Tag Archives: job growth

Trump hogs credit he denied to his predecessor

Donald J. Trump was always oh, so quick to denigrate the economic successes of Barack H. Obama.

But … wait! Now it appears that with the nation’s economy continuing to rock along, he is seeking to take some — or most — of the credit for himself.

Politico reports that the president, faced with low poll ratings despite a brisk economic recovery, is staking more of his political fortune on the continuing spike in economic activity.

Thus, the success he refused to acknowledge during President Obama’s two terms in office is now becoming an opportunity for him to seize during his own time in the White House.

It’s almost laughable. No, actually it is laughable.

Trump derided the monthly jobs boost recorded virtually throughout Obama’s terms in office. He used to contend the job growth was phony; the Labor Department cooked up the numbers, he said, to make the president look good.

Now that he’s on the watch, the job numbers are like the Gospels, according to Trump. Which is it, Mr. President? Are they phony or are they holy?

Trump will deserve credit if his economic policies continue to produce healthy job and wage growth. He’ll deserve the credit in due course.

However, he shouldn’t try to scarf up the credit that rightfully belongs to the momentum built by his presidential predecessor and preceding Congresses long before he declared his presidential candidacy.

Big spike in job growth … is it still ‘fake,’ Mr. President?

I want to say something positive about Donald J. Trump’s stewardship of the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department announced a big spike in job growth over the past month; 222,000 non-farm jobs were added to the payrolls. Good deal, yes? Of course it is! The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent. Cause for alarm? No, as it signals — apparently — some renewed confidence in people’s ability to find work.

The growth was greater than economists had predicted.

The president’s previous disparagement of the Labor Department’s stats, though, taint any good word one would be inclined to say about robust job growth.

When jobs were being added during Barak Obama’s presidency, then-candidate Trump spoke ill of those monthly reports. He called them “phony,” “fake,” “cooked up” by politically minded statisticians intending to glorify President Obama’s economic record.

It’s different now that Trump has taken the watch. He’s said so himself. Imagine that, will ya?

That’s OK, though. The numbers look good and Americans should hail them as a sign of continued economic growth. Trump is on pace to exceed the job-growth numbers that occurred during Obama’s final months in office.

If only the president can take those numbers, accept them with dignity and class, and refrain from crowing about them. Do you think that’ll happen? Well, me neither.

Trump takes premature credit for job growth?

Donald J. Trump will be able eventually to take credit for job growth.

Just not yet.

It’s interesting to me that some of the chatter today regarding the Labor Department jobs report deals with whether the president should deserve any credit for the big spike in employment.

He doesn’t deserve it. Not this early.

The United States added 235,000 non-farm jobs to payrolls in February. Unemployment ticked downward to 4.7 percent. How did Trump’s economic policies contribute to this trend? They didn’t.

You’ll recall that when Barack Obama took office in 2009, job numbers were plummeting. It took a bit of time for the president’s economic stimulus package to take effect. The former president didn’t deserve blame for falling jobs figures at the beginning of his term.

I also should say he didn’t deserve all the credit for the spectacular job growth that ensued. He deserved some of it.

Eight years later, the nation’s job growth has continued. Joblessness has been cut in half. The annual federal budget deficit has been pared by two-thirds.

Obama handed this economic growth off to Trump. The new president eventually will be able to take some of the credit if the job growth continues well into the first year of his presidency and beyond. I am willing to give him the credit he deserves.

This silly discussion, though, about whether he should crow about job growth during his first full month in office succeeds only in one thing: It rivets attention directly onto the president of the United States, which is all part of the way this guy rolls.

‘I inherited a mess’; no you didn’t, Mr. President

Donald J. Trump wouldn’t know a “mess” if he slipped and fell in the middle of one. Indeed, he hasn’t yet acknowledged the mess he’s created since becoming president of the United States.

The president said today at his hastily called press conference that he “inherited a mess” from President Barack H. Obama.

Really, Mr. President?

Let’s see: 80 consecutive months of job growth; millions of jobs created during the past eight years; an annual budget deficit that’s been cut by two-thirds; a vibrant housing industry; the Dow Jones Industrial Average has nearly tripled in eight years; commandos killed Osama bin Laden; other terrorist leaders have been killed or captured; we have avoided a major terror attack; Iran has been banned from developing a nuclear weapon.

A mess? Are you kidding me?

Barack Obama and Congress cleaned up the mess they inherited and left you with a country in far better shape than when your immediate predecessor took office.

No, the country’s not in perfect condition. But it’s no “mess,” man!

Paraphrasing the famous “Saturday Night Live” routine involving Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin in their hilarious point/counterpoint spoof: Don, you ignorant shlub!

Keystone decision makes sense

Keystone-Pipeline

Politicians’ positions can “evolve,” yes?

That means bloggers can change their mind, too, I reckon.

So it has happened with the Keystone XL pipeline. I once blogged in support of the notion of running the pipeline from Canada, through the heart of the Great Plains to the Texas coast.

The price of gasoline was skyrocketing. We needed some way to put more fossil fuel into the international market, I said back then.

What has happened? Jobs came back. Oil prices fell sharply. So did the price of gasoline.

The need for the pipeline? Well, it’s no longer compelling.

President Obama said “no” to the pipeline this week. The fallout has been reduced significantly because of economic and environmental factors that have turned in our nation’s favor.

I now believe the president’s rejection of Keystone makes sense.

The president nixed Keystone because it wouldn’t help the U.S. consumer market, given that the oil would be refined here and then shipped offshore to … wherever.

Plus, there is that environmental concern about possible spillage and leaks from a pipeline that would coarse through nearly 2,000 miles of U.S. territory. Those things do happen, you know. The damage is significant.

Oh, and the jobs it would create? They now appear to have been minimized because private-sector job creation has been heating up nicely over the course of the past half-dozen years.

So, good bye to Keystone.

Sure, our Canadian friends are unhappy. So are some refiners on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The rest of us? Well, I think we’ll be all right without building the Keystone XL.

 

How about sharing the credit?

Grover Norquist just cracks me up.

The anti-tax Republican activist wants the GOP to seize the credit for the nation’s economic recovery from those pesky Democrats, led by President Barack Obama.

It’s Republican policies, not Democratic policies, that have ignited the nation’s recovery from near-disaster, Norquist told The Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/30/grover-norquist-economy_n_6396682.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

Hey, here’s an idea, Mr. Tax Cutter: How about sharing it?

In a way, Norquist does make a salient point — more or less — about Republicans’ insistence that the economy still stinks. He says they should shut their trap about that and take credit for the good news we’re hearing.

According to The Huffington Post: “‘There were outside voices advising Republicans on what to do. They missed both calls,’ Norquist said in an interview with The Huffington Post. ‘I object as much as some of the guys on the right who are never satisfied in the moment. I’m never satisfied over time. But they go, ‘This was a disaster.’ No it wasn’t. We played our hand as well as you could and better than we had any reason to expect we would be able to.'”

If my own memory remains intact, I do believe the president gave in to Republican demands to keep the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration. He could have dug in his heels and demanded repeal of the “Bush tax cuts” for business and big income earners, but he didn’t.

As some have noted as well, the oil boom has driven the nation’s economic revival. Nothing else. It’s just oil, they say. Presidential policies have nothing to do with that.

If that’s the case, then do Republican congressional policies play a role here? I’m thinking, well, maybe not.

Whatever the case, the nation’s economic health is far better than it was when Barack Obama took the presidential oath in January 2009. He pushed through a bold stimulus package with the help of a Democratic-controlled Congress. The auto industry bounced back, thanks to that stimulus — and then repaid the federal Treasury in full.

The labor market has been restored to where it was prior to the crash of late 2008.

Who deserves credit? I’ve been glad to give the president some of the credit. I’ll give credit as well to that other co-equal branch of government, Congress.

The only problem with Norquist’s call for less belly-aching and more bragging is that the GOP will have to concede that its Democratic “friends” had a hand in it as well.

Didn’t they?

 

Why is economy such a drag on election?

Some things I just don’t get, such as why polls keep showing that the economy remains such a worry for Americans.

Incumbents from both parties are sweating out the election that takes place Tuesday because the economy, for crying out, is on voters’ minds.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/midterms-governor-races-economy-incumbents/2014/10/30/id/604083/

I keep seeing the numbers and I actually am heartened by them. Joblessness is down; job growth is up; retirement accounts (such as mine) are up; budget deficits are down; energy production is up; energy consumption is down; home construction is up; auto sales are up.

Who’s badmouthing the economy? Oh, I keep forgetting. It’s foes of the Obama administration in Congress, on talk radio, on cable news shows and a smattering of right-wing economists who keep saying that the economy is in mortal danger of collapse at any minute. They grabbed Americans’ attention when the government enacted aggressive stimulus incentives in early 2009 to try to rescue the failing economy and haven’t let go.

It appears from my vantage point that the economy has been in full recovery mode for about a year, but the doom-and-gloomsayers keep instilling this fear in us that it’s all about the collapse.

OK, it’s not rosy in every corner of the country. As the link attached to this blog notes, some governor are taking it on the chin because job growth isn’t what it should be. Other governors, such as the one in Texas, are crowing about superior growth and are taking all the credit they deserve — and even more than they deserve — for that growth. That’s all fine.

So help me, though, while I might be slow on the uptake a lot of the time, I fail to understand how the economy continues to strike such fear across the land.

 

Jobs are up; jobless rate down … still no love

The U.S. Labor Department today reported 162,000 jobs were added to the nation’s payrolls in July, while the jobless rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest in nearly five years.

But still, despite that, the news is being received with a shrug and a “so what?” even from those who detest President Obama and his economic policies.

http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/08/02/jobs-report-july/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fortunefinance+%28Fortune+Finance%3A+Hedge+Funds%2C+Markets%2C+Mergers+%26+Acquisitions%2C+Private+Equity%2C+Venture+Capital%2C+Wall+Street%2C+Washington%29&utm_content=Google+UK

It honestly puzzles me. Then again, I don’t get paid to analyze this data. I’m watching all this unfold from the peanut gallery, like most Americans – and that includes the TV talk show chatterboxes who purport to be the know-it-alls of everything that’s supposed to matter.

This administration took office with the nation in free fall. We were losing – depending on who’s counting – 700,000 to 800,000 jobs each month. Banks were crashing. Housing markets all across the country were cratering. A member of my family – a well-educated architect – personified the agony of what happened when he lost his job as the housing market disintegrated all along the West Coast.

What’s happened since then? The government added rules that added accountability to lenders who were loaning money to people who couldn’t repay their loans. Rules for banks were tightened. The government pumped money into state and local economies – such as Texas and Amarillo, where officials were more than happy to take it. Jobs have been added at a slow, but reasonably steady rate.

Is the economy growing fast enough? No. Considering where we were at the start of 2009 and where we’ve gone since then, though, I’d rate the policies a success.

Yes, some individuals disagree with that. Let ‘em disagree. I’ll stand by what I’ve witnessed from the cheap seats.

Oh, and my family member who lost job in 2009? He’s back to work … as an architect.