Putting Today’s Jobs Report Into Perspective
Today’s monthly employment report brought the disappointing news that the economy created 84,000 private sector jobs in June, with the unemployment rate remaining at 8.2 percent. Let’s take a closer at how we got here and why we’re not moving forward more quickly.
As the election nears, we’re reminded of when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined the GOP’s number one goal:
The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
Not creating an economy that works for everyone. Not putting Americans back to work. The GOP’s top — and almost singular — goal is to defeat the president, even if that meant more and longer suffering for millions of Americans in the process.
And true to form, House Republicans aren’t responding to today’s jobs news by announcing plans to pass to jobs legislation. Instead, they’re planning on just wasting more time next week on yet another vote to repeal Obamacare. This obsession with taking away health care from millions of Americans has not ever and will not now create one job. By contrast, the health care sector’s 13,000 new jobs was one of the bright spots in this month’s jobs report.
And it’s not just that Republicans and their failed policies wrecked the economy and now they’re just trying to wait out the clock until November. ThinkProgress’ Jeff Spross outlines five ways the GOP has sabotaged job growth:
1. Filibustering the American Jobs Act. Last October, Senate Republicans killeda jobs bill proposed by President Obama that would have pumped $447 billion into the economy. Multiple economic analysts predicted the bill would add around two million jobs and hailed it as defense against a double-dip recession. The Congressional Budget Office also scored it as a net deficit reducer over ten years, and the American public supported the bill.
2. Stonewalling monetary stimulus. The Federal Reserve can do enormous good for a depressed economy through more aggressive monetary stimulus, and by tolerating a temporarily higher level of inflation. But with everything from Ron Paul’s anti-inflationary crusade to Rick Perry threatening to lynch Chairman Ben Bernanke, Republicans have browbeaten the Fed into not going down this path. Most damagingly, the GOP repeatedly held up President Obama’s nominations to the Federal Reserve Board during the critical months of the recession, leaving the board without the institutional clout it needed to help the economy.
3. Threatening a debt default. Even though the country didn’t actually hit its debt ceiling last summer, the Republican threat to default on the United States’ outstanding obligations was sufficient to spook financial markets anddo real damage to the economy.
4. Cutting discretionary spending in the debt ceiling deal. The deal the GOP extracted as the price for avoiding default imposed around $900 billion in cuts over ten years. It included $30.5 billion in discretionary cuts in 2012 alone, costing the country 0.3 percent in economic growth and 323,000 jobs, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. Starting in 2013, the deal will trigger another $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years.
5. Cutting discretionary spending in the budget deal. While not as cataclysmic as the debt ceiling brinksmanship, Republicans also threatened a shutdown of the government in early 2011 if cuts were not made to that year’s budget. The deal they struck with the White House cut $38 billion from food stamps, health, education, law enforcement, and low-income programs among others, whilesparing defense almost entirely.
And when it comes to Mitt Romney, economists agree that his plans will actually make things worse and could cause another recession.
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