Saturday, October 6, 2012

Unemployment Would Even Be Lower If...

...Republican governors hadn't slashed public employment over the past few years and Republicans in Congress didn't obstruct all the jobs bills put before them.

Suzy Khimm reports, "Overall, about 600,000 government jobs have been lost since the beginning of the recession."

And, as Mark Gongloff states, "Had Congress passed the American Jobs Act last year instead of letting it die, there might have been an extra 1.3 million to 1.9 million new jobs created this year, according to estimates by Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Analytics, respectively. If you simply divide those estimates up by quarters -- an unscientific approach, admittedly -- you could guesstimate that the AJA would have produced an extra 975,000 to 1.4 million jobs through the first three quarters of the year (i.e., through September). Let's call it a million, just for funsies. Assuming no change in the labor force, and just subtracting that million people from the 12 million unemployed in September, you get the unemployment rate down to 7.2 percent from 7.8 percent. On top of that, you could add the 575,000 government jobs that have been cut since Obama took office in January 2009. Had the federal government not shed workers and cut off aid to the states, it's theoretically possible -- arguably, would have been preferable -- that the government could have added jobs, or at least not cut any. That extra 575,000 workers -- again, assuming no change in the labor force -- gets unemployment down to 6.8 percent. We haven't seen 6.8 percent unemployment since November 2008."

Republicans got us into this mess. Rather than seeking justice against the perpetrators, Republicans turned the blame for all of America's problems onto the backs of teachers, firefighters, and all public workers. Nevermind the bankers and Wall Street, nothing to see there, move along.

Republicans have obstructed any attempt to get us out of this financier-induced mess. They've decided, instead, to use the public as pawns in their power struggle; allowing millions to remain unemployed in a lagging economy in the hopes of winning the election by blaming the President. It's a sick and cynical politics the Republicans are practicing.

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