Friday, October 7, 2011

Barack Obama: The Jobs President

It is a human travesty that I have not gotten to talk about politics yet on The Collective. Politics represents one of the three major pillars in my life (the other two being sports and food). Since The Collective has done an admirable job covering the first two, I decided to complete the triumphant. This will not be a regular occurrence because many times political blogs digress into snarky, annoying, and whining forums for people who would rather prognosticate than work towards solutions. That being said, I do want to occasionally touch on critically important political issues and debates as they come up.
The first issue I decided to discuss is jobs, and more specifically, how our President's administration has fared in regards to creating and saving them. This issue is especially poignant to most of our readers because they are young, recent college graduates, looking to find their way into the job market. When looking at the job market it is hard not to be pessimistic. The recent labor department employment numbers show that despite the economy adding 103,000 jobs, the unemployment rate is still staying at a stubbornly high number of 9.1%. This number has been above 8% for over a year, and should remain high for the foreseeable future. At this moment many of you are probably wondering how these dismal numbers translate into a post about our President being the ultimate jobs chief executive. Let me tell you why.

 Above is a breakdown of the net number of jobs lost/created since from January 2008 to July 2011. The red shows the numbers during the Bush administration while the Blue shows the Obama administration. As you can see, the financial collapse of 2008, brought on by overextended banks and careless governance, began to take its toll on job losses in a big way starting in the summer. By the time President Obama took the oath of office in January of that year, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs at the clip of over 800,000 jobs per month. In February of that year, President Obama proposed a universally agreed upon plan that would stop bleeding and allow the country to avoid another great depression. The proposal would be one-third tax cuts to middle income Americans, one-third infrastructure projects, and one-third state aid. Since the State aid helped close budget holes on that level, it can essentially be considere a tax cut because States did not have to raise taxes. This package was a little under 800 Billion dollars.

Signed on February 17th, the Stimulus package was designed to begin to take effect in the early to late summer, with the overall goal to end monthly job losses by the end of the fiscal year in October. As you can see by the graph, the Stimulus worked magically, reversing job losses to zero by the next year. It may have been even more effective, but conservative forces paired down the original plan which would have added approximately 200 billion in job creating/saving funds.

The job creator and chief is not done. President Obama is still trying to dig us out of the whole left by Wall Street and President Bush. Employment numbers have stayed flat as the economy is still recovering, both in confidence, and capital from the financial collapse. In order for a complete turnaround, the economy needs to add over 200,000 jobs every month. Unfortunately for our President, a Tea-Party controlled House is trying everything in its power to stop job creation. The most recent example of this political chicanery is the stalling of President Obama's new job bill. Like the stimulus before it, the jobs bill will provide every day people with tax relief while also saving critical jobs (like teachers!).

Lets take this day to remove ourselves from our obsession with sports, food or both and look and give thanks that we have a leader who has, and will continue to put America back to work.


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