Meet the Press host David Gregory helped Republican Governors Scott Walker (WI) and John Kasich (OH) take undeserved credit for the job recoveries in their states. In separate Meet the Press interviews, both governors took credit for an increase in jobs during their term, but Gregory did not point out that jobs were already on the upswing before either of them came into office.
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Gregory Allows Kasich And Walker To Take Credit For Turning Around Job Losses In Their States
Gregory Let Kasich Claim That After Losing Jobs For Years, Ohio Is "Up 112,000 Jobs" Since Kasich Took Office. Gregory quoted Mitt Romney saying that unemployment is still high in Ohio. Kasich responded by claiming that "over the last four years, we had lost 400,000 jobs. And since January of '11, we're up 112,000 jobs." Kasich took office on January 10, 2011. From Meet the Press:
GREGORY: Let me ask you about unemployment because, as you know, whoever is responsible for the success in Ohio, Governor Romney doesn't seem very impressed. This is what he said speaking earlier this month to the Columbus Dispatch review board -- editorial board. 'I don't think 7.2 percent unemployment is something to write home about and celebrate.' That was before it was at 7.0. 'And if you consider the 200 [thousand] plus people who've dropped out of the work force in Ohio, the real number is closer to 10 percent. I don't find people here thinking happy days are here again.' What about unemployment nationally? What should we expect under a President Romney, if it comes to that?
KASICH: Well, look. First of all, in terms of the unemployment numbers and who's in and who's out, I mean, I'm always concerned about what those numbers really mean. But what I do know is over the last four years, we had lost 400,000 jobs. And since January of '11, we're up 112,000 jobs. [NBC, Meet the Press, 10/28/12]
Gregory Let Walker Suggest That Because Of His Policies, Wisconsin Went From 9.2 Percent Unemployment To 7.3 Percent Unemployment. Asked by Gregory whether the federal government should enact some tax increases to cut deficits, Walker touted tax cuts in his state and suggested that they resulted in a decrease in unemployment from 9.2 percent unemployment to 7.3 percent unemployment:
WALKER: In Wisconsin's case, like Kasich and others did around the country, we lowered the overall tax burden. In fact, we lowered property taxes for the first time in 12 years. Our overall burden went down, and revenues went up. Why? Because we've promoted more growth. We went from a few years ago, having 9.2 percent unemployment down to 7.3 percent today. We went from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs to gaining jobs out there. Why? Because you've got to have a pro-growth agenda out there. When you do, that will help Washington grow in the right direction. That will put more people to work, and when more people are working, that'll help us balance the economy as well. [NBC, Meet the Press, 10/28/12]
But Unemployment Was Decreasing In Ohio And Wisconsin Well Before The GOP Took Over Governorships
Ohio Unemployment Rate Had Been Falling The Entire Year Before Kasich Took Office. The unemployment rate in Ohio had been falling the entire year leading up to Kasich's inauguration as governor in January 2011 after it had peaked at 10.6 percent in late 2009. The unemployment rate in the state declined throughout 2010 and by September 2012 had dropped to its lowest level since before President Obama was elected. From the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics:
[U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, accessed 10/28/12, via the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis]
Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Was Also Falling The Entire Year Before Walker Took Office. Likewise, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin reached its peak of 9.2 percent in January 2010 and then fell for the rest of the year leading up to Walker's inauguration as governor in January 2011. By September 2012 the unemployment rate was at 7.3 percent, 0.1 percent more than it was when Obama took office. From the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics: