We often hear this usual refrain from the usual media pundits: "This election will be all about the economy." And of course, there have already been countless references to that famous Clinton '92 campaign line I used in the title above. Now we've also heard many of the same pundits talk about how a prolonged focus on economic issues may somehow hurt President Obama's reelection campaign. So I hope they take a closer look at this... And take a really close look at this.
The numbers are out for job creation and it looks pretty good. The unemployment rate went down to 8.5% from [8.6%] and 200,000 jobs were created.
Here is the hidden gem. While looking into the different sectors, I found that the healthcare sector added 23K jobs in December and a total of 315K jobs in 2011. But if we listened to the right wing meme, the Obamacare law should have caused layoffs. Especially considering Obamacare DIRECTLY regulates the health insurance and healthcare industries.
The healthcare industry has seen their profits increase dramatically in 2011 according to [B]loomberg, “..profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows.” So much for the talking point, that this law is bad for business.
So for all the G-O-TEA talking points about "ObamaCare kills the economy!!!", the health care industry actually ADDED jobs in 2011. There goes another false radical right meme down the drain! Also, take a look at this (with much thanks to Steve Benen for the beautiful charts!).
Overall, the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in December, but as has been the case for a long while, it’s the private sector that continues to fare better. Last month, businesses added 212,000 jobs, making it one of the best months since the recession began.
For the 2011 calendar year, BLS data shows the U.S. private sector has now added 1.89 million jobs in 2011, well ahead of last year’s private-sector total of 1.2 million, and the best year for businesses since 2005. Since March 2010, American businesses have created 3.13 million jobs. (In 2008, the private sector lost 3.8 million jobs, and in 2009, the private sector lost 5 million jobs.)
And with that, here’s a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Just for fun, let’s add one more homemade chart, showing annual job losses/gains in the private sector over the last two decades. Red columns point to years under Republican administrations, blue columns point to job totals under Democratic administrations. (Note: 2011 was the best year for private-sector job growth since 2005, and the second best since 1999.)
Upon looking at the real facts and figures, it looks to be crystal clear that the President really does seem to know what he's doing on the economy. When we put money directly in the hands of working class families, consumer demand rises, jobs are created, and the economy grows. That's why it's so crucial to keep in place the payroll tax cut and continue the progress that President Obama kick-started in 2009.
I have been hearing on TV that the [current good] economic news is good for President Obama. And it is. But it misses the point. The news is good for the American people, for American businesses, for American jobs, for the American consumer. And President Obama is not simply the beneficiary of this good economic trend. He is the architect of it. He held the economy from falling off the cliff with the American Recovery Act, he relentlessly pursued and extended unemployment benefits and preserved the jobs of teachers and firefighters; he fought hard for the middle class and got the payroll tax cut and other targeted measures to inject consumer demand; he brought a 35% tax relief to small businesses for providing health care; he gave the fragile economy some breathing room even as the Republicans were trying to choke it off.
If anyone has any doubts about why the Republicans wanted to eliminate the payroll tax cut for middle class and working class Americans, there is your answer. They do not want positive economic news in an election year. After all, Barack Obama has already taken away national security (see: Osama bin Laden dead), fiscal responsibility (see GOP logic: tax cuts do not need to be paid for except the payroll tax cut), and damn nearly every other issue. Their only hope was to demagogue the economy, and the President's efforts seem to be paying off there too. Darn.
And if these trends continue - if jobs keep being created at a good pace, consumer confidence keeps heading north, new unemployment claims continue heading south, and so forth, there isn't much that will stand in the way of President Obama and a second term.
And that's what scares Republicans the most. As we talked about yesterday, they're freaking out over Mitt Romney's real job destruction record getting more attention. And now that reporters are finally paying more attention to Romney's real record of slashing jobs at Bain Capital, he and the entire G-O-TEA are in trouble.
Remember this MoveOn video from yesterday?
Believe it or not, it gets worse. Not only did Romney's Bain Capital slash 750 jobs at Missouri steel company, GS Technologies, and not only did Romney and Bain slash pension and health care benefits for GST workers, but Bain also had the gall to demand a $44 million federal government bailout of GST because Romney's Bain Capital underfunded GST's pension fund! And Mitt Romney wants to call himself a "job creator"? Seriously?
No wonder why even some Republicans can't hide the reality about Mitt Romney being so hopelessly out of touch with the 99%...
And why other Republicans have to go to such extreme measures to turn attention away from Romney's terrible jobs record.
Congrats, Rick Santorum! You're still crazy!
And Mitt Romney is still a job destroyer. And Barack Obama is still the candidate with the best record on real job creation and good economic stewardship. No wonder why Obama's poll numbers aren't looking so bad now.