the lowest in three years.
Republicans have been telling us for years that the President’s economic policies have killed job creation in the private sector. They have said that the uncertainty brought about by this President has frightened off the job creators.
So let’s set ideology aside and look at the facts.
When President Obama took over the White House the country was losing private sector jobs at a rate of 740,000 per month. The country had been continually losing private sector jobs since 2007. Since this President began implementing his policies the country has witnessed two consecutive years of job growth: 836,000 in 2010 and 1.6 million in 2011. While these numbers are not strong enough to guarantee that the economy has righted itself they are certainly a huge reversal from the decline of 2007-2009, and a positive sign that the economy is moving in the right direction.
So what caused the turn around? Was it the stimulus, the bank bailout, the auto industry bailout, the passing of “Obamacare” or perhaps the draw down in Iraq? Republicans argue that each of these events were little more than an intrusion on our lives by big government and that each in their own way contributed to the decline of the economy.
We would argue that the government saw the economic decline and understood the disastrous effects it was would have on the American people if it were allowed to continue unabated. Unlike the administrations holding power during the Great Depression, this administration chose to do something about it. The steps they took weren’t pretty and they flew in the face of traditional capitalistic values. No all of the policies implemented by this President worked as planned; but the job numbers and economic growth indicators indicate that they did what they were intended to do…stop the bleeding and right the ship.
Republicans say that the government should only do those things that the private sector cannot do. That is exactly what this administration did. By implementing their economic policies the Obama administration stopped the economic freefall, stabilized the banks, saved 3 million jobs that depended on the auto industry and curbed the unfair practices of the health insurance industry. But perhaps most important of all these practices instilled confidence by showing the American people that the government would not stand by and allow the country to crumble even at the risk of interfering with the hallowed principles of the free enterprise system. Private industry could not have accomplished those things.
Make no mistake the country is far from being where it needs to be economically. But if not for the vision and the economic policies of this administration the country would be in far worse shape than it is today.
The Republicans are wrong on this one. The President got it right. The numbers prove it.