Archive for deficits

There goes another GOP talking point: Deficit falls to lowest level since 2008

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chart maddow budget deficit 2013 shrinking

Steve Benen:

Republican leaders remain committed to sequestration cuts that are holding back job creation on purpose, and are focused primarily on spending bills that punish those already struggling.

Republicans have been screaming, whining, and demanding more spending cuts, despite the fact that austerity does not work:

And this from the IMF:

May 20 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Monday said the United States was getting carried away with a government austerity drive, offering some of the institution's bluntest criticism yet of Washington's rush to cut its budget deficit. [...] A drop in federal spending led the economy to barely expand in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Under President Obama's watch, the deficit has been shrinking, some economists say too quickly. But that doesn't stop the GOP from continuing to go all Anti-Obama on us and insisting that he's a big spender who needs to make even more cuts.

Let me put this in professional financial expert jargon: WTF?

Think Progress:

New Treasury Department figures confirm what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in the spring: the budget deficit for fiscal year 2013 will be dramatically lower than it was the past four years. [...]

These figures reinforce a key point in the argument for resetting the fiscal policy debate: Congress can afford to invest in job creation right now. While Republicans remain committed to the idea of austerity (without being able to pass specific appropriations bills that adhere to the abstract cuts imposed by sequestration), falling deficits and debt levels undercut their argument. [...]

Cuts to education programs, safety nets, infrastructure investments, and research programs will actually cost the country far more down the road than they save today.

another talking point bites the dust

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Bikini Graph time! 169k new jobs, jobless rate dips to 7.3%, Obamacare not "significantly hindering job growth"

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bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph September 2013 overall

bikin graph September 2013 private sector

The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations. After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall economy, we're starting to see a slight turnaround -- the private sector added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000 jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it's the most in recent memory.

The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%, which is the lowest it's been in nearly five years, but it's not evidence of good news -- it ticked down largely because of people leaving the workforce [...]

All told, so far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 1.44 jobs overall, and 1.47 million in the private sector.

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

Earlier Paddy posted "Video- Fox's Stuart Varney Previews Jobs Report By Pushing Myth About Obamacare Causing Part-Time Employment." When in doubt, blame Obama, right Stewy?

He should have checked out this Los Angeles Times report. It's an assessment of the Affordable Care Act's effect on the economy from Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics:

Zandi said the labor market was holding up well despite the drag from the automatic federal spending cuts and implementation of the healthcare reform law. Although there would be more hiring without those two factors, he said there's no indication they are significantly hindering job growth.

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Bikini Graph time! Unemployment rate reaches lowest point in nearly 5 years

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bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. And today we get a bonus graph, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

graph chart unemployment Obama benen Maddow

Incidentally, the other main Republican talking point on jobs for much of Obama's first term was that the net total of jobs gained on the president's watch is zero. It was always a ridiculous argument -- it was predicated on the assumption that Obama deserved the blame for the jobs lost a couple of weeks after his inauguration -- but it looks even sillier now. To date, the net gain for jobs under Obama is about 2.1 million overall and nearly 2.8 million in the private sector.

And here are the Bikini Graphs. The Maddow Blog has more details. Benen starts by calling the jobs report "underwhelming" because the 162,000 jobs added in July were below expectations. However, there was a glimmer of positive news, too:

bikini graph August 2013 overall

bikini graph August 2013 private sector

In a rare sight, public-sector layoffs were not a drag on the overall totals -- the private sector added 161,000 jobs, while the public sector added 1,000 jobs. (In recent years, the public sector ordinarily sheds several thousand jobs per month). The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.4%, but largely because of people leaving the workforce. [...]

We're steadily adding jobs every month at rates above population growth, but we're seeing neither a hiring boom nor a deteriorating employment landscape. It's just ... leveled off.

Money quote (no pun):

Republican leaders remain committed to sequestration cuts that are holding back job creation on purpose, and are focused primarily on spending bills that punish those already struggling.

I made similar points here: Boehner wants Pres. Obama to destroy a growing economy.

So far this year, 1.34 million jobs were added overall, 1.37 million in the private sector.

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Boehner wants Pres. Obama to destroy a growing economy

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John Boehner

chart budget deficit shrinks 4 year low Steve Benen Maddow Blog Oct 2012

chart debt changes under bush obama deficit via Ezra Klein

John Boehner is obsessed with grinding a slow-growing (key word: growing) economy to a halt, but certainly not because it's good for America. Nonono, it's because it's bad for Obama. Gotta make the president appear inept, gotta make him look like a failure, gotta ruin his legacy. Priorities, priorities...

President Obama and Democratic lawmakers have tied themselves in knots trying to push this country along, rebuild a crumbling infrastructure, pull Americans out of poverty, and grow the so-called middle class. But there The Boehner is, demanding that the White House cave to his unreasonable and irrational demands for more spending cuts, despite the fact that austerity does not work:

European leaders begin to realize austerity is crippling nations. Gee, ya think?

And: Krugman, take a victory lap: University Grad Student Debunks Major Austerity Theory by Exposing Flawed Stats.

And: Researchers: Austerity is “having a devastating effect on health in Europe and North America, driving suicide.”

And: In other news, IMF says Europe austerity strategy is dragging down global growth.

The deficit has been cut a lot already, and too quickly, resulting in unemployment for hundreds of thousands of public sector employees. Cutting isn’t the answer, jobs are, rebuilding our infrastructure is:

May 20 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund on Monday said the United States was getting carried away with a government austerity drive, offering some of the institution's bluntest criticism yet of Washington's rush to cut its budget deficit. [...] A drop in federal spending led the economy to barely expand in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Of course, Boehner had to go exactly where he always goes: Blame Obama.

Via Roll Call:

Sequestration is going to remain in effect until the president agrees to cuts and reforms that will allow us to remove it,” the Ohio Republican said to reporters in his weekly news conference. “The president insisted on the sequester none of us wanted, none of us like it, there are smarter ways to cut spending..."

But, per Think Progress: The Devastating Spending Cuts That Were Too Much For House Republicans To Swallow.

I still have to ask: Hey GOP, how’s that rebranding thing workin’ for ya?

blame obama

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