June Jobs Report Disastrously Disappointing

Judging by the June jobs report, there's no economic recovery coming in the near future.

If you thought the May jobs report, which seemed to bring an end to several months of 100,000+ new jobs to an end, was depressing then June’s report is going to really depress you:

U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in June, with employers hiring the fewest number of workers in nine months, dampening hopes the economy was on the cusp of regaining momentum after stumbling in recent months.

Nonfarm payrolls rose only 18,000, the weakest reading since September, the Labor Department said on Friday, well below economists’ expectations for a 90,000 rise.

Many economists raised their forecasts on Thursday after a stronger-than-expected reading on U.S. private hiring from payrolls processor ADP, and they expected gains of anywhere between 125,000 and 175,000.

The unemployment rate climbed to 9.2 percent, the highest since December, from 9.1 percent in May.

The government revised April and May payrolls to show 44,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. The report shattered expectations that the economy was starting to accelerate after a soft patch in the first half of the year.

The private sector added 57,000, accounting for all the jobs created, with government employment shrinking 39,000 because of fiscal problems at local and state governments.

Economic activity in the first six months of the year was dampened by rising commodity prices and supply chain disruptions following Japan’s devastating earthquake in March.

The increase of the unemployment rate in and of itself is something we would have expected to see even if the jobs picture was improving, because more available jobs would’ve brought more people into the jobs market. But that’s not what’s happening here. Labor force participation is still pathetically low. Long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high, New job creation has been pathetically anemic for the past year and a half. At no time have we gotten anywhere near the 250,000+ jobs a months that we’d need to actually start turning the employment picture around and alll we’ve gotten so far are a few hopeful growth spurts that, like now, just end up dying off a few months later.

The political implications are, of course, rather obvious:

Signs the labor market is struggling is a major blow for the Obama administration, which has struggled to get the economy to create enough jobs to absorb the 14.1 million unemployed Americans.

The economy is the top concern among voters and will feature prominently in President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election next year. So far, the economy has regained only a fraction of the more than 8 million jobs lost during the recession.

At the same time, the Federal Reserve—which wrapped up a $600 billion bond-buying program last week designed to spur lending and stimulate growth—appears unlikely to take any further steps to boost the economy.

And you can add to that the fact that further fiscal stimulus is unlikely not only because it’s most likely politically impossible, but also because the money simply isn’t there anymore.

Two thoughts comes to mind in the wake of this jobs reports, and they’re both kind of related.

First of all, we’ve known since November that voters top concern during the mid-term elections was jobs, jobs, jobs. Somehow, though, the conversation in Washington has turned to austerity and spending cuts. If you listen to Republicans on television, they keep repeating the line that getting government spending under control will create jobs, but I’ve never quite understood where the logic in that argument comes from. If the government spends less, how, exactly does that lead to a stronger economy? How does it put money in the hands of businesses that they’d be willing to use to expand, develop new lines of business, and hire new workers? Moreover, if spending cuts lead to government workers losing their jobs, doesn’t that mean unemployment is going to go up, at least in the short term?

I’m not saying that cutting spending, and reducing the size and scope of government are bad things, from my point of view they certainly aren’t. However, I’m not sure its the right place to focus if what you want to do is reinvigorate the economy. Washington would do better to focus on tax reform, reducing burdensome regulations, and stabilizing the value of the dollar if what they’re aiming for is a business climate that makes people want to hire workers. Moreover, politically, it seems to me that everyone in Washington is misreading the mood of the public by not focusing on jobs.

Second, even if Congress does everything I’ve just mentioned, where are the new jobs going to come from? What if this is, as I asked back in May, as good as it is going to get?

The one thing I do know is that when you keep seeing disappointing numbers like this month after month over a long period of time, it becomes harder and harder to believe that it’s just an anomaly and that a return to the good old days is just around corner

 

 

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Economics and Business, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Mr. Prosser says:

    “First of all, we’ve known since November that voters top concern during the mid-term elections was jobs, jobs, jobs. Somehow, though, the conversation in Washington has turned to austerity and spending cuts.” As you say, if the Republicans continue pounding the austerity drum they are going to lose. Anyone presently employed but not sure of the future is not going to go for a conservative drive that in any way threatens a safety net, whether it be SS, Medicaid or any program that helps support families in need.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    Hmmm….

    A Lack of Jobs….

    Record profits for Wall Street…

    Anyone else see a disconnect? Aren’t profits for business supposed to lead to more jobs and prosperity for all?

    Can it be that the wealthiest individuals and corporations are choosing not to expand their businesses and instead are just increasing payouts to shareholders?

    No. That would never happen.

    The market is always benevolent.
    Tax cuts will lead to further economic growth.

    Right?

  3. gVOR08 says:

    “If you listen to Republicans on television, they keep repeating the line that getting government spending under control will create jobs, but I’ve never quite understood where the logic in that argument comes from. If the government spends less, how, exactly does that lead to a stronger economy?” Damn, Mataconis, for a moment there you looked like you’d seen the light and become a Keynesian. But then you went to, “Washington would do better to focus on tax reform, reducing burdensome regulations, and stabilizing the value of the dollar if what they’re aiming for is a business climate that makes people want to hire workers.” So you still believe in the confidence fairy.

    You almost had it there. Customers, Doug, customers. Customers are the one thing that will lead businesses to hire. What is so hard to understand about demand. Aggregate Demand.

    You all say you want jobs to come back, but you’re not willing to pay for it.

  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Wow, these comments are stunningly ignorant, even by Internet standards.

    No. 2, you do realize, don’t you, there’s a difference between the few thousand publicly traded companies on stock exchanges and the several million private companies out there, the latter of which have nothing to do with Wall St.?

    FYI, small businesses have and always will account for the majority of job creation.

    It’s because the small business sectors are in the dumps that the labor markets are so disastrous. Wall St. is a nice straw man but a straw man nonetheless. And, yes, as always is the case, lower taxes on small businesses would lead to a lot more net hiring. Less regulations too.

    No. 3, it’s pretty tough to goose up consumer demand when consumers are waiting on the unemployment lines. Mr. Cart, meet Mr. Horse. You get that, right?

    First, you need those consumers to have jobs, i.e., income. Then they can go out and spend some of that money (demand). Then the people and businesses who sell them stuff will have reason to hire more people (jobs). Printing money and throwing it around like confetti doesn’t actually create jobs in the real world. Have you been under a rock for the past 3 years? If Keynesian policies actually worked outside of university lecture halls then right now we’d already have a rip-roaring economy with strong job growth.

    It’s a function of overregulation and overtaxation, not that we’re not spending enough taxpayer dollars. Or is three trillion public dollars in 2 years not enough for you to be convinced of that?

    If you want job creation and sound labor markets and consumer demand then you’d be supporting comprehensive tort reform, selective tax reform for small businesses and sole proprietors, comprehensive rollbacks of environmental regulations, a repeal of Obamacare, elimination of “living wage” ordinances and expansions of nuclear power, oil drilling and shale exploration.

  5. hey norm says:

    To expand on the original post:
    Since Obama was inaugurated the government – federal/state/local – has shed 500,000 jobs. This is exactly the shrinking government that so-called republicans dream about. So take a good look because what you see is what you’re gonna get more of. Don’t like it? Stop listening to the so-called republicans – because slashing government spending is only going to cut hundreds of thousands more public sector jobs. Far fewer public sector jobs means all those teachers, cops, firemen, highway department workers are spending far less money. They ain’t buying cars. They ain’t building new houses. They ain’t buying appliances. They ain’t going on vacation. Far less money being spent means far less demand for private sector jobs.
    The so-called republicans were given back control of the House because they promised to focus on jobs. Since taking over they have focused on slashing spending – and thus jobs – tax cuts for the rich, and reproductive rights.
    This ain’t rocket science folks.

  6. Rick DeMent says:

    …but wait, this is exactly what fiscal conservations want, much reduced public employment (read spending) and growing private sector jobs. What’s not to like? Seriously reduced spending is french for firing people from their jobs. the only people that could possibly think that a huge fiscal austerity program is the right move is someone who has a vested interest in the economy tanking in the next year and a half. Now let’s think together … who could that be?

  7. Unexpectedly!

  8. Rick DeMent says:

    No. 3, it’s pretty tough to goose up consumer demand when consumers are waiting on the unemployment lines. Mr. Cart, meet Mr. Horse. You get that, right?

    … and the republican solution is to fire more people, take more money out of their pockets for education and heath care? Brilliant! I get it now!

  9. hey norm says:

    @ Tsar…
    “…lower taxes on small businesses would lead to a lot more net hiring…”
    How exactly does that work? I work for a small business. You can cut our taxes to zero. You can de-regulate our industry all you want. If there is no demand we are not going to hire anyone.
    Taxes have been at near historic lows for a decade. job creation has been anemic that entire time. How much more should we cut taxes to start this magical job creation machine?
    You are preaching supply-side ideology. It doesn’t work. It never has. Get that through your head.

  10. hey norm says:

    and “…comprehensive tort reform…”
    Jesus-god where do you get this crap.

  11. Duracomm says:

    Obama’s childish tirades on business jets showcased his capabilities as a ruthlessly efficient one man jobs wrecking machine.

    Jet industry furious at Obama

    In response to Obama’s press conference, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) issued a letter to the president.

    The two organizations challenged the administration’s rhetoric and recalled a similar instance in which 20,000 IAM workers were laid off as a result of “ill-informed criticism of corporate jets and business aviation”

    There is some hope and change for you, obama and the democrats are killing good union jobs in order to score cheap political points.

  12. Rick DeMent says:

    @Duracomm:

    Oh I see, a business laid off workers because of criticism. And they just left the business on the table? Or did they lay off the workers because the had no business decided to rip into the administration for giggles? A local tanning salon tried this logic on me when they added a small tax on tanning in Michigan. The guy tried to tell me he had to close his business due to the tax, but he closed his doors a day after the tax went into effect. I noticed that the other three tanning salons on the block didn’t go out of business. He reopened the salon in a location without the competition, apparently the tax didn’t have anything to do with that.

  13. hey norm says:

    @ Rick…
    Even if there was substance to this report – which I doubt – 20,000 jobs? The public sector lost almost twice that last month. So if Duracomm is concerned about this he/she should be totally freaked out by cost cutting by the government. Why do I think not?

  14. Dan Rather says:

    U.S. economy continues to turn to shit under Democrat policies….

    unexpectedly!

  15. WR says:

    @hey norm: From Rush.

  16. hey norm says:

    Hey Dan…
    What policies would those be? Because the last month of Bush’s Presidency the economy had a net loss of 600,000+ jobs. Last month the economy added 57,000 private sector jobs and lost 39,000 public sector jobs for a net gain of 18,000 jobs. Now admitedly that’s not great – but are we to infer that you prefer the 600,000 jobs lost under Republican policies? Or do you just not have a clue?

  17. ponce says:

    U.S. economy continues to turn to shit under Democrat policies….

    The Republicans are now in charge of the branch of government responsible for taxing and spending.

    And while right-wing bloggers may have forgotten all the promises they made to get elected…

  18. Dan Rather says:

    What policies would those be? Because the last month of Bush’s Presidency the economy had a net loss of 600,000+ jobs.

    The last month of Bush’s Presidency – that would be after 2 years of total Congressional control by the Democrats implementing their “New Direction For America”, right?

    Last month the economy added 57,000 private sector jobs and lost 39,000 public sector jobs for a net gain of 18,000 jobs.

    Yeah, so far the American people have only voted the Democrats out of one chamber of Congress. I suspect that after the rest of the New Direction and Change bozos are swept out in 2012, the U.S. will have an actual Recovery Summer.

  19. hey norm says:

    Just to bring a little context to this discussion:
    From January 2001 to January 2009 1,950,000 new jobs were created, or an average of 20,313 jobs per month. This past month 18,000 new jobs were created – the weakest performance in over a year, and still just 2,313 jobs less than the previous Presidents average.
    This is not great job creation by any stretch of the imagination – but those of you obsessed with RED/BLUE SCOREKEEPING ought to keep this in mind.

  20. hey norm says:

    I see Dan…interesting world you live in.

  21. Gerry W. says:

    Tsar Nicholas II,

    FYI, small businesses have and always will account for the majority of job creation.

    True, but in small communities where you had big factories and small business used to wrap themselves around those big factories and employed people, now the factories are closed and the small business suffers.

    First, you need those consumers to have jobs, i.e., income. Then they can go out and spend some of that money (demand). Then the people and businesses who sell them stuff will have reason to hire more people (jobs). Printing money and throwing it around like confetti doesn’t actually create jobs in the real world. Have you been under a rock for the past 3 years? If Keynesian policies actually worked outside of university lecture halls then right now we’d already have a rip-roaring economy with strong job growth.

    But if 1/3 of factories are closed and went out of the country, then you cannot have that demand and small business suffers. And the fed keeps printing, the democrats keep spending, and the republicans still stuck in their ideology of tax cuts to the rich and no trickle down. And CNBC analysts today are in shock. Really amazing.

    It’s a function of overregulation and overtaxation, not that we’re not spending enough taxpayer dollars. Or is three trillion public dollars in 2 years not enough for you to be convinced of that?

    And the 800 billion dollar Bush tax cuts for the “here and now” is spent and borrowed money. Now where is the prosperity.

    If you want job creation and sound labor markets and consumer demand then you’d be supporting comprehensive tort reform, selective tax reform for small businesses and sole proprietors, comprehensive rollbacks of environmental regulations, a repeal of Obamacare, elimination of “living wage” ordinances and expansions of nuclear power, oil drilling and shale exploration.

    It is a combination of a lot of things. It was years of mismanagement and failed ideology. It is years of not investing in our country, in our people, and in the future. All the stimulus we had has not and will not work until we deal with globalization and 2 billion cheap laborers as I have been saying for years. Add to the pain of automation and the loss of jobs, lean principles and the loss of jobs, and mergers and consolidation and the loss of jobs.

    And yet, you have analysts in shock on CNBC, you have republicans, democrats, and Bernanke saying we will export even though we closed down 1/3 of our manufacturing, it is the Veronique De Rugy’s on C-span who said we did not need those manufacturing jobs and that we had Wal Mart jobs to go to. It is William F. Cohen, former Clinton Sec. of Defense, saying we will trade with India with no proof of that. And we were told years ago that we were going to be a service economy or information economy. So, to all those I mentioned, WHERE ARE THE JOBS!

  22. David says:

    I wish I had the time and patience to go back through archives and read how these comments were exactly reversed in 2006-2007. The sitting president is going to get crushed when the economy falters, and both sides are going to have plenty of reasons why it’s the other’s fault. It really is almost comical how similar the discussions are.

  23. jukeboxgrad says:

    Far fewer public sector jobs means all those teachers, cops, firemen, highway department workers are spending far less money. They ain’t buying cars. They ain’t building new houses. They ain’t buying appliances. They ain’t going on vacation. Far less money being spent means far less demand for private sector jobs.

    Yes. And it’s not just that those former government employees suddenly have no money to spend. It’s that they are now in the job market, competing for jobs. Everyone else who was already looking for a job now has some new competition.

    From the perspective of the GOP, everything is going according to plan: create an economy that’s rotten for everyone except the rich.

  24. Dan Rather says:

    If you want to actually look at Red/Blue scorekeeping, decades are the wrong time frame to consider, since neither Congressmen nor Presidents are elected to 10 year terms.

    Looking at 2 year terms, we can see a better picture of the effect of which party controls a chamber of Congress or the White House:

    Year Jan Empl. House/Senate/White House
    2001 132469 R/D/R
    2002 130591 R/D/R
    2003 130266 R/R/R
    2004 130420 R/R/R
    2005 132453 R/R/R
    2006 135094 R/R/R
    2007 137094 D/D/R
    2008 137996 D/D/R
    2009 133563 D/D/D
    2010 129281 D/D/D
    2011 130328 R/D/D

    (Non-farm payroll jobs, in 000s, taken from the BLS site: Employment by month, historical series)

    From Jan 2001 to Jan 2003, with Congress split between Democrats and Republicans the country lost 2,203,000 payroll jobs.

    From Jan 2003 to Jan 2007, with Republicans fully in charge of Congress, the country gained 6,828,000 payroll jobs.

    From Jan 2007 to Jan 2009, the Democrats and their “New Direction For America” took over Congress and managed to destroy 3,531,000 payroll jobs across the country.

    From Jan 2009 to Jan 2011, the Democrats and their “Change” took the White House as well and managed to obliterate another 3,235,000 payroll jobs in the U.S.

    [Since Republicans took back the House in Jan 2011, preliminary figures show a gain of about 700,000 payroll jobs through June.]

  25. Wayne says:

    If the the Government doesn’t spend other peoples’ money, guess what other people will have more money to spend and invest. They will use that money to actually produce something usually efficiently instead of giving it to people who produce little to nothing. People need to remember money is more than a piece of paper. It represents goods and services.

    Cutting spending and getting the government house in order will not only take it out of the inefficient government hands and into the much more efficient private sector but also will build a good deal of confidence in the business community. If they are more confident than they are more likely to invest and hire more people. The government is so out of control now and against people making profits it is no wonder why very few want to take a risk in new business ventures.

    The government excessive regulations and attack on the energy sector need to be address to. It is killing the economy as well.

    A big difference between liberals and conservatives is liberals believe the government is the solution and conservative believe the American people is the solution.

  26. MBunge says:

    One of the underlying intellectual problems we’re facing is that conservatives have totally absorbed the theory that the economy is driven by one person spending 10 million dollars. That’s where the constant babble about “job-creators” comes from. The reality is that the broad-based modern economy is driven by a million people each spending 10 dollars.

    Combine this economic blindspot with an uneducated libertarianism that easily skews into neo-anarchism and you get today’s conservative economics.

    Mike

  27. MBunge says:

    @Dan Rather: So, since Democrats controlled the Congress for most of the Reagan Administration…they get credit for that job creation?

    Mike

  28. Steve Verdon says:

    The increase of the unemployment rate in and of itself is something we would have expected to see even if the jobs picture was improving, because more available jobs would’ve brought more people into the jobs market. But that’s not what’s happening here. Labor force participation is still pathetically low. Long-term unemployment remains stubbornly high, New job creation has been pathetically anemic for the past year and a half. At no time have we gotten anywhere near the 250,000+ jobs a months that we’d need to actually start turning the employment picture around and alll we’ve gotten so far are a few hopeful growth spurts that, like now, just end up dying off a few months later.

    I agree with this for the most part. Where I disagree is that we should, at this point in a recovery, expect to see unemployment rise. Two years after the end of a recession we would typically see unemployment returning to its pre-recession levels ore at least dropping significantly from its recession level highs. We aren’t seeing that here.

    One of my fears as we got further into this recession was that unemployment would take a long time to recover. The previous two recession had long lag times in unemployment and those recession were somewhat shallow. My guess is it will take well into 2013 or longer till we see significant improvement.

    gVOR08,

    Damn, Mataconis, for a moment there you looked like you’d seen the light and become a Keynesian.

    You mean vulgar Keynesian–i.e. the simplified Keynesian policy that many endorse, but is almost surely as dubious as the notion that lowering taxes will raise revenues. (given our current tax structure).

    The problem is that according to the research of Rogoff and Reinhart when an economy’s debt-to-GDP ratio goes above a certain threshold (90%) then economic growth takes a hit of about 1 percentage point per year. So if you are hoping for 3.5% GDP growth to bring down unemployment now you have to hope 2.5% can do it, and that is problematic (see Okun’s Law for more on this). So there is reason to doubt this notion of spend, spend, spend, deficit’s don’t matter (suddenly very Dick Cheney like all of a sudden).

    I’d also point to Japan where the debt-to-GDP ratio is 180% and their economy is well into its second decade of phlegmatic economic growth and unemployment numbers that are high (for them). Japan spent quite a bit of money building roads and bridges (some to nowhere) and airports (one town had something like 2 or 3 international airports and airlines had zero interest landing there).

    I wish I had the time and patience to go back through archives and read how these comments were exactly reversed in 2006-2007.

    No kidding.

  29. Rob in CT says:

    I think no mater what the government does the recovery is going to be a long, slow slog. The government can make it worse (more layoffs, reduced safety net spending in the short-term) or (slightly) better (some sort of jobs program), but ultimately it has no time machine that would allow us to go back and avoid the real estate bubble and financial crash of ’08.

  30. Rob in CT says:

    @Steve Verdon:

    Down with “vulgar” Keynesianism, by all means. Let us recognize that racking up debt has consequences for the future. Let us run surplusses during booms, and deficits in busts.

    And I want my pony too, damnit.

  31. Ben Wolf says:

    @Wayne: It goes from Limbaugh’s mike directly into your long-term memory, doesn’t it?

  32. … and the republican solution is to fire more people, take more money out of their pockets for education and heath care? Brilliant! I get it now!

    And the Democrat solution is to take money out of all of our children’s and grandchildren’s pockets for their hare-brained ponzi schemes that have empirically failed over and over again and for their well connected freinds? Brilliant! I get it now too!

    Wow, it’s easy to engage in vituperative nonsense and all you have to do is take someone’s words and flip the names around. Cool!

  33. My apologies for the last bit of snark. Too much heat and too little light. Too much nonsense and vituperation here. The signal to noise ratio has fallen so low as to make it not worth the time anymore. Have a nice day. See you in the Caption Contests.

  34. WR says:

    @Wayne: Actually, this liberal believes that the American people ARE the government. That’s kind of what a democracy is all about.

  35. Dan Rather says:

    @Dan Rather: So, since Democrats controlled the Congress for most of the Reagan Administration…they get credit for that job creation?

    Sure, and they also get credit for the deficits that were run up during their time in control during the Reagan presidency.

    (Similarly, Republicans get the credit for the jobs created – and the the deficit levels – that occurred during the Clinton administration.)

  36. hey norm says:

    Well Dan…if employment weren’t a lagging indicator you might be onto something. But it is…so you aren’t. Heck of a job Brownie.

    This is not your run of the mill reccession. It took 3 decades of failed policies, by both parties, to get us here. We are not getting out of it in a short time frame. Take a look at the employment levels after the depression. The graphs look remarkably similar. We aren’t getting out of it by entering into austerity-level spending programs and cutting already historically low revenues even more.

  37. hey norm says:

    Dan,
    You’re on drugs my brother. Clinton raised taxes and cut spending in the ’93 tax bill that pre-dated Republican control. The Republicans all demagogued and said it would destroy the economy. (Sound familiar?) They were dead wrong. And they had little or nothing to do with job creation or slashed deficits. Look at the graph of spending and revenue. The trend started long before the Republicans Contract on America, and stopped with the Bush 43 tax cuts.

  38. mantis says:

    I wouldn’t be doing any hiring if I thought there was a good chance the Republicans would destroy the economy in a month.

  39. Steve Verdon says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I’m not saying there is a pony there, in fact quite the opposite. We are in quite a mess. I had hoped it wouldn’t be that bad early on, but those hopes faded quite awhile ago.

  40. Steve Verdon says:

    @hey norm:

    Norm, the recovery when Clinton raised taxes was much more robust than our current recovery. That being said, taxes do have to rise, maybe not right now, but soon. Spending should also be reduced, maybe not right now, but soon. Problem with “soon” is, when is it specifically and how do policymakers commit to such a policy? Right now our process has no such commitment mechanism so all these budget proposals are no believable.

    The trend started long before the Republicans Contract on America, and stopped with the Bush 43 tax cuts.

    No, it stopped with the recession and the tax cuts.

  41. Dan Rather says:

    Norm, some genuine advice for you: rather than continuing to regurgitate the easily-debunked talking points from your favorite Soros propaganda mill (you use ThinkProgress, right? You don’t seem to bother to link them to give them credit, but your diatribes contain a lot of text cut and pasted directly from there), you should spend a little time doing some actual research on your own, checking out real data from primary sources.

    In the long run you’ll end up looking a lot less stupid, and eventually people outside the hive might actually take what you say seriously, because it won’t just be the mindless repetition of a pile of inaccurate tripe which you lifted from some paid hack at a leftwing website.

  42. hey norm says:

    @ Steve,
    Yes it was, and it had been underway – spurred on by Bush 41’s 1990 tax deal. It also recieved a massive boost from the tech bubble – none of this happens in a vacuum.
    But caution – the 2001 recession was nothing like what we are dealing with now.
    I have no problem with the vague 3:1 spending: revenue proposal being floated now – even though it is a bit more lopsided than either the Clinton deal or the Bush deal. And you are correct about the commitments…although I find it funny that the folks squaking about commitments in this deal didn’t have anything to say about commitments in the Ryan deal.
    Rob in CT hits the nail on the head…we should run up surplus’s in boom times and run up deficits in times of bust.

  43. MBunge says:

    @Dan Rather: Shorter Dan Rather – “I can’t actually dispute what you’re saying, but I want to whine about it anyway.”

    Mike

  44. Dan Rather says:

    MBunge, nice use of the “Shorter X” propaganda technique to try to to put words in my mouth that I didn’t actually say.

    I’m sure the hive appreciates the service of drones like you.

  45. MBunge says:

    @Dan Rather: What other interpretation of what you said is possible? You didn’t actually dispute, let alone disprove, what norm said but still obviously wanted to bitch about it.

    Mike

  46. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    I’m sure the hive appreciates the service of drones like you.

    Aaand here we have the standard internet debating technique used to insulate oneself against opposing viewpoints: the group ad hominum.

    Claim that your opponent has no opinion of his own so you can avoid a discussion while at the same time proclaiming intellectual superiority (“free thinker”).

    I think on Mother Jones the right wingers use “sheeples”. The left wing favs would probably be “fox news talking point” and “Koch Brothers propaganda”, but they seem increasingly crowded out by the conservative whiners.

  47. Steve Verdon says:

    @hey norm:

    I doubt Bush’s tax increase helped spur the economy on given that is around the time it went into recession and it took over 2 years to figure out we were out of the recession.

    Rob in CT hits the nail on the head…we should run up surplus’s in boom times and run up deficits in times of bust.

    We almost never ever do that, and I’d argue when it has happened it was by accident more than intention.

    All these wonderful ideas simply have zero credibility or enforcement mechanism in Washington. There is no way to get such credibility or enforcement mechanism as you’d be asking politicians to limit their own power and that very rarely happens.

    although I find it funny that the folks squaking about commitments in this deal didn’t have anything to say about commitments in the Ryan deal.

    I was never a supporter of the Ryan plan.

  48. Terrye says:

    @hey norm:

    Oh come on. When the Democrats took office, the yearly budget deficit was about $167 billion..we run that much in a month today…and the unemployment rate was 4.6% roughly half what it is now. I think that jobs should be a priority as well, but I am not sure that the continuing spending spree is conducive to making jobs. I do think that if the stimulus had been more successful people might be more willing to believe that spending=jobs. Right now, I think a lot of people feel that the uncertainty of the present situation has lead to such caution on the part of employers that they do not want to take the chance on expansion. I think a lot of that uncertainty comes from the high debt and deficits.

  49. Gerry W. says:

    @Terrye:

    I don’t want to get into numbers so much because they can be manipulated one way or the other and many factors come into play but I believe the Bush deficit in his last year was reaching some 400 billion and then he had to do the TARP and that made it go up at least to 800 billion total for the year. You claim that unemployment was at 4.6% and true it may have been, but what people don’t realize is that the Bush economy was a house of cards. It was based on borrowed money for tax cuts. Those tax cuts was for the “here and now” and is spent money.
    (A good analogy of this would be not to have an oil change for your car for several years, and you sell the car to someone and the engine stops running. Now, the car may have looked good, but without the proper upkeep and preserving it for the future, the car is a loss) And that is what happened when Bush had his tax cuts, our jobs went overseas, our money went to Iraq, and our infrastructure in neglect. This is what we face today.

    Nothing was invested for our future. So, when we ran into a recession, come to find out, we had a financial crisis, a housing crisis, an auto crisis, and we have closed some 57,000 factories over a decade and jobs went overseas. Today, only 45% of the population pays taxes and we have the lowest taxes on record. Now, not everything is Bush’s fault, but Bush did nothing to keep the economy going for our future. Uncertainty may be there when people see high debt and deficits, but there is no reason to expand here if a product can be made somewhere else.

    The uncertainty that I see is that our jobs are going overseas. The enormity of 2 billion cheap laborers is something I cannot stress enough. It means less wages and less in jobs for the middle class. We have lost all the stimulus we once had. Democrats are spending, the republicans want more tax cuts, and the fed is printing. And none of it is having an effect as long as we don’t deal with globalization.

    I will leave you with these questions in which none of the politicians have answered.

    1. What widgets can we make here and not some other country? I have no answer for this, but I find this so serious that we need to recognize the problem.

    2. What products can we make that will fill in those 57,000 factories or 6 million jobs?

    3. What will 2 billion cheap laborers, automation, lean principles, and mergers and consolidation do to the middle class wages and jobs?

    4. What small business can be supported in communities where factories have closed?

    5. If you have tax cuts to spend into the economy, just how does that work when half the products are foreign made?

    6. We are told that we need to export more. So, how do we export more with 1/3 less manufacturing?

  50. john personna says:

    You forgot the alternate causality Verdon, when GDP stalls, government overshoots. Some is accidental, new programs that were within budget given higher receipts, but some is a direct response to the downturn (expanded food stamps etc.)

  51. Duracomm says:

    hey norm said,

    because slashing government spending is only going to cut hundreds of thousands more public sector jobs.

    As the story below shows some of these government jobs are damaging civil society. Now is an excellent time to give some government employees a chance to thrive in the private sector.

    Raising vegetables might be a good place for them to start.

    Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail For Planting Vegetable Garden

    “The price of organic food is kind of through the roof,” said Julie Bass.

    So, why not grow your own? However, Bass’ garden is a little unique because it’s in her front yard.

    “We thought it’d be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help,” she said.

    Bass’ cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park.

  52. anjin-san says:

    Right now, I think a lot of people feel that the uncertainty of the present situation has lead to such caution on the part of employers that they do not want to take the chance on expansion

    People who get all their information from Fox, sure. As someone who works in the Fortune 500 world, I think it has more to do with the Sept. 08 meltdown and the memory of how iconic corporations failed, or went to the brink of failure and needed bailouts to say in business. Corporations are now obsessed with lowering debt and accumulating huge war chests.

    Low debt and liquidity are fine things, but like anything in life, when you get out of balance, you create problems.

  53. Ben Wolf says:

    @Terrye: Obama came into office with a $1 trillion deficit from the last Bush budget. Stop lying.

  54. Ben Wolf says:

    @Terrye

    Also, it took seven seconds to find out unemployment in January of 2009 was 7.6%. So stop lying.