So Bush lost more jobs than any other president, ever?

Is this statement adjusted for inflation of population? Was there a president who lost a greater percent of jobs?

But more importantly:

Is this something that can be totally blamed on the actions of the president. Didn’t we all take a pretty big hit after losing the World Trade Center. I mean. . . it was a World Trade Center for cryin out loud. The economy took a huge hit and many people lost their jobs.
I had the honor of meeting a guy who used to work at the WTC. After the attack, he no longer had a place to go to work, and he was unemployed. Needing money, and (obviously) revenge, he joined the Army to become a Green Beret. That’s where I met him. Unfortunately he was unable to pass the second phase and he later came to his senses. He had his lawyer get him out of his enlistment and he went back home making 6 figures in Manhatten. But I digress…

As much as everyone here wants to blame Bush for everything… can we really blame this fact on him? I’ve heard Kerry say countless times that Bush has lost more jobs than any other president in history. I can’t help but think of the hit the economy took after those attacks. Not to mention the jobs lost in the airline industry.

So. . .
Was it Bush’s crazy assed tax and business policies, or was it the attacks of 9/11 that are more responsible for the record job loss seen during Bush’s term?

There’s no denying that the 9/11 attacks helped deepen the recession. But I don’t think (and I’ve never heard an economist argue) that 9/11 is solely or even primarily responsible for the record low jobs numbers.

Consider what some other presidents since Hoover had to cope with: Pearl Harbor, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the oil crisis, Gulf War I, the Oklahoma City bombing, double-digit inflation, and deeper recessions with higher unemployment levels. Nonetheless, in all those administrations the economy had more jobs when the President left office than when he took office.

Of course, those Presidents don’t necessarily get all the credit for that (for one thing, the continued growth in population means that all other things being equal, there are naturally going to be more jobs as time goes on), nor does Bush get all the blame for his failure to achieve the standard. However, I think the fact that Bush’s jobs numbers are so exceptionally bad argues strongly for some degree of policy mismanagement on the Administration’s part.

This is why I’m really curious about the “adjusted for population” statistic.

If anyone’s claimed that Bush lost more jobs than anyone ever, I’ve missed it.

The standard claim is that Bush would be the first President since Hoover to lose jobs during his Presidency, period. This claim will be accurate if Bush loses the election, barring an incredible jump-start to the economy this fall and winter, since right now he’s minus 800K jobs. And it obviously needs no adjustment for population.

What RTFirefly said. I would also add that this job loss is all the more frustrating given that we were sold a very expensive “stimulus program” that was supposed to help create jobs. I mean, if you purchase a Yugo, you might expect it to spend a fair bit of time in the shop, but if you purchase a Rolls Royce and it ends up being a lemon, you are going to be really pissed.

Bush sold us a Rolls Royce (in terms of the pricetag) that performed like a Yugo at best. And, it is not so surprising when you consider that his basic tax cut strategy was dreamed up to be a way to give back the stimulus to the people and only became a stimulus package once the economy headed downhill. Beware of those who sell old wine in new bottles.

Old wine in a new bottle? Doesn’t that mean you’re getting a GOOD deal?

So what could Bush have done that marked an IMMEDIATE response in the economy? Shouldn’t something as drastic as losing 800,000 jobs take longer than than a term in office? I would expect the results of crappy administration to be seen after the administration has left. Or at the very quickest, during a second term. Am I way off?

I believe the idiom means that you should beware old wine that has turned into vinegar, that has been repackaged so that the buyer would not suspect he was buying something rotten.

On the other hand he did create over 1 million jobs in India.

Not that India doesn’t need the stimulus it, and I am glad that they for it from Bush.

I am glad that they got the outsourcing package from Bush.

No, it shouldn’t take longer. If you get the money into the hands of people who are likely to spend it right away (poor and middle class), then the stimulation should occur certainly within a year or so. And, the Bush Administration actually made estimates of how many jobs their policies would create in the year or two following their implementation, estimates that many noted at the time would still make their stimulus plan awful expensive on a jobs per dollar-of-cost scale, but nonetheless estimates that they almost surely didn’t reach unless you believe the job loss would have been really dramatic in their absence (and well after the recession was officially over).

Just to rephrase what I said, so it isn’t so dubious.

So what DID Bush do that marked an IMMEDIATE response in the economy? What caused things to go so wrong, so fast?

Bush’s ever-ready favorite policy, great for all weather and economic conditions – “Tax cuts for the rich!”

Ronald Reagan already proved that trickle-down economics didn’t work; Bush has proven that he didn’t learn a damn thing from Reagan.

Bush has sufferred from a double hit: the dot-bomb is one and Sept 11 is the other.

However, according to U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Database there were more employed .

Series Id: LNS12000000Seasonal AdjustedSeries title: (Seas) Employment LevelLabor force status: EmployedType of data: Number in thousandsAge: 16 years and over

Year January Febuary March April May June July August September October Novmbr Decmbr Annual
1994 121966 122086 121930 122290 122864 122634 122706 123342 123687 124112 124516 124721
1995 124663 124928 124955 124945 124421 124522 124816 124852 125133 125388 125188 125088
1996 125125 125639 125862 125994 126244 126602 126947 127172 127536 127890 127771 127860
1997 128298 128298 128891 129143 129464 129412 129822 130010 130019 130179 130653 130679
1998 130726 130807 130814 131209 131325 131244 131329 131390 131986 131999 132280 132602
1999 133027 132856 132947 132955 133311 133378 133414 133591 133707 133993 134309 134523
2000 136561(1) 136599 136668 137264 136611 136923 136516 136701 136908 137124 137316 137632
2001 137790 137581 137738 137275 137063 136842 137091 136314 136869 136447 136234 136078
2002 135715 136362 136106 136096 136505 136353 136478 136811 137337 137079 136545 136459
2003 137447(1) 137318 137300 137578 137505 137673 137604 137693 137644 138095 138533 138479
2004 138566(1) 138301 138298 138576 138772 139031 139660 139681 139480
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls in January 2000, January 2003 and January 2004.
So actual employment in the US has increased, but only just - nowhere near as much as the Clinton years.

Nonsense! Trickle-down economics work beautifully. The money trickles down from the wealthy to their children.

A president with a brain might still have had a tough time riding the bronco of this recession, might even have come up with a total job loss.

But Bush’s strategies–if you can call a tax cut for the rich and a large war “strategies”-- have been counterproductive, and he’s done nothing whatsoever to alleviate the suffering of the middle class, or, for that matter, the poor.

In deciding whether or not Bush is responsible, it’s important to look at external factors, and also the pattern of job losses:

Pattern1: Economy looks good, jobs are being created, then President’s programs are implemented, and jobs begin to be lost. President goes into election losing jobs each month.

Pattern2: President inherits a bad economy, which is shedding jobs right and left. President implements new policies, and job market turns around and starts creating jobs. President goes into election with a good economy with solid monthly job creation numbers.

Bush is in Pattern2. As I recall, the economy lost a million and a half jobs in Bush’s first year or so - this would be before he has had a chance to enact any major economic legislation, and before his first budget would have really taken effect. Since Bush’s economic problem has taken hold, the economy has turned around and jobs are being created at a good clip. Unfortunately, the original job losses were so severe that he hasn’t made up all the lost ground yet.

Another reason why so many jobs were lost - because the economy just came out of a period of over-employment. The employment rate was down to around 4% - a number which until recently economists considered to be lower than ‘full employment’.

So we have an overheated economy, an artificially low unemployment rate. Then the dot-com bust hits. A stock market correction takes place, even in non-dot-com industries, and a recession starts. Then comes the enron and worldcom scandals, which lower consumer and investor confidence even further. Then 9/11 happens, and a trillion dollars is wiped off the books overnight. The airlines are thrown into chaos. The tourism industry is slammed. Consumer confidence plummets. Economic uncertaincy causes businesses to sccale back plans for new investment and capital improvement.

It was a hell of a triple-shock to the economy. And let’s get this straight: Bush did the accepted economic thing to get the economy moving: Cut taxes and increase spending. Loosen the money supply (the fed did that). Those are the three stimulative tools at the government’s disposal, and they used all of them.

Finally, this year we’ve had another economic shock - oil prices are skyrocketing. That has a restrictive effect on the economy, and it would have happened to any president (it has little to do with the middle east - OPEC is running at capacity production). The problem is the growth of the economies of China and India, and the subsequent spike in demand for energy.

The question is not whether Bush has gained or lost jobs overall since he took office - that’s sound bite politics. The question is whether he has done the right things to stop the loss of jobs, whether his economic policies are correct.

Well, there are a couple of problems with this analysis. Sure, the economy goes in cycles. But, usually by the time 4 years has gone by, it is enough to average things out enough that at least one has created net jobs…as was true for every other President. In this case, the job growth lagged behind the end of the recession by more than I think it had in any other recession and then after a few months of decent job growth at the beginning of the year…which means job growth that was attained during much of the Clinton years…we have settled down to slower growth again.

And, this is despite the fact that Bush has presided over a tax cut extravagansa for the rich and a spending extravagansa (mainly in defense and homeland security spending) that has caused a tidal-wave turn-around in the federal fiscal situation.

Indeed…That is why I pointed out how his tax-cuts-baised-toward-the-rich policy was a particularly bad one. It got the minimum bang for the maximum buck. Not only that, but he made the claim that they had to be permanent or nearly so in order to give a full stimulus and thus he created a structural deficit, rather than the temporary one that one might otherwise create during a recession where revenues are down and you need to stimulate the economy with spending or tax cuts.

It is also worth noting that the Bush Administration made specific estimates of how much job growth his tax cuts would create and that he has lagged dramatically behind these estimates (unless one assumes that the baseline is that there would have been significantly more job loss in the last few years). And, it is not like these job growth targets were all that large, in the sense that, as folks like Paul Krugman noted, the cost per job was such that even if you believed the Bush Administration’s projections, you could probably do better given the costs if you simply hired people onto the federal payroll than if you implemented the tax cuts.

Oh, here is the news on the latest job growth numbers:

Here from the liberal Economic Policy Institute’s JobWatch page:

To look at it another way, the Administration claim was that the tax cuts themselves would result in the creation of an additional 78,000 jobs/month on top of 208,000 jobs/month that would be created in the absence of the cuts. What we have actually seen is an average of 114,000 jobs/month created over the last 15 months, which means the tax cuts have only created the number of jobs that they were supposed to provided that you assume that the “baseline” without the tax cuts would have been an increase of 36,000 jobs/month rather than the 208,000 jobs/month that they themselves had projected would occur in the absence of the tax cuts.

So, would my understanding be correct that he did only these things?

Also, I’m not sure whether these measures are “accepted” by every economist–either in general or in this particular case.

Gimme my sound byte: Bush lost jobs. And his policies haven’t worked.