Job creation remains anemic, with only 173,000 jobs created in July and the unemployment rate stuck at a seasonally adjusted 8.3 percent, yet Obama senior campaign strategist David Axelrod did not seem bothered when asked about it this morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
Economists say the economy needs to grow a minimum of 250,000 jobs per month to begin significantly putting many of the more than 23 million Americans who are either unemployed or who have stopped looking back into the workforce.
Instead of addressing the Obama administration’s failure to deliver on the promise that it made before the stimulus passed Congress in Feb. 2009 to bring unemployment to under 6 percent by mid-2012, Axelrod instead chose to hype up his claim that the economy lost 800,000 jobs during his first month in office and that the economy has experienced 29 straight months of job growth, saying 4.5 million jobs had been created because of the president's policies.
Even so, the Obama administration’s own projections from early 2009 that it used to sell the $831 billion stimulus showed that trend would have still happened even in its absence.
“The hole that was created was huge, and we are going to have to work very hard to fill it,” Axelrod said. “In this last report [we] had 173,000 jobs created led by the auto industry and manufacturing and would be in a depression but for the president’s intervention, something Gov. Romney opposed.”
Wallace challenged Axelrod, asking if the White House had “badly misjudged this recovery,” noting the administration's rosy projections about the stimulus's impact on unemployment rates and that he and Vice President Biden ran around two summers ago touting the administration’s “Recovery Summer.”
Axelrod was quick to deflect away from the question, changing the subject to attacking Mitt Romney’s tax proposal that he says would raise taxes on millionaires by $250,000 and the middle class by $2,000, suggesting it might throw the economy back into a recession.
“The president was prepared to allow the taxes in the higher tax bracket to expire because they cost $800 billion over a decade and we have to deal with our fiscal situation as well,” Axelrod said. “And there is no evidence that those tax cuts are particularly stimulative to the economy.”
“And the president has cut taxes on the middle class by $3,600 on the average for -- an average family.”
While over on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) slammed President Obama for wanting to raise taxes in our current weak economy after saying the opposite two years ago.
“I'm dying to hear how our economy is better today than it was two years ago – how it's better policy today right before this election given the 42 months of 8 percent unemployment, 316,000 people have left the job force since the stimulus passed,” Graham said. “This is all politics this is not economics. This is all politics, good for Gov. Romney not buying into this construct.”
Graham then called it “stupid” to raise taxes on more than 1 million small business owners in a weak economy because it would deter hiring.
“This election is not about romney's tax returns. It's about your tax returns,” Graham said. “Look how many millions of people are underemployed or have lost their jobs.”