Steve Rattner showed this chart this morning on Morning Joe. It is very telling about Obama’s jobs record. Is the private sector doing fine? Yes, except if you are in the construction or finance industries. The drag on jobs comes from the decline in government, construction and finance jobs. If these sectors were just at break even we would have about a million more jobs.
Prior Presidents have ended recessions by growing the Government jobs base. Obama for many reasons does not have this tool available to him. This lack of Government jobs is a drag on the economy but is this the disaster many in the press and politics make it out to be? The answer like everything else is that it depends. If the jobs are doing unneeded activities and pay so well that it drains the private sector of needed employees, the answer is yes. Increasing unneeded Government employment during a recession is an easy fix, cutting those jobs and paying off the incurred debt once the economy turns around is often not done.
Alternatively, increasing Government employment for needed items like infrastructure can be a wise investment in the future. In this manner, you get more people back to work(in Government and related construction jobs), increase available cash consumers have to spend and increase tax revenues.
The U.S. has used creating government jobs during economic downturns since at least the Great Depression. Since the 1950′s we have lacked the drive to pay down the debt created by this type of spending during periods of economic growth. Is it any wonder that Americans do not believe that this time will be any different? No, but unfortunately for Obama, he is the President that is being forced to deal with our inability to pay down our debt.