For Dems, Unemployment Takes A Back Seat to Political Payback for Washington Friends

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is a political committee devoted to maintaining and increasing the 239-member Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

New unemployment data released last week show the national unemployment rate at 8.5%, a shockingly high number that the Nancy Pelosi of old would have found alarming and a number more than two percent higher than the Obama administration promised when they passed their failed stimulus:

NEW NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AT 8.5%: (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/6/2012)

1.7 MILLION FEWER JOBS NOW THAN WHEN OBAMA TOOK OFFICE: “There are 1.7 million fewer jobs in the country now than when Obama took office, according to government data, a fact often cited in the Republican criticism of the president’s economic stewardship.” (Michael A. Fletcher, “Falling Jobless Rate is Good News for Obama,” The Washington Post, 1/7/2012)

FLASHBACK TO 2006: PELOSI SAID BUSH HAD THE “WORST JOBS RECORD SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION” WHEN UNEMPLOYMENT WAS 4.4%—HOW DOES SHE FEEL ABOUT HER RECORD NOW?: “Pelosi was not to be outdone, however, firing back at the president who she claimed had "the worst jobs record since the Great Depression," in spite of Friday's news that the October jobless rate fell to 4.4 percent, the lowest it has been in more than five years.” (“Bush Buoyed by Good Employment News, Fires Away at Dems, Pelosi,”, 11/3/2006)

WHITE HOUSE PREDICTED UNEMPLOYMENT WOULD BE ABOUT 6 PERCENT AT END OF 2011 IF $800 BILLION STIMULUS PASSED: (James Pethokoukis, “What the Plunging Unemployment Rate Really Means for Obama’s Re-election,” The American, 1/6/2012)

These are just the latest data points confirming the lackluster state of the economy. Estimates indicate that at the current rate of job creation, the economy will not make up jobs lost since the recession until 2027. It’s no surprise then that two regional Federal Reserve presidents voiced frustration that the recovery is “frustratingly slow” and unemployment remains “unacceptably high”:

“AT THIS PACE, WE WOULD NOT GET BACK TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT UNTIL 2027”: “The sharp drop in the unemployment rate over the last four months (from 9.1 percent to 8.5 percent) is not consistent with the job growth reported in the establishment survey. The survey reported 200,000 jobs in December; however, this figure is skewed by the 42,200 job gain reported for couriers. There was a similar gain in this category reported for last December, which was completely reversed the next month. Clearly this is a problem of seasonal adjustment, not an issue of real job growth. Pulling out these jobs, the economy created 158,000 jobs in December, in line with expectations.”

“Pulling out the courier jobs, growth has averaged 145,000 per month over the last four months. This is somewhat better than the 90,000-100,000 a month needed to keep pace with the growth of the labor force, but certainly not rapid enough to explain a 0.6 percentage point drop in unemployment. At this pace, we would not get back to pre-recession levels of unemployment until 2027.” (Dean Baker, “Unemployment Falls to 8.5 Percent, but Job Growth Remains Weak,” Center for Economic and Policy Research, 1/6/2012)


BOSTON FED PRESIDENT ERIC ROSENGREN: “Asked about the news, [Boston Fed President Eric] Rosengren said that while the job growth is better than had been seen recently, it is still not enough to return the country to full employment.” (Jonathan Spicer, “Fed Officials Push More Stimulus for Housing,” Reuters, 1/06/2012)

“PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN UP LOOKING FOR WORK”: “A major reason that the jobless rate has gone from 9.9 percent to 8.5 percent in the past two years is that many thousands of people have given up looking for work. If the workers who dropped out were counted as unemployed, the jobless rate would be a full point higher, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute.” (Michael A. Fletcher, “Falling Jobless Rate is Good News for Obama,” The Washington Post, 1/7/2012)

42.5 PERCENT OF UNEMPLOYED HAVE BEEN JOBLESS MORE THAN SIX MONTHS: “Meanwhile, 5.6 million Americans — 42.5 percent of the unemployed — have been jobless for more than six months.” (Michael A. Fletcher, “Falling Jobless Rate is Good News for Obama,” The Washington Post, 1/7/2012)

MINORITY JOBLESSNESS “AT CATASTROPHIC LEVELS”: (Michael A. Fletcher, “Falling Jobless Rate is Good News for Obama,” The Washington Post, 1/7/2012)

Democrats, however, remain unapologetic about their disregard for American jobs, preferring instead to engage in political payback for their radical activist base. President Obama is blocking approval of the Keystone XL pipeline in order to please his Washington interest group friends, despite predictions that it would create tens of thousands of jobs:

OBAMA HAS TO MAKE KEYSTONE DECISION WITHIN 43 DAYS: (Editorial, “A Payroll Tax Deal,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/23/2011)

BUT OBAMA MIGHT SABOTAGE KEYSTONE PROJECT ANYWAY: “And he might ruin that by killing the pipeline to please his rich green supporters who think you can power a modern economy with windmills, solar cells and switchgrass. But at least now he'll have to decide before the election, and if Mr. Obama kills the pipeline he might doom a Democratic Senator or two.” (Editorial, “A Payroll Tax Deal,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/23/2011)

GREEN GROUPS HAD THREATENED TO ABANDON OBAMA IF HE APPROVED KEYSTONE: “Environmental groups have been protesting the pipeline that would run from Alberta oil sands to Texas refineries, and there have been rumblings that greens would abandon Obama next fall if he approved it.” (Dan Berman and Darren Goode, “Obama Punts Keystone XL Pipeline,” Politico, 11/10/2011)

LONG-TERM JOBS IMPACT: UP TO 130,000 JOBS: “Many of those 20,000 jobs on the construction of the pipeline would have been filled by skilled union members. Eventually, the completed pipeline was expected to result in as many as 130,000 jobs, many of them on the upper Texas Coast, where the heavy oil would be refined into 700,000 barrels of oil daily.” (Editorial, “Keystone Pipeline is the Wrong Call,” The Houston Chronicle, 11/11/2011)

FMR. TOP WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIST AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: CANADIAN TAR SANDS WILL BE DEVELOPED WHETHER AMERICA GETS INVOLVED OR NOT: “ ‘It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline,’ said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. ‘Eventually, it’s going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it’s going to be built somewhere.’”(Sean Pasternak, "Goolsbee Says U.S. Opponents of TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline are Naive," Bloomberg, 11/28/2011)


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