Tag Archives: job growth

Recession? Uhh … where?

Let me toss a number at you and ask you to ponder its significance for a brief moment.


That is the number of jobs the U.S. Department of Labor said today were created this past month. The nation’s jobless rate ticked up a bit to 3.7%, but no one is speaking out loud about any concern there.

It’s the first number that is stunning. It continues to demonstrate — at least to me — that the fearmongers need to be called out when they suggest the nation’s economy is tanking.

It isn’t. Not by a long shot!

Economists predicted — to the extent they can predict anything — a job growth of about half of what was released. Even that wouldn’t have been too bad.

But a 339,000 job growth figure simply is staggering.

Uhh, Mr. President? Keep up the good work.


‘Old jobs’ not as good?

A frequent critic of www.highplainsblogger.com decided to weigh in with a comment about President Biden’s job performance.

He disagrees — not surprisingly — with my assessment of the job growth that has occurred during the Biden administration. My critic says Biden has created “no real new jobs.” That the only jobs being “created” are the old jobs that are being filled again.

Hmm. I rolled that one around for just a moment.

It occurred to me that the old jobs are just as valuable as the new jobs. I mean, those who are filling the old jobs are paying taxes and contributing to the nation’s economic well-being just as much as they would be had they occupied “new jobs.” Isn’t that right?

The critic just cannot seem to grasp that I remain as faithful to Joe Biden as he does to Donald Trump. Except for this important qualifier: Biden defeated Trump in 2020. Oh, and Trump is in a deep pile of dookey over, well … you know.


266,000, 3.5 percent: Numbers are great, Mr. POTUS, however …

You bet that those numbers released this morning from the U.S. Labor Department are pretty darn stellar.

We added 266,000 jobs to our private payrolls in November; unemployment ticked down to 3.5 percent, retaining a full-employment ratio in the work force.

Those are impressive figures, as Donald Trump will tell us. “It’s the economy, stupid,” he tweeted this morning, using a phrase made famous by Bill Clinton campaign guru James Carville in 1992.

Let’s wait, though, for yet another suggestion from the president that will declare, “You cannot impeach me. Look at the job I’m doing to boost the economy! The economy is going too well for you to impeach me!” 

Mr. President, the pending impeachment by the House of Representatives has nothing — zero, zilch — to do with the economy. Indeed, presidents don’t get impeached based on how they are handling the nation’s economic health, unless they commit some sort of “high crime and misdemeanor.” Near as I can tell, Donald Trump’s trouble has nothing to do with the economy.

It has everything to do with other matters relating to how he has abused the power of his office to solicit a foreign government to help him win re-election. The articles of impeachment that will come from the House will speak to that abuse of power, perhaps to obstruction of justice or to obstruction of Congress.

The economy? It won’t be mentioned anywhere in those articles.

So, Mr. President, you may stop referencing the economy in the context of impeachment. It’s a non-starter.

Jobless rate is great … but it doesn’t negate misbehavior by POTUS

One of the dodges employed by Donald Trump’s apologists who are fighting against the impeachment tide that is splashing against the president is the strength of the national economy.

Indeed, so does the president speak to that issue.

Unemployment is at a 50-year low, Trump and The Gang tell us. They ask: “Why impeach a president who is doing such a great job on the economy?”

Here’s my answer: Because the issues relating to the president’s probable impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives have nothing to do with his performance as president, or the strength of the national economy.

The issues of grave concern center on whether the president has violated his oath of office or, as has been alleged, broken federal law.

It is the very same separation of these matters that drove Republicans to march toward impeaching President Clinton in 1998. They didn’t give a rat’s rear end about the nation’s economic health two decades ago. Did it matter to them that the federal budget was balanced on President Clinton’s watch? No. They said, with some justification, that the president perjured himself before a grand jury; he broke the law, they said and, therefore, had committed an impeachable offense.

I thought then that the impeachment was a waste of time, given that Clinton’s lie had to do with a relationship he was having with a woman who was not his wife. That relationship didn’t have a thing to do with the duties of his office.

The issues driving the pending impeachment of Donald Trump have everything to do with his conduct as president of the United States. They also have nothing to do with the jobless rate, or the growth rate of private-sector employment, or trade policy, or immigration policy or anything else on the president’s list of issues with which he must grapple.

Let’s just try to keep these matters in some perspective, shall we? The economy is doing well under Donald Trump’s watch. It’s a big deal, to be sure. It’s a tiny, infinitesimal deal, however, when we ponder this matter of impeachment.

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


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.


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?