Extending the Bush Tax Cuts Worked

If the unemployment numbers are right, the percentage of unemployed Americans dropped from 8.5% to 8.3%. Of course, the CBO published last week that the real unemployment rate is near 10%. The new percentage, of course, does not take into account the number of people who have dropped out of the labor force. Tyler Durden writes:

1.2 million people dropped out of the labor force in one month! So as the labor force increased from 153.9 million to 154.4 million, the non institutional population increased by 242.3 million meaning, those not in the labor force surged from 86.7 million to 87.9 million. Which means that the civilian labor force tumbled to a fresh 30 year low of 63.7% as the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] is seriously planning on eliminating nearly half of the available labor pool from the unemployment calculation.

This is the largest absolute jump in ‘Persons Not In Labor Force’ on record . . . and biggest percentage jump in 30 years.

As they say, there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” When you’re talking about politics, it’s almost always lies and damned lies. Even so, if the economy is going to turn around, tax cuts and spending cuts are the roads to take. If the Bush tax cuts had not be extended, the unemployment rate would be staggering. As it is, after three years of Obamanomics 8.3% is not a good number since the unemployment rate is still a half a percentage point higher than when he took office.

As expected, President Obama took credit for the lower number and warned Congress not to “muck up” the recovery by thwarting his economic policies. If the drop in unemployment numbers is real, then he can thank Congress for not voting for his economic policies.

It’s interesting that he is calling on Republicans to pass an extension of the two-percent cut to payroll taxes paid by 160 million Americans for the rest of the year. Bravo. He is admitting that tax cuts are the solution to economic recovery not phantom “stimulus money.”

Here’s another number to keep in mind: The economy grew only 1.7% in 2011, the slowest growth in a non-recession year since the end of World War II.