By Bill Maher
Obviously, last month’s jobs report sucked. Only 69,000 new jobs were created – about half what economists expected – and the worst number in a year. The economy has to create about 120,000 jobs every month just to keep up with the increase in population.
That’s just the hard data. But here’s how I know the news was really bad: Republicans on TV could barely contain their smiles. To them, an economy back in the shitter means only one thing: “Woo hoo! President Romney!”
The biggest problem they have with this jobs report is that 69,000 jobs created is 69,000 too many.
Since day one, Republicans have cock-blocked any effort to create jobs. They tried to filibuster the stimulus – one thing that did create a ton of jobs – even though roughly one third of it was tax cuts. They filibustered last summer’s American Jobs Act. They took the government hostage over the debt ceiling, which led to our credit rating being lowered and destroyed any potential for recovery last summer.
This is worse than rooting for failure – it’s ensuring failure. People don’t like it when I bring up the “t word” – treason – but I haven’t heard any convincing arguments suggesting Republicans have done anything but try to thwart efforts to create jobs since Obama became president.
We know where the worst job losses are coming from: the public sector. We could hire back the 300,000 teachers who lost their jobs because of the recession right now.
We can also accelerate private sector jobs by doing the massive infrastructure projects that we need to do sometime anyway – why not now, when borrowing money is free? It doesn’t make any sense not to do that unless you’re rooting for the economy to remain stalled. And no, don’t say the deficit. What really hurts deficits is a stalled economy.
Also, when Democrats would criticize the war in Iraq, they got accused of hurting the morale of the troops. What about hurting the morale of the economy? Talking it down definitely creates negative animal spirits that make the economy sucking a self-fulfilling prophecy. On this front, the worst is yet to come: Romney’s Super PACs are going to spend a billion dollars over the next few months telling us how much the economy sucks.
By the way, as bad as the jobs report was, if you watched the news, it was like Lehman Brothers collapsed again. Yet, 69,000 jobs were created. You know how many on average per month were created under Bush, even after you take out his worst months from the Great Recession? 66,000. You know how many for Bush if you include the recession months? 11,000. And ALL his job creation came from public sector growth. He lost private sector jobs, where Obama has created about 3.8 million.
That’s the truly horrible news – as bad as this job report was, it was much better than the average over the last decade. Though it would be nice if both parties were interested in doing something about it.
By Bill Maher