More evidence that gridlock, not Obama policy, is fixing the economy

Washington Gridlock

From the 2012 election to the recent State of the Union Address, President Obama has claimed responsibility for the growing economy and job creation. His dutiful praetorian guard in the press has defended his claims. But there’s just one problem: The Republican House majority elected just two years into his first term kept most of Obama’s policies from being implemented. A new study released this month provides even more evidence that the failure of Obama policies to be passed has improved the economy, not the policies themselves.

The study, released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, measured employment changes across the states over 2014 after unemployment benefit extensions were not reauthorized by Congress in the late 2013 budget deal. The extensions were opposed by Republicans but supported by Democrats and were ultimately left out of the deal that Obama signed.

As common sense and Econ101 would suggest, the study found that when you stop paying people not to work, they tend to go back to work.

In levels, 1.8 million additional jobs were created in 2014 due to the benefit cut. Almost 1 million of these jobs were filled by workers from out of the labor force who would not have participated in the labor market had benefit extensions been reauthorized.

Here’s a handy chart posted by one of the authors of the study that shows a similar trend:


This shows job openings rather than jobs filled, as unemployment statistics measure, but it’s the same dynamic, from a different perspective. When employers heard that unemployment benefits would be cut off, they used the common sense that the study would later confirm and created new openings for people coming off those benefits to fill.

At a certain point, Democrats are going to have to acnowledge the massive logical conundrum they’re arguing. It cannot simultaneously be true that Republicans are blocking all of Obama’s job-creating policies and that Obama’s policies are creating jobs. If he can’t get any of his policies enacted, then it must necessarily be something else that’s spurring the economy and creating jobs.

In this case, evil Republican obscruction can be directly credited with creating nearly 2 million jobs. Keep it up, boys.

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