Tag Archives: reagan

Public Sector Job Growth

One of the things that conservatives have said was that Obama was growing the government by hiring tons of public sector workers. This was not true and easily proven to be false. The following is from Calculated Risk Blog, who put together the numbers and the graphs. (There is no website that I know of that does a better job at giving us an overall picture of the economy.)

A big difference between the presidencies has been public sector employment.  Note the bumps in public sector employment due to the decennial Census in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. 

 

The public sector grew during Mr. Carter’s term (up 1,304,000), during Mr. Reagan’s terms (up 1,414,000), during Mr. G.H.W. Bush’s term (up 1,127,000), during Mr. Clinton’s terms (up 1,934,000), and during Mr. G.W. Bush’s terms (up 1,744,000 jobs).

However the public sector has declined significantly since Mr. Obama took office (down 638,000 jobs). These job losses have mostly been at the state and local level, but more recently at the Federal level.  This has been a significant drag on overall employment.

And a table for public sector jobs. Public sector jobs declined the most during Obama’s first term, and increased the most during Reagan’s 2nd term.

 

Term Public Sector
Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 1,304
Reagan 1 -24
Reagan 2 1,438
GHW Bush 1,127
Clinton 1 692
Clinton 2 1,242
GW Bush 1 900
GW Bush 2 844
Obama 1 -702
Obama 2 641
128 months into 2nd term, 110 pace

Looking forward, I expect the economy to continue to expand through 2016 (at least), so I don’t expect a sharp decline in private employment as happened at the end of Mr. Bush’s 2nd term (In 2005 and 2006 I was warning of a coming recession due to the bursting of the housing bubble).

For the public sector, the cutbacks are clearly over at the state and local levels, and it appears cutbacks at the Federal level might also be over.  Right now I’m expecting some increase in public employment during Obama’s 2nd term, but nothing like what happened during Reagan’s second term.

Here is a table of the top three presidential terms for private job creation (they also happen to be the three best terms for total non-farm job creation).

Clinton’s two terms were the best for both private and total non-farm job creation, followed by Reagan’s 2nd term.

Currently Obama’s 2nd term is on pace to be the 2nd best ever for private job creation.  However, with very few public sector jobs added, Obama’s 2nd term is only on pace to be the third best for total job creation.

Note: Only 64 thousand public sector jobs have been added during the first twenty eight months of Obama’s 2nd term (following a record loss of 702 thousand public sector jobs during Obama’s 1st term).  This is less than 8% of the public sector jobs added during Reagan’s 2nd term!

 

Top Employment Gains per Presidential Terms (000s)
Rank Term Private Public Total Non-Farm
1 Clinton 1 10,885 692 11,577
2 Clinton 2 10,070 1,242 11,312
3 Reagan 2 9,357 1,438 10,795
Obama 21 6,322 64 6,386
Pace2 10,838 110 10,948
128 Months into 2nd Term
2Current Pace for Obama’s 2nd Term

The second table shows the jobs need per month for Obama’s 2nd term to be in the top three presidential terms.

 

Average Jobs needed per month (000s)
for Obama’s 2nd Term
to Rank Private Total
#1 228 260
#2 187 246
#3 152 220

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/06/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#j5XVy8W01MpQe7Td.99

Why does anyone still listen to Arthur Laffer?

When I first started studying politics seriously, I read about Arthur Laffer. He is the economic guru behind supply-side economics. He was in fact the intellectual power behind Reagan’s plan to cut taxes for the wealthy so everybody will profit.  To be honest, I don’t know that he has been wrong about everything. Nobody can be wrong about everything, but he has been wrong about most things. Look, as far as I’m concerned, Arthur Laffer may be a great guy. He has, however, led us on a 30-year misguided adventure which has drained our public coffers and has simply killed the middle class. Trickle down economics has now been proven not to work. It never worked. It never made sense.

Paul Krugman has more:

Jim Tankersley has a good article on Arthur Laffer’s never-stronger influence on the Republican party, with just one seriously misleading statement:

Laffer’s ideas have also grown out of fashion with much of the mainstream economic community. There is an entire branch of economic literature that uses detailed equations to show cutting top tax rates does not spark additional growth.

No, Laffer hasn’t “grown out of fashion” with mainstream economics — he was never in fashion. There was never any evidence to support strong supply-side claims about the marvels of tax cuts and the horrors of tax increases; even freshwater macroeconomists, despite their willingness to believe foolish things, never went down that road.

And nothing in the experience of the past 35 years has made Lafferism any more credible. Since the 1970s there have been four big changes in the effective tax rate on the top 1 percent: the Reagan cut, the Clinton hike, the Bush cut, and the Obama hike. Republicans are fixated on the boom that followed the 1981 tax cut (which had much more to do with monetary policy, but never mind). But they predicted dire effects from the Clinton hike; instead we had a boom that eclipsed Reagan’s. They predicted wonderful things from the Bush tax cuts; instead we got an unimpressive expansion followed by a devastating crash. And they predicted terrible things from the tax rise after Obama’s reelection; instead we got the best job growth since 1999.

And when I say “they predicted”, I especially mean Laffer himself, who has a truly extraordinary record of being wrong at crucial turning points. As Bruce Bartlett pointed out a few years ago, Laffer was even wrong during the Reagan years: he predicted that the Reagan tax hikes of 1982, which partially reversed earlier cuts, would cripple the economy; “morning in America” promptly followed. Oh, and let’s not forget his 2009 warnings about soaring interest rates and inflation.

The question you should ask, then, is why this always-wrong economic doctrine now has a stronger grip on the GOP than ever before.

It wasn’t always thus. George W. Bush’s inner circle clearly had little use for the likes of Laffer; they engaged in a lot of deceptive advertising about the economy (and a few other things), but they never made extravagant supply-side claims — and remember that Greg “charlatans and cranks” Mankiw served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. But since 2009 the GOP has swerved hard right into fantasy land — and it has done so despite a remarkable string of dead-wrong predictions by the people peddling that fantasy. (more…)

 

Obama the Steady – January Jobs Report

There was a ton of good news in the job report that was released last week.

From BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, and the unemployment rate
was little changed at 5.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities,
and manufacturing.

The economy continues to slowly but surely add more and more jobs. I wish we could have done this sooner and quicker but we have a Congress that doesn’t want to do anything that would help the average American worker. Can you spell – STIMULUS? An additional stimulus would have avoided the pain that millions of Americans felt because they were out of work for months or years.

59 straight months with private section adding jobs
Term Private Sector Jobs Added (000s)
Carter 9,041
Reagan 1 5,360
Reagan 2 9,357
GHW Bush 1,510
Clinton 1 10,885
Clinton 2 10,070
GW Bush 1 -844
GW Bush 2 381
Obama 1 2,018
Obama 2 5,5421 (124 months into 2nd term: 11,084 pace.)
Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/02/public-and-private-sector-payroll-jobs.html#zK1jpdLecMH5Db00.99

Let’s let this last table sink in for a while. With all of the bad-mouthing of Obama he is on pace to have created more jobs during his last 4 years in office than any other president over the last 35 years. This includes Reagan.

Continue reading Obama the Steady – January Jobs Report