Cutter: Obama's Recovery Has Been Stronger Than Reagan's, You Know

Posted: Aug 23, 2012 11:32 AM

I often find Team Obama's lies frustrating and galling.  Not this one.  The latest gem from Deputy Obama Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter -- whose very loose relationship with the truth has been well documented -- is so preposterous on its face that it doesn't even pass the laugh test:


"Over the past, you know, 27 months, we've created 4.5 million private sector jobs; that's more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery..."

Most voters will hear this comment, roll their eyes, chuckle to themselves ("where do they find these people?"), and move on.  But laughing at an argument doesn't necessarily invalidate it.  That's what facts are for, and AEI's Jim Pethokoukis uses quite a few of them in his obligatory deconstruction of Cutter's latest whopper:

From the end of the recession in June 2009 through July 2012 — the first 37 months of the Obama recovery — the U.S. economy has generated 2.7 million net new jobs. From the jobs low point in February 2010, the U.S. economy has generated 4 million net new jobs.

From the end of the 1981-82 recession through the end of of 1985 —  the first 37 months of the Reagan recovery — the U.S.created 9.8 million net new jobs. And if you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the comparable figure is more than 12 million jobs.

Just to be certain, Pethokoukis tackles the stat from several additional angles, all of which come down in the Gipper's favor.  By a long shot.  In fact, he goes on to document that Cutter is also wrong about her comparative assertion regarding President Bush's recovery:

Cutter counts the job gains from the low point of Obama’s term forward. The low point was February 2010 when U.S. nonfarm payrolls measured 129,244,00. In July, they measured 133,245,000 for a gain of 4.0 million jobs in 27 months If you measure the Reagan recovery the same way, he created 8.0 million new jobs in 27 months. And if you measure the Bush recovery the same way, the low point was in August 2003 when U.S. employment stood at 129,820,00. But 27 months later, the figure was 134,654,000 in November 2005 — a gain of 4.8 million jobs.

Here are two more ways of analyzing Cutter's statement: (1) A snapshot of monthly job growth leading up to the 1984 election, via CNN money:

The [current] portion of the adult population participating in the job market is now at its lowest level since 1981. The slowdown mirrors trends that were also seen in 2010 and 2011, when job growth registered several months of solid gains before slowing. Things were different in 1984. In April 1984, the economy added 363,000 jobs. In the first four months of 1984, employment growth hit 1,564,000. This year, the first four months have brought about half that amount. And the Reagan recovery sustained its momentum through the election, averaging 300,000 new jobs a month from May to October.

(2) A chart from Political Math that says it all:


Say, do you remember Ronald Reagan's famous trillion-dollar stimulus program, paid for with borrowed money?  Neither do I.  Keep up the excellent work, Stephanie.