OPINION: The final tally

Teddy Locsin Jr.

Posted at Jan 21 2017 01:24 AM

HEATHER Long in CNN gives the final tally—11.3 million jobs created under Obama. Obama added jobs for 75 straight months of his tenure. Ronald Reagan outdid him with 15.9 million jobs created. Bill Clinton set the unbroken record as the runaway champion with 22.9 million jobs created. Obama outdid poor George Dubya Bush who had to his paltry credit only 1.3 million jobs added in his 2 terms. 

That’s not fair to George and Obama. When Reagan was president and to an extent when Clinton was, the American economy was still far and away the strongest in the world. Why it was able to outspend and bankrupt the Soviet Union in an arms race. 

When George Dubya became president, American economic growth had leveled off. He and I could claim that Hey! just 1.3 million new jobs because nearly everybody had a job already. 

That wasn’t true and it depends on what you mean by a job. Plus, toward the end of Bush’s term America was reeling from the biggest bank robbery ever staged by of all people, bankers—an inside job. The 2008-2009 global financial crisis destroyed economies all over the planet—except ours because a woman was president. 

When Obama stepped in the American economy was in free-fall from the heist. So Obama’s achievement was twofold: just stopping the free fall and getting it up again—an “erectilely” dysfunctional American economy that couldn’t be cured even if you turned to see Alice, your neighbor. Turn to see Alice. Cialis, get it? Never mind. Obama got it up and running. 

This shows 2 things. First is that America has had great presidents who took good advantage of her inherent strength since eroded by Wall Street. We had good presidents but all they could do with a weak economy was survive, and that’s a lot. 

And second is that job creation, let alone economic inclusiveness, are a lot harder than talking about it. And you only get one chance at pulling off just one of them. In the view of the intelligent, to grow an economy and make its gains inclusive you should first depend, and indeed favor the few who are big rather than the many who are small. Not because the gains of the big will trickle down. Good luck to you on that. But because only the rich have the means to create vastly more and quality jobs by massive investments—not out of the kindness of big hearts but economies of scale. The poor at best can self-employ. It is sad if unfair but it makes sense. So just tax more those with more money to cheat on taxes. And spare from too much taxation those with too little to escape it. 

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