With that object in mind, Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter appeared on MSNBC yesterday. Up to now Ms. Cutter has been known mainly as the winner of the making-accusations-without-actually-making-them award for her suggestion that Mitt Romney is a felon. In yesterday’s interview, "Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist asked how she would convince a hypothetical unemployed worker to vote for Obama:
“Well,” she replied, “I think that worker probably has a good understanding of what's happened over the past four years in terms of the president coming in and seeing 800,000 jobs lost on the day that the president was being sworn in, and seeing the president moving pretty quickly to stem the losses, to turn the economy around, and over the past, you know, 27 months we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That's more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery.”
Where to start?
First of all, she’s off by almost a million. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in non-farm payrolls during the last 27 months was 3.6 million, not 4.5. Second, this number is dwarfed by the Reagan recovery, which added 8 million jobs in its first 27 months, from December 1982 to March 1985. The recovery continued until June 1990, for a total of 21 million jobs. Even the somewhat weak Bush recovery saw 4.8 million new jobs in the first 27 months.
It’s clear from the comparisons that the much-touted 27 months of job growth – an average of 130,000 per month – is anemic. Analysts generally claim that the economy needs to add 150,000 jobs per month to keep pace with population growth; we’re losing ground. Also, Ms. Cutter neglected to mention the 3.9 million jobs lost during the first 13 months of the Obama administration. Put it all together and you get a net loss of 300,000 jobs.
I wish I could apply this sort of cherry picking to my personal finances. If I calculated my net worth by counting all of my income but none of my expenses, I’d be a wealthy man.
Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Check it out on Amazon.com.