Matt O'Brien

[Guest post by Matt O'Brien] In early September, as memories of the debt ceiling fight faded with the summer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor acknowledged that the economic policy debate was about to change: “The focus now is jobs,” he told reporters. “The past eight months we’ve been all about cuts.” But it’s become clear that for Cantor and the rest of the Republican leadership, the focus is still on cuts.

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[Guest post by Matt O'Brien] It is better than zero. That is about the best that can be said about the September jobs report, on the heels of last month's numbers that showed precisely zero jobs added in August.

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“Regarding the Great Depression: You’re right, [the Federal Reserve] did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.” Those were then-Fed Governor and current Chairman Ben Bernanke’s words to economist Milton Friedman in 2002, when a bunch of economic bigwigs gathered to fête the Nobel laureate on his 90th birthday. Bernanke’s paean to Friedman reflected mainstream Republican economic thought: The Great Depression wasn’t a failure of markets, but rather of central banking.

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[Guest post by Matt O'Brien] Last week, as the Obama administration rolled out its American Jobs Act, a liberal group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a strange ad campaign of its own: “[Obama economic advisor] Jason Furman wants you to work for free,” the ads blasted.

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