Mr. Speaker, where are the jobs?
To date, the Boehner version of Congress has surpassed Truman's original "Do-Nothing Congress" in do-nothingness. If a Congress reflects its leader, then this one is true to form. Nancy Pelosi was driven and disciplined. John Boehner is lazy and distracted. Nancy Pelosi amassed an amazing record of legislative accomplishments. Her place is secure as one of the greatest House Speakers in history. John Boehner is drifting, slip-sliding in the other direction; ignominy bordering on early retirement, either through the ballot box or the bedroom.
And despite the perception that JOBS topped the voters' priorities list — another is the non-repeal of healthcare — neither has made much of an impression on this group of radical right wing rookie GOP/Tea Party representatives. Also, the Chamber of Commerce has yet to clarify how many of these JOBS will be created in the United States.
But the electorate is like a drunken sailor, acting on impulse rather than reason or logic. If only they knew these RepubliCONS are least equipped to assert credibility on creating JOBS. Here are the facts, in the historical performance record of how the Democratic and Republican parties have fared, going head-to-head in job creation statistics. Guess who wins? (Rhetorical question.)
From the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "U.S. job growth (and loss) under presidents; Democrats and Republicans":
Here is a chart detailing every president's performance in creating JOBS:
- 654,000: The net gain in jobs since the national job number hit a 10-year low of 129.6 million in December 2009, seasonally adjusted. The latest estimate of 130.2 million jobs for September is subject to possible revision as more data is collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 54.2 million: The number of jobs created during the nearly 30 years in which Democrats have held the presidency, beginning with President Truman in April 1945. (Comparable BLS data is not available for full presidencies before then.)
- 34.6 million: The number of jobs created during the 36 years in which Republicans have controlled the White House during the same time period.
- 3.4 million: The loss of jobs since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. If the loss holds through his presidency, it would mark the first time since the data became available that the country lost jobs during the full tenure of a president.
- 1.1 million: The number of jobs gained under President George W. Bush, the smallest job growth for any president completing at least one term. The seasonally adjusted jobs number fell in each of Bush's last 12 months in office as 4.4 million jobs were lost.
- 22.7 million: The number of jobs gained under President Clinton, the biggest job growth of any president.
Measuring income inequality under Republican and Democratic administrations, Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels, according to Slate, "has gone a long way toward proving" that the United States has grown more unequal under Republican administrations:
Larry Bartels, a Princeton political scientist, looked at average annual pre-tax income growth from 1948 to 2005, which encompassed most of the egalitarian Great Compression and the entire inegalitarian Great Divergence (up until the time he did his research) and published his findings in the book Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age (Princeton University Press: 2008). His calculations showed that pre-tax income increased overall about 1.42 percent for people in the lowest quintile of the population and 2 percent for those in the top 5%. His research did suggest that income inequality increased under Republican administration and not under Democratic administration. Timothy Noah in the series “The United States of Inequality” summarized Bartels's findings below:
“In Democrat-world, pre-tax income increased 2.64 percent annually for the poor and lower-middle-class and 2.12 percent annually for the upper-middle-class and rich. There was no Great Divergence. Instead, the Great Compression—the egalitarian income trend that prevailed through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s—continued to the present, albeit with incomes converging less rapidly than before. In Republican-world, meanwhile, pre-tax income increased 0.43 percent annually for the poor and lower-middle-class and 1.90 percent for the upper-middle-class and rich. Not only did the Great Divergence occur; it was more greatly divergent. Also of note: In Democrat-world pre-tax income increased faster than in the real world not just for the 20th percentile but also for the 40th, 60th, and 80th. We were all richer and more equal! But in Republican-world, pre-tax income increased slower than in the real world not just for the 20th percentile but also for the 40th, 60th, and 80th. We were all poorer and less equal! Democrats also produced marginally faster income growth than Republicans at the 95th percentile, but the difference wasn't statistically significant.”