Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fair's Fair

Night one of the Democratic National Convention was electrifying.  Guest after guest gave riveting speeches; the best of which were by current Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and First Lady Michelle Obama.  The former reminded me of why I tend to vote Democrat; the latter was about as poignant a speech as I’ve ever heard a spouse give for her husband.  While historically the speeches made by the wives of presidential candidates aren’t all that important or decisive with respect to voters, it was hard not to be moved by this one.  She rocked the joint.

But my fair o’ meter was going into the red on a familiar theme that virtually all the speakers hit upon.  No it wasn’t the plug and play for the Affordable Care Act – it’s about time someone in the Party acknowledged it publicly. What got me going was the claim that Barack Obama was responsible for the creation of 4.5 million private sector jobs during his presidency.  

You see, there’s just one little, tiny problem with that claim: it isn’t true, at least not entirely.  While it is true that from January 2010 thru July 2012, the economy did add over 4.5 million jobs, 2009 saw huge job losses in the private sector.

According to CNN, the economy has netted only 300,000 private sector jobs to date during Obama’s first term in office.  When you factor in the shedding of public sector jobs – nearly one million – into the equation, the overall picture looks a lot bleaker.  Add it up and it comes to a net loss of 400,000 jobs since he was sworn in.  Brutal.

And while it is fair to say that most of that first year was owed to the failed policies of George Bush, it isn’t fair, or accurate for that matter, to cherry pick the last two and a half years and infer that it represents a full term.   That’s the kind of shit Fox News does on a regular basis and it’s what the Republicans pretty much did all last week at their convention.  There’s no place for it, especially when you consider that even allowing for 2009’s job losses, the worst first year for a sitting president since 1933, if the current trend of private sector job creation over the last two and a half years is maintained through the end of the year, Obama will still beat out Bush for average annual job growth in his first term: 0.84% to 0.51%. 

Never add to the truth, especially when the truth will work just fine.


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