August Jobs Report Disappoints

After several months of good news, the August Jobs Report was quite a disappointment.

unemployment

The jobs market in 2014 has been the healthiest that we’ve seen it since the end of the Great Recession. From the beginning of the year through July, the economy averaged nearly 230,000 new jobs created per month, and job growth for May, June, and July seemed to be pointing toward a strong close to the summer as we head into the Fourth Quarter at the end of September. Granted, the numbers themselves are far from the robust number north of 300,000 new jobs per month that we ought to be seeing, but they were certainly better than what we’d seen for most of the time since the recession ended in 2009. Because of that, and thanks in no small part to a series of healthy economic reports in last month, most analysts expected that we’d see another strong report for August, with the average estimate from economists calling for roughly 225,000 new jobs created. Instead, we got a rather disappointing report, but it’s unclear if it’s the start of a new trend or just a statistical blip:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in August, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care.

In August, both the unemployment rate (6.1 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (9.6 million) changed little. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 million, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates in August showed little or no change for adult men (5.7 percent), adult women (5.7 percent), teenagers (19.6 percent), whites (5.3 percent), blacks (11.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.5 percent). The jobless rate for Asians was 4.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 192,000 to 3.0 million in August. These individuals accounted for 31.2 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 1.3 million. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, changed little in August and has been essentially unchanged since April. In August, the employment-population ratio was 59.0 percent for the third consecutive month but is up by 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier. (See table A-1.)

(…)

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in August, compared with an average monthly gain of 212,000 over the prior 12 months. In August, job growth occurred in professional and business services and in health care. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs in August and has added 639,000 over the past year. In August, management of companies and enterprises gained 8,000 jobs. Employment continued to trend up over the month in administrative and support services (+23,000), architectural and engineering services (+3,000), and in management and technical consulting services (+3,000).

Employment in health care increased by 34,000 in August. Within the industry, offices of physicians and hospitals added 8,000 jobs and 7,000 jobs, respectively. Social assistance employment continued to trend up over the month (+9,000) and has expanded by 104,000 over the year.

Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in August (+22,000) and is up by 289,000 over the year.

Construction employment continued to trend up in August (+20,000). This is in line with its average monthly job gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. In August, employment trended up in specialty trade contractors (+12,000) and construction of buildings (+7,000).

Manufacturing employment was unchanged in August, following an increase of 28,000 in July. Motor vehicles and parts lost 5,000 jobs in August, after adding 13,000 jobs in July. Auto manufacturers laid off fewer workers than usual for factory retooling in July, and fewer workers than usual were recalled in August. Elsewhere in manufacturing, there were job gains in August in computer and peripheral equipment (+3,000) and in nonmetallic mineral products (+3,000), and job losses in electronic instruments (-2,000).

In August, retail trade employment was little changed (-8,000). Food and beverage stores lost 17,000 jobs; this industry was impacted by employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England. Elsewhere in retail trade, automobile dealers added 5,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little change over the month.

In addition to these numbers, the BLS also revised the figures for the previous two months downward by 28,000 jobs, something that hasn’t been done for several months. June’s number was revised downward from 298,000 to 267,000, while July’s number was revised slightly upward from 209,000 to 212,000. The top line unemployment rate itself did go down slightly, as did the long term unemployment rate, but that appears to be pretty much just a statistical anamoly. There was no change in the labor force participation rate, which remains at historically low levels, and the numbers of people employed part-time rather than full-time did not change significantly. It was, in other words, a fairly disappointing number, but it’s unclear what that means:

Once again, the American economy has managed to frustrate the optimists.

After a series of positive economic reports in recent weeks, the Labor Department said Friday that hiring in August sank to its slowest pace since December, with employers adding 142,000 jobs last month.

The vast majority of economists had been looking for a gain of at least 200,000 in payrolls, coming off healthy indicators for durable goods orders, construction activity and manufacturing in July and August.

The unemployment rate did fall by 0.1 percentage point to 6.1 percent last month, but that was because more people dropped out of the work force rather than found jobs.

“It presents a reality check versus other data, which showed more significant economic momentum heading into the third quarter,” said Michael Gapen, senior United States economist at Barclays.

Although the rate of economic growth rebounded to 4.2 percent in the second quarter after a contraction early in the year, Mr. Gapen said the latest jobs data suggested the economy was settling into a more moderate pace of growth of around 2.5 percent for the remainder of 2014.

As a result, he said, the Federal Reserve is likely to stick to its plan to raise short-term interest rates beginning in the middle of 2015, rather than move that timetable up, as some on Wall Street have speculated recently.

For anyone looking for a shift in tone when Fed policy makers meet this month, “this throws cold water on that,” Mr. Gapen said.

Other economists speculated that the tepid data in August represented something of a timeout after six straight months of payroll gains of more than 200,000, the best run since before the recession.

“This looks like a breather, rather than a fundamental downshift,” said Omair Sharif, senior United States economist at RBS. The month of August has a tendency to disappoint, he added, noting that of the last 10 August jobs reports, seven had come in below expectations.\

Given that, it would probably be best to wait for another month or two before declaring the trend that we’ve seen for most of 2014 at an end. We could see a revision for August that boosts numbers significantly, for example, or reports in September and October that put us back on the trend that we had seen for most of the year. That being said, it is somewhat disconcerting that this report seems to put us back into the same trend that we had seen for most of the past two years which, while better than nothing, certainly can’t be said to have been overly positively. Indeed, even at the 200,000 per month number we’ve been seeing for most of the year, it would still take another two years to completely erase the job losses from a recession that has been over for five years now, which at the very least underscores just how weak this recovery has been, and just how vulnerable we are to being pushed back into a recession under the right circumstances.

Another concern is the fact that we may never actually recover from the losses that we suffered during the recession and the long, slow recovery. Many of the people that lost their jobs during this period seem to have simply given up looking for work altogether, a fact that is demonstrated most starkly in the fact that the Labor Force Participation Rate remains at rates that we last saw during the recessions of the late 1970s and early 1980s. To some extent, this drop off can be attributed to the fact that Baby Boomers are retiring, but that simply cannot account for all of the people who have given up looking for work and, as this chart that Ben Casselman shared on Twitter this morning shows, August was the 49th month of the past 50 in which the number of people who dropped out of the labor force exceeded the number looking for work:

Unemployment Chart

In this kind of environment, I have to wonder if we can really say there is such a thing as a “good” jobs report when there are more people dropping out of the labor force finding a job.

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. MUCHBOXGRAD says:

    That’s obamacare working its magic. wait until tax season next year.

  2. C. Clavin says:

    @MUCHBOXGRAD:

    That’s obamacare working its magic.

    WTF???

  3. Eric Florack says:

    About as expected, actually.
    Oh… and should we point out that the vast majority of jobs generated are part time jobs?

    (Snort)

  4. Eric Florack says:

    Afterthought…..

    Have they given up the use of the word “unexpected” in their description of economic downturn? Are they finally admitting that downturn is the norm with this administration?

  5. Guarneri says:

    Maybe next summer will be the “summer of recovery.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-05/all-you-need-know-about-jobs-recovery

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Have they given up the use of the word “unexpected” in their description of economic downturn? Are they finally admitting that downturn is the norm with this administration?

    You do realize that there was positive job growth, right?

    You also realize that in the 2008-09 recession, we were LOSING jobs at a rate of over 700,000 per month? You might also remember that the Great Recession of 2008 caused the loss of approximately 25% (or $17 Trillion) of the wealth of American households and businesses?

    What is it that you have against positive and steady jobs growth since 2009?

  7. stonetools says:

    Most likely, it will be get adjusted up. But Doug and the rest of the right wing crowd won’t acknowledge that, of course.

    Justin Wolfers :

    Here’s the good news from today’s jobs report:
    1. These are noisy estimates
    2. They’ll probably be revised
    3. It could have been worse.

    Ben Casselman gives a balanced view, IMO:

    Let me be clear: The monthly jobs report, released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was a disappointment. Some months, the headline figures are misleading, hiding a more complex picture beneath the surface. This wasn’t one of those months. Pretty much every number in the report — from the labor-force participation rate (down), to hours worked (flat), to hourly pay (up, but not by much) — painted the same discouraging picture. What’s more, the government revised down its estimate of job gains in past months by a combined 28,000, suggesting the recent run of strong growth wasn’t quite as strong as previously thought.

    Still, it’s important to keep Friday’s disappointment in perspective. The report paints a picture of a job market that’s healing a bit more slowly than it was in the spring, but that’s still healing nonetheless. Unemployment, and particularly long-term unemployment, continued to fall. Fewer people were working part time because they couldn’t find full-time work. The construction sector, a source of good-paying jobs and a frequent bellwether for the economy, showed its second-consecutive month of strong gains.

    Moreover, monthly jobs numbers are notoriously volatile. It’s too soon to know whether this was a one-month blip or, for that matter, a statistical oddity that will be revised away in coming months. (The margin of error on the headline payroll figure is about 90,000 jobs.) It pays to focus on the longer-term trend, which shows steady, though not accelerating, growth.

    What’s truly depressing is that most economists understand that a second round of stimulus would pump up employment, but the Republicans would block any such action-and the public blames the the President for not doing something about unemployment. But let me not repeat my rant about the undersized stimulus in 2009 and Republican seconomic sabotage.

  8. stonetools says:

    @Eric Florack:

    @MUCHBOXGRAD:

    Hey wingnuts, this tweet’s for you:

    .
    RT @bencasselman Over the past year, full-time employment up 2.3 million. Part-time down 145k.

    Wolfers response:

    Blame Obamacare, obviously

    Wingnut talking points: SOOOOOOOO predictable and easy to refute.

  9. beth says:

    @stonetools: I don’t mind the fact that wingnuts won’t listen to facts about the economy – they never have and probably never will. What is bothersome is the absolute glee they take in what they think is bad news. Who cheers and considers it a victory when employment is down and the economy is tanking? What kind of person does that?

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    @stonetools:

    Doug has consistently posted articles when revisions–whether upward or downward–have occurred.

  11. Guarneri says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Losing 700,000/mo is using selective trough data in the favorite mold of charlatans and the ignorant. If he could stop 700,000/mo losses he could surely give us half as much in gains years down the road. What? he’s just teasing us until his last year in office? And the thing people have against positive job growth is that the incomes associated with them matter, not just the body count. You could decree that people work half the hours – and of course half the pay – and rejoice at the number of jobs or employed………but we are no better off.

    As for Cassellman. He gives some relatively hard statistics and notes a bleak picture. He then speculates about positive notes (as people have for 5 years now) and concludes the best. This has been the pattern for 4-5 years now. Lucy is getting tired from pulling away that football.

    Just this morning I read that black unemployment had grown to twice the overall rate under the Obama Administration, and almost all the wage gains had gone to the top few percent of income earners. Just the facts. What does Obama have against the Average Joe and blacks, and why do they support him given the terrible lot he has delivered to them?

    You guys can blather all you want but economic performance is well, well below potential.

  12. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Losing 700,000/mo is using selective trough data in the favorite mold of charlatans and the ignorant. If he could stop 700,000/mo losses he could surely give us half as much in gains years down the road.

    That (700,000 per month job losses) is not a selective data – that was our reality following the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression.

    Conservatives act as if the 2008-09 recession was just another typical recession after which you guys would get back to eating Twinkies and consuming 24 packs of Bud Lite. Well it wasn’t like that at all. Again, a loss of $17 Trillion in the wealth of Americans – that is not something that is easily overcome.

    Economic growth has been slow and steady, and among the advanced countries of the world we, because we avoided the conservative-preferred austerity policies, have avoided negative growth and another recession.

  13. MUCHBOXGRAD says:

    “The top executive for H&R Block, the nation’s largest tax preparer, on Wednesday said he expected President Obama’s health care law to add “significant complexity” to next year’s tax season.”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/hr-block-ceo-says-obamacare-to-add-significant-complexity-to-tax-season/article/2552801

    obamacare-is-dampening-the-job-market-in-3-principal-ways WHAT REALLY? @OTB Obama lap dogs….you know who you are… 😉

    Last month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published two surveys of regional employers—one focused on manufacturing businesses, one on service companies—and asked them how Obamacare was affecting their businesses. For 2015, 33.3 percent of service firms said Obamacare was increasing their costs “a lot,” whereas 51.2 percent of manufacturing firms said the same. While almost no firms said they would be dropping health coverage for their workers, 16.9 percent of service firms and 21.6 percent of manufacturers said they would be reducing their workforce due to Obamacare. 21.8 and 20.5 percent, respectively, said they would be reducing wage and salary compensation. 25 and 36.4 percent, respectively, said they would be raising prices for their customers.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/09/01/obamacare-is-dampening-the-job-market-in-3-principal-ways/

  14. beth says:

    @MUCHBOXGRAD: How shocking. An executive for a company that does tax returns is telling people scary stories about how hard it’s going to be to do your taxes next year? If only you could hire someone to do them for you….

  15. C. Clavin says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Please provide an example of an economy similar to ours that generated significant growth while simultaneously slashing the size of the Public Sector.
    I’ll wait.

  16. C. Clavin says:

    @Guarneri:
    Same question to you, Drew.
    Please provide an example of an economy similar to ours that generated significant growth while simultaneously slashing the size of the Public Sector.
    I’ll wait.

  17. MUCHBOXGRAD says:

    @BETH

    Either way Taxes are going up next year and it going to be a nightmare to file. Probably going to get a nice increase too in your accountants’ bill for his extra time… Thanks Obama care .

    big losses in employer based heath care coming too. Do you have a job? did you like you heath insurance there? oh good because you will be on Obama care next year too.

  18. Pinky says:

    @stonetools:

    Most likely, it will be get adjusted up.

    Why?

  19. stonetools says:

    @Guarneri:

    I’m not posting this for you(your mind, such as it is, is closed) but for the lurkers. Here is Ben Bernanke, an economist who is an expert on the Great Depression and head of the Federal Reserve Bank during the Great Recession:

    Ben Bernanke, the former head of the Federal Reserve, said the 2008 financial crisis was the worst in global history, surpassing even the Great Depression.

    His statement is raising eyebrows. While the “Great Recession” was scary, there’s a reason it wasn’t dubbed a depression: Bernanke’s aggressive policy response.

    “Arguably the financial shocks of 2008 were bigger than those of 1929. The outcome was not as disastrous because the policy responses were quite different,” said Jeffrey Shafer, a former Federal Reserve and Treasury official.

    The response to 2008 was spearheaded by Bernanke, who has studied and written extensively about the Great Depression and the policy blunders that exacerbated an already bad situation

    Now if you were sensible, you would take instruction from someone who is in every way more expert than you, but I’m sure you’ll stick your fingers in your ears and yell, “NA NA NA”, because that’s what conservatives do.

    While Bernanke did a great job of managing the gigantic financial crisis of 2008, he could have done even better had law makers responded with more fiscal stimulus. However conservatives, clinging to their outmoded mythology, refused:

    Top Federal Reserve officials are pressing lawmakers to pair a long-term plan for deficit reduction with new short-term fiscal stimulus to boost an economy that the central bank admits needs more help than it can provide.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has tucked support for a two-part fiscal strategy into speeches, and has pushed it behind the scenes with lawmakers, offering a boost both to deficit hawks and to proponents of spending more or taxing less in the near term

    That dates from 2010. Its now 2014.
    So if you want to blame anyone for the sluggish recovery, blame the Republicans for thei irresponsible, sociopathic obsructionism. They’re the guilty parties.

  20. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    See this analysis:

    The hand-wringing over today’s ADP private employment report should not be taken as evidence of any kind of sudden reversal of hiring.

    The 204,000 private sector jobs ADP and its forecasting partner, Moody’s Analytics, said were created in August demonstrates that the hiring surge of the last several months still has legs. That the number was less than the 215,000-220,000 jobs economists expected and the lowest count since March, may be disappointing, but the August dip is familiar to any recruiter with more than a few years experience.

    Hiring historically slows in August and again around the end-of-the-year holidays. Last year, ADP reported 296,900 new jobs in June and 212,400 in July. In August, the job creation count dropped to 190,200. It was back up in September to 215,000.

    The official government report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, oddly, showed just the reverse last year, with a big jump in August hiring and lower hiring in July and September. However, for both the BLS and ADP, the August dip pattern held true in 2012 and 2011.

  21. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: Your link didn’t work for me. But the passage itself seems to be about ADP’s accuracy, not about BLS’s revisions. I don’t know if BLS tends to revise their numbers in the direction of other forecasts. That’d be interesting.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @C. Clavin:
    @C. Clavin:

    Crickets.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    @MUCHBOXGRAD:

    That’s just nonsense.
    Unsupportable nonsense.

  24. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Please provide an example of an economy similar to ours that generated significant growth while simultaneously slashing the size of the Public Sector.

    Slashing?

    YR Federal Outlays
    2011 3,603,059m
    2012 3,537,127m (-65,932m) (-1.8%)
    2013 3,454,605m (-82,522m) (-2.3%)
    2014 estimate 3,650,526 (+195,921m) (+5.7%)

  25. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:

    The topic is employment…jobs.
    We have lost around 2 million Public Sector jobs on net since the Bush Economic Death Spiral began. That’s a lot of demand that isn’t there…thanks primarily to failed Republican economic theories.

  26. Pinky says:

    @Pinky: I should have noted that, from what I can find at least, state and local government spending have been level during these years, and since they’re together roughly equal to federal spending, those percentages should be cut in half. Not really seeing slashing.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    Again….jobs.
    But if you insist on looking at outlays you need to look at spending as a percent of GDP…which is dropping rapidly.

  28. stonetools says:

    Oh yeah, since Doug no longer posts on Obamacare because the news has been so good, more good news:

    Another stake in the heart of a popular anti-Obamacare claim has arrived from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which compiled the projected premium changes for 2015 in 15 states and the District of Columbia..

    Its finding is that premiums for the lowest-cost, most popular individual health plans will be dropping for next year, by a nationwide average of 0.8%.

    That’s just one of several indicators recently released that demonstrate that the Affordable Care Act is working as planned and that the parade of horribles so deeply relished by its opponents hasn’t materialized. The other metrics show that out-of-pocket spending on healthcare fell in the last year because of the legislation, and that there is no overall shift in the U.S. to part-time work, whether because of healthcare reform or otherwise. More on those figures in a moment.

    I wonder how long before the Obamacare haters finally admit they were wrong and give up on their misbegotten crusade to deny millions of Americans health insurance?
    Pretty sure that a generation from now, students are going to wonder whether the anti-Obamacare campaign was driven by stupidity, insanity or just sheer spite. The anti-Obamacare haters will sound just as wacky as this anti-Medicare prophet:

    “Shouldn’t someone tag Mr. Kennedy’s ‘bold new imaginative program’ with its proper age?” Reagan wondered. “Under the tousled boyish haircut it is still old Karl Marx—first launched a century ago. There is nothing new in the idea of a government being Big Brother to us all. Hitler called his state ‘State Socialism’, and way before him it was relevant ‘benevolant monarchy’.”….The doctor begins to lose freedom. . . . First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then doctors aren’t equally divided geographically. So a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him, you can’t live in that town. They already have enough doctors. You have to go someplace else. And from here it’s only a short step to dictating where he will go. . . . All of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay. And pretty soon your son won’t decide, when he’s in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do

  29. Pinky says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The topic is employment…jobs.

    Why not look at spending? Isn’t the whole premise that government spending stimulates the economy?

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    Well…the post is about jobs.
    But again…if you insist on looking at spending then you have to look at spending in relation to GDP. Just dollars spent is a meaningless metric without context.

  31. Moosebreath says:

    @Pinky:

    Are your figures indexed for inflation? If not, they show a nominal growth of 1.3% total over 3 years (or about .4% per year), when inflation grew by far more than that over the same time period.

  32. stonetools says:

    @Pinky:

    Mark Thoma has a nice primer and the conection between spending and employment here.
    Money quote:

    Though the recovery from the recession has been very slow, things will eventually get better. As the economy improves and interest rates begin to increase, then we will need to start worrying about the debt’s role in pushing interest rates up. At that time, we can begin to figure out how to use spending cuts and tax increases to offset any problems that can be traced to the national debt. Thus, we need patience, lots of it, during slow recoveries. Cutting spending too soon – as we have done – makes a slow recovery even slower. – See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2014/02/11/How-Keynes-Would-Handle-Abnormally-Slow-Recovery#sthash.bCttd7GS.dpuf

    RTWT. It’s very accessible. BTW, its not as if this is up for debate. The overwhelming consensus among economists is that the economy benefitted from fiscal stimulus in 2009.

    Here’s a simple case study making the point that our political debates about economics have become largely unhinged from those among actual economists. Take the Obama stimulus plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If you took your cues from the political rhetoric in Washington — or even from the occasional virulent debate in the economics blogosphere — you would think the whole question of fiscal stimulus is highly contested.

    But it’s not. There’s widespread agreement among economists that the stimulus act has helped boost the economy.

    Certainly, too as I posted above the Fed certainly favored more stimulus, as did most economists.

  33. Pinky says:

    @Moosebreath: I was looking at OPM data, unadjusted. Adjusting for inflation, the numbers come out to -1.2% per year. Again, not what I’d call slashing.

  34. C. Clavin says:

    @Pinky:
    Well no…not when you look at dollars relative to……….nothing.

  35. Hal_10000 says:

    Nice to know that we can always rely on people to blame any bad economic news on Republican austerity and credit any good news to Obama’s leadership.

  36. al-Ameda says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Nice to know that we can always rely on people to blame any bad economic news on Republican austerity and credit any good news to Obama’s leadership.

    Don’t worry, that will change the next time a Republican is elected president. The interesting thing is, it will be true in that case too.

  37. C. Clavin says:

    @Hal_10000:
    Well Republicans have worked hard to hold back the economy…shouldn’t they be given credit for their success?

  38. Anonomouse says:

    @Pinky: Because it is significantly below a reasonable rolling average, and last month wasn’t actually special in any way, duderino

  39. Tony W says:

    @stonetools:

    Most likely, it will be get adjusted up. But Doug and the rest of the right wing crowd won’t acknowledge that, of course.

    Didn’t you notice Doug’s OTB articles each month about how great the economy is doing during the past few months when the jobs reports did not “disappoint”?

  40. Tony W says:

    @MUCHBOXGRAD:

    oh good because you will be on Obama care next year too.

    I certainly hope so. The crappy HSA-focused catastrophic coverage plan I have from my employer today certainly leaves a lot to be desired – although the right loves it because it’s the epitome of free-market healthcare.

  41. Tony W says:

    @Tony W: Correction: After a quick search I realize I was wrong and Doug is very fair on this subject. My apologies.

  42. bill says:

    well he better do something, maybe he could blow off giving illegals amnesty until after the mid-term elections? oh, just did it….

  43. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: Positive Job growth, but only in part time jobs.
    And lets remember, please the lowest job participation rate since the Carter disaster. Same policies, same result. Not that hard a connection, Rick.

    @Pinky: Exactly. Theyd rather you didn’t mention that man behind the curtain.

  44. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack: “same policies, same result” LOL
    Bush left us with the economy shedding jobs at a rate of 700,000 per month, so, no, Obama has not implemented policies that have caused the loss of jobs nor a second recession. Just saying that Obama is Carter is NOT the same as it ACTUALLY being true.

  45. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: nah, but thats the truth of it.
    Observe….

    Simply put, the administration’s big spending stimulus policies and the Fed’s obsession with pumping money into the moribund New York financial industry have failed.

    Also, now Americans are seeing the real cost of ObamaCare health care subsidies. Employer mandates are not much good to working families if no one in the family is working.

    The official jobless rate is down to 6.1 percent but real unemployment is closer to 18 percent, because so many prime aged adults are sitting out the party. For example, one in six adult males between the ages of 25 and 54 has no job, and may have simply quit looking thanks to “compassionate” government policies that reward able bodied men and women to sit at home and watch  ESPN NFL reruns or “The View.”   [Emphasis added]
    Since 2000, Congress has beefed up the earned income tax credit, and expanded programs providing direct benefits to low and middle income workers, including ObamaCare and Medicaid, food stamps, and rent and mortgage assistance.

    Those buy votes but do little to encourage work.

    Benefits phase down as family incomes rise, and often tax additional income as much as 50 percent. Consequently, government benefits penalize work and encourage one partner in two adult households to be idle.

    now do a bit of comparison between these policies and what Carter stagnated us with.

  46. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    now do a bit of comparison between these policies and what Carter stagnated us with.

    I did a comparison: George W. Bush stagnated us with the worst financial catastrophe since the Great Depression, millions of jobs lost, about 25% of the wealth of Americans ($17 trillion) vaporized in the 2008 crash.

    Obama compares to Carter in no manner:

    High Inflation? No.
    High Unemployment? No.
    High Interest Rates? No.

    What else is there? As much as Republicans are desperate to make the Obama:Carter nexus, wishing it so does not make it so.

  47. rudderpedals says:

    @al-Ameda: Not to pile on (but WTF) but W’s policies are credited for crush/kill/destroying three very good ventures that should have flourished but that wasnt enough, his (mis/mal)feasance wasn’t satisfied until it vanished $250K of equity in my home (on paper).

    A nice Bronx cheer in his general direction is always appropriate.

  48. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda: Ill ask you, as well.
    what ARE you smoking?

    I mean, being attacked by islamo-facists had nothing to do with it, eh?
    Its all Bush’s fault.
    Look, Im no Bush fan but dont you think in your zeal to protect the leftist holy names, youve gone a little overboard, here?

  49. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack: @al-Ameda: Ill ask you, as well.
    what ARE you smoking?

    I mean, being attacked by islamo-facists had nothing to do with it, eh?
    Its all Bush’s fault.
    Look, Im no Bush fan but dont you think in your zeal to protect the leftist holy names, youve gone a little overboard, here?

    I’m a non-smoker, but thanks for asking.
    It’s pretty tough to blame Obama for both (1) the loss of $17 Trillion in wealth and (2) the loss of millions of jobs, both of which were happening before he was inaugurated. I’m not protecting Obama, I’m pointing out what actually happened.

    Finally, what did the attack of September 11th have to do with any direct threat to our security that emanated from Iraq? Apparently nothing. No one blames Bush for wanting to retaliate against the forces that attacked us, however it is entirely justifiable to ask what the nexus was between Iraq/Hussein, the attack of 9/11, and our decision to destabilize the balance of power in the region by going to war in Iraq.

  50. anjin-san says:

    Carter

    It’s worth noting that the economy was in the toilet long before Carter took office.

  51. anjin-san says:

    being attacked by islamo-facists

    Bush had bi-partisan (look it up dude, it means something) support for the war in Afghanistan. I voted for Bush in 2000. His disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq made a Democrat out of me. Iraq had nothing, repeat nothing to do with 9.11, fever swamp fantasies to the contrary.

  52. Munchboxgrad says:

    Iraq most certainly had something to do with the greater cause of having a free middle east. Terrorists were given safe haven there. Saddam wrote check s for suicide bombers. He shipped its chemical weapons off to Syria…obama invades/ leads from behind in Libya under the guise that there was some kinda of genocide on the horizon…but when there is actually genocide happing because he withdrew our troops he does nothing ” we don’t have a strategy”. The strategy with Iraq was to go in weed out the bad actors and assert our sphere of influence for the greater good. But since the king of the golf course has a different opinion of what boils down to good vs evil he opted for the latter. Iraq was a strategic move to keep the Islamists in check….squandered by hussein obama.

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @Munchboxgrad:

    Iraq most certainly had something to do with the greater cause of having a free middle east. Terrorists were given safe haven there. Saddam wrote check s for suicide bombers.

    Your ODS has no boundaries.

    The greater cause of a free Middle East? Of course. Removing Saddam resulted in ceding power in the region to Iran, which has been a strong supporter of Syrian based terror, and has facilitated the rise of ISIS.

    Mission accomplished

  54. al-Ameda says:

    @MUNCHBOXGRAD:

    Mission accomplished indeed… your obama lap dog syndrome knows no bounds.

    So you agree that the War in Iraq served to cede power in the region to Iran and in fact enables ISIS to become the threat it is today.

  55. al-Ameda says:

    @Munchboxgrad:

    Uh you mean when we left correct? The vacuum we left was filled by the people that remain. Not before but after. Just like the jihadists swimming in the embassy pool…we left now it’s filled with jihadists. See how that works?

    You are referring to the withdrawal agreement that President Bush signed off on, prior to Obama’s inauguration, of course. And the same agreement that Al-Maliki insisted on when he declined our offers to retain a presence. You see how that works?

  56. al-Ameda says:

    There is no doubt, the 2003 War in Iraq was
    the biggest foreign policy failure since the War in Vietnam.

  57. al-Ameda says:

    @munchboxgrad:

    As if. And if it was the failure you say it was it’s only because the troops were pulled out too early by obama. The biggest foreign policy disaster has been all the intelligence leaked under this administration whichs leads to his extreme flexibility and our diminishing defense capabilities.

    The war in Iraq was a failure because it was ill-conceived, it had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11th, and it had the effect and end result of ceding power in the region to Iran, and created the conditions for ISIS to flourish. Feel free to blame Obama, those of us who are reality-based know otherwise.

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @Munchboxgrad:

    It was never claimed to be because of 9/11, it was a strategic move to put us into position in the heart of the islamist hornets nest. The failure of the state of Iraq and ceding of power was ushered in by the removal of troops not before but after. Now we are going back ….go figure.

    Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Bush sold the war based on a direct threat to America that could be a nuclear attack, which, immediately following 9/11 resonated strongly with Americans – it was the basis of the WMD pretext, which actual inspections showed to be false.

    President Bush negotiated the leave agreement, Obama carried out the agreement, and al-Maliki declined Obama’s offer of further American presence.

    Again, if Bush had not gone to war in Iraq we would not be discussing what to do vis.a.vis ISIS, Syria and Iran. The 2003 war was and is a foreign policy failure.

  59. Grewgills says:

    @munchboxgrad:
    Almost a Poe, but you took it a bit too far.

  60. al-Ameda says:

    @munchboxgrad:

    Get in your time machine then. Your not going to change the fact that obama pulled the troops out creating a vacuum that was filled by the Islamists. And leading from behind in libya is really the main cause, empowerment, and armament of Isis. Not some YouTube video. All of mo mo’s arms went straight into the hands of the jihadists swimming in the pool at the embassy. And now they have all the arms supplied to the Iraqi army thanks to the muslim in chief.

    YouTube Video? I have no idea what you’re referring to.
    All of the chaos that you described is essentially the result of the disastrous decision to go to War in Iraq in 2003 – it’s that simple.

    Iraq did NOT want us to remain there, we withdrew as the Bush Administration agreed to, and as the public wanted. Do you believe that a Republican Congress would have approved of invalidating that agreement, overriding the wishes of al-Maliki? Sure, of course.

    Are you saying that Obama should have abrogated that agreement and kept troops in Iraq?