Republican rhetoric on jobs at odds with data, reality

Updated
On Friday, Americans saw the nation’s unemployment rate drop to 4.6%, its lowest point in more than nine years, as job growth continued for the 74th consecutive month, the longest on record. On Sunday, Americans also saw House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) tell CBS that the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda is “really just crushing jobs.”

Hmm. Maybe the Speaker hadn’t seen the latest jobs report.

The same goes for Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos yesterday why Donald Trump and his team are so eager to destroy the Affordable Care Act.
“[W]e’re working on President-Elect Trump’s commitment to repeal and replace ObamaCare. It’s all going to begin right out of the gate by repealing this disastrous policy that’s been killing jobs.”
Really? The Affordable Care Act has been “killing jobs”? Let’s take a closer look to see if Pence has any idea what he’s talking about.

As regular readers may recall, in 2014, the first full year of ACA implementation, job growth reached a 15-year high. In fact, the first two years of ACA implementation were the best back-to-back yearsfor job creation since the 1990s.
 
But we can go a little further with this. Forbes’ Dan Diamond made a great observation, which inspired the above chart, noting private-sector employment in the United States over the last eight years. The red line shows the final two years of the Bush/Cheney era, as the private sector shed jobs; the light blue line shows the first year of the Obama era, when the Great Recession started to end; and the hard blue line shows March 2010 through the present.
 
As Diamond added a while back, “Obamacare was signed into law in March 2010. The private sector hasn’t lost jobs since.”

As things stand, the U.S. economy is on track to create over 2 million jobs in 2016, which will be the sixth consecutive year in which we’ve crossed this threshold. The last time Americans saw a six-year stretch like this was also the late 1990s.

Politico had a piece last week referring to the “Obama Boom” Donald Trump is inheriting, adding, “On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly described the U.S. economy as a hollowed-out disaster of high unemployment and stagnant growth. But the latest numbers show the president-elect will in fact inherit a fairly robust economy with the lowest jobless rate in nearly a decade, record home and stock prices and a healthy growth rate.”

I’ve long wondered how Republicans explain this. GOP leaders said Obama’s auto rescue wouldn’t work; his Recovery Act wouldn’t end the Great Recession; his health care reform law would crush the job market; and his tax increases would push the economy towards another recession. None of these things happened in reality, and Republicans managed to get the entire story backwards.

But instead of explaining how and why they were wrong, Pence and Ryan have decided to simply make up their own story, claiming that the job market has been “crushed” and “killed” by White House policies.

Chances are, they’ll continue to embrace their own alternate reality because the electorate has rewarded their failures with complete control of federal policymaking. It’ll be the first time Republicans have enjoyed such dominance since the Bush/Cheney era – which also happens to be the last time Americans saw a healthy economy deteriorate into an economic catastrophe.



Affordable Care Act, Mike Pence, Obamacare, Paul Ryan and Rachel Maddow Show Charts

Republican rhetoric on jobs at odds with data, reality

Updated