Free Markets, Free People
Democratic Rep Jim Marshall from here in GA (GA08) has an ad out which says it all:
"Georgia is a long way from San Francisco," drawls the narrator, over images of dancing hippies.
"Jim Marshall doesn’t support Nancy Pelosi," says the narrator, citing a finding that Marshall voted with Republican leaders 65% of the time."
How desperate is that?
If those two things are important campaign issues, then electing someone from the GOP should easily maintain the non-support of Pelosi and most likely up the percentage of votes with the GOP leadership, shouldn’t it?
Tis the season where absurd and wild claims are made (to be fair – by both sides) hoping they’ll hold up at least until the election has passed. Some, however, just are too off the wall and blow up immediately upon being uttered. An example is this claim by Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
“On the pace that we’re on with job creation in the last four months — if we continue on that pace — all the leading economists say it is likely that we will — we will have created more jobs in this year than in the entire Bush Presidency,” Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Weston, said on FOX News.
On its face, you immediately say –wait a minute, that can’t be true. To make that claim, one has to ignore the jobs lost prior to the “last four months” and disregard the total jobs created during the Bush era. Obviously the same process was going on during the Bush administration (job losses vs. job gains) which ended with a net positive. Wasserman Schultz would like you to ignore the meaning of “net” and job loss numbers in favor of only focusing on the pace of job creation. And I’m not sure she’s right about that.
As Veronique de Rugy points out over at NRO, while the jobs picture during the Bush administration was nothing to brag about, there’s no way that Wasserman Shultz’s claim has any credibility in the face of an economy that has shed almost 3 million jobs in the private sector during Obama’s presidency.
In effect, it’s a shot at getting a meme started with low information voters hoping they’ll accept it at face value and it will influence their vote. You have to love the “all the leading economists” appeal to authority she dropped in there. But if you want hard numbers, well, forget it.
They do exist however. Instead of providing them (you can see them in de Rugy’s post at NRO), a graph will do a much better job of pointing out the absolute nonsense of the Wasserman Schultz claim. While it is possible that more than 675,000 jobs created in the next 4 months somewhere, as we just saw with the latest numbers, the economy is still shedding jobs (95,000). It is the net that counts – not just one side of the ledger. If you “create” 1,000,000 jobs but lose 2,000,000 during the same period, it’s a net loss. And that’s what we continue to suffer right now. So her’s is an empty and meaningless claim that is disingenuous because ignores the whole picture in a transparent attempt to drag the left’s favorite punching bag back into the argument.
While total employment rose slightly (675,000 net jobs) during the Bush presidency, most of it was government employment. During the Obama presidency there’s been no overall growth of employment except slightly at the federal government level and no net increase. What Wasserman Shultz wants you to ignore is the blue bar on the left and the negative net job numbers we continue to see. If you do that, the claim sounds good. If you don’t, then her claim is nonsense.
Bottom line is Wasserman Schultz’s claim is selective statistical nonsense, but I expect to see it somewhere, sometime repeated as gospel.
UPDATE: Dale sends along the Bureau of Labor Statistics spread sheet which shows:
- From Jan 01 to Jan 09, a net of 1,080,000 jobs were created.
- From Jan 09 to present, 3,348,000 jobs have been lost.
- The low point in non-farm employment was Dec 09, when there were 129,588,000 payroll jobs
- Since that low, 613,000 jobs have been created.
- There are 580,000 fewer payroll jobs today than there were in January of 2000.
Make sure you understand that last line. In a nation that has increased its population during the last 10 years, we have a net job loss of 580,000 jobs since 2000.
Andrew Sullivan today in a post entitled “Obama’s Lost Narrative”:
Nyhan goes after the Democrats for baseless attacks against the US Chamber of Commerce. It is very depressing to see them descend to this kind of stuff. What they need are not tactics and resentment, which is what we’re seeing. What we need is a narrative of recovery and reform from Obama. He has the record, and he has made a couple of great speeches. But this distracts.
He’s “made a couple of great speeches”. That’s no longer a positive. In fact, most have come to conclude that’s about all he can do. However, on whole, Sullivan is right. He should be more like Reagan than Nixon and he’s letting his inner Nixon show as he pushes this baseless and hypocritical attack on the Chamber of Commerce.
At a time he should be acting like a leader, he’s been reduced to a petty politician. Or maybe that’s what he always was.
My view, and I’ll say it again. Campaign on ending the long-term debt. Campaign on being the man who can bring America together to solve its long-term fiscal crisis. Call the GOP out on its fiscal record and its current refusal to specify what they’ll cut. Remind people of the debt commission. Remind people we need to cut spending and raise taxes. Be the adult in the room. With a megaphone.
To be the “adult in the room”, you have to have been the adult in the room. You can’t suddenly decide now is the time to act like one. Again, an aspect of leadership lost on the current White House occupant.