Unemployment At Four Year Low After Good February Job Growth
Unemployment ticked down to 7.7% which is the lowest it’s been since it was 7.3% in December 2008 and 7.8% in January 2009. Payrolls grew by 236,000 and the average of the previous four months is 205,000 jobs per month.
This above consensus job growth number is great news but it comes before the sequester and the other sources of economic uncertainty on the horizon due to the bickering between Congress and the White House. This may be the last good month for a while or we may see the effects on job growth are minimal. Hopefully it's the latter.
Even with the new revisions, the job growth number under President Obama's first term is still at 1.2 million jobs. That isn't bad at all. I like to point out that the first 13 months saw 4.3 million jobs lost and the last 35 had 5.5 million jobs created.
So this is obviously good news about job growth but what about other numbers? Despite the negative GDP growth that had many calling for a recession the economy continues to improve in key areas that suggest no recession for the time being at least.
Housing continued to improve this last month with more people seeing the housing recovery as a good leading indicator for the economy. It can't be said enough how much a completely upended housing market contributed to the sluggish growth we've seen the last few years and how a strong housing market will be the ticket to sustained economic growth and significant lowering of our deficit.
Weekly Claims continues to decline to a four year low a well.
The DOW hit a record high this week and the S&P 500 isn't far behind. Here is a sad graph of the "Lost Decade" of the stock market which is now at about 14 years instead of 10.
Gas prices are starting to fall again nationwide which will help retail sales among other things.
Light vehicle sales are at near pre-recession levels as well.
There is a lot of good news in the economy including a bright spot for jobs this month. But there are also some very dark clouds on the horizon. Fortunately the more the economy improves the less impact the uncertainty will have on it overall. Hopefully we'll stay on track this year and a growing economy will bolster President Obama in his 2nd term.
Posted by Adam Ducker at March 8, 2013 8:37 AM
…a growing economy will bolster President Obama in his 2nd term.
Posted by Adam Ducker at March 8, 2013 8:37 AM
What does that mean? What will a “bolstered” obama mean for the country?
This economic growth has nothing to do with Obama. The sequester has bolstered the economy this last week giving Obama egg on his face with all the fearmongering prior to this week.
At this improved rate, we can probably expect to be back to normal by 2021.
I am not sure that Obama didn’t misplay his hand. All that hysteria about the sequester will be remembered as followed by all this better news. I well understand that these latest numbers were baked in before the sequester. But the correlation will proved to be an embarrassment to Obama.
And if the economy continues to recover after the sequester, it will indicated that the sequester did no harm.
In fact, perhaps if the economy is going to grow, it would be a good idea for government to cut back on stimulus in general.
Once again, thank you for the recap of the news. It’s great news, without question, an unqualified success for the Obama administration and Democratic policies.
“This economic growth has nothing to do with Obama. The sequester has bolstered the economy…”
Ummm… How do I put this? The unemployment report is for the month PRIOR to the sequester. Nevertheless, thanks for the unintentional amusement.
“… If the economy is going to grow, it would be a good idea for government to cut back on stimulus in general.”
That already happened. With the fiscal cliff negotiations, the Democrats ended the Payroll Tax Holiday, among other things. The key is to tap the fiscal brakes.
Also, you may not realize it, but the reason the Grand Bargain negotiations broke down was NOT because Reid, Pelosi, McConnell, and Boehner came to agreement, which Obama destroyed with additional demands; that is FALSE. The negotiations broke down becauce, while the four leaders & Obama reached an agreement, Boehner could not deliver his caucus. His 2nd in command. Cantor, led a revolt against the agreement, and the majority of Republicans followed Cantor. With the elections of 2012 still to come, the revolt killed the agreement.
After the elections, everything changed. Boehner gave up on the majority of Republicans, and since then, has passed three critical pieces of legislation relying on @ 80 Republicans and the unified Democrats.
Obama met with several Senate Republicans and his leadership paid dividends. The opposition Senators were glowing in their description of his leadership.
phx8, The unemployment may look good to you but when you factor in those who just quit looking and those whose benefits have run out the picture isn’t so pretty. Obama has had egg splattered on his face with the sequester NOT doing what he said it would do and if it keeps going like it is his legacy will be more than just tarnished. His petty little game of closing the WH. to tours because of the sequester reminds me of my kids when they were younger throwing temper tantrums when they didn’t get what they wanted. By the way kctim didn’t write that comment I DID. Unqualified success for the Obama administrationb and Democratic policies?????? LOLOLLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL You trying to be a comedian now phx8??? Funniest comment I’ve seen in a long time.
“Mr. President, I am sorry — with all due respect — that we are in this situation that we’re in, but we got handed this football on Friday night. And I didn’t create this situation. The first thing that baffles me is, from my private-sector experience, the first rule that I’ve always been taught is to have a Plan B. And it is really disheartening that you, that this White House did not have a Plan B.”
Several jaws dropped as the Hill staffer blasted the president to his face.
Was this the famous Boehner “Plan B,” which Boehner presented to his caucus and which was humiliatingly rejected?
“House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal to avert the looming fiscal cliff’s automatic tax increases failed to curry enough Republican support Thursday night, after which Congress left for the holiday with no clear end in sight in the high-stakes debate.”
Since then, Obama has been able to pass major legislation with Senate Democrats and a dozen or so Senate Republicans, and through Boehner, Democrats, & about 80 House Republicans. The majority of the House GOP- @ 150 Congressmen- remains implacably opposed to all negotitations and compromises with Obama.
Obama is president. Other presidents have managed to negotiate with hostile congresses. Obama plays a president very well on television, but he is just not very good at the leadership thing.
You and I have never led a country but we have seen the difference subtle changes in leadership can make. A bad leader can make a bad situation look normal. We say how hard it was for him and that nobody could have done much better. A good leader makes rapid improvement look like good luck. We say that the result was inevitable.
Obama HAS been a great leader in passing things he wanted. He got ObamaCare and he got a massive stimulus. He succeeded, but the things he gave us did not. As a leader he accomplished much but chose the wrong things to accomplish.
Leadership requires getting things done right, but the real essence of leadership getting the right things done. Obama emphasizes things such as ObamaCare, stimulus, gay rights and partisan victory. IMO, he should work harder on economic growth, job creation and infrastructure improvement. The former group tends not to get much bipartisan support, so he is always at odds with Republicans. There is a lot more common ground in the latter group.
Let me take one example: gay rights. I support gay rights, but I don’t think it is the most important thing for a president to do. The society is rapidly “evolving” toward more gay rights and no matter what Obama does this train is on the way. So I wish the president would spend less time on this issue and more on real job creation.
Royal Flush: “What does that mean? What will a ‘bolstered’ Obama mean for the country?”
It means simply a being president who can focus more on his domestic goals without people constantly suggesting he should be focusing on the economy instead. The right prefers to pretend the economy is wrecked as an argument against moving forward on the agenda items this president ran on such as health care.
C&J: “Leadership requires getting things done right, but the real essence of leadership getting the right things done.”
And by right things you mean literally right leaning things. You can’t support these policies so of course you don’t think they’re right or that the president is showing leadership in any area. Meanwhile this president continues to achieve goal after goal that he ran on in 2008 and 2012 and instead of admitting to that you just keep questioning his leadership and setting unrealistic expectations that by design he will not meet to prove your point.
NO Adam, it means getting the important things done first, then focus on the less important. Getting the economy on the right track should have been priority one instead of stimulous that did nothing and AHC that is slowly showing it will cost more and more by the time it is in force. Obama has shown no leadership. We saw that when he shifted his Obamacare to Palosi and company.
Indeed, I support “right leaning” things - “IMO, he should work harder on economic growth, job creation and infrastructure improvement.”
I thought the above were American goals. Job creation.
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I think of the economy not in terms of complete control or complete lack of control, but in terms of setting conditions that have an influence on outcomes.
The Republican policies, if followed, would have simply been tax cuts, which, I’m sorry, did not stimulate Bush’s economy to exceed the performance of Clinton’s.
Clinton’s economic advancements didn’t come from markets that were more free to dabble where they shouldn’t. They came from the fact that Clinton oversaw and did not mess up a transition from the analog way of doing business to the digital, with vast increases in productivity resulting. As a result, more people got jobs, and that kept the economy moving at a good pace. At the same time, Clinton promoted a program of controlled costs and increased revenues. He didn’t merely cut spending or merely increase taxes. He improved both sides, and by doing that got spending aligned with revenues. Or, if you don’t buy into the government numbers, at least he improved the situation greatly, which if you don’t like long term debt is certainly preferable to what came after.
The problem with Republicans and Obama’s actions, is that they are ideologically prevented from admitting a practical truth: that the last thing the economy needed to be doing in 2009 was following it’s natural course.
For one thing, it was what they call a positive feedback system at that point. Am I saying it was good? No, what we’re talking about here is positive as in the system reinforces the change with each outcome of that change. The loss of jobs reinforced economic conditions that lead to the loss of even more jobs.
Was that going to stop somewhere? Who knows? But cutting it short meant we didn’t have to recover from all that bull****. We cut the recession short, started growing again, even though it didn’t simply explode. Well, with that little stimulus, and all the supposedly smart spending cuts the states did (which really added to the unemployment and contraction of economic activity), it wasn’t going to explode. But at least there was that feedback moving against the cycle.
And to be plain, we needed that, because the reality is, this wasn’t simply businesses overshooting demand, or understocking supply. This was not a natural event. This was a consequence of the system itself breaking down and being unable to function. That’s the difference between the recession Reagan lead the recovery from, and the one Obama is having to lead us out of. Obama is having to repair not merely demand, but people’s ability to demand, not just encourage credit, but actually had to rebuild the nation’s ability to give out credit.
He also has the problem that Republicans have undermined, through their policy, the very reserve of consumers and middle class people who help quickly bring the nation out of contraction when the recession ends. Instead, many people are having to still deleverage, still deal with asset losses after the fact that sap their ability to spend. This is why it’s so important to improve both wages and employment in this economy, because the economy’s not suffering from a lack of confidence or a lack of investment capability. It’s suffering from a lack of people spending, and a lot of that has to do with personal debt and unemployment. Republicans have got things backwards.
Clinton cut the size of government. Bush, unfortunately, did not. That seems to be the primary difference between their policies. Of course, Clinton did not have to deal with 9/11 and the aftermath.
So indeed we should bring government spending to the 2000 levels, adjusted for inflation and population, and tax to support that.
You recall that the Clinton “miracle” did not happen until he had a Republican congress. If you don’t believe that is important, of course then you much blame/credit Obama with the results of the past four years.
If you’re saying Clinton reduced the size of government, no, outlays did not go down even one time. But, and this is an important point, the revenues increased faster than the spending.
It’s not bringing spending down to 2000 levels. It’s changing the trajectory of taxes and spending enough to where the amount of the first meets or exceeds the other eventually.
As for the miracle not happening until there was a Republican Congress? You’d like to think that. But the increase in taxes and the PAYGO limitations on spending increases both took place before 1995.
Also, despite the fact that you credit the Republicans with deficit reduction, what did they actually do, when they had control of all three branches? They did away with PAYGO. They increased the rate of spending growth, and did this every year they were in charge. They implemented massive tax cuts, which just coincidentally coincided with actual contraction in revenues, above and beyond what a measly .3% contraction would create.
Now, you can spin the rhetoric in whatever direction you like (that’s not an invitation, but a low expectation) but the numbers show a different result than you’re really arguing would occur. And the facts show a different chronology, and a different set of responsible actors for fiscal policy than you would credit. Democrats instituted the tax increases. Democrats, in 1990 and 1993, enacted the budget discipline you take credit for.
I think what should do is look at our situation, not simply demand policies based on abstract political theories or gimmicks. We should look at our infrastructure, improve that. We should get the economy going, because a slow economy is also a slow-motion fiscal disaster. We should reform the financial industries to avoid additional artificial disasters. We should match our policies to the interests of the country, not demand, like Republicans do, that all the other interests of the country take a backseat to a rushed attempt to grand bargain our way out of actually fitting America’s government to its needs.
We expect that government can grow with the economy. The two are closely related in that consistent, limited government lead to economic growth of the type we have not seen over the past four years.
Growth of government slowed under Clinton. This was good. When Clinton said that the era of big government was over, he was right. It certainly was not only Clinton. Republicans in congress forced him to spend less than he would have, but he still was less a big spender than Obama.
Re “It’s changing the trajectory of taxes and spending enough to where the amount of the first meets or exceeds the other eventually.”
This is the management part but not the leadership part. If taxes meet spending at 50% of GDP, this is a very bad outcome. Taxes also should not exceed spending in a normal year. They should simply balance. Surplus, unfortunately, is an invitation to rob the treasury.
RE - “Also, despite the fact that you credit the Republicans with deficit reduction …” Republican & Bush grew government more than Clinton. It was bad. Obama should not continue and expand this, as he has.
RE - enacting budget discipline - it is like a person promising to go on a diet. (Beyond that, I recall Bush was president in 1990) The fact is that in the late 1990s Republicans fought spending. Democrats pushed it. Had the Democrats not been defeated in 1994, there would never have been a surplus.
RE - economic growth - I love the idea. Obama’s big spending did not achieve this. In fact, he projected unemployment would be at 5.5% today w/o the stimulus. He wants to spend more. Isn’t doing the same thing and expecting different results the sign of insanity?
Unemployment was at 8.9% the month that Obama’s stimulus began, in April. By July, when the main spending programs kicked in, it was 9.5%.
If you look at the projections, they were thinking that even without the stimulus, the economy wouldn’t reach the nines until much later in the year. But that was based on preliminary data that underestimated the rate and severity of GDP and job loss.
Benchmarking those numbers as a measure of the effectiveness of Obama’s Stimulus package is dishonest. For your logic to be valid, for Obama’s stimulus to have truly underperformed according to those results, we have to assume as fact the initial conditions that the authors of the report thought they had.
In other words, we have to pretend the economy that Bush left Obama was better than it actually was.
Well, now that I think about it, your taking this position makes plenty of sense.
We also have to ignore the gutting of public employment that took place in the State and Local government. Pretend like that never happened, or that such jobs just shouldn’t count. The emphasis on Private sector jobs in the last campaign comes from the fact that the Private sector grew considerably more than the public. Several hundred thousand jobs were lost there instead.
If we factor those things in, then we see that, while not anywhere near enough to face the problem it had to deal with, the Stimulus performed as designed. It made a difference. It did something good for the economy, and Obama should get credit for that.
Unfortunately, that would get in the way of stopping him from reaching a second term. So, the Stimulus had to be a failure. It would also mean admitting that Republican policy needed to be reconsidered, which you don’t want to do.
As for budget discipline? Look, lets start with the surplus. You said it was an invitation to raid the treasury. No, it wasn’t, anymore than a woman wearing a sexy dress is an invitation to get raped. We were doing fine until your side decided that they could just wing it, and that it was time to prove right what hadn’t been proven the first time it was tried.
Additionally, budget discipline isn’t like promising to go on a diet, it is a diet. Democrats were in control of Congress when the fiscal policies were put in place, and that included the tax increases that Bush was dinged over. The ones that Republicans thereafter decided were ideologically forbidden.
In my opinion, it is nearly always a mistake to fit policy around politics. In my opinion, you figure out what the right policy is, practically speaking, and you do what politics you have to do to enable that to occur, even if only partially.
I don’t think Democrats want to be seen as the taxers and spenders that your side has always portrayed them as, but I think it was more important to help the country and help close up deficits than it was to avoid a political stereotype. Results matter more in the long run than perceptions, especially since perceptions often organically grow from results. People think much more of the Clinton Administration, economically speaking, than they think of the Bush, and there is a simple reason for that: Clinton Created jobs and prosperity, Bush did not. You can pretend that the recession that came in 2001 was equivalent to the recession that ended Bush’s second term, but they are nowhere close.
Obama will be judged by his results, and I think over time people will realize that he had to battle past considerably greater obstacles to get those results, than anybody should have ever had to.
I know that your idea about the stimulus is unfalsifiable. If it doesn’t work, you say it was too small. If it doesn’t work on time, you say that things were worse than people thought.
This latter objection should give you pause, however. If the Obama folks made their plans based on information so far wrong, perhaps their plans were wrong. Garbage in; garbage out.
Re surplus - it is an invitation to being used. Always has been and always will be. Do you think we would even be talking about ANY cuts if the budget was in surplus?
Re Clinton - I have always said good things about Clinton for the most part. I have been saying good things about him when you guys were not.
I called Clinton a great statesman way back in 2005 http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/002733.html
You cannot both take credit for Clinton’s success and run away from the things that made that success possible.
Try a little wisdom I will tell you the same thing I “told” Bush after his “big” victory -
It is usually bad to get everything you want. The beauty of our democracy is that nobody ever does, at least not for very long. Democrats did too well in 2012. Many forgot the old wisdom that there are no permanent victories in politics. Obama thought he had political capital to spend. His account balance was not as high as he thought. He will now need to work in partnership with others and others will need to work with him. The presidency is a very powerful position, no matter who holds it. A president who knows how to triangulate will get a lot of what he wants, as long as he is willing to share a bit.
I doubt you understand moderation, but I will continue to cast pearls before you.
Let’s sum up your opinion about Clinton.
You want Clinton, but w/o the compromise or triangulation, w/o the “move to the right,” w/o the smaller government, w/o the “conservative” regulations etc.
If you take these things out of Clinton, you also have Clinton w/o the prosperity and cooperation. In fact w/o those things you have Obama.
Unfalsifiable? In the sense that you can’t isolate variables in a lab and make 100% (or near that level) links from a policy to a result? Almost any claim is unfalsifiable on those grounds.
You don’t get the benefit of the doubt here. Your claims undergo equal scrutiny.
If you want an idea of what would have happened if we had taken your route, we only have to look at Europe, where many of the nations that prioritized debt and deficit reductions fell flat on their economic faces, not to mention failing to do much of anything for their fiscal situation in the end result. We stimulated, we grow now. They went austere, they’re in the hole worse than we are. One outcome on one course of action, another outcome with an action that went in the other direction.
We got exactly the kind of results one could expect from an undersized stimulus: an improvement, a breaking of the trend towards contraction, and slow growth and job creation thereafter. They got what you could expect of an improperly timed bout of austerity: their economies took a beating, debt and deficits continued on account of the losses to the economy.
If you’re going to call something unfalsifiable, then you have to pick something that can’t be measured. Say, like the morality of government spending. Or My character, or my intentions. I can certainly write of them to everybody, but since nobody can read my mind, you can always claim I lied for self-serving reasons.
On the subject of wrong information?
Nobody gets everything right. That might have been an idea that Republicans beating up Secretary Clinton and other State Department heads might have done well to entertain. The question is, what would your response have been?
You’re kind of arguing two arguments at once. The notion that the stimulus was insufficient requires that there be a poin of sufficency. Or, if the stimulus didn’t do its job, when it needed to have never happened. But then, what’s your response? We look at Europe and the states, we see more poverty and strife, rather than growth.
I can take an underestimation of a problem, if folks are at least trying to solve it, rather than deflect blame.
As for Obama? I don’t expect Obama to be perfectly like Clinton, given his different place in American political history. Clinton got the years of decline of the Democrats in the face of the Republicans ascendance.
Obama’s got a dynamic like that, but in reverse. Why should he make Clinton’s style of compromises?
The Germans and the Scandinavians emphasized debt reduction and stabilization. The Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and French resisted cuts and complained that the Germans were being unreasonable.
So I ask you to look at Europe a bit closer than you have. Don’t rely on the BS somebody has told you. The Greeks, Italians, French and Spaniards voted down real austerity. The Northerners enacted it. Who did better?
Re the stimulus - I don’t argue it was insufficient. It was poorly targeted and mostly wasted. I probably lowered unemployment in 2009 at the cost of growth and employment now.
Re “beating up SecState” - I think there is not blame to Obama or others for what happened in Libya. But I dislike the cover up and the lies told by Susan Rice.
They made the cuts, the folks you’re talking about. They implemented the austerity, like they were supposed to, regardless of their cultural inclinations, which A)I’m willing to admit they have, and B) More resemble Republican attitudes in practice than you’re willing to admit.
But the austerity didn’t work. Sure, they are putting more of their money towards debt reduction, but it’s not reducing their deficits, nor is it doing wonders for the economy.
The simple reason for that is this: the fiscal picture depends on the economic, whereas the economic picture is only influenced by the fiscal. Economies need government for regulatory purposes, to make them more stable and robust by getting rid of dangerous practices and preventing unnecessary bubbles, but most of their spending will come from private sector business.
Even so, when a significant amount of your business is done by the government, which would be true no matter who was in charge, GOP or DEM, removing a bunch of that spending all at once is still going to have an effect on the economy. The effect doesn’t have to be total. It only has to be a few percentage points of growth gone in order to tip growth into recession.
At the same time, the amount of taxes, fees, and other revenues is strongly dependent on the economy. Unemployment means people drawing benefits rather than paying taxes. Recessions bring unemployment. Economic misfortune also increases money spent on antipoverty measures. Of course, you could stop spending on that, but that would then me even less money circulating in the economy.
Revenues go down.
I know you folks like putting words in my mouth. I don’t know why you think its necessary. Perhaps you think I don’t mean what I say, and say what I mean.
But here’s my read on it: the problem isn’t that the government isn’t bailing out, giving away free money to everybody, etc. The problem is, austerity is a balancing act between the economic activity you lose in order pay off more debts and bring down deficits, and the necessary economic activity needed to underwrite the successful lowering of the debt and deficit. Republicans have this fantasy that if they just cut and cut and cut, then the deficit would resolve itself, and that would be it.
That would be the simple answer, if there wasn’t a feedback loop involved, if the economy wasn’t affected by the government’s activity that wasn’t there any longer, an if fiscal activity wasn’t highly dependent on the economic kind.
Now, if you take what I’ve been saying at face value, you’ll find I’m not totally against austerity. What I’v always been saying is that you need enough growth to absorb the cost. If you don’t have that growth, then it’s just dumb, like a person deciding to try and pay off a student loan at the expense of the rent.
I have never been saying that our debt wasn’t a problem, simply that the problems that are recognizably there are not being taken care of in the right order. Austerity was able to work to the extent it did in the early nineties onwards because a growing economy helped it work. We had economic activity to spare, that would fill in the gap left by the lack of growth in government spending.
As for the “cover-up and lies”?
Look, the Nixon Administration paying burglars who were doing their bidding off is a coverup. The Reagan Administration selling guns to Iran, bargaining for hostages, and arming the Contras and then pretending nothing was happening- that’s lying to the American people.
What Susan Rice did was nothing more than pass on what she had been told by the CIA at the time. The documents your people sought confirm that. Why do you assume a malicious motivation?
Regarding the stimulus?
You say it was poorly targeted, and mostly wasted. But mostly, you offer propaganda pieces about Solyndra, and complain about cronyism, rather than cite general data. I don’t see real comparisons on what number of companies succeeded versus failed.
You even claim that it lowered 2009 unemployment at the expense of now. By what mechanism? We would be talking a significant percentage point difference. It wouldn’t just happen. Where, then, are these big shifts? Are a whole bunches of treasury bills coming due, or are yield rates up, driving up borrowing costs? No on either count. Then what? Can you actually point out to me the place where this cost is being applied?
Or is that just a claim that sounds nice to say?
It’s all about contradicting yourself properly. Oh, it has a positive effect, but that was undermined by a negative effect later. Oh, it didn’t have enough of an effect, because Solyndra, and Renewables are bad investments! Keynesian stimulus is bad unless tax cuts. The Sequesters aren’t going to hurt, but oh, who will think of the children and the White House tours?
The problem is, Republicans and Conservatives like yourselves have reduced yourselves to literal naysayers. Contradiction and obstruction are your blunt force political tools. Which means, you’re not really thinking for yourselves, or constructing anything yourselves, you’re just saying whatever a Democrats is doing, badmouth it and try and force the opposite on people.
“What Susan Rice did was nothing more than pass on what she had been told by the CIA at the time. The documents your people sought confirm that. Why do you assume a malicious motivation?”
An ordinary dumb guy like me would have known better than to come out so quick with information like this. There are only two options. Either she was lying and knew it or didn’t know it and is stupider than an ash tray. Either way, it is not good for her. I suspect she is not that stupid.
Re stimulus and austerity - America has fallen behind on this.
And the fact is that the Germans and Scandinavians actually did cut back.
You have to be a little more nuanced in your understanding.
In fact Merkle lectured Obama about the importance of cutting debt.
Merkel Tells Obama Spending Cuts to Boost Economy, Not Put Brake on Growth
Germany’s Finance Minister Lectures Obama On Debt and Defends Euro
You just cannot spend your way to prosperity. Beyond that, you favor tax increases, don’t you? This is austerity.
So if you favor stimulus, you must have opposed Obama’s big tax rises earlier this year.
Re lowering unemployment and then raising it. Think of how a stimulus works. If you drink a sugary caffeine beverage, you feel very energetic at first and then you come down to a lower level than you would have. This is how the Obama stimulus worked. It pulled economic activity forward.
I think Obama understood this. He figured that he could pull economic activity into 2009, but he thought the economy would recover by 2010 and he could take credit. But he miscalculated.
The economy will recover by itself. That is what it is doing now, spite of Obama.
And just how many of them there ‘new’ payrolls are part time at minimum wage?
The Germans did stimulate during the downturn. Their recent turn toward fiscal consolidation includes tax increases and a brake on spending growth. It is also highly dependent upon continued export growth which is becoming a problem due to the downturn in other EU countries.
Contrary to your assertions, the Greeks have dramatically reduced government spending since the downturn. So have the Irish, Italians and the Spaniards. It hasn’t produced the economic growth desired. In fact, it has worsened their deficit positions and unemployment. The IMF recently released a paper attempting to explain the failure of the austerity models. Oops, we made a mistake. The IMF is now cautioning against additional austerity measures by major economies. The basic message is to be careful with fiscal consolidation and not set back recovery.
Employers created a surprisingly large number of jobs in February, but it wasn’t strong enough to prevent many Americans from leaving the workforce.
Nonfarm payrolls grew by 236,000, the Labor Department said Friday, well above forecasts of 171,000. The unemployment rate dropped to a 4-year low 7.7%, beating expectations for a smaller dip to 7.8%.
But some of that improvement was due to fewer people looking for work. The household survey that determines the jobless rate found that 170,000 more people were working, while 130,000 dropped out.
The labor participation rate fell to 63.5% from 63.6%, returning to the low reached last summer and matching the lowest level since 1981. If it had stayed at the pre-recession rate of 66%, unemployment would be 10.7%.
Re banks - we have expanded money supply too. That is not what we are talking about. Germans, Canadians, Australians and other successful countries have reduced their government debts and prospered more than we have.
I also don’t have a general problem with spending, but Obama spent too much and did a poor job of it. He wasted our money on cash for clunkers and solynra type “investments” when he should have been building infrastructure.
“…He wasted our money on cash for clunkers..”
Jeez,, C&J, I thought you admired the German response to the Great Recession. The cash for clunkers stimulus program originated in Germany to bolster the German auto industry. It was copied by the Obama administration.
Some things don’t travel well or are appropriate in different times and even people you admire in one thing can make mistakes in others. All apply here.
Cash for clunkers was just a waste of money. It moved buying earlier. I helped in 2009 at the expense of … now.
As I wrote many times, I do not think the whole idea of stimulus is stupid, just the way the Obama folks did it. They should have built more infrastructure, but they mostly just pissed the money away.
Same old handful of experts spitting “yeah, but’s” at each other. What don’t you just quickly reduce things down to what we all know to be true….we cannot continue to spend more than we have in our account and survive…Tom Coburn listed hundreds of superfluous, stupid programs that should have been abolished months ago…Obamacare is going to be much more expensive and onerous than advertised…Medicare needs overhauling…our fed tax program needs a total revamping….and our president sucks.
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