Terry Paulson

While Romney campaigns on how poorly our economy is performing under President Obama, the President ought to thank the "red" state GOP governors who are generating both economic and job growth despite his administration's policies.

If states are the laboratory for exploring what works, the contrasting results between the "blue" and "red" states should provide a stirring endorsement to the importance of returning to conservative economic principles to right America's economic ship.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has seen the jobless rate fall by 2 percentage points over the past year. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder promotes a state budget that's on solid ground for the first time in a decade, and the jobless rate has fallen by 2.2 percentage points. Gov. Terry Branstad can be proud that Iowa's unemployment rate has dropped from 5.9 to 5.1 percent in a year. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley talks up a jobless rate that slid from 12 percent in December 2009 to 8.8 percent in April.

According to state employment data released May 18th by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 16 states have seen job growth since President Obama took office. The remaining states have lost a combined 1.4 million jobs since January 2009. In comparing red vs. blue states, red states, on average, gained jobs under Obama. In contrast, blue states had an average job loss rate of almost 1%. In fact, since the recovery started, red states have had a job growth rate of nearly twice that of blue states.

Investor's Business Daily compared average job growth, unemployment, changes in housing prices, per capita income, GDP growth, and gas prices for the 22 states that voted for John McCain in 2008 and the 28 states that voted for Obama. On every indicator but GDP growth, blue states have done worse than red states. Red states, on average, outperformed blues states in job growth (1.9% to 1.2%), jobless rate (7.4% to 8.5%), per capita personal pay increase (4.35% to 4.27%), housing prices (+.03% to -2.4%), and gas prices (blue states 5% higher). The one measure where blue states outperformed was in gross domestic product growth increase (2.5% to 2.2% from 2009 to 2010).

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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