Monday, October 16, 2006

Kennedy Touts Lame U.S. Job Growth; Klobuchar Should Have Noticed

Yesterday's Meet The Press debate between Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mark Kennedy (R-MN) was, to be kind, tepid.

Klobuchar can sit on a large lead with three weeks to go until Election Day. Kennedy has underperformed throughout the campaign, and yesterday his low-key speaking style did little to inspire.

But even though Klobuchar is nursing her lead, she should have remembered that the issues being discussed on a national news program can effect other races around the country. To that end, she should have, at the least, played fact-checker to Kennedy's spin.

Consider this argument from Kennedy:

HOST TIM RUSSERT: But, but specifically, what about rolling back the tax cut on those who make more than $200,000?

KENNEDY: We have had six million new jobs. The economy was flat on its back after 9/11. We passed tax relief to reward, and people — to let them keep more of their hard-earned money. Families, small business, those that take risk and create jobs. Six million new jobs have been created. We cannot be raising taxes, putting this economy back on its back, and also not growing jobs.

To be fair, Klobuchar wasn't given a chance to directly respond to Kennedy's comments. Russert had a back-and-forth with Kennedy, before going back to Klobuchar with a question on rolling back the Bush Administration's tax cuts for the wealtiest Americans.

But certainly, Klobuchar could have began her answer by challenging a) that 6 million new jobs is a solid performance; or b) the false logic that rolling back the tax cuts would reverse job growth.

Let's take this point by point:

We know, not from some liberal economist, but from Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, that the economy has only produced 140,000 jobs/month during the strongest period of the Bush-era economy. Economists suggest that a growing economy needs to create 150,000 jobs/month just to match population growth.

By comparison, job growth during the eight years of the Clinton presidency was 236,000/month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So, "6 million new jobs," while a pleasing sounding number, is really not all that impressive. Furthermore, one could ask what kinds of jobs are being created. Are they jobs that can support middle-class families, or are they primarily lower-wage jobs? Are they jobs with health care and other benefits?

Chao touted a 6% jump over five years in "overall compensation." What does that mean? First off, it means that compensation is growing at a pace of 1.2% per year. With inflation at about 3% per year, that's not "growth." That's "not keeping up with inflation." Furthermore, current compensation "growth" -- putrid as it is -- does not keep up with the compensation growth of the past seven economic growth periods.

We know that the Clinton-era job growth didn't come on the back of a humongous tax cut for the wealthy. Given the tepid job growth during the Bush era, the better plan may very well be to roll back the tax cuts -- combined with closing tax loopholes and better fiscal responsbility with regard to spending. When Clinton left office, the deficit was under control; under Bush, it isn't.

The key is that Democrats aren't saying, "tax and spend." Nor are they proposing a continuation of the Republican "spend and spend some more" philosophy. What Democrats are saying is, "let's bring some sanity back to our economy, because the enormous tax cuts for the wealthy passed during the Bush era have not, as promised, helped this economy."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you donks are going to use the economy as your platform, you will fall right on your ass.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Angelina's Evil Twin said...


12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All dem "Libral" polls showin' Dems favored over Republicans on economic issues by more digits den I have here on my hand
don't mean nothun' compared to my statement. I reckon.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good Angelina. Even retards like you can type?

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by the way. I dont listen to Hannity. I am at work when he is on. Someone has to pay for the gubment cheese that gets doled out by libs.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...


2:31 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

I think Angelina's point, crude as it was, was that anonymous is just reciting a talking point, without providing any factual basis.

Anyone who thinks the Bush-era economy is doing well is either earning $200,000/year or more (likely much more) or is ignoring relevant economic data.

And that's not data from some liberal think tank, as JABBS points out. It's data being provided by Bush's Labor Secretary, Elaine Chao.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Kingshakabobo said...

She DID miss a few lies and bullshit rethug talking points

2:35 PM  
Anonymous ShortnFiery said...

If you genuinely care then please email Klobuchar's people?

Provide her this information via email. Show her people the facts to HELP them.

However, I will not partake in what IMO is nit-picking.

She's aces in my book.

Let's help her PRIVATELY (via direct email) vice post natty little critiques on a message board for the Freepers to pick up and run with? The Right Wing is freaky and mean-spirited enough without giving them more ammunition.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Jim4Wes said...

She did great. Big thumbsup from me.

There is more to winning a debate than to refute every single talking point. In fact that is rarely possible. People don't fact check all the responses either. So they make their judgements on a combination of the statements factual content and how well they think the candidates are at wining a debate regardless of facts. Also what they can judge of the intelligence and honesty/sincerety.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous bridgit said...

imo she did great on Meet The Press the other day...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not reciting a talking point. It is fact. The economy is doing great. Even the NY Times has had to admit it. But I unlike you all can debate it. You libs act like assholes when given facts that you cant lie about.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

It is fact.


No, it is not "fact." It's your opinion. By what measure is the economy "doing great."

-- The deficit?
-- The trade deficit?
-- Growth in wages/compensation?
-- Growth in jobs created?
-- Number of poor?

"But I unlike you all can debate it."

So debate it. Provide a scintilla of fact to back up your assertion. JABBS has done that much -- quoting Elaine Chao, for pete's sake. You have provided nothing but your own opinion, which without facts to back it up is worthless.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

"Debate" to anonymous does not mean what you are saying, rob. To him, it means rambling about some kind of opinion, followed by engaging in a strange free-form association ending with a statement along the lines of "and that's why Libtards are responsible for the Beatles breaking up," and then asking a question that can't be refuted/responded to because you can't refute someone's wrongheaded opinion like, "What about the fact that Barney Frank is a jerk? See you wont answer that because me smart and i debate."

It's like trying to get a cat to operate a lawnmower.

3:34 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares