Are more jobs created under Republican or Democratic administrations? I was talking to a conservative friend of mine recently. He’s a great guy and we have invigorating, civil discussions over the phone. He repeated an assertion, commonplace among Republicans, that more jobs are added during Republican administrations. After all, aren’t Republicans more business friendly? I politely disagreed. So we made a gentlemen’s bet, agreeing to independently research the issue, using official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers. Our monetary wager was modest ($10) but the “loser” would also have to attend the other political party’s local chapter, making a short, but potentially embarrassing, admission statement regarding the jobs facts.
So who won the bet? Let me just say my buddy was shocked and disappointed. He’ll soon be addressing the local Democratic Central Committee in southern Oregon. For me, I was pretty confident, but surprised by the enormous job discrepancy.
You can pick and choose which administration you’d like to start with, but it really doesn’t matter, because job creation generally thrives under Democratic presidents, and is generally anemic under Republicans with few exceptions. Don’t trust me or my Republican friend—look it up yourselves in the BLS database, or Wikipedia.
If you start with President Truman, a Democrat, and continue through March 2014, 23.5 million more jobs were added under Democratic administrations compared to Republican presidents (58 million versus 34.5 million). That’s 68% more jobs created by pesky, “job-killing liberals.” Start with Republican Eisenhower and it’s a Democratic advantage of 18 million, or 52% more jobs.
Let’s look more recently—start with Republican godfather, President Reagan, and continue through today. Surely the iconic, anti-regulation, pro-business Reagan, along with Bush Sr. and Jr., would put Republicans above Clinton and Obama? Keep in mind Republicans were in the White House for 20 years compared to just 13 (to date) for Clinton and Obama. Not so fast. Despite Reagan’s respectful 16.1 million added jobs, Clinton (22.7) and Obama (3.7) demolish Republican totals, 26.4 million versus 19.8 million for Reagan and the Bushes.
How about digging deeper into our last two presidents—GW Bush and Obama? Bush served two terms, Obama’s been in five years. Bush passed two massive tax cuts, tilted toward the “job creating” rich. Obama passed Obamacare, a massive stimulus bill, and raised taxes on the richest. So how do the jobs numbers stack up?
Well, despite conservatives’ popular Obama bashing, it’s not even close. Obama, the “government-loving socialist,” wins hands down, 3.7 million to a measly 1.1 million.
Dedicated Bitterroot conservatives will undoubtedly think Obama’s numbers are from bigger government, right? Wrong. Here’s the irony folks: Despite losing 753,000 government jobs in five years, Obama still added a net 3.7 million—all because 4.5 million private sector jobs were created. Meanwhile, Bush can only thank government expansion for having a jobs creation number over zero. If it weren’t for expanding government payrolls by 1.75 million, Bush would have negative job growth for his eight years. Indeed, he had a deplorable net loss of 665,000 private sector jobs. Wow. Obama shrinks government, Bush expanded it. Under Obama millions of private sector jobs have been created; under Bush, a net loss. Who woulda thunk?
Since February 2010, 8.7 million private sector jobs have been created. That’s 48 straight months of job growth. Thank goodness we’re on the right track with a Democratic President in charge. Since Obama came in, unemployment has dropped from 7.8% to 6.7%. Imagine how low the rate would be if Republicans had supported Democratic efforts to prevent hundreds of thousands of layoffs to police, teachers, and firefighters?
I’d say we’re doing pretty well considering Republicans have been fighting tooth and nail to stymie job creation. Democrats have been trying to pass infrastructure bills for years—bills that would fix our ailing energy grids, sewage, roads, bridges, while creating millions of good paying jobs. Republicans just say “No.”
Our lone Montana Representative, Shutdown Daines, is in that “No” camp. He may be a successful private businessman, but as a politician his Republican Tea Party affiliation is undermining our country’s economic growth through his obstructionist votes. His business experience isn’t translating well on a national or statewide level. He shut down the government once, costing $20 billion, closing our Parks. He voted against the recent bipartisan budget agreement, whose passage prevented another shutdown. He failed to provide leadership in getting a farm bill passed a year ago when it was badly needed. He’s against infrastructure bills and clean energy technology.
Shutdown Daines is following the same ineffective, job-killing script of past Republicans—cut taxes for the rich and gut “job-killing” regulations that keep our workers safe and Montana’s environment clean. These misguided Republican priorities are the reason the GOP has been losing the job creation war with Democrats for many decades.
Van P. Keele