Economy

Krugman: Boy, Were Republicans Wrong About Obama's Job Agenda -- It's Been 7 Years of Growth

Republican orthodoxy on the economy clearly is very wrong.

On Monday, NYT's Paul Krugman took a look back at all the dire warnings made by Republicans that Obama would be a job killer once he got into the White House:

[W]hat should we say about the Obama job record? Private-sector employment — the relevant number ... hit its low point in February 2010. Since then we’ve gained 14 million jobs...

But Krugman set out to write cheerleading column for Obama, he's focused on demonstrating specifically that the GOP economic orthodoxy, and the prophesies that derive from it are clearly flawed:

Does President Obama deserve credit for these gains? No. In general, presidents and their policies matter much less for the economy’s performance than most people imagine. Times of crisis are an exception, and the Obama stimulus plan enacted in 2009 made a big positive difference. But that stimulus faded out fast after 2010, and has very little to do with the economy’s current situation.

The point, however, is that politicians and pundits, especially on the right, constantly insist that presidential policies matter a lot. And Mr. Obama, in particular, has been attacked at every stage of his presidency for policies that his critics allege are “job-killing” — the former House speaker, John Boehner, once used the phrase seven times in less than 14 minutes. So the fact that the Obama job record is as good as it is tells you something about the validity of those attacks.

What did Mr. Obama do that was supposed to kill jobs? Quite a lot, actually. He signed the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform, which critics claimed would crush employment by starving businesses of capital. Heraised taxes on high incomes, especially at the very top, where average tax rates rose by about six and a half percentage points after 2012, a step that critics claimed would destroy incentives. And he enacted a health reform that went into full effect in 2014, amid claims that it would have catastrophic effects on employment.

Yet none of the dire predicted consequences of these policies have materialized."

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