Talking points on the new job numbers

Published July 2, 2004 8:07PM (EDT)

Brad DeLong won't be on the Lehrer NewsHour tonight talking about the new job numbers (an addition of 112,000 payroll jobs -- we were expecting 250,000), which is a shame, of course. But we have the benefit of reading his talking points, anyway, courtesy of his blog.

A sampling:

"Is George W. Bush responsible for the fact that the employment situation is lousy? No. The economy is an ocean liner, but the president is not its captain. Presidents influence the economy. They don't control it."

"But are he and his administration responsible for the fact that the employment situation is as lousy as it is? Yes. He sold his tax cuts as employment-generating stimulus programs, while in fact they got only about half as much employment bang for the deficit buck as a reasonable program would have. Think of it this way: Suppose your insurance agent tells you you ought to get homeowner's insurance. You give your insurance agent $4,000 to buy homeowner's insurance. You then have a small fire. And your insurance agent then tells you that you're only getting half of the damage covered--that he only used half the money to buy insurance, and spent the rest buying his friends large flat-screen TVs. That's the situation were in: sold as jobs programs, the Bush tax cuts got us only about half as much insurance against a lousy labor market as a real job-promoting stimulus that cost the same in deficit terms would have generated."

By Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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