Jobs numbers are good, but no Reagan recovery, GOP says
While the economy added nearly a quarter million jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in three years, House Republicans slammed President Obama for not doing more to get it back on track faster.
The Labor Department said the economy added 243,000 new jobs in January and the jobless rate dropped from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent, but Republicans said that's no "Reagan recovery."
"The jobs numbers today are certainly welcome news. All of us want to see more Americans get back to work," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters. However, he added, "We could do a lot better... If we want to get more people back to work, if we want to reflect the growth rate we've seen in the Reagan recovery and beyond, we're going to have to focus on small business."
Alluding to the legislation President Obama called for this week to help small businesses, Cantor said, "The president this week has indicated that perhaps he may now join us in focusing on the backbone of the American economy."
He said House Republicans would bring a bill to the floor in the coming months to give small businesses a 20 percent tax cut.
House Speaker John Boehner said there are "flickers of hope, and certainly they are welcome," but pointed out, "Here we are 36 straight months of unemployment over 8 percent."
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. vice chair of the House Republican Conference, said that President Obama has taken a "borrowing and spending" approach to improving the economy, "and those are policies that fail, and if anything they make it worse."
She added, "President Reagan took a very different approach. He took an approach that was focused on pro-growth, on free-market solutions... an approach that in the third year of his term resulted in the economy booming by then."
The unemployment rate in January fell to 8.3 percent, its lowest point in nearly three years. January marked the fifth straight month of improvement, with 243,000 net jobs created -- the most in nine months.
In spite of the ongoing recovery, conservatives enjoy pointing out that the Reagan recovery was more robust -- James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute points out that the economy grew 7.2 percent in the second full year of the Reagan recovery, while growth hit 1.7 percent in 2011, the second full year of recovery in the Obama administration.
Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider responded that the Obama administration was facing conditions unprecedented in post-War America, such as the housing bust, the financial crisis and the subsequent credit crisis. He also calls President Reagan a "deficit lover."
"The conditions behind the Great Recession were far worse than anything Reagan inherited, and Obama has pulled off a recovery with less of a sustained growth in Federal Government spending," he wrote.
Popular in Politics
- FBI director acknowledges domestic drone use 150 Comments
- Obama on NSA programs: Americans "not getting the complete story" 259 Comments
- Obama and Berlin: Faded echoes meet new realities
- Immigration reform would cut deficit, analysis shows 82 Comments
- Next up for Obama: Major effort on climate change
- House Republicans pass 20-week limit on abortions 598 Comments
- Michelle Obama and daughters tour Berlin Play Video
- IRS readying to pay $70M in employee bonuses, senator says