Sean Hannity pushed the myth that President Obama has made the economy worse, arguing that you could not "make the case" that it has improved during Obama's watch. In fact, when Obama took office, he inherited an economy that was shrinking faster than it had in 50 years and that had lost 2 million jobs in 3 months; by contrast, the economy is now growing and added 1.9 million private sector jobs last year.
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Hannity's Challenge: "How Do You Make The Case" That The Economy Has Improved
Hannity: "You Cannot Make The Case With A Straight Face That This Economy Has Gotten Better Under This President." Discussing the 2012 presidential election, Fox News' Sean Hannity claimed, "You cannot make the case with a straight face that this economy has gotten better under this president. You can't make it anymore." [Fox News, Hannity, 2/1/12]
This Is How You Make The Case That The Economy Has Improved
THEN: The Economy Was Contracting By Nearly 9 Percent. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that gross domestic product declined by 8.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008 -- the final quarter before President Obama took office. According to IHS Global Insight, GDP decline at the end of 2008 "represents the worst single-quarter decline in GDP since the 10.4 percent drop in the first quarter of 1958." [IHS Global Insight, 7/29/11]
NOW: The Economy Is Growing. In its initial estimate of economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2011, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that gross domestic product increased by 2.8 percent. [Bureau of Economic Analysis, 1/27/12]
THEN: The Economy Lost 2 Million Jobs In Three Months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment decreased by 802,000 jobs in November 2008, 619,000 jobs in December 2008, and 820,000 jobs in January 2009 -- a total of 2.2 million jobs in three months. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 2/1/12]
NOW: The Economy Added 1.9 Million Private Sector Jobs Last Year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private sector employment increased by 1.9 million jobs in 2011. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1/6/12]
CNN: "Since Job Growth Resumed, The Economy Has Added About 3 Million Jobs." CNN.com reported:
The U.S. economy created about 2 million private-sector jobs in 2011, according to the BLS -- a figure comparable to 2005, when 1.9 million jobs were created. And since job growth resumed, the economy has added about 3 million jobs. [CNN.com, 1/25/12]