Oy. Coming on top of new GDP numbers showing a mere 1.9 percent uptick in the first quarter, today’s jobs report is a real bummer. The headline number speaks for itself—an anemic 69,000 jobs, or about half what economists were expecting (though how they set those expectations remains a bit of a mystery). But the internal numbers were even worse.
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Give Chris Wallace and Fox News credit. On Sunday, Wallace repeatedly asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor tough questions about the Republican jobs plan.
During Obama’s pivot toward deficit reduction after the 2010 election, culminating in the vain attempt to fashion a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans during the debt limit negotiations, pundits repeatedly asserted that his approach might tick off his base but would yield dividends with independents and swing voters. Instead, the strategy turned out to be a flop on both levels. His support did decline among base voters but even more among independent voters.
President Obama’s plan to give a major economic speech after Labor Day means that, finally, Washington is going to have a serious conversation about creating jobs. And it can't come a moment too soon. While Thursday's stock market decline shouldn’t alarm you, the conditions that sparked it should. Of course, whether that conversation on jobs leads to action on jobs is more a question of politics than policy.
The debate over whether, and how much, the House GOP budget would reduce employment is a battle of economists: The budget debate in Washington isn't just President Obama's vision against that of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), but Mark Zandi versus John B. Taylor. ... Republicans responded later in the day by sending out a blog post by Taylor, a professor of economics at Stanford whose views they frequently invoke. John Taylor is the man Republicans use to back up their unconventional fiscal program.
Unemployment was arguably the most important issue of the 2010 midterm campaign. Voters were frustrated with it. Republicans promised to reduce it. But Mark Zandi, the economist from Moody's, says the Republican plan to slash $60 billion in federal spending between now and the end of the fiscal year would have the very opposite effect: It would result in 700,000 fewer jobs.
-- Changes at The New Republic. -- Mark Zandi on the tax cut deal. -- Even Dubya's dad is urging Republicans to ratify the START treaty.
Actually, it's Yesterday In Wrong. I fell behind -- so much wrong, so little time: 1. Newt Gingrich ridicules Nancy Pelosi for calling food stamps an effective form of economic stimulus: “With regards to [Nancy Pelosi's] comment that food stamps are actually an effective way to stimulate the economy, well, I don’t know any economist who would agree with that.
The basic wonk take on President Obama's new package of tax cuts is "low cost, low benefit." Here's Mark Zandi, and here's Howard Gleckman. Obviously the substance is beside the point right now. Republicans aren't going to hand Democrats a substantive achievement leading up to the election. The point is to be able to say you have some kind of plan, and have a plan that's moderate and wonk-approved. It checks all the boxes in that regard but it doesn't really, you know, matter.
This month, various contributors to TNR have argued about economic stimulus: It works, it doesn’t work, or we don’t know if it works or not. On August 17, Josef Joffe asserted (with caveats) on Entanglements that we know stimulus doesn’t work because (1) economic trendlines in the United States have not improved dramatically since it was instituted here, and (2) those countries that have spent a lot on stimulus don’t seem to be doing as well as some countries that have not.