Obama’s job creation record – the whole truth

Undoubtedly over the next few months we will hear the Obama campaign repeat the claim he made last week during a visit to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – 3.2 million jobs have been created in the last 22 months, including nearly 2 million last year.  In Democratic party propaganda, you’ll often find claims like this paired with data from George W. Bush’s presidency, suggesting that three years into Bush’s first term, he had presided over a loss of 3.2 million jobs

It’s technically true that according to adjusted statistics, there have been over 3 million new hires across both the public and private sector.  But that didn’t happen in a vacuum.  What the Obama Campaign wants to avoid at all costs is a discussion of the full state of the current labor market.

First and foremost, although the President and the mainstream media are celebrating our new “low” 8.5% unemployment rate (still over 50% higher than average unemployment during the Bush Administration), that number is strongly dependent on seasonal hires for the holidays, and the continuing shrinkage of the labor pool.  Right now, the number of Americans 16 and older who have jobs stands at 58.5%, the lowest it has been since 1983.

Further, over a million eligible workers have given up and stopped looking for work since 2008.  If our current unemployment rate were recalculated using the size of the labor pool from December 2007 (62.7%) we would have an unemployment rate of 11%.

The reason why so many have given up is our dismal long-term unemployment situation, which is now the worst since the Great DepressionRight now, over 45% of jobless Americans have been unemployed for six months or longer.

Other unemployment statistics remain equally grim.  The U6 unemployment rate, which measures the unemployed plus the underemployed who are still actively seeking employment, stands at nearly 16%.  The unemployment rate among teens is hovering around 25%.  The unemployment rate among blacks remains steady at 16%, with over 40% unemployment among black youths.

Now let’s look at “job creation” via Obama’s $850 billion Stimulus plan.  Although the Administration claimed “2 million jobs created or saved” by the Stimulus in 2009,  further analysis showed that most of the money invested by the government went toward subsidies to keep existing workers on government payrolls, rather than toward new hires.  One widely publicized study reduced the number of ‘created or saved’  government jobs to 450,000, with a concurrent reduction in the private labor market of over 1 million jobs.

Other studies have shown that, instead of inspiring state and local governments to undertake new projects and hire more unemployed workers, the bulk of Stimulus money was used to pay for projects already on the books that were completed by workers already on state or local government payrolls.  Government contractors in the private sector were asked to buy unnecessary equipment and complete jobs inefficiently, in order to cook statistics and make it appear that a great deal of money was being quickly spent on Stimulus projects.

Finally, adding insult to injury in the employment market, only 42% of private firms that received Stimulus grants or contracts actively sought to hire the unemployed; the rest simply used the money to poach workers from competitors.  47% of workers hired for Stimulus-funded jobs were already employed at other similar jobs.

According to generally accepted statistics, the US labor market shed 8.5 million jobs during this most recent recession.  Assuming that we indeed added 3.2 million Americans to public and private sector payrolls during the last two years, we are still far, far behind in terms of economic recovery.  And when you factor in all the above details –  the number of workers poached from private sector jobs by Stimulus subsidies, the percentage of long-term unemployed (which is not improving), the millions who have given up looking for work and have dropped out of the available labor pool – it becomes obvious that there has been no recovery at all, at least in terms of employment.

And Barack Obama desperately wants to make sure that you don’t understand that.

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  • Justrand

    The “Disappeared Ones” account for ALL the “good news” in Obama claims.  5 MILLION people have been removed from the Labor Force.

    And since the SAME number of people are working now, as when Barry took over…it’s hard (impossible) to see how ANY net jobs were created!  Answer: they weren’t!

    • MichaelLaprarie

      Exactly.  Pres. Obama and his supporters will claim 3 million jobs “added” during the last two years.  The term “added” implies “in addition to”, yet , we are still minus 5 million + jobs since the start of the recession, and the overall size of the labor force has decreased by over 4%.  We haven’t “added” anything.

      • ffakr

        I believe the number is 3 Million added or saved.  That’s the terminology that I’ve heard from the GAO and other analysts like Moody’s.  
        I’ve never heard anyone claim that we’re +3 Million overall.. just that the policies over the last 3 years created or saved 3 million jobs that would have otherwise been lost.  I’ve never heard anyone claim there are 3 million more jobs today than the day Obama took office.

        Saving the Auto industry alone (vilified by the right) is generally credited with saving about a million jobs when you consider suppliers and ancillary businesses.  Ford just announced this week they’re hiring 6000 NEW employees because all of the big three are gaining overall US market share for the first time in decades.

        No one is claiming we’re +3M overall compared to when he took office.. any more than anyone is claiming the unemployment rate is lower now than when he took office.  We’re still in a bad way.. but we’re getting better, while we were in free-fall when he took office.

        BTW.. fun facts..
        –  January 2001, George W. Bush takes office.  Unemployment 4.2%
        –  January 2009, Bush leaves office, Obama inagurated.   unemployment 7.9% and rocketing up.
        –  today.. 8.5% and dropping.

        • Ed Stevens

          – April -> October 2003 – unemployment short spike above 6% for the only time during Bush’s tenure, until the last half of election year 2008
          – November 2006, Democrats take House and Senate – unemployment 4.5% begins increasing every month
          – August and September 2008 – unemployment holding at 6.1%
          – October 2008, last reading before the Obama election – unemployment 6.5%
          – November – 6.8%
          – December – 7.3%
          – January – 7.8%
          – February – 8.3%
          Unemployment went up over 2 full percentage points from the Obama election, to the Obama inauguration Anybody who doesn’t see that as a general business butt-clenching is dreaming

    • ffakr

      770,000 jobs were lost in the LAST MONTH of George W. Bush’s 2nd term.  ONE MONTH.     Right Wing partisans just refuse to accept that the US economy was in free-fall when Obama took office.  It contradicts their world-view and that’s simply not allowed.
      If Obama had lost Jobs at the rate we were when he took office, we’d be 27 MILLION in the hole over his administration.  At the rate we were losing jobs when Obama took over, it’s a miracle we’re not in a Depression.   If Bush could have gotten a 3rd term, we would be.

      • lakehead2

        Just don’t forget who had the majority in the House and Senate the last two year sof Bush’s presidency……Hint; it wasn’t the Republicans.

        • Precisely.  2007-2008 was the POR (Pelosi Obama Reid) economy.

          • As in, “what can we do to make things so bad that we can make the chances of getting a Democratic President better?”

            I know – we’ll fuck things up, blame Bush, and then we’ll have one of our own as the President!  We’ll have full control, we’ll do all sorts of things that are necessary – and things will be WONDERFUL!

            Well, I’m feeling the ‘wonder’ all right – as in “I wonder when we can get these clowns out of office!” and “I wonder if I’ll have any ‘change’ left because I ‘hope’ they’ll leave me some!”

  • Jay

     In Democratic party propaganda, you’ll often find claims like this paired with data from George W. Bush’s presidency, suggesting that three years into Bush’s first term, he had presided over a loss of 3.2 million jobs

    I believe the total statistic was 13 million jobs that Bush destroyed with things such as NAFTA, the tax cuts for the rich, and other disastrous plans that only supported the GOP and its benefactors.

    The big thing is, Romney’s plans would double down on Bush.  He would crash the economy again.

  • lasveraneras

    “I believe the total statistic was 13 million jobs that Bush destroyed
    with things such as NAFTA, the tax cuts for the rich, and other
    disastrous plans that only supported the GOP and its benefactors.”

    Thank you for providing us with the details of the referenced “Democratic party propaganda.”

    I believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.  But that doesn’t make them real.

    In response to a blog entry supported by official statistics you must cite peer reviewed economic analyses and/or data sets that contain your job loss number, the applicable years, and that confirm these causes.  Otherwise it simply stands as more leftist BS.

    • ffakr

      Unemployment was at 4.2% the month Bush took office.  It was 7.9% the month he left.   I know reality has a liberal bias but those are the facts.
      Bush was an unmitigated disaster.
      BTW, if you’re not good with numbers and the basics of Civics.. the month Bush left office was the same month Obama took office.  That means the unemployment rate was 7.9% when Obama took office.  Today it’s 8.5% and decreasing.

    • Jay

      How Bush destroyed the economy by deregulating the financial industry in a Republican House and Senate

      The follow through of Keynesian economics

      Don’t get me started on how the income inequality leads people like the Waltons have enough wealth to make the laws cheaper on their taxes compared to the rates of the middle class.

      • Ha ha!

        The bubble that burst was the handywork, neigh the shinning accomplishment, of 30 years of Democratic Policies.

        • Jay

          You need to go back further.  The Community Reinvestment Act of the 70s helped set up the situations that we have now.  Having banks control the deregulation effort hasn’t done much of anything when there is no one actually overseeing their efforts.

          • Bank “deregulation” followed CRA and its extensions, the collapse of the housing bubble was the precipitating event for the recession, which subsequently rocked the financial markets (in part because of the Mark to Market requirements of Sarbannes-Oxley).

  • ackwired

    If you really want to get ready to take on Obama during the campaign over this issue, you had better be ready to compare his performance to the first four years of the Great Depression.  All of the Republican candidates are proposing doing what was done during the first years of the Great Depression again.  I think they had better be prepared to defend that approach.

    • @ackwired:disqus The recession ended and we are now in recovery per both the Obama Administration’s claims and the published figures on growth.  The same could not be said of 1932.

      This “recovery” remains a sad joke as regards employment, and it is wholly owned by 0bama and his [mis]Administration.

      • ffakr

        Why yes Rodney.. We lost 770,000 jobs during Bush’s last month in office and we’ve had a year of solid growth.  Clearly misAdministration.   
        That’s pretty impressive for a President and party who’s been blocked at every turn by an opposing party who had doubled the rate of filibusters.

        • Growth in this “recovery” has been more anemic than in any recovery since statistics have been kept.  Employment is down by 1,000,000 jobs from the start of the “recovery” whereas the average for all recoveries is +3,400,000, thus leaving the 0bama “recovery” in dead least and 4,400,000 jobs behind the average value for a recovery.

          Not also that the lost 770,000 jobs in “Bush’s last month in office” were really the effects of the POR (Pelosi Obama Reid) economy, since the Democrats held control of both chambers of Congress (and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate).

          This economic Disaster was created and exacerbated by the Democrats.

          • ffakr

            The recovery has been more anemic because this has been the worst financial crisis since the great Depression.   Your excuse to bash the recover is tantamount to saying ‘this severed leg is taking way too long to heal compared to all the other cuts I’ve had’.  You also ignore the reality (I know, I know.. conservatives..) that this is a global economic crisis and that the US implosion dragged the rest of the world down.  Because of the feedback loop in a global economy, our recovery is now affected in turn by the damage that we did on other nations of the world.
            The issue is compounded by the fact that the Democrats have not had a filibuster-proof majority for first two years of Obama’s term.  The Democrat caucus has/had several Blue-Dogs who frequently vote outside the caucus since they are in right-leaning states and only survived because of incumbency and their willingness to buck the party on conservative-line issues.   Your mythical super-majority also included Joe Lieberman who was defeated in the Democratic primary, only to win with Republican support as a member of the Joe Lieberman party.  He is no longer a Democrat, though he claims to caucus with them.  The reason he lost the Primary was because of his increasingly conservative and hawkish proclivities.  Lieberman is R-light these days.This purported super-majority so ineffectual that during this period, the Republicans and Democrats came to an understanding that the Dems wouldn’t bother bringing anything to the floor unless they could guarantee Republican support because they had to assume everything required 60 votes (automatic filibuster of all Senate business) and they needed to guarantee that not even one ‘dem or lieberman’ pealed off.This may shock you, but the economic problems didn’t start with the Democratic majorities created after the 2006 elections (.. starting in 2007).  Perhaps you forget how ineffectual the Dems were in 2007 and 2008 (frankly the entire time since 2007).  You don’t remember that the Republicans threatened the “Nuclear Option” to remove the filibuster when the 2007-2008 Democrats began to filibuster at half the rate of the 2009-2011 Republicans?  How about you try to actually identify some democratic policy.. specific policy.. that was enacted by Congress in 2007-2008 and signed by Bush (yea.. remember you had a sitting President??) that affected the financial crash.   What was it?   Talking points are easy.  Where are the facts?

            It doesn’t matter what happens, there’s always a way to blame the democrats.  
            It wasn’t Greenspan and his forcing the Fed to keep the lending rate down near 1%, thus driving up housing prices ..something he’s subsequently apologized for.   It wasn’t the gutting of financial regulations by conservatives that led to massive ‘bank’ consolidations [too-big-to-fail] and the creation of bogus financial instruments that were fraudulently marketed as A++ when subsequently released correspondence proves these institutions KNEW they were selling garbage.    It wasn’t exacerbated by conservative tax policies that encouraged US Businesses to outsource jobs. It wasn’t the war on organized labor that at best helped keep middle-class wages stagnant.  It wasn’t the slashing of the top tax rates that was the first nail in the 2000 surplus, adding 1 Trillion dollars of additional debt over the Bush years.  It wasn’t the two bungled wars that added a couple more trillion of debt.. a financial burden that Obama is just now beginning to crawl out from under.

            Nope, it was the dems and their stupid social security (which was solvent).

          • @ffakr:disqus  asserts: “…the Democrats have not had a filibuster-proof majority for first two years of Obama’s term.”  This is untrue.  The Democrats did hold enough seats to prevent filibusters in both houses of the 111th Congress (the Congress which failed to so much as take up a budget, let alone pass one).  Fillibusters in the 111th Congress could only succeed if Democrats joined in the filibuster.

            As regards the housing bubble that precipitated the entire recessionary mess, that was the signature accomplishment of three decades of democratic party policy.

          • ffakr

            Seriously wizbang/disqus?  You show my post, then it’s gone?   

            OK.. shorter version of what I just tried to post…..

            You’re wrong.
            The Democratic party Never had a filibuster-proof supermajority in the 111th Congress.
            With people coming and going, the Democratic party had, at most, 58 seats for approximately 6 months of the entire session.  
            There were also two independents that tended to caucus with the Democrats, but they were neither Dems, nor reliable votes (in the case of republican-lite Lieberman).


            I’d go on to point out in detail the BS in the claim the Dems were responsible for the Housing bubble, but I’ll limit it to…
            The Community Reinvestment Act of ’77 addressed a real problem of credit discrimination in low income neighborhoods.  It was called Redlining.  

            The Act does not require banks to make loans to un-creditworthy borrowers.  It does not have quotas.  It just states that lenders have to actually grade borrowers on their ability to pay back a loan.

          • The Caucus had enough votes (including the non-Democrats allowed to caucus with the Democrats) to prevent filibusters.  The lack of party discipline is just another Democratic failure.

          • ffakr

            My point stands.  For only 6 months did the Democrats hold enough seats that they could over-rule a filibuster ONLY IF both independents voted with them.  Perhaps you’re not clear on the definition of “independent”.  I know it’s rather exotic.   

            The other 75% of the time they didn’t have a super-majority even with the independents.

            AT NO POINT in the 111th congress, as you asserted,  was there a Democrat supermajority in the Senate.  
            There was a caucus supermajority for ~25% of the time but saying you caucus with a party doesn’t mean you promise to vote party line.
            Also.. I just noticed you specifically noted that ” The Democrats did hold enough seats to prevent filibusters in both houses of the 111th Congress”    ..Huh.  Um.. The House doesn’t have a Filibuster rule.  Only the Senate does.  The House stopped the unlimited filibuster in 1840.  Why do I bother arguing with Conservatives?

            And yes, the Democrats don’t vote lock-step party-line.  They tend to be more independent than Republicans.  There’s that crazy “i” word again.
            Sometimes I wish they’d be more disciplined but alas, liberals* tend to see nuance where conservatives think everything is black or white.

            * I really do hate to call Democrats Liberals.  I’m a liberal, most Democrat politicians aren’t.  They tend to be centrist corporatists.  I don’t think of myself as a Democrat.. I’m an anti-republican because I’m not a fan of fascism.

          • ffakr

            P.S.  Being an “IT Geek”, you should check out this new site.  It’s called Google.   When I’m writing something where I intend to present myself as an authority I’ll go to this Google and verify that I know what I’m talking about.   
            Sometimes I actually have to modify my argument because it turns out I’m not clear on one point or another.It keeps me from acting like my poop don’t stink, before it’s pointed out that I don’t know what I’m talking about.  God forbid I do something embarrassing like assuring someone they’re wrong about how many Dems are in office when it’s so easy to verify.

            P.P.S.  probably won’t get to argue for a while, I need to brush up on my Python.  I kid you not, I need to review some code from one of our Geophysical Scientists (yea, those global warming guys).  How ironic.. me walking away from an argument with a winger, because I’m dabbling in such a right-wing taboo.  I’m like the liberal anti-christ.. that’s an oxymoron isn’t it?

          • The Democratic Caucus had enough votes (including the non-Democrats allowed to
            caucus with the Democrats) to prevent filibusters.  The lack of party
            discipline is just another Democratic failure.

            Any more excuses?

          • UOG

            ffaker, I suggest you GOOGLE wound healing. All wounds heal  side to side. (Excuse me for not using metric measurements here) A 1″ deep wound 1″ long takes exactly the same amount of time to heal as a 1″ deep wound 20″ long.

          • ffakr

            I had no idea your leg was 1″ across.
            P.S. Google would tell you that your body heals at different rates in different areas. Your mouth heals faster than your arm.

          • UOG

            “I had no idea your leg was 1″ across.”

            You really don’t get it, do you? Side to side, not end to end. And the ability to read is not the same as the ability to comprehend.

          • ffakr

            no, I got it.  I used an analogy comparing a serious wound, a cut off leg, to a trivial would.. a simple cut.

            You replied that “All wounds heal side to side” and “A 1″ deep wound 1″ long takes exactly the same amount of time to heal as a 1″ deep wound 20″ long.”  
            Unfortunately for you, this is completely irrelevant to what I posted.. it’s a red herring argument.  A severed leg is not 1″ deep, nor is it composed of the same tissue as a 1″ deep wound (presumably entirely in soft tissue).  I also pointed out that all tissu e types do NOT heal at the same rate.  For example mucus membrane like the inside of your mouth heals faster than dermis.
            Most adults have noticed this, though I do have a leg up (no pun) since I was pre-Pharm (pre-med) prior to being in IT. I’ve had quite a bit of Anat and Bio.


          • ffakr

            deleted.. double post because of Discus error.

          • It’s a poor workman who blames his tools.

          • ffakr

            yes, had nothing to do with that error dialog that popped up saying “Discus Error” before kicking me back to my post form.

          • It’s never ever a democrat’s fault.  You don’t even have to ask them!

      • ackwired

        I think that is going to be a hard sell if they start comparing their performance with Hoover’s.

        From: Disqus
        To: [email protected]
        Sent: Saturday, January 14, 2012 3:02 PM
        Subject: [wizbang] Re: Obama’s job creation record – the whole truth
        Disqus generic email template

        Rodney G. Graves wrote, in response to ackwired:
        ackwired The recession ended and we are now in recovery per both the Obama Administration’s claims and the published figures on growth.  The same could not be said of 1932.
        This “recovery” remains a sad joke as regards employment, and it is wholly owned by 0bama and his [mis]Administration. Link to comment

        • I know that it will prove nearly impossible for Obama to run on his record of deepening and prolonging the Recession both as President and part of the POR triumvirate.

          • ffakr

            Here I don’t disagree with you.  There are plenty of Americans that are too stupid and/or partisan to accept that when you switch seats on the toboggan half-way down the mountain, it’s going to keep going downhill for a while. 
            Of course, Obama should have taken an economy in free-fall and fixed everything by the end of January 2009. Perhaps he will, however, be able to campaign on the fact that the economy has been improving for over a year now, and that we’ve not had the promised double-dip (well, employment-wise we had a couple months of back-step in late 2011)

          • ackwired

            What’s the POR triumvirate?

            From: Disqus
            To: [email protected]
            Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2012 10:59 AM
            Subject: [wizbang] Re: Obama’s job creation record – the whole truth
            Disqus generic email template

            Rodney G. Graves wrote, in response to ackwired:
            I know that it will prove nearly impossible for Obama to run on his record of deepening and prolonging the Recession both as President and part of the POR triumvirate. Link to comment

          • The POR economy/trimverate was previously defined in this thread.

  • retired.military

    Look for Stephen to totally ignore this thread.  He thinks Obama ‘s job creation tactics are  the greatest thing since wonder bread.  Too bad they are about as flat and stale as week old piece of bread laying on its side.

  • herddog505

    To normal people, these numbers are pretty damning.  Barry blew through about $800B in “stimulus” (where DID all that money go?), promising that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if he got his way.  Now, he and his idiot partisans are reduced to cheering that, nearly three years later, unemployment has DROPPED to (hurrah!) 8.5%.  Oh, and they also pat themselves on the back for extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks.  Yes, Barry’s job creation record is so brilliant that we’ve got to pay benefits to people for nearly TWO YEARS while they struggle to find a job.  Anybody remember “funemployment”, their early effort to convince us how wonderful things were with Barry at the helm?

    To libs, however, all that matters is that It’s All Bush’s Fault(TM).  Reelect Barry because… um… well, you can’t expect him to fix such a mess, can you?  It must be a wonderful thing to be a f*ck-up and get away with it by blaming everything on the last guy. 

    O’ course, in fairness, Barry doesn’t blame only Bush for the lackluster economy.  Why, there are ATM’s!  And the Japanese tsunami!  And Americans are pretty lazy, you know.  Hell, I’ve even seen libs blame REAGAN for the current economic mess.  When they admit that it’s a mess, that is.  Doublethink in action: Barry has fixed the economy, which is a mess because of Bush.

    Four legs good, two legs baaaaaad.

    BTW: assuming that Barry DID “save or create” 3.2M jobs by spending $800B in stimulus (and this doesn’t count the hundreds of billions he added to the budget that weren’t “stimulus”), then that works out to only $250k / job.  WHAT A DEAL!

    / sarc

    • ffakr

      “To normal people, these numbers are pretty damning.  Barry blew through about $800B in “stimulus” (where DID all that money go?)”

      You can actually download where the stimulus went.  Feel free.
      The consensus of Economists was that the Stimulus was too small.  Obama and the Dems got through what they could.

      “.. promising that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if he got his way”

      Obama never promised unemployment wouldn’t go above 8%.  It’s a right-wing myth.   
      Yet another thing that amazes me is the similarities of my right-wing family and friends with abused spouses.  It doesn’t matter how many times I point out they’re abused (lied to by the people they trust), they can always make themselves pretend it’s still OK to trust them.
      Republicans love to look for reasons to hate Democrats/Liberals, even if they’re fabrications or fake-scandals.  I know people who still hate Obama for X when I’ve proven to them that X never happened.  It’s about the hate, they’re just looking for excuses to hate.
      They never get mad with their own team when they lie point-blank to their faces.




      • Do keep citing Politi[non]fact.

        • ffakr

          I have no problem (none I’ve seen) with Politifact’s research.  I do have disagreements with how they apply that research when evaluating statements on both the right and the left.   They seem to err on the side of lying, because they’ll ignore the overall truth of a statement if they can find a nit to pick.  Case in point, they rated the Democratic claim that the Ryan Budget would kill medicare a lie, in fact lie-of-the-year.  I think that’s an entirely reasonable and true statement.  If you end medicare as we know it (single-payer) and replace it with something completely different like a voucher system.. forcing future users to buy coverage on the open market with no guarantees that the vouchers would track with insurance price increases… you’re ending medicare.   It doesn’t matter if you name the new program medicare.
          If GM stopped making Pickup-trucks but instead started calling station wagons “pickup trucks”, You’d be entirely correct to call BS on them and point out they’re ending pickup-truck production.

          Unfortunately (for my ability to trash their ratings I disagree with), I understand their position on this.  If part of a statement if false, it’s false.  (2+2) / 2 = 4 is incorrect.. even if you know that 2+2 if 4 but you think 4/2 =4.  My distaste for their application of this is my understanding that political issues are inherently ‘grey’, not binary right or wrong in most cases.

          Now, here’s a teaching moment.   When I criticized the link to a blatantly, unabashedly partisan source in other posts, I explained why I thought the linked articles were misleading.  In each case, they ignored significant factors like the Bush-era deficits, to make Obama look worse in comparison to historical spending/deficits.. and they ignored the context of Obama coming in during the worst recession since the great depression.
          What we have here is a blanket dismissal of politfact, a non-partisan source at least, without any justification.  Where are the errors with my citations from Politifact?

          BTW.. I’m again breaking my golden rule.. “it’s not worth debating anyone who argues with dismissive play-on-names reminiscent of 2nd grade playground taunts.  Odds are you’re arguing with a child, or someone with the logical capacity of a child”

          • You claim that Obama and the Dems only passed what they thought they could get through….yet, the Dems controlled both Houses of Congress for 2 years with fillibuster proof majorities, so they rammed down anything they wanted. Don’t rewrite the history.

          • ffakr

            If you look though my other, unfortunately long, posts on this page.. you’ll see that I addressed this in detail.  At no point going back to the Dem take-over in 2006 have the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority.  It’s a lazy media myth.
            I was going to write a shorter version but I ended up expanding on my other posts.  I apologize for the length.
            At Most, for only one 6 month period (due to retirements and such), Dems held 58 Senate seats.  There were two independents in the democratic voting caucus which the media lumped in as “Democrats”.  Bernie Sanders (socialist party) was a reliable vote on progressive issues, less on centrist/conservative-leaning bills.  Joe Lieberman (Joe Liberman party) was defeated in the 2006 Dem primary so he started his own party.  He was defeated  because he’d become increasing conservative (and very Hawkish) over his terms.  Joe was only elected by carrying some Dem votes but also stealing Republican votes from a weak opponent.Joe agreed to caucus with the Dems in exchange for keeping a powerful committee appointment (it was no secret.. Dems and Lieberman publicly acknowledged this) but he regularly votes with Repubs or abstains from votes on Dem bills.There were/are also the Blue Dog Dems (6 in that period I think) who were in conservative-leaning to very conservative districts or in generally red-leaning states.  They were only holding on to seats because they were long-time incumbents and because they regularly break ranks with the caucus to vote with the Republicans (often voting present and simply not supporting the Dems).  They’re still Democrats but in reality the operate as left-leaning and right-leaning as the ‘weather’ changes.  Conservatives would call them DINOs [like RINOs on the other side].

            so.. it’s technically accurate to lump in the Blue Dogs with the Dem party.  They were technically Dems though they vote like independents (always afraid to upset their conservative constituents).
            It’s not technically accurate to call the Independents Dems.. they’re not.  They are “Independent” even if they favor Democrats.

            One other fact is undeniable.  The Republicans have Filibustered at a historic rate.. over twice as often as the 2nd greatest period which was while Republicans controlled all branches under Bush.  
            In fact, the standing policy in the Senate since 2006 has been to not bother to attempt to bring anything to the floor unless you’re confident of 60 votes.  The power to filibuster isn’t in the Constitution, it’s a Senate rule, created by the Senate.  Having a standard policy of requiring a supermajority for everything is unconstitutional, at least in spirt if not letter.  
            The Dems greatest failure was in not limiting or killing the Filibuster.  Since it’s a Senate imposed rule it can be changed at the beginning of a new congressional session with a simple majority.   The Dems didn’t want to loose their tool to obstruct either though.. even if they dont’t abuse it nearly to the extent of the Republicans (an empirical fact).

          • The Democratic Party did not have a filibuster proof majority, but the Democratic Caucus (which includes several non-Democrats) did, which means y’all failed on party discipline.

          • ffakr

            yes Rodney.. I pointed this out to you earlier when you claimed “Democrats” had a super-majority.  You’re using my arguments and pretending they refute my overall point.   

            You still don’t seem to accept that “independents” act independently even if they’re in a caucus.  The definition of a caucus is a group formed to pursue SIMILAR interests. Not all the same interests.. not uniform party-line votes but some similar interests.  Independents always link to one party or the other.  Leaning toward one party or the other doesn’t mean total devotion.. just that the scale may have tipped at least a tiny bit toward one party in terms of their SIMILAR interests.You continue to ignore that..

            1)  Lieberman remained in the caucus for the self-professed selfish demand the he keep a powerful committee post.  He lost the Democratic primary because he had stopped supporting the Dems on a number of issues and won as an “Independent” with the support of fairly significant Republican support.  Lieberman is not Democrat in party affiliation or in loyalty to the Democratic caucus.  The dems do not exert any real influence over him.  He’s an Independent.

            2)  Blue Dog Dems might be Dems but they’re in conservative districts and they regularly buck the leadership.  I don’t accept this is a reasonable failure of the leadership because the Leadership doesn’t necessarily want them in those seats but they can’t get re-elected if they follow party orthodoxy.   In short they pander to their ‘red’ constituency (I’d say that’s actually their job).  They’re often beyond leadership influence and if they were on the other side of this, they’d go against the Republican leadership too.I do agree that this point is open to debate, but that’s my positon.  This doesn’t negate my other points though.

            3)  In the vast majority of the time period you referenced the Dems didn’t even have a super-majority WITH the independents.  Even if I fully accept that the Dems are at fault for not wipping the entire caucus into party-line votes on all issues.. you seem to assume they should have been able to pass all Democratic initiatives in 6 months.  You know there are more tools to obstruct. Bills get tied up in conference too.. and they can get tied up by a minority party by adding endless amendments and irrelevant “Poison Pills” to bills that force even a bill’s sponsors to vote against their own bills.  It’s happened over and over.  Thats reality.

    • ffakr

      BTW.. do you actually believe we paid people $250k per job?  You do realize that when we build a bridge, there are other [significant] costs in addition to labor, Right?  Considering we’re talking about a lot of capital projects, $250k per job is probably a pretty good deal.  The bulk of that investment will be there for years, if not decades, and building and maintaining infrastructure is beneficial to the long-term economic health of the country.   In fact, robust infrastructure is one advantage we have over 2nd and 3rd world countries… living wage certainly isn’t something we can compete on.
      UPS’s bottom line won’t look so great if all their trucks have to drive miles out of the way to go around a closed bridge [fuel costs].. or if their fleet maintenance goes up because they have to drive on torn-up streets.  It certainly won’t help their operations if they can’t get reliable power to their package hubs.

      Infrastructure is the greatest entitlement in this country.. and every citizen and business is at the teat.  They just don’t want to pay for it.

      ..almost forgot.. You realize that the extra billions he added to the national debt (and there were many) are mostly the result of decreased government tax revenue, right? The only big spending increases Obama made [please correct me, with details, if I’m mistaken] was the surge in Afganistan and the stimulus. [I should point out, most conservatives don’t remember Bush did the bank bailout]

      Oh yea, he also added the war spending to the budget instead of hiding it all in supplemental funding bills like Bush did so the per-budget numbers look much worse for Obama. That shows him for being more transparent! Sucker.

      The size of the Government hasn’t exploded under Obama, contrary to popular right-wing myth. They’re just not earning nearly as much as they used to but spending (outside Afghanistan and the stimulus) hasn’t changed significantly outside of a few big ‘one-offs’ required by the economic situtation.

      BTW.. Obama would have saved hundreds of billions on the Wars if Bush hadn’t gotten distracted by the bogus war with Iraq and dropped the ball on Afghanistan.. and we wouldn’t still be paying billions on Iraq even after we pulled out. Remember, we finally got the ‘troops’ out but we still have the world’s largest embassy and a ‘advisor’ staff of about 10,000.

  • JFritsch62

    If you take into account the following – In the six months before President Obama was elected, unemployment increased by 4 million lost jobs. Another 4 million jobs were lost before President Obama’s policies were in full effect. – then the President’s job creation record is quite impressive.

  • Something to also understand is the fact that many people choose not to work in certain areas of the market. People’s “pride” prevents them from applying to jobs that are underneath them but are still jobs. You can get a job at just about any major company making a little more than minimum wage but won’t do so because they are too good for that job. You also have to take into account that many others won’t get a job because their welfare checks will stop coming in the mail. there’s also the fact that America is becoming increasingly inept at competing for international jobs via education and productivity. There are many other factors besides Obama’s Stimulus that people tend to forget. Especially hard-headed conservatives wanting to wipe out the Democratic party as a whole.

    • My attitude’s always been that if I don’t have a job, I can’t afford pride. It’s kept me employed pretty much constantly the last thirty years.

      (Of course, I’ll look for jobs I LIKE first. But I’ll run pizzas if I have to.)