Just in Case you havn’t seen this on Politifact: John Boehner says Bush tax cuts created 8 million jobs over 10 years


John Boehner says Bush tax cuts created 8 million jobs over 10 years

FalseHouse Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared on NBC’s Today show on May 10, 2011. We checked his facts on job creation.

During an interview on NBC’s Today show, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, offered some job-creation statistics to cast a favorable light on the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.

Host Matt Lauer said to Boehner, “You talk about creating jobs. When the Bush era tax cuts were passed in 2001, unemployment in this country was 4.5 percent. Today it’s at 9 percent, just down from 10 percent. So why are the Bush era tax cuts creating jobs?”

Boehner responded that the tax cuts “created about 8 million jobs over the first 10 years that they were in existence. We’ve lost about 5 million of those jobs during this recession.”

Several readers suggested that we check Boehner’s statistics. So we did.

Boehner’s statement actually has several problems. One is the question of whether the tax cuts actually caused the job growth; more on that later. First, we’ll point out something more basic — that Boehner’s chronology is off.

The first of the tax cuts was passed in June 2001, so we haven’t hit a full 10 years since the first cut was enacted, and we’re only about eight years past the enactment of the second round of cuts. We’ll give Boehner the most generous parameters possible — from the signing of the first tax cut in June 2001 until the pre-recession employment peak, which came in January 2008. (When we contacted Boehner’s office, they confirmed that this is the comparison he had in mind.)

We turned to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically, figures from the Current Employment Statistics series, which is calculated using a broad survey of employer payroll data. Here are the numbers:

June 2001: 132,047,000 people employed
January 2008: 137,996,000 people employed
Increase during that six-and-a-half-year period: 5,949,000 people

That’s roughly 6 million jobs — significantly below the 8 million Boehner cited.

Now let’s turn to the jobs lost during the recession. We once again calculated the numbers in the way most favorable to Boehner — from the peak of employment (January 2008) to the lowest point (February 2010). Here are the figures:

January 2008: 137,996,000 people employed
February 2010: 129,246,000 people employed
Decrease during the roughly two-year period: 8,750,000 people

That’s almost 9 million jobs lost — almost twice what Boehner had said on Today.

What’s going on?

When we reached Boehner’s office, spokesman Michael Steel provided a different set of numbers — numbers that we determined were from a different set of BLS statistics, known as the Current Population Survey.

The numbers from the CPS data are produced by a smaller survey of individuals and families. They are best known for producing the widely tracked national unemployment rate, but the data also include an estimate of the raw number of employed Americans, which is what Boehner used.

Here are the CPS figures for the same periods we looked at above:

June 2001: 136,873,000 people employed
January 2008: 146,407,000 people employed
Increase over about six and a half years: 9,534,000 people

January 2008: 146,407,000 people employed
February 2010: 138,698,000 people employed
Decrease over about two years: 7,709,000 people

So using the CPS figures, Boehner actually underestimated the jobs created after the passage of the Bush tax cuts, rather than overestimating them. And his number of jobs lost in the recession was closer to the CPS number than to the CES number.

In other words, using one set of data, Boehner’s way off, and using another set, he’s closer. What gives?

For the periods studied, the two data sets’ varying methodologies appear to have produced large differences in the number of jobs created and lost. While both statistics have their advantages and disadvantages, the CES numbers are “usually preferred when talking about job growth or loss,” said Stacey Standish, a BLS spokeswoman.

And there’s this problem: What if we had used Boehner’s 10 year figure rather than the six-and-a-half-year upswing of jobs? Over the full 10 years, employment has actually fallen by more than 1 million jobs using CES numbers and risen by 2.8 million according to the CPS figures. Either way, both figures are well below the job gains Boehner touted for the full 10-year period.

Meanwhile, there are other concerns beyond the statistics. While J.D. Foster, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said he feels both CES and CPS are valid measures, he wondered whether Boehner had oversold cause and effect. “The real issue is the statement that the Bush tax cuts ‘created’ these jobs,” Foster said. “Would the economy have created no jobs during this period but for the tax cuts?”

And Gary Burtless, a labor economist with the centrist-to-liberal Brookings Institution, argues that “the more basic point is that under either measure of employment gain, the proportional rise in employment in the Bush Administration after passage of his initial tax cut was comparatively small.”

Burtless put together a comparison of recent two-term presidential administrations’ job growth over the equivalent period — the 81 months starting in the June after the president’s inauguration. George W. Bush produced smaller job gains than most recent administrations regardless of which employment measure is used.

Employment under Bush grew by 4.5 percent using CES and 7 percent using CPS, whereas employment grew by double digits under presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, and also under the combined eight-year administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, who finished Nixon’s term after he resigned, and John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Only under Eisenhower was job growth more sluggish than it was under George W. Bush, and even then, it was only the case using one of the two BLS statistics. (Burtless did not compare job growth during the administrations of George H.W. Bush or Jimmy Carter because they served only one term each.)

Where does all this leave us? First, under the most common yardstick for measuring employment — the CES data — Boehner’s claim is significantly overstated. Second, while Boehner is closer when using a different statistic, it’s only more accurate if he uses a time period much different than the one he stated in the interview. And third, his suggestion that the tax cuts are primarily responsible for subsequent job growth is contentious at best (and the job growth he points to is modest compared to previous administrations).

So the numbers Boehner offers are accurate only with significant adjustments. Overall, we find his statement too flawed to give it a rating higher than False





I’m Mad As Hell. How About You? | Dylan Ratigan.



(one more lazy copy blog-a “must read”) Economists: GOP Cites Deeply Flawed CBS Report To Blame Debt On Obama | TPMDC

The following link takes you to TPM and the original story page:

Economists: GOP Cites Deeply Flawed CBS Report To Blame Debt On Obama | TPMDC.

Economists: GOP Cites Deeply Flawed CBS Report To Blame Debt On Obama


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Top Republicans couldn’t be happier with a Monday CBS News report logging the growth in the national debt under President Obama.

The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama’s four-year term.

But this is politically powerful only because it’s equally analytically flawed.

It ignores key facts about the nature of government debt. For instance the nominal size of the debt isn’t important except as compared to the concurrent size of the economy — the debt-to-GDP ratio. Additionally, if growth of debt over time is what you’re interested in, then the key question is percent-growth, not nominal growth.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic Policy Research — who tracks economic illiteracy in the media — explained these and other problems.

“First off, if you want to be at all serious you’d be looking at debt to GDP ratios,” he told TPM. “Obviously debt to GDP did rise very rapidly [in Obama’s first years], so that probably is true.” If, however, you look at the more accurate figure — percentage point change in the debt to GDP ratio — Obama’s not doing so poorly compared to Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Bush II, all of whom presided over large percentage point increases in the country’s debt to GDP ratio.

But the biggest problem, according to Baker, is that the report treats as a partisan issue the question of what caused the growth in debt. From CBS:

Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt. He singles out:

* “two wars we didn’t pay for”
* “a prescription drug program for seniors…we didn’t pay for.”
* “tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.”

He goes on to blame the recession, and its resulting decrease in tax revenue on businesses, for making fewer sales, and more employees being laid off. He says the recession also resulted in more government spending due to increased unemployment insurance payments, subsidies to farms and funding of infrastructure programs that were part of his stimulus program.

“It’s acting like Obama’s sort of pulling this out of the hat,” Baker said. “That’s not an arguable point. It is the recession.” And Obama inherited the structural deficits as well. To claim that’s debatable is like saying Obama “blames” darkness on the night.

Jim Horney, who heads up the fiscal policy shop at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, backed this up with figures(PDF). “In January 2009, under the Congressional Budget Office’s projections that assumed a continuation of then-current policies (2001 and 2003 tax cuts extended, etc.), the debt held by the public was projected to increase by more than $2.3 trillion and gross debt was projected to increase by about $2.7 trillion,” Horney told TPM.

So, whether you look at debt held by the public or gross debt, the deficits projected under CBO’s economic forecast in January 2009 and the assumption of no change in policies in place when Obama took office account for about 2/3 of the increase in debt. And a substantial part of the increase above what CBO projected in January 2009 is due to the economic downturn being significantly worse than CBO projected in January 2009 (although CBO has estimated that the policies that were adopted after January 2009 – [the stimulus bill, etc.] – actually improved the economy relative to what would have happened without any change in policies).

Obama more directly owns relatively small chunks — attributable largely to the stimulus, the tax deal and arguably his continuation of the wars. But the vast bulk was baked into the cake when he took office.

On top of this, the CBS report compares Obama to George W. Bush, who inherited two very different economies and budgets. Bush inherited a surplus, and, soon after his inauguration, a recession, which he used as an excuse to enact massive, long-term tax cuts that ate into the deficit long after those recessions were over, into Obama’s term. Obama inherited a record deficit in 2009, with an economy in complete free fall.

There are smaller problems with the report, too. Both Baker and Horney note that the more appropriate measure of debt is not the gross debt — i.e. the sum of debts government owes to both creditors and to itself — but simply the former. This is better known as debt held by the public, and it excludes debt owed to Social Security.

“Since the President was inaugurated, debt held by the public has increased just under $3.7 trillion (note, that in this case, using debt held by the public does not dramatically change the story – but it is the right number to use),” Horney notes.

That won’t stop partisans from trumpeting misreported bad news, but it’s always worth keeping in mind.==============



The History of The Right’s Religious War | Crooks and Liars.com….by: Sarah Burris

I read this and watched the video…I felt compelled to share it with as many as I could. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING. What’s worse, is that this is Perry’s actually plan. He and his co-conspirators are planning to infiltrate each of their “seven mountains”.

The History of The Right’s Religious War | Crooks and Liars


The History of The Right’s Religious War


Credit: Rolling Stone

Michele Bachmann and many right leaning politicians have indicated their divine inspiration coming from the same three religious leaders: Francis Schaeffer, Loren Cunningham, and Bill Bright. In an article from the New Yorker Bachmann indicated she got involved in politics after being inspired by a video designed to bring people to a religious movement. After all – as a graduate of Oral Roberts University Law School – Bachmann is no stranger to “Christian Reconstructionism.”

Their work began in the 70’s and 80’s when many of today’s Republican candidates were in college and first getting started. Those three religious leaders came from their own projects – Campus Crusade, Youth With a Mission, and Francis Schaeffer was the author of the Christian Manifesto (the Christian version of the Communist Manifesto) and many credit with being one of the fathers of the anti-choice movement. Their mutual project was called Reclaiming the 7 Mountains of Culture, in which their aim was to take over every element of our society with their right wing ideology.

According to the video above, what these religious zealots believe is in a kind of war between good and evil that must be fought by them as part of a righteous army to save the souls of all people. Their souls, of course, can only be saved if this religious army takes over the seven elements of our culture to “shape and influence its destiny.”

  1. Government: which they say can either restrain evil or endorse it.
  2. Education: “Where truths or lies about God and His creation are taught.”
  3. Media: where they believe information can be interpreted through the lens of good or evil and then inevitably distributed to the sad lost souls they feel the need to save.
  4. Arts and Entertainment: the only place that values and “virtue” are either celebrated or distorted. Please note, values and virtue have no place in your home life or faith life – evidently they must be taught through arts and entertainment only….
  5. Religion: “Where people worship God in spirit and truth or settle for a religious ritual.”
  6. Family: which can pass on either blessings or curses from generation to generation.
  7. Business: “Where people build for the glory of God or the glory of man.”

The most surprising of these seven mountains is the final one which the video says is the most important and that each and all of these mountains depend on. Not faith, not religion, not family …. but business. Business is the mountain that holds up all other mountains. It’s business that holds up religion and faith, it’s business that holds up the family, and ultimately it’s business that holds up our government.

Sounds a lot like a recent Supreme Court ruling doesn’t it? When our founders wrote the Preamble, these religious people would have us believe they actually meant “We the businesses, in order to form a more corporate union, establish Justice on the backs of the people we once insured domestic tranquility, as we provide for a profitable defense industrial complex, promote the Wall Street Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to only those who can afford it.”

They believe the church retreated when they once held control (I’m not clear when this era was), they feel there has been a kind of void or darkness over our world since. “When we lose our influence, we lose our culture. And when we lose our culture we fail to advance the kingdom of God.” Essentially, this Holy War is the justification for the culture war that candidates like Michelle Bachmann and now apparently Rick Perry are attempting to tap into.

They believe that an entire generation stands in “desperate need” but doesn’t clarify what that need is. The religious movement, like many movements, seems to be nested in vague concepts in efforts to cover the absurdity of the specifics. But if you want to see the specifics of a nation under leaders who follow this religious movement, you need only look at the Bachmanns of the world. These leaders hope to rewrite our Constitution with one that is derived of their own interpretation of the Old Testament.

And these people aren’t merely running for office – the gold-loving, Federal Reserve-hating Glenn Becks of the world – the home school/charter school-loving Janet Barresis of the world, and pastors that litter the airwaves like a disembodied head shouting they’re the Great and Powerful Oz every Sunday morning.

Some call it a kind of Christian Reconstructionism, which I alluded to in my Bachmann reference since she graduated from Oral Roberts.

“Christian Reconstructionists, and their acolytes of the Constitution Party, believe America should be governed by biblical law. In her 1995 book, “Roads to Dominion: Right Wing Movements and Political Power in the United States,” Sara Diamond describes the most significant impact of Reconstructionism on dominionism:

“the diffuse influence of the ideas that America was ordained a Christian nation and that Christians, exclusively, were to rule and reign.” While most Christian right activists were “not well-versed in the arcane teachings” of Christian Reconstructionism, she wrote, “there was a wider following for softer forms of dominionism.”

For the Christian right, it’s more a political strategy than a secret “plot” to “overthrow” the government, even as some evangelists describe it in terms of “overthrowing” the powers of darkness (i.e., Satan), and even some more radical, militia-minded groups do suggest such a revolution.”

While in the past we would have seen leaders try to mask their quest against an imagined evil, today it’s so overt you find stumps speeches dripping with the barely coded terminology of the “self-righteous.” Even now, in conservative states, you find Democratic candidates willing to adopt some of this rhetoric or some of these ideologies in efforts to appeal to more conservative voters.

Regardless of the absurdity surrounding their quest, there’s a sad isolation for those who believe in a world filled with evil in need of making it good. Their entire movement is filled with people who ultimately see the glass as half empty. Or worse – maybe they see it as half full because they like to pretend they are thinking positively, but its half full with the juice of evil. No wonder they never have anything to lose.


About SarahBurris
SarahBurris's picture
Sarah is a current editor for FutureMajority.com. She is a current partner in the online media firm Mixed Media that works in Kansas and Oklahoma and manages social media and online marketing for non-profits and political candidates in two states and Washington DC. Previously, Sarah worked for Skyline Public Works where she helped state based youth organizations connect with major funders across the country. In 2008 was named one of the five Rock the Vote Rock the Trail Reporters and reported on the election from the youth perspective attending the Democratic and Republican Conventions, Ron Paul’s Un-Convention, the first debate at Ole Miss and the Vice Presidential Debate in St. Louis as well as a reporter that interviewed leaders across the country including Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Bob Barr, Gavin Newsome, and many more. Sarah was one of the first ever recipients of the Democracy for America Netroots Nation scholarship and in 2009 was named by the New Leader’s Council as one of the 40 Emerging Leaders Under 40 in the United States. In 2010 Sarah was named by the Oklahoma Truth Council as one of the 25 young Oklahomans to watch which she jokes is because both parties prefer to “keep an eye” on her. She is a founding blogger at Everyday Citizen, and was a long time writer and researcher for Wiretap Magazine. She’s excited to join the writing crew at Crooks and Liars and continue to hold leaders accountable.

HAD ENOUGH OF OBAMA YET?…..I have, so what do we do? he doesn’t see us, he doesn’t hear us, I can only assume he doesn’t care……

I know there is quite a large number of us who have had enough of the “republican obama”.*  Please don’t misunderstand me, not in my worst day of disgust would I ever vote for a republican. Nor would I ever Not vote. The main point here is that we need someone who will be what we thought obama was going to be.Will he ever be who we expected, there must be serious doubts by now. Even though the extreme right is continually touting his leftist agenda, we can only scratch our heads and wonder how it is that they see what we don’t. We can be sure that whatever alternate dimension or alien planet they happen to reside in,they see things that have no basis in reality where the rest of us live. 

Putting all of this aside, there still remains the reality that we have a president who maintains his own delusion that if he gives in to their demands at every turn, they will eventually let him have at least one of the ideas or policies he puts on the table for consideration. What’s even worse, more recently he has been adjusting his ideas and policies to conform to the extreme right’s agenda, without so much as considering even a small battle to try to put forth progressive values or policies. I hate to say it, but his progressive base felt so alienated in 2010 because of his continual caving to the right’s demands, that they stayed home for the election that doomed him to the shackles he now finds himself bound within. Yet ,to this day he hasn’t come to the realization that he is losing support from enough his base, his chances especially with his low percentage of approval, his chances of losing to a tea-party lead republican challenger in 2012 are increasing exponentially. What do we do?  how do we wake him out of this depressive state he is in?  How do we return him to the level of confidence, and positive attitude he once had.?   It may be too late. At this point it’s unclear if he will have time to recover, it would take more time than remains untill the ’12 election, ONLY if he finds some strength between now and ’12 will he POSSIBLY be able to have the chance to turn himself around to a progressive way.   The likelyhood of this is reniscent of the way a NASA project was described ; making a hole in one from billions of miles away with a very small window to get the shot off.   the scenario would go something like this: he would have to get his ratings substancially higher , the economy and the unemployment rate would have to improve significantly in the next six months.  None of wich seems to be even remotely likely, or possible for that matter. Wich is why we, as progressives and liberals , MUST begin looking for a viable replacement for the primaries. We gotta get to work before we find ourselves under some horrifying theocratic dictatorship.

There are only a few possible choices as a replacement, my first choice would be Senator Bernie sanders, when he speaks , he speaks directly to every fiber of my being.   Ex-president Bill Clinton, after seeing the way he handled chris wallace on fox , he takes a place on the top of my list of personal heroes.  my other choice, an equal choice to Bill Clinton would be Hillary clinton, after all, she was correct about obama not being ready for the job. (Although I didn’t agree when she said it.)  However, even I can’t deny reality, reality has an undeniable  way of superceding personal opinion every time.

*Footnote: The asterisk near the beginning of the post by obama’s name denotes that a person or group hasn’t earned or has lost respect and does not deserve capitalization, and this carries through to every word wich by grammar standards should be capitalized.   –       -truthnreality

TEA PARTY AND THE RIGHT AlterNet / By Frank Schaeffer

 For a conservative, making the choice between bachmann and perry is kind of like deciding wheather to use one match or two matches to look inside of a can of gas; the result will be much the same….A lot of hurt, if not total destruction. Both have similar agendas; to replace the government with their own brand of “rule by theocractic law”. What’s really making this more and more possible is Obama’s inability and,or, unwillingness to stand up against the extreme right wing.  In recent speaches he continually places blame on “washington” or congress, in generic terms, never directly placing blame where it truly belongs. And yes, blame for the obstruction, the dysfunction, and especially the downgrade of the country’s credit rating belongs squarely on the tea-party’s puppeteering of the GOP. –truthnreality

Frank Schaeffer’s article, an excerpt wich sums-up the true point:

Michele Bachmann Was Inspired By My Dad and His Christian Reconstructionist Friends — Here’s Why That’s Terrifying:
Bachmann’s radical right-wing influences include the most extremist figures in the history of the religious right.
� As presidential candidate Michele Bachmann chews up scenery in the GOP primaries, the mainstream media is finally digging into her extremist beliefs in a serious way. In a profile published earlier this week, the New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza talked about Bachmann’s radical right-wing influences, which include the most extremist figures in the history of the religious right movement.

One of these was my evangelical leader father, Francis Schaeffer. Bachmann says in the New Yorker article that she got into politics because she watched a film series I directed called “How Should We Then Live,” written by and featuring my dad.

What the New Yorker article doesn’t do is explain why people like Bachmann, Sarah Palin, et al. turned to the hard reactionary anti-government right. I explain this in my book Sex, Mom and God. I think it’s important to understand this. So let me add what the New Yorker left out.

The Back Story

In 1983 I was the leader of a group of protesters who screamed abuse at Justice Harry Blackmun and made him beat a hasty retreat back into a college building at the University of Nebraska after he’d just been awarded an honorary degree. In the early 1980s my daughter Jessica and I—she was 12—drove into Boston several times to picket abortion clinics, including one where a few years later (in 1994) two people were shot dead and five were seriously wounded by “pro-life” activist John Salvi.

Dad agreed to lead several antiabortion demonstrations, too. He said, “We’re telling everyone else to get out there and picket, and some of our people are getting arrested, so we can’t say no to doing what we’re telling others to do.”

That was then. Today I’m on the “other side.”

America has a problem: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously. America has a blessing: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously. How does this blessing coexist with the curse derived from the same source: the Bible? The answer is that the Bible is a curse or a blessing depending on who is doing the interpreting. Sometimes belief in the Bible leads to building a hospital. Sometimes it leads to justifying perpetual war and empire building. Same book—different interpretation.

If the history of Christianity proves one thing, it’s that you can make the Bible “say” anything. When you hear words like “We want to take back America for God!” the 21st-century expression of such theocratic ideas can be traced back to some of my old friends: the Reconstructionists.

Most Americans have never heard of the Reconstructionists. But they have felt their impact through the Reconstructionists’ profound (if indirect) influence over the wider (and vast) evangelical community.

Take Michele Bachmann. She is a Reconstructionist schooled – literally – by some of that obscure movement’s leading thinkers, including my father.

The evangelicals have shaped the politics of a secular culture that barely understood the religious right, let alone the forces within that movement that gave it its edge. The Americans inhabiting the wider (and more secular) culture just saw the results of Reconstructionism without understanding where those results had come from—for instance, how the hell George W. Bush got elected and then reelected or why Michele Bachmann was into home schooling long before she was into trying to become president in order to turn America into a homophobic theocracy.


If you feel victimized by modernity, then the Reconstructionists have the answer in their version of biblical interpretation. Reconstructionists want to replace the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with their interpretation of the Bible.