February 16, 2012

IN WHAT I SUSPECT IS A PREVIEW OF THE GOP’S ELECTION STRATEGY, the House Republican Study Committee sends this “where are the jobs” graphic:

From the accompanying release:

Democrats said their costly plan ($1.2 trillion, including interest) would “save or create” up to 4 million jobs and bring the unemployment rate down to about 6% today. The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8% at any point in the last 36 months. Furthermore, the official unemployment rate does not actually count unemployed people who have given up looking for work.

The above chart shows the “labor force participation rate.” This statistic represents the share of working-age Americans who are either employed or unemployed but looking for work. It is not a pretty picture. Only 63.7% of working-age Americans are currently in the workforce – the lowest in almost 29 years!

To put it another way, 36.3% of working-age Americans do not have a job and are not even looking.

After 3 years of failure, it’s time to try something that will work. Let’s ramp up energy production. Let’s cut away government red tape that slows down job creation. And let’s design new tax code that is simpler, flatter, and fairer. Let’s pass the Jobs Through Growth Act, and create jobs by growing the economy – not the government.

I think it’s smart of them to focus on total-employment numbers, rather than the headline “unemployment” rate. But I’m predicting little interest in these numbers from the mainstream press, who seem uninterested in anything that doesn’t fit the Obama-recovery narrative.

Related: What Did Obama Know And When Did He Know It?

President Obama told an Atlanta TV station this week that the reason he’s unable to live up to his campaign promise to cut the deficit in half is “because this recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized.”

“Everybody who is out there back in 2009,” he went on, “everybody underestimated it,” adding that “the die had been cast, but a lot of us didn’t understand at that point how bad it was going to get.”

It’s a convenient excuse, and one that, if true, would help him escape blame for a deficit that will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth year in a row this year, and will still be a sky-high $901 billion next year.

But Obama’s own budget documents show that this excuse doesn’t hold up very well.

Read the whole thing. Conclusion: “Everyone was surprised by the weakness of Obama’s economic recovery.” That’s because what Obama did made things worse.

UPDATE: Obama’s old story: “I didn’t overpromise. And I didn’t underestimate how tough this was gonna be.” Swiftly changed. Maybe he underestimated how much he’d overpromised.