Obama claims "The Private Sector Is Doing Fine," but did he ever really backtrack on the claim?

I look at the figure and table above and it is clear that both in terms of number of jobs as well as pay, state and local government workers have weathered the recession up to 2010 better than their compatriots in the private sector.  State and local government wages grew 40 percent faster than the wages for private sector workers.

Keep those facts in mind when you read this Real Clear Politics transcript:
Question: What about the Republicans saying that you're blaming the Europeans for the failures of your own policies? 
President Obama: The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. 
The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in. 
And so, you know, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry? Because the recipes that they're promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the -- to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result, I think most economists estimate, in lower growth and fewer jobs, not more. 
Did Obama really back track on this?
"Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.  That's the reason I had the press conference.  That's why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month, and this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger. The economy is not doing fine.  There are too many people out of work.  The housing market is still weak and too many homes underwater.  And that's precisely why I asked Congress to start taking some steps that can make a difference.  
Now, I think if you look at what I said this morning and what I've been saying consistently over the last year, we've actually seen some good momentum in the private sector.
But note that Obama never backs away from his claim that it is the public sector that has the problem, not the overall private sector.  Obama also attacked the "do-nothing" Republican congress, even though the Republicans since the beginning of last year have passed 27 bills only to see them languish in the Democratic controlled Senate.  The Democratic Senate isn't without some action, but it is very small in comparison.



Post a Comment

<< Home