Remember that Obama announced his plan to bring down Unemployment in September 2011 and called it the American Jobs Act (AJA). The AJA was really just a sequel to the Stimulus 2009 and the bill would not have helped unemployment and instead it would’ve hurt our economy by adding taxes to the wealthy’ (making over $250k per year) and increasing the government bureaucracy. I have outlined the trouble with the AJA but in another post I made the claim (half joking) that the Republicans should pass the AJA out of spite. The theory being – Once the 2012 elections rolled around and the economy hadn’t improved then Obama wouldn’t have a “Do Nothing Congress” meme on the campaign trail. The economy during the Fall of 2012 is expected to be very similar to the economy during the Fall of 2011 (with or without the AJA) so I figured calling Obama’s bluff might make sense.
Sure enough, over the past few months Obama has done just what I predicted he’d do and all we hear about is how Congress is keeping the Economy in the dump or something like that (the “Do Nothing Congress” meme). But something interesting has happened over the past few months that was quite unexpected. The Unemployment Rate dropped by over a percentage point (9.7% to 8.6%)!
Of course the Unemployment Rate is coming down because more people are giving up and exiting the labor force which is stated in this excellent post from James Pethokoukis at The Enterprise Blog.
But can you imagine if the House and Senate had taken my advice and passed the AJA out of spite in October 2011? Obama would be on TV every day showing that the Unemployment Rate is coming down thanks to his plan! Sure enough, the Unemployment Rate started to drop at that very moment (Octboer 2011) when the AJA would’ve been passed in Congress and Obama would have this graph plastered on every 6:00 newscast while blathering on about how this graph proves his masterful grasp of the economy. Oh, I’m so glad we don’t have to hear that.