Gingrich's attack on the "Obama administration's job-killing policies" falls flat

››› ››› JUSTIN BERRIER

In a Washington Examiner column, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) claimed that President Obama and Congress "don't seem to realize that adopting bad policies kills jobs" and that "[w]e now have proof that the Obama administration's job-killing policies are hurting America." But to support his assertions, Gingrich made false and misleading claims about the Obama administration's and Congress' policies and failed to mention that the steep rise in unemployment began well before Obama even took office.

Gingrich blames Obama administration policies for recent job losses

Gingrich accuses Obama of "adopting bad policies [that] kill jobs." In a November 13 Washington Examiner column, Gingrich blamed Obama and Congress for the high unemployment rate, claiming, "We now have proof that the Obama administration's job-killing policies are hurting America." Gingrich cited job loss statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), writing that if one were to "consult a more objective source -- like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government's official job counter ... you'll find that 3.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since February when the stimulus act was signed." Gingrich also predicted that the problem will get worse because of health care reform legislation, claiming, "Democratic economic policies aren't simply ineffective, they are affirmatively job killing. And they're about to get worse." From his Examiner column:

In the face of the worst jobless rate in 26 years, the Obama administration and congressional Democrats don't seem to realize that adopting bad policies kills jobs.

What's most remarkable about this is that the president should know better. We now have proof that the Obama administration's job-killing policies are hurting America.

[...]

So much for promises. By the White House's own standards of success, its economic recovery policies have been an abject failure. That doesn't mean they don't keep touting the stimulus as a success, of course, aided by that most meaningless of economic metrics, "jobs created or saved."

As recently as the end of October, Vice President Biden claimed that the stimulus act "saved or created" one million jobs.

But consult a more objective source -- like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government's official job counter -- and you'll find that 3.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since February when the stimulus act was signed.

But Gingrich's argument is undermined by the fact that job losses stem from 2007 recession, and data suggest losses are slowing

The recession that began in 2007 -- not Obama's policies -- continues to drive job losses. Contrary to Gringrich's assertion that job losses this year resulted from Obama administration policies such as the stimulus, BLS data show that the trend of increasing unemployment resulting from the recession that began in December 2007 took root long before Obama was elected or inaugurated. From BLS seasonally adjusted unemployment data through October:

BLS chart of unemployment October 2007 - October 2009

Unemployment data suggest job losses are slowing. Gingrich wrote that BLS found "that 3.2 million Americans have lost their jobs since February when the stimulus act was signed." But Gingrich ignores that job losses have generally slowed since January. From BLS seasonally adjusted payroll employment data through October:

BLS chart of job losses

Gingrich falsely claims House health care surcharge applies to all filers "who make more than $500,000 a year"

From Gingrich's column:

Democratic economic policies aren't simply ineffective, they are affirmatively job killing. And they're about to get worse.

The health care bill Speaker Nancy Pelosi bribed, cajoled and threatened through the House last weekend imposes a 5.4 percent income tax "surcharge" on any tax filer who makes more than $500,000 a year.

In fact, only single filers who make more than $500,000 a year would be subject to surcharge

Single filers who make $500,000 or more and married couples or families who make $1 million or more would be subject to surcharge. Contrary to Gingrich's claim, the House's health care legislation imposes a surcharge only on individuals making more than $500,000 a year. Couples and families are imposed a surcharge if their income is more than $1 million a year, which accounts only for the top 0.3 percent of households in the United States.

Posted In
Economy, Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
Washington Examiner
Person
Newt Gingrich
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.