During the campaign Candidate Obama denounced unspecified “Bush policies” as the cause of unemployment, and promised to create lots of new jobs.
Since the election, President-elect Obama’s promise has evolved into a projection that his economic initiative, now named “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” will create or save several million jobs. The precise number seems to change from day to day.
The indicator used to judge Previous administrations’ economic performance was number of jobs created, as shown in the table. In the political world of spin and obfuscation this was a refreshingly unambiguous measure.
If Obama and the political-media establishment persuade the public that he deserves to be assessed on the number of jobs “saved,” he will have won a major propaganda victory, before his administration even begins.
Obviously, there is no objective way to determine how many – if any – jobs were somehow “saved” by a given government policy or action. But that fact won’t prevent Obama and his people from claiming to have saved millions. Indeed, with the help of a compliant media they can claim any job that continues to exist was saved by their various interventions in the economy.
In reality, jobs are created by private sector investment. But, when government diverts resources from the private sector to the public sector “to create jobs” it reduces private sector investment and private sector job creation. Obama’s “plan” is the largest such diversion of resources ever contemplated. In addition, the Democrats are preparing to inflict a new wave of regulatory complexity on the private sector, supposedly to prevent a repeat of the mortgage melt down that was caused mostly by government regulation and intervention.
By digging a little deeper into the statistics we can identify policies that have resulted in genuine, private sector job creation in the past. For example, like the incoming Obama Administration, the Reagan Administration inherited a severe recession, and the number of jobs declined by 600,000 during his first two years. The picture improved dramatically in the third and fourth years as his tax cuts and deregulation policies began to pay off. The job increase indicated on the chart for Reagan’s first four year term actually took place in the final two years.
Employment declined at the beginning of the GW Bush Administration as the dot-com bubble burst, bringing on a recession, and the 9-11 attacks directly caused a million layoffs. Employment increased after the tax cuts of 2003, but declined again after a decade of government intervention in mortgage finance brought on the current crisis.
On the other hand, Bill Clinton was fortunate to begin his administration in the sixth month of employment growth, as the economy was in full recovery after the recession of 1990.
Liberty Works will be a force for truth and accuracy in the coming months and years as the Obama Adminisration tries to deceive voters with cliams of jobs “saved,” even as any jobs created by massive government intervention will be more than offset by jobs not created, or lost, due to the diversion of resources from the private to the public sector.