May's jobs report is fantastic. The economy added 217,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remains the lowest since the beginning of the Great Recession at 6.3%. This marks 9.4 million net private sector jobs added since the height of the recession, and the fourth straight month of employment growth of over 200,00.
But in May, the country also marked another critical milestone in this recovery: the Obama recovery has now gained back all jobs lost during the Bush recession, reports the Washington Post, putting employment at an all-time high. Work remains to be done - to be blocked, for Republicans - to fill the gap from the growth in population, however.
Consider this a reminder that building our economy is a much tougher job than destroying it. Although the bleeding of jobs began to lessen almost as soon as President Obama took office in 2009, the trend wasn't reversed until well into 2010. And the number of jobs it took us roughly 18 months to hemorrhage has taken the following four years to build back.
The Great Recession that started at the end of George Bush's disastrous presidency (in almost every respect) and culminated from 30-year dominance of the economic laizzes faire philosophy that defines the Republican party (but took way too many Democrats for a ride) is now over, but the people who crafted the policies that led to that disaster are not done.
They are still in charge of one house of Congress, owners of the media, and are still doing their best to prevent this president from rebuilding an economy that works for everyone. The President's jobs bills are still stalled in Congress, and his immensely popular economic proposals such as raising the minimum wage and comprehensive immigration reform are being held back by a reactionary economically backward minority.
Imagine where we would be if the president's jobs proposal - presented multiple times to Congress - were allowed to pass. It would add an additional 2 million jobs. Imagine if immigration reform wasn't being held back in the House by the coward who is so afraid for his job that he won't allow a vote on a measure that has majority support. That would generate over 3 million new jobs.
The GOP seems to like hurting the American people in groups of 5 million at a time. Without the Republicans' stubborn obstructionism, the American economy would have over 5 million more jobs today (for a net gain since the end of the recession of 14.4 million jobs), and without their scorched earth policy, we would have over 5 million people with health care coverage under Medicaid.
I am under no illusion that this month's jobs report, combined with the data on their obstruction will shame the GOP into action. But it should summon every American who is even thinking about skipping the November midterms to the polls to cast their vote to help the President and drive out the cruel GOP.
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