With the news out today that the monthly unemployment rate had “fallen” to 9.7 percent, I decided to look back at the monthly figures for President George W. Bush’s two terms at the White House. The numbers are revealing. The highest monthly average prior to the late 2008 financial crisis was 6.3 percent. His overall monthly average was 5.3 percent.
Here’s the chart (click to enlarge):
UPDATE: Today’s POLITICO Arena question was “Will tepid job growth hurt or help Dems in November?” Below is my response, which can also be seen here.
Incumbent Democrats may be the only people finding satisfaction in the fact that the federal employee rolls grew by more than 400,000. These government jobs accounted for 95 percent of the jobs created this month. As for as the unemployment rate “falling” to 9.7 percent, context is important. Prior to the credit market freeze in September 2008, the highest monthly unemployment rate during President George W. Bush’s two terms was 6.3 percent. The overall average monthly unemployment rate during his 8 years in office was 5.3 percent. The tax relief President Bush signed into law pulled America out of the recession he inherited in 2001 and spurred six years of uninterrupted economic growth and a record 52 straight months of job creation.
President Obama’s policies to deal with economic challenges have been diametrically opposite to his predecessor’s. Obama’s higher taxes, job-killing government intervention and massive deficit spending have sent us down a destructive fiscal path. His policies have failed based on his own yardstick. President Obama has not held unemployment under 8 percent as his administration promised would happen if the massive $787 billion government spending package was adopted by Congress.