Friday, February 03, 2012

Attributing Unemployment to AdministrationsSo

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Recall that Obama was elected in 2008 and took office in January 2009. The U.S. government budget process takes time, and the Bush administration would have been working on the budget all through 2008, so the budget submitted early in 2009 would have been primarily developed by the Bush administration. It would have been the 2010 budget submission, to have gone into effect on September 1, 2010 that had the major imprint of the Obama administration.

Look at the graph! Unemployment took off early in 2008, leveled off late in 2009, and started down late in 2010.

Anyone reading this blog might know that I believe that our unemployment is due to the burst of the housing bubble, the related crisis in the finance industry, and the Great Recession that they triggered. I also think those problems were most seriously caused by the failure of the government to regulate sub-prime mortgages and financial derivatives -- problems that I attribute primarily to Republican administrations and Republican lawmakers.

But the data simply do not support a charge that Obama is responsible for unemployment not being solved by now. Indeed, the graph shows that unemployment is coming down faster now than it did during the best years of the Bush administration.

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