Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stimulus still stabilized and beats the GOP's record

The most recent unemployment numbers came out last Friday, and featured some fretting due to 95,000 jobs being lost in September . Certainly no good, but as you will see, it should in no way be seen as proof of the ARRA stimulus being a "failure."

The fact that it was the September numbers is noteworthy, as September 2008 featured the failure of Lehman Brothers and record job losses over the next several months as Bushism and supply-side was (or should have been) discredited forever. But it didn't just start in September of 2008. Jobs were bleeding out the 12 months prior to that collapse, and were barely gaining in the year before that. By comparison, we now have more jobs than we had this time last year, despite large declines in recent months due to government and Census job losses, which is pretty remarkable when you see where we were:

Oct. 06- Sept. 07 - +1.215 million jobs
Oct. 07- Sept. 08 - -1.384 million jobs
Oct. 08- Sept. 09 - -6.426 million jobs (over 500K a month!)
Oct. 09- Sept. 10 - +0.344 million jobs

It's also intriguing to compare the year-over-year job changes with what happened in the 2 years following the passage of the first Bush tax cuts (you know, the ones that are supposed to end in 2 months but the ones that GOPs want to make permanent). I left out Sept.- December 2001 from this comparison because that was in the 3 months after 9/11, and Bush should not be held to account much of those changes due to the major buying changes that happened in those months.

Jan.-Dec. 2002- -0.540 million
Jan.-Dec. 2003- +0.087 million
COMBINED- -0.453 thousand

That's right, in the last year, we have seen nearly 800 thousand more jobs in the Obama Administration post-stimulus than we saw in 2002 and 2003 put together. And yet the GOPs want to unwind the stimulus and go back to the Bush years? I mean, really?

And another reason why the jobs numbers aren't as bad as right-wing propaganda tries to make it to be is the cut in government employment. Check the top of the table that breaks down employment by industry. You'll see that private-sector employment has grown by 873,000 in 2010. Granted, 97,000 a month is no great shakes when you need 100-150K to keep up with regular population growth, but it's a whole lot better than losing 500K a month like we saw in '08-'09.

The reason why you haven't seen a lot of stories of dropping unemployment or huge job gains is the drop in government payrolls. The government sector has lost 248,000 thousand jobs this year, including 205,000 at the local level- the teachers, fire fighters, and police officers that were frequently mentioned when Congress was debating (and finally passing after GOP obstruction) aid to communities earlier this year. And unlike what the paid hacks on comment pages may say, these people pay taxes too, and they buy houses and consume other goods and services, just like anyone else, so if they lose jobs, others will too, and those potentially lower taxes from fewer gov't employees won't mean a whole lot when you aren't making as much money yourself.

As I theorized earlier , the mistake of the stimulus was that it played up recovery, instead of stabilization. And its success in stabilizing and starting to reverse the disastrous course we were on in 2007-2009 is unmistakable. Why anyone would want us to go back to where we were is absolutely beyond me, and I maintain faith that most understand this, and won't be stupid enough to give GOPs the gains the media wants them to have.

I think the GOP knows it too, which is why they want to get back into power and gum up the works, because while it would toss the economy back down the hill that we've been trying to climb up and destory the lives of a few more millions, it might increase their chances of winning and staying viable in 2012 and beyond. And the GOP would rather be on top of an Empire of Dirt, than be second place in a prospering and improving nation. It's seditious, but that's just the way they roll. See through their cynical act, and make the Republicans hurt in 3 weeks. Please.

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