Fox News is parroting a Republican research document that falsely claims President Obama is "pivoting" to jobs ahead of his State of the Union speech. But job creation has been a priority during the entire administration, as Obama has crafted and pushed policies that have created millions of private sector jobs, lowered unemployment, and boosted economic growth.
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RNC Accuses Obama Of Being The "Pivoter In Chief"
RNC: After Ignoring The Economy, Obama Will Pivot Back To Jobs. Amid news reports that President Obama is going to focus on the economy in his State of the Union speech, the Republican National Committee issued a research document that claimed Obama did not focus on job creation during his inaugural address and called him the "Pivoter In Chief," claiming the president has "had to be reminded to focus on Main Street rather than his own lofty liberal goals." [Republican National Committee, 2/11/13]
Fox Echoes RNC, Accusing Obama of Pivoting
Fox's Hume Asks If Obama Will "Finally Make The Long-Awaited Pivot To The Economy" During The State Of The Union. On the February 11 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News analyst Brit Hume previewed Obama's State of the Union address by asking if he will "finally make the long awaited pivot to the economy." Hume went on to say he suspected Obama "is not really very interested in or by the economy" because he "doesn't really fully understand it":
HUME: The other question, Bill, is will he make the long-awaited -- finally make the long-awaited pivot to the economy. The buzz in Washington over the weekend has been that he's going to pivot to the economy and he's going to focus on the economy because it's still weak. I've had a suspicion for a long time, Bill, that this president isn't really -- is not really very interested in or by the economy. I think he doesn't really fully understand it, I think that he's much more preoccupied with equality of opportunity, or at least or even equality of income and with social justice, than he is with the growth of the economy.
And if the economy is bumping along at 1 or 2 percent growth, that may be good enough for him, and I don't think he's going to go out of his way and adopt any policies that aren't completely comfortable with him to try to boost the growth, and I think that's a big issue that will haunt him and his party for some time. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 2/11/13]
Dobbs: Obama Is "Pivoting To Jobs Once Again." On the February 11 edition of his Fox Business show, Lou Dobbs discussed the address by claiming Obama is "talking about jobs, he's pivoted to jobs once again. And he wants more spending." [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 2/11/13]
For more on Fox parroting the RNC's "pivot" talking point, CLICK HERE
In Fact, Obama Has Continually Pursued Effective Job Creation And Economic Growth Measures During His First Term
2009: Obama Signs Stimulus Into Law
NY Times: Obama Signs Stimulus Bill. The New York Times reported that Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus, during a ceremony in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science:
The president said he would not pretend "that today marks the end of our economic problems."
"Nor does it constitute all of what we have to do to turn our economy around," Mr. Obama said at the signing ceremony in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. "But today does mark the beginning of the end, the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the way of layoffs." [The New York Times, 2/17/09]
Experts Agree That Stimulus Helped Foster Job Creation and Economic Growth
CBPP: Because Of Stimulus, "The Unemployment Rate Has Been Lower Each Year Since 2009 Than It Otherwise Would Have Been." The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) produced a chart showing the observed unemployment rate alongside Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates of what the unemployment rate would have been without the stimulus bill:
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession," 2/1/13]
CBPP: "GDP Has Been Higher Each Year Since 2009 Than It Would Have Been Without The Recovery Act." The CBPP post on the economic recovery also featured a chart showing real GDP alongside the CBO's estimates of what GDP would have been without the stimulus:
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession," 2/1/13]
CBO: Stimulus Boosted Economy By Up To 4.1 Percent In 2010, 2.3 Percent In 2011. In its November 2012 report, the CBO estimated that the Recovery Act increased real GDP by between 0.7 percent and 4.1 percent in 2010, and by between 0.4 percent and 2.3 percent in 2011. The CBO also estimated that the stimulus increased real GDP by up to nearly a percent in 2012. [Congressional Budget Office, November 2012]
CBO: Stimulus Created Equivalent Of Up To 3.3 Million Jobs In 2010, Up To 2.6 Million In 2011. The November 2012 CBO report found that the stimulus created the equivalent of between 700,000 and 3.3 million jobs in 2010 and the equivalent of between 400,000 and 2.6 million jobs in 2011. The CBO estimates that the stimulus created the equivalent of between 200,000 and 1.1 million jobs in 2012. [Congressional Budget Office, November 2012]
Wall Street Journal: 70 Percent Of Economists Surveyed Said Stimulus Helped. The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2010 that 38 of 54 economists in an economic forecasting survey from the paper "said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act boosted growth and mitigated job losses, while six said the legislation had a net negative effect." [The Wall Street Journal, 3/12/10]
2009: Obama Rescues The Auto Industry
Plain Dealer: GM And Chrysler Went Through "Government-Sponsored Bankruptcy" In 2009. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that GM would move through an accelerated "government-sponsored bankruptcy":
Administration officials said late Sunday the federal government would provide an additional $30 billion to GM -- which has already received about $20 billion in government loans -- to help it restructure through bankruptcy. GM will follow a similar course taken by Chrysler LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in April and hopes to emerge from its government-sponsored bankruptcy this week.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in advance of Obama's public remarks, said the administration expects the court process to last 60 to 90 days. If successful, GM will emerge as a leaner company with a smaller work force, fewer plants and a trimmed dealership network. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 6/1/09]
Experts Agree That Auto Rescue Saved More Than 1 Million Jobs
Ford CEO: Without Auto Rescue, The Entire Auto Industry "Would've Been in Real Trouble." In an interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, Ford CEO Alan Mulally explained that without the federally financed auto rescue, the auto industry "would've been in real trouble." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/18/12, via Media Matters]
Center For Automotive Research: Auto Rescue Saved 1.3 Million Jobs. Reuters reported that the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) also found that the auto rescue saved 1.3 million jobs in 2009. CAR chief economist Sean McAlinden called the rescue 'the most successful peacetime industrial intervention in U.S. history." [Reuters, 2/10/12]
Krugman: Attempting Privately-Financed Bankruptcy "Would Mean Wiping Out Probably Well Over A Million Jobs." In a 2008 post to his New York Times blog, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explained that because credit markets at the time were not in "reasonably good shape," privately-financed bankruptcy would have resulted in over a million jobs lost:
If the economy as a whole were in reasonably good shape and the credit markets were functioning, Chapter 11 would be the way to go. Under current circumstances, however, a default by GM would probably mean loss of ability to pay suppliers, which would mean liquidation -- and that, in turn, would mean wiping out probably well over a million jobs at the worst possible moment. [The New York Times, The Conscience of a Liberal, 11/16/08]
2010: Obama Proposes Additional Infrastructure Spending
Wall Street Journal: "President Barack Obama Proposed Spending $50 Billion Next Year On Highways, Airport And Railway Construction." The Wall Street Journal reported on Obama's initial call for the creation of an infrastructure bank to "make low-cost loans for transportation projects directly from the federal government to local governments." The article quotes Obama as saying that the bank would "not only create jobs now, but will make our economy run better over the long haul." [The Wall Street Journal, 9/7/10]
Experts, Disparate Groups Agree: Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Economic Growth
CBO: Spending On Infrastructure Is More Stimulative Than Tax Cuts For The Wealthy. The November 2012 CBO report on the estimated economic impact of the 2009 stimulus found that transferring money to state and local governments for infrastructure spending had an economic impact of nearly four times as much a one-year tax cut for wealthy Americans would have had:
[Congressional Budget Office, November 2012]
Moody's: For Every Dollar Spent On Infrastructure In 2009 Stimulus, $1.57 Was Returned To The Economy. In its July 2010 analysis of the stimulus, Moody's Analytics found that every dollar of increased infrastructure spending resulted in $1.57 returned to the economy:
[Moody's Analytics, 7/27/10]
New America Foundation: "Long-Term Investment In Public Infrastructure Is The Best Way Simultaneously To Create Jobs, Crowd In Private Investment." A study from the New America Foundation found that infrastructure spending makes the economy more productive and would "generate a multiplier of growth in other sectors of the economy":
U.S. public infrastructure is in shambles and is rapidly deteriorating. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the United States must spend $2.2 trillion on infrastructure over the next five years to meet America's most basic infrastructure needs but that less than half that is currently budgeted, leaving an approximately $1.2 trillion shortfall. A multi-year program designed to close that infrastructure deficit would not only help fill the demand hole but make the economy more productive and efficient in the long-term. Indeed, long-term investment in public infrastructure is the best way simultaneously to create jobs, crowd in private investment, make the economy more productive, and generate a multiplier of growth in other sectors of the economy. [New America Foundation, October 2011]
U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: "U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO Urge Infrastructure Bank." A U.S Chamber press release detailed a joint press conference held by the U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO in which both organizations lent their support to an the BUILD act, a bill that would create an infrastructure bank. [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3/16/11]
- Huffington Post: Republicans In Senate Block Infrastructure Bank. The Huffington Post reported that Senate Republicans blocked "a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines" that called for "a $10 billion bank to leverage private and public capital for longer-term infrastructure projects." [Huffington Post, 11/3/11]
2011: Obama Proposes American Jobs Act
Obama Proposed The American Jobs Act, A Package Of Tax Cuts And Investment To Create Jobs. In September 2011, President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act, which included tax cuts and incentives as well as calling for increased spending on infrastructure, schools, and funds to keep teachers and first responders on the job. [CNNMoney, 9/8/11]
Economists Estimated That the Act Would Have Significantly Boosted Employment and GDP
Mark Zandi: American Jobs Act Would Have Added Nearly 2 Million Jobs. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, estimated that the American Jobs Act would increase employment by nearly two million jobs, cut the unemployment rate by a full point, and increase the size of the economy by 2 percent if it had been fully implemented:
President Obama's much-anticipated jobs plan is a laudable effort to support the struggling economy. The plan would go a long way toward stabilizing confidence, forestalling another recession, and jump-starting a self-sustaining economic expansion. If fully implemented, the Obama jobs plan would increase real GDP growth in 2012 by 2 percentage points, add 1.9 million jobs, and reduce the unemployment rate by a full percentage point, compared with current fiscal policy. [Moody's Analytics, 9/19/11]
Macroeconomic Advisers: American Jobs Act Would Have Contributed "A Significant Boost To GDP And Employment." In a post on its blog, Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the American Jobs Act would have been "a significant boost to GDP and employment":
We estimate that the American Jobs Act (AJA), if enacted, would give a significant boost to GDP and employment over the near-term.
- The various tax cuts aimed at raising workers' after-tax income and encouraging hiring and investing, combined with the spending increases aimed at maintaining state & local employment and funding infrastructure modernization, would:
- Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013.
- Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline.
- The program works directly to raise employment through tax incentives and support to state & local governments for increasing hiring; it works indirectly through the positive boost to aggregate demand (and hence hiring) stimulated by the direct spending and the increase in household income resulting from lower employee payroll taxes and increased employment. [Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, 9/9/11]
Economic Policy Institute: American Jobs Act Would Have "Increased Employment By About 4.3 Million Jobs." On the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) blog, EPI research and policy director John Irons provided a "preliminary breakdown of the package and a first pass look at the job impact" of Obama's jobs plan:
Overall the package would increase employment by about 4.3 million jobs over the next couple of years. The new initiatives would boost employment by about 2.6 million jobs, while the continuation of the two temporary provisions (EUI and the payroll tax holiday) would prevent a backslide of over 1.6 million jobs.
Irons included the following graphic in his post:
- Associated Press: "Senate Republicans Have Voted To Kill The White House Jobs Bill." The Associated Press reported that 46 Republicans helped filibuster the American Jobs Act, because of the bill's "spending to stimulate the economy and its tax surcharge on millionaires." [Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/11/11]
2012: Obama Continues Pushing For Policies To Create Economic Growth On And Off The Campaign Trail
Obama Announced His "To Do List" For Congress. The New York Times reported that in May 2012, President Obama outlined a "five-point 'to do' list for lawmakers that packages job creation and mortgage relief ideas he has proposed before." The list included tax cuts for businesses and a Veterans Jobs Corps "to help place veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as police officers and firefighters or in other community-service jobs." [The New York Times, 5/7/12]
- CNN.com: Republicans Blocked Business Tax Cuts In "To Do List." CNN.com reported that Republicans in the Senate "refused to allow a vote on a bill that would give tax breaks for companies that 'insource' jobs to the U.S. from overseas while eliminating tax deductions for companies that move jobs abroad." [CNN.com, 7/19/12]
- The Hill: Senate Republicans Stopped Veterans Job Bill. The Hill reported that Senate Republicans blocked a veterans jobs bill that was called for in Obama's "To Do List." Republicans reportedly used a budget point of order to stop the bill's passage. [The Hill, 9/19/12]
CBS News: Obama Highlighted GOP Opposition To Jobs Act In Weekly Radio Address. CBS News reported that in a weekly radio address, Obama "criticized Republicans in Congress for thwarting passage of his jobs bill." CBS News reported that Obama explained that the American Jobs Act is "full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that could have put over a million Americans back to work and helped bolster our economy against outside shocks." [CBSNews.com, 6/16/12]
2013: Obama Continues Call For Government Investment In Job Creation
Obama Talks About Government Investment In Job Creation In Second Inaugural Address. In his second inaugural address, President Obama commented on the need for public investment to attract "new jobs and new businesses to our shores." He also argued for investing in "sustainable energy sources" so that the United States does not "cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and industries." [WhiteHouse.gov, 1/21/12]