This past Friday the Department of Labor released the nation’s employment’s figures showing that employers shed 611,000 private sector jobs in the first three months of this year. This brought the unemployment rate to 8.9% and revealed that in President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office, employment has dropped about 2 million jobs. Of course, President Obama’s policies cannot be blamed for all of these job losses. They are due to the Great Global Recession, which was well underway before President Obama was sworn in. The Obama administration will be accountable for our nation’s economic recovery and it is important that we establish some unassailable benchmarks to which to hold them accountable.
The Obama administration has shown from the very beginning that they have no interest in being held accountable for how their policies will affect our nation’s economic recovery, hence the Orwellian “create or save” mantra they first unveiled with their economic stimulus package. The White House Council of Economic Advisers continues that farce today with a report claiming to show that no matter what the actual employment numbers show, their computer simulation has already proved that the stimulus will create or save 3.5 million jobs by 2010. White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Christina Romer defended these numbers Saturday telling CSPAN: “Accuracy has always been the main thing, not the political back-and-forth.” Economists not employed by President Obama are not buying this claim. University of Chicago economics professor Steven Davis told USA Today that the “saved or created” line is “a very clever device for providing future political cover.”
So what is an objective number we can use to hold the Obama administration accountable for their policies? Well, President Obama provided us such an objective standard when he revised his own employment target late last year. Heritage fellow J.D. Foster explains:
The original target, set earlier in the fall of 2008, was 2.5 million jobs, but as employment fell by 1 million at the end of 2008, the President increased the employment target by 1 million to 3.5 million in December 2008. At the time, the U.S. economy employed about 135.1 million people according to the Department of Labor’s most commonly used measure of employment. … The President’s jobs promise means total employment should be at least 138.6 million by 2010.
The latest Department of Labor estimates the United States economy supports 132.4 million jobs. Meaning President Obama faces a 6.2 million jobs deficit he must close by the end of 2010. It will be interesting to see how the Obama administration creates these 6.2 million jobs. Not every sector of the economy shed jobs this year. While private sector employment fell by 611,000, government added 72,000 jobs. This was the strongest sector of the Obama economy.
But there is an upper limit as to how many government jobs the Obama administration can create. This past Thursday the Treasury Department was forced to significantly raise interest rates in order to sell enough bonds to finance the Obama spending explosion. Our creditors are calling and their message is that we cannot borrow and spend our way to economic recovery.
- The Obama administration is proposing to cut the Defense Department’s budget for recruiting by nearly $800 million, or 11 percent, for 2010.
- Fannie Mae reported it lost $23.2 billion in the first quarter of this year, guaranteeing it will need billions more in taxpayer bailouts on top of the $34 billion if has already received.
- Mobilizing his army to seize the assets of some 60 oil service companies, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez told his people last week, “To God what is God’s, and to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”
- The Obama administration threatened to rescind billions in stimulus money from California if that state went ahead with planned wage cuts to unionized home health care workers.
- According to the Los Angeles Times, the Service Employees International Union lobbied the Obama administration to make the stimulus rescission threat.