Limbaugh Falsely Claims Obama "Created" Widespread Unemployment

››› ››› DAVID SHERE

Rush Limbaugh claimed that President Obama "has created widespread, long-term unemployment." In fact, the labor market had been deteriorating for months before Obama took office, and private analysts agree that his stimulus package created millions of jobs.

Limbaugh: Obama "Created Widespread, Long-Term Unemployment." From Limbaugh's radio show:

LIMBAUGH: Folks, back to Obama here for just a second. I think, I'm -- we got -- we have a president here with a perverse mind. Now let me sum up this press conference for you, this news conference where no news was made. Obama said if the jobs bill doesn't pass, the economy could get worse. If we don't pass the jobs bill, the economy -- the economy is getting worse. It has been getting worse since his first day in office, it will continue to get worse if he is in office. This guy is the biggest fraud to ever sit in the Oval Office. He has created widespread, long-term unemployment. We're now told this is the new normal, nine, nine-point-two, nine-point-five percent unemployment -- really 11. I mean, the job universe is down. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/6/11]

In Fact, Unemployment Was Rising Well Before Obama Took Office

BLS: In The Year Before Obama Took Office, The Unemployment Rate Rose 2.8 Percentage Points. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

[Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed 10/6/11 (figures from "Download Data in Graph" link)]

BLS: In The Year Before Obama Took Office, Employment Fell By 4.43 Million. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

[Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed 10/6/11 (figures from "Download Data in Graph" link)]

Dept. of Labor: In The Year Before Obama Took Office, Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Rose By More Than 200,000. From the Department of Labor, presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:

[Department of Labor, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed 10/6/11 (figures from "Download Data in Graph" link)]

Limbaugh Has Previously Been Wrong On Obama's Unemployment Record

Limbaugh: Obama Inherited "An Unemployment Rate Of 5.7 Some-Odd Percent." From Limbaugh's radio show:

LIMBAUGH: Well, he inherited a triple-A credit rating, an unemployment rate of 5.7 some-odd percent. Does anybody doubt that this on purpose? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/8/11]

  • Obama Actually Inherited An Unemployment Rate Of 7.8 Percent. [BLS.gov, accessed 10/6/11]

Obama's Stimulus Package Increased Employment By Millions Of Jobs

In Fact, CBO Found That Economic Stimulus Increased Employment By More Than 1 Million Jobs. An August 2011 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.5 percentage points and 1.6 percentage points" and that the law "[i]ncreased the number of people employed by between 1.0 million and 2.9 million" during the second quarter. [Congressional Budget Office, 8/11]

Private Analysts Estimate Stimulus Increased Employment By 2.4 To 2.5 Million. In its seventh quarterly report on the stimulus, the Council of Economic Advisors provided the following chart showing that private forecasters estimate that as of the first quarter of 2011, the stimulus increased employment between 2.4 and 2.5 million:

[Council of Economic Advisers, accessed 10/6/11]

Posted In
Economy, Jobs, Wages, & Unemployment
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