Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

That's the Republican take on the jobs numbers that came out this morning. The numbers are by no means good news, even though the private sector added some 82,000 jobs, bringing the private sector growth to 27 consecutive moths. The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2% as more people started looking for jobs. Steve Benen on the Maddow blog notes the Republican opportunism - while doing everything in their power to slow down the economy:
At a certain level, this is almost amusing. Matt Yglesias noted this morning how "impressed" he is by conservatives' ability to "pretend to believe Obama is 100% responsible" for all economic developments a year and a half into divided government. He added, "You can't fake that kind of bulls**t, it takes real conviction."

But we can go further with this. The same Republicans who are blaming monthly job totals on the White House have argued -- last year and this year -- that GOP measures have improved the economy, and that credit for recent improvements should go to them, not the president. [...]

Remember learning the "heads I win, tails you lose" game as a kid? It's the GOP's argument in a nutshell -- whether the president deserves credit or blame for a monthly jobs report is due entirely to whether the report is encouraging or not.
I have on many occasions showed the President's core focus on jobs and how the GOP Jobs Blockade is hurting the American economy. Right now, a To-Do list sits on Congress' desk to spur economic growth, and the Republican House is instead busy accusing Planned Parenthood of female infanticide. The biggest job losses in May, it should be noted, were in constructions and education - precisely areas where Republican governors are divesting, and precisely areas the Republican House refuses to invest in.

Getting back to the subject of jobs, the jobs numbers on the surface have been discouraging over the past couple of months, and the right-wing austerity generated renewal of European economic woes along with right-wing jobs blockade here at home have contributed much to those numbers. There are, however, encouraging signs in many parts of the economy in the United States. To list just a few of them:

  • Manufacturing continues to expand - which is vital to the survival and resurgence of the American economy. Since President Obama's policies had a chance to bring us from the brink of disaster, the American manufacturing sector has expanded by almost 500,000 jobs (since January 2010). In May, manufacturers added 12,000 jobs.
  • May capped off the best 12 months ever for American exports, reaching $2.15 trillion. This cannot be attributed to a weak dollar either, since the dollar has been strong partly due to the European debt crisis. Rising exports are due to rising demand of American products overseas (ever thought you'd see the day?), including to China and other Asian markets.
  • Consumer spending - the single biggest determinant of future jobs - continues to rise, if at a modest rate. Economic growth is also healthier than last year.
Take the fact that more Americans started looking for jobs. Why? Believe it or not, potential job seekers don't check out BLS statistics before they decide whether it's a conducive time to look for jobs. Obviously, people are seeing and feeling economic improvements that is encouraging them to go out and look for jobs.

These facts aren't presented "spin" today's numbers. Rather, they should serve as a reminder that longer term economic trends are more important than month-to-month numbers. Our economy has come through hell and high water, and it is almost entirely due to Barack Obama's leadership that people aren't pushing barrels of cart to buy a loaf of bread again. Our political memory may be short, but if we lose perspective, we will be doomed to repeat the past.