Unless you enjoy looking really stupid, you can't logically blame the president for the $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009 and then refuse to give him credit for reducing the deficit to $500 billion at the end of this year. Likewise, you can't shout, "Where are the jobs, Mr. President?" then refuse to give him any credit for a solid jobs report. But that's almost exactly what Speaker John Boehner did, and he looks really stupid doing it. Here's what Boehner tweeted at the beginning of the year.
This was clearly directed at President Obama. How do we know for sure? It was included in a press release specifically targeting the president's economic policies. Boehner went on to say:
Every American has a right to ask the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ Today’s disappointing report shows, once again, that the president’s policies are failing too many Americans, many of whom have simply stopped looking for work.
Fast forward 11 months.
The Daily Banter's Tommy Christopher reported on Friday that the November jobs report defied expectations, showing the addition of 321,000 new jobs. That means 50 consecutive months of job growth. The previous record of 48 consecutive months ran from 1986 to 1990, and the last time there were more back-to-back months of job creation was World War II. It's now been 10 months in a row of 200,000 or more jobs added.
At this rate, it's possible with upward revisions that in the 12 months since Boehner posted that tweet, three million jobs will have been created -- the last time there was a year more solid than 2014 was 1999 in the midst of the Clinton era dot-com boom. 10.6 million jobs since Obama was inaugurated against the 2009 backdrop of the worst recession since the Great Depression. The AP reported:
A measure of industries that added jobs reached its highest point since 1998.
Manufacturers added 28,000 jobs in November, the most in a year, and education and health services 38,000. Professional and technical services, a category that includes higher-paying jobs such as accountants, engineers and architects, gained 37,500 jobs, the most in 3½ years. Construction firms added 20,000.
Where are the jobs, Mr. Speaker? Certainly not at the bottom of that glass of cheap Merlot.
With the 2016 presidential election growing larger in the window, it's probably a good idea for the Republicans to totally avoid the jobs issue anyway, since the last two Republican administrations don't quite stack up to the last two Democratic administrations. Via Steve Benen:
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, referred to the report and the overall status of the economy as "boom-like." The use of "like" is a hedge but anything with "boom" in it has to be positive, especially considering the following indicators:
--Gas prices are under $2 in some regions of the country.
--The Dow closed on Friday just 42 points under 18,000.
--Economic expansion continues at around 4-percent.
--U.S. manufacturing is booming.
–As I mentioned earlier, the deficit has been cut from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $500 billion today. The only Republican president in the last 70 years to leave office with a reduced deficit was Eisenhower, while three Democratic presidents since then, including Obama, have cut the deficit.
--And you might've noticed how the news media hasn't been talking much about Obamacare or the performance of Healthcare.gov during the new enrollment period. That's because the Affordable Care Act just enjoyed one hell of a good month. Among other things, a new report issued last week showed that due to Obamacare, 2013 saw the lowest rate of healthcare inflation since the government began tracking the numbers. And enrollees could save up to $2 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said on Saturday that she didn't vote for President Obama. The next day, in accordance with the narrative of the 2014 midterms, she lost her run-off election against Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. Landrieu is yet another casualty from the incomprehensible strategy of running defiantly against a president who's presiding over an increasingly prosperous "boom-like" economy. And unless they enjoy being unemployed themselves, the Democrats have a year or two to wise-up and confront trolls like Speaker Boehner -- to tell him exactly where there jobs are.