How 74,000 Jobs Completely Exposed Republican Hypocrisy

jobs-reportThe first Friday of every month brings about what’s commonly referred to as the “jobs report.”  Meaning that the number of private-sector jobs created for the previous month are reported — which always brings about a political debate.

For liberals, most of us are well aware that for nearly four straight years now we’ve experienced private sector job growth totaling over eight million jobs.  In other words, for 80% of Obama’s presidency we’ve created jobs.

That’s a fact Republicans often like to ignore.

Usually when these positive jobs numbers are released, Republicans are the first to nit-pick them, doing all they can to discredit the positive news.  Well, that was until November when Republicans were quick to point to the better than expected jobs report for October as “proof” that Democrats had lied about the economic impact of the government shutdown Americans were overwhelmingly blaming them for.

Well, as many of you might have heard, the jobs report for December wasn’t exactly great news.  Not that we lost jobs — we created 74,000 — but the numbers fell far below estimates.  That isn’t great news, but during this stretch of private-sector job growth there have been a handful of months where the numbers weren’t as solid as many economists had estimated.

So December’s numbers, while disappointing, aren’t exactly something we haven’t seen before.

But wow, Republicans have been quick to jump all over the weaker than expected December numbers as some kind of “proof” that Obama’s policies are hurting the economy.

Now, I’m not here to break down the jobs numbers.  That would require a whole other article.

What I did find somewhat funny was how quick Republicans were to jump on these worse than expected numbers — when every month that numbers are better than expected they’ve completely ignored them, or have said that they’re basically “fools gold.”

Hell, many Republicans claim that every time our economy adds more jobs than economists had estimated, somehow President Obama must have “rigged” the reports to make his presidency seem more successful.  It’s a claim that’s absolutely ludicrous.  The White House has absolutely no influence over the reporting of the jobs numbers — it’s purposely set up that way.

Still, it’s absolutely ironic how Republicans love to ignore (or dismiss) all these months we’ve had where job creation beat estimates, yet when a report falls below estimates then suddenly those numbers matter.

Then lost in their propaganda and rhetoric is the simple fact that Republicans in Congress have yet to propose a real jobs bill.  And no, proposing more of the same polices that led us into this recession doesn’t count as “passing a jobs bill.”  Nor does passing bills in the Republican-controlled House that they know stand absolutely no chance at passing the Senate or being signed by the president.

It’s almost as if being a hypocrite is a requirement in order to be a member of the GOP.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • DaltonOriginal

    We must stop the manufacture of goods in foreign countries and bring those jobs back to the United States. If you sell it here, you must make it here. Buy American made or lose a job! Shut these big stores that sell nothing but imports, Toys ‘r Us would be a great start, then Walmart!

    • Jim Bean

      I’m not opposed to the idea. But you must take into consideration what happens to those on fixed incomes when the price of all their commodities rises two or three hundred percent.

      • Steve Renshaw

        You must be a Republican Troll, since you are so bad at math, and do not understand how goverment works.
        First prices would not double or tripple, most estimatesmput inceases at around 20-25%
        Second this increase would also bolster the tax base in inceased income taxes now paid by more Americans making things here, and increase in sales taxes not to mention inceased property taxes as building are being built again and equipment put in them
        Third those in fixed incomes can get cost of living adjustment that can be paid out of the new tax revenues

      • Frank

        something you seem to forget is exports are a large part of the economy and if you stop imports you also end up stopping many exports. Either the exports become not needed because things created in another country wont be making them because they lost their market or they wont trade with a country that wont accept their imports. In the end anything you do need to import will cost significantly more than they did before. We live in a global economy now. Republicans can’t handle extending unemployment benefits how do you think cost of living adjustments would go? You also end up without the same level of competition so costs will keep increasing at a heavy rate. That’s what has happened to any country that tries to cut itself off completely from other countries and trade.

      • Jim Bean

        Dunno about the estimates but I DO know about some actual comparisons. A 24 inch color TV cost about $450 in 1964 when there was no foreign competition. That same $450 will now get you a 42 inch flat screen. A new 4WD Chevy pickup cost $3400 in 1974. A new one today that is still (partially) union made in the USA is about $27,000 – about $800 percent more. In 1974 I bought a made-in-the-USA Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar for $600. They still make them in the USA but now they cost $4,000. That’s 6.6 times more. Look around the home of a family with a $60,000 annual income and ask yourself, ‘If their income jumped to $85,000 and the cost of all those things went up 600%, how much of that stuff would they have?” Hard as it is to swallow, cheap foreign labor has been a windfall for middle, low, and fixed income Americans – including you.

      • Erika Frensley

        Your numbers don’t seem to include the actual cost and inflation. For a real comparison, you shouldn’t use actual dollars but percentages of income. Once you research that, then your point might have more validity. as it is, it’s as valid as saying that you could once get a meal for a dime in 1930.

      • Jim Bean

        That’s an interesting exercise, so I ran it. The 74 truck was 33% of my annual income that year. The 2013 was 60% of my 2013 income. The TV ($460) was 4.5% of the 1974 income and just over 1% of the 13 income. At $2760 (adjusedt for made in the USA) the TV is a little over 6% of the 13 income. My income was only about 400% greater in 13 than it was in 74. Despite that, I live better – as long as I don’t have to buy Made in the USA. And so do you. (I worked exclusively in USA manufacturing during that period, btw.)

      • strayaway

        Better yet, use import tax revenue to lower the taxes of the middle class and working poor. As there would be an increased demand for US workers, they could demand, rather than beg for, higher wages. Workers with higher wages would need less government assistance resulting a huge savings for taxpayers – hopefully, enough to pay those higher wages built into production and services.

    • republicans are evil

      I am all for it! Republicans and their evil tax breaks and incentives to big corporations are what have ruined this country. They should all be banned from holding political office and deemed treasonous. They are all enemy’s of the state!

    • Matthew Reece

      I urge you to read Chapters 11 and 12 of Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt.

  • Stephen Barlow

    FIGHT THE TPP! This trade enslavement will CEENT the Republican policies in place PERMANENTLY. The offshoring of jobs, the further influx of cheap parts and products, the further widening of the wealth gap. There will be a minimized grievance process (which is guaranteed Constitutionally) to the Government against this.

    The TPP will make poisoned pet food, lead paint on toys and knowingly dangerous products legally untouchable. Lawsuits for damages from non American sellers of defective goods and fraudulent services will become judgement proof if this bill passes.

    WHY is this being hammered out in SECRET?

    WHY are the details being LEAKED as opposed to being made public as is the Representatives DUTY to the voters?

    The reason I bring this up in an employment #’s article is that the Republican Propaganda about the meaning of these #’s is how they are going to justify passing this SECRET corporate protection agreement.

    The 99% are NOT going to get jobs from the increase in exports. The 1% are going to get another fat tax break. All they need do is INVEST OUTSIDE OF AMERICA to deduct it from their 1040 Returns.

    America needs a TARIFF on all questionable source nations of faulty and pirated goods. Make them PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE of selling to the wealthiest consumers on earth. THAT will give American made (American JOBS) products the support the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT is supposed o be giving it’s citizens.

    • strayaway

      I’m in agreement that import taxes aimed at import corporations should replace middle class income taxes to the extent possible and that the TPP is an atrocity. However, the TPP is bipartisan. President Obama asked for fast track authority and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus (D) said “The TPA legislation we are introducing today will make sure that these trade deals get done, and get done right.” Jay Carney said that the fast track authority is a critical priority for Obama. Wellpoint lobbyist and VP Liz Fowler worked out of the Baucus office for awhile developing the (un)ACA and now this.

      “One group opposing the TPP deal – Fight For The Future – says there is more to be concerned with besides secretive international court mandates. According to group the TPP will: “restrict, police and censor the Internet, stifling free speech and innovation; radically decrease access to affordable medicine; circumvent protections for workers and the environment; expand economic inequality; prevent corporations from properly labeling genetically modified food.”” -RT

      • Stephen Barlow

        Don’t pick you nose with the finger you pulled out of your bung.

  • strayaway

    According to CNBC, The unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent due primarily to continued shrinkage in the labor force. The labor force participation rate tumbled to 62.8 percent, its worst level
    since January 1978. A broader measure of unemployment that includes discouraged and underemployed workers held steady at 13.1 percent. The
    monthly job creation was the worst in nearly two years and well below the
    upwardly revised 241,000 in November.

    • Frank

      Problem with numbers especially in cases like this is the way they report it but don’t do it for the full spectrum. they need to talk apples and apples and oranges to oranges in that kind of reporting. it’s fine to use those numbers but they have to be consistent all the way through. Bush at one point in his presidency changed the way they get reported and so it’s become the standard in the way they are reported. if you want to change the numbers you have to do it for all years to compare them properly.

  • Gabriel Gentile

    If job numbers have experienced continuous growth, perhaps we should be more prudent when it comes to experimenting with new policies such as raising the minimum wage and changing our tax code. Oh, to be sure, I recognize the positive qualities of both as much as anyone here, but let’s take a moment to consider what sort of effect they might have on the job market.

    • S. Phillips

      There’s nothing “experimental” about raising minimum wage. It will raise millions of people out of poverty and boost the economy. You talk as if it’s never been done, when in fact it is both necessary and long overdue.

      • Gabriel Gentile

        I’m not saying it’s never been done, Suze. I’m just saying let’s settle on a single, specific goal before we decide on policy. We wish to raise others out of poverty and boost the economy? Fantastic! We wish to put more jobs on the market? Also Fantastic! But the fact that we’ve had steady job growth and the economy is still not at a state we feel is insufficient offers empirical evidence that one is not necessarily dependent on the other. So let’s decide, which is it we want?

      • S. Phillips

        We need fatcat corporations and families to stop taking our money and start paying their fair share of taxes. Our nation needs that REVENUE. We don’t have a spending problem, we have a REVENUE problem. We put more of that money they’re hoarding into the economy, raise the minimum wage, create real jobs in alternative energy and infrastructure so businesses have to compete for our graduates, and we’ll all be better off.

      • Matthew Reece

        The problem is not the minimum wage; it is that today’s dollars
        lack sufficient purchasing power. Those who wish to solve the problem of income inequality should advocate for the abolition of fiat currency and a return to sound money.

      • S. Phillips

        No, it’s not. Our dollars have plenty of purchasing power, inflation has been modest with the key exception of higher education which has burdened our young people with ridiculous tuition and expensive loans on useless college degrees. We’ve also deregulated banks to the point where savings accounts cost more than they earn in interest, thus making savings a poor choice except for the very wealthy.

      • strayaway

        My experience is different. I notice taxes, health care, autos, groceries, housing, and education to be significantly higher than they were say 10 or 20 years ago. The Federal Reserve ‘prints’ $75B/month and dumps it into the economy to keep inflation from getting out of hand and to financially benefit the 1%. Retirees who counted on having some interest on their savings are being punished by this policy distorting the economy.

        The State owned bank of North Dakota used to give interest free loans to North Dakota students. When Obama nationalized the student loan industry, ND students had to pay interest. Now we find out that government student loan profits are being used to shore up the sagging (un)ACA ledger. Also, the easy availability of federal student loan money had increased the supply of students thus driving up the price of education (supply -demand 101).

      • S. Phillips

        You lost all credibility when you called student loan reform (ending the Bush era giveaway to bank middlemen) as “nationalizing the student loan industry.”

      • strayaway

        Tell that to North Dakota students who now have to pay the interest you were complaining about. Or tell it to Matt Tiabi who wrote in Rolling Stone, “The 2010 (student loan) bill mostly eliminated private banks and lenders from the federal student-loan business. Henceforth, the government would lend college money directly to students, with no middlemen taking a cut.” And changed bankruptcy rules so students can’t get out of debt and siphoned some of the government profits off to shore up (un)ACA finances. Before you were complaining about the high student loan interest rates. Now you are defending Obama’s loan sharks. He built it.

        suggest the Tiabi article- “Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal”

      • Matthew Reece

        Since 1971, when Nixon ended any pretense of the gold standard, prices have risen 475 percent and the money supply has inflated over 13000 percent. That is not modest inflation.

      • S. Phillips

        Since REAGAN the average worker salary flatlined and then actually went down, Matthew, while CEO salaries have tripled just in the last ten years.

      • Matthew Reece

        True, and a red herring to my point.

  • Sandy Greer

    The same time TeaPugs complain the economy is stagnating: They BALK at letting folks have unemployment.

  • Edward Krebbs

    I see your point. But on the list of Repub Hypocrisy, this is a minor blip.

  • FD Brian

    I’m pretty sure that when GM moved car manufacturing out of the US the price of cars did not go down, but the salaries of those on the top floor went up.

  • Edward Krebbs

    Didn’t the lower-than-expected 74,000 in December combined with lower workforce participation rate occur immediately after the month of the govt shutdown ? Admittedly could be post-hoc fallacy. But the shutdown hit on the economy could also be readily expected to cause lower hiring, lower consumer confidence with resulting lower spending in what is usually the Christmas boon in spending, etc.

  • Matthew Reece

    1. The December 2013 figure for jobs created is the lowest since January 2011.
    2. There is evidence that the October 2012 jobs report was falsified.
    3. Those who claim that government can create net jobs are committing the broken window fallacy, because they ignore the jobs that would have been created if government had not spent money on job creation. Government has no money of its own, so it must be stolen out of the private sector, whether by taxation, debasement, or borrowing. This money could have been used for economic expansion, but the cost is hidden due to the inability to count a non-created job.

    • DaltonOriginal

      No one seems to realize in regards to the employment numbers that once a person no longer receives unemployment compensation they are no longer counted in the numbers being reported to the public. Being in the city that was the hardest hit with job losses, Dalton Georgia, you have to think for yourself as there is so much corruption in the state of Georgia. Those jobs will never be available again, there is NO other industry in this city other than carpet and flooring. Epic failure on the city administration.