The 18 debates among the Republican presidential wannabes have been such horrific clown shows that both Sen. John McCain, the GOP 2008 nominee, and Bush’s propaganda czar Karl Rove have expressed concern that they are harming the party.
The debates have also been veritable blizzards of lies, particularly about Pres. Obama’s record. None of the candidates is a smoother or more practiced liar than Mitt Romney, who has made his political career out of changing his positions in order to get votes.
In his State of the Union speech last night, the president addressed one of Romney’s often-repeated lies — that no jobs have been created since Obama took office.
Pres. Obama: In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.
Factcheck.org confirms the president’s statement even while griping a little about what he didn’t say — and in doing so puts the lie to Romney’s oft-repeated claim that no jobs have been created since the Obama took office in the depths of the Bush recession:
Obama was … correct when he said that last year’s private job growth was the most in six years and that the manufacturing sector experienced job gains not seen since the 20th century. But he was silent on how far the jobs recovery has to go…
Between February 2010 and December 2011, private sector employment climbed from 106,772,000 to 109,928,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of nearly 3.2 million jobs.
And private sector employment increased by 1.9 million in 2011, going from 108,008,000 in December 2010 to 109,928,000 at the end of 2011. That’s the largest annual increase since 2.31 million jobs were added in 2005.
There was also a net increase in manufacturing employment in 2010, when 109,000 jobs were added for the year, and 2011, when 225,000 jobs were added. The last time that happened was back in 1997, when the manufacturing sector added 304,000 jobs that year.
But — what the president didn’t mention — total employment in the U.S. remains nearly 1.7 million below where it was the month Obama took office, and more than 6 million below where it was at the best point in the Bush administration, in January 2008.
The Republican position on job creation by the government in the Obama era is built around a glaring internal contradiction. On one hand, they insist that government does not create jobs — and they say this so often and with such gusto that they almost sound like they believe it.
This ignores several actual facts: One, just about every firefighter, police officer and teacher in the United States has a “government-created job.”
Also, the government employs hundreds of thousands of contractors — in 2007, for example, the Bush administration had 180,000 private contractors deployed in Iraq, all of which were government-created and funded jobs.
And government-funded projects, from research to infrastructure construction — roads, bridges, airports, etc. — all create jobs. On infrastructure projects, these are almost all private-sector jobs generated by government construction contracts.
But mainly, Republicans want to have it both ways. They insist that the government does not create jobs on one hand, and then castigate the president when unemployment is high.
Facts are stubborn things. The facts are that, through both negligence and malfeasance Republicans crashed the economy in 2008, but that the Obama administration’s policies have created a gradually improved economic environment.
In fact, things have improved so much that even Mitt Romney has been forced to recognize it. “Well, of course it’s getting better,” he said in an interview earlier this month with Republican propagandist Laura Ingraham.