President Obama: Private Sector Is Doing Fine
I am sure you have heard the headlines about President Obama’s “the private sector is doing fine” statement today. As soon as the words left his mouth Republicans fired back, claiming he was out of touch with America if he truly believed that the economy is fine. Later on the President walked back that line, saying that overall the economy needs more work and is not fine.
What I want to point out here is something not many other sources will talk about. What did the President mean when he said the private sector is doing fine? Last week when the May jobs report came out he certainly would not have said that because the numbers were the lowest of the year. The numbers indicate a trend that the economy is grinding to a stop after such a promising winter. In the speech the President was giving, he was addressing local, state, and government employees and how Congress needed to do more to help job growth in the government sector. He was pointing out the fact that private sector job numbers are higher than government numbers. What he was insisting is that Congress should further expand the government and hire more workers to even up the gap between the private sector and government.
The problem with President Obama’s vision is that the private sector obviously takes a back seat to the size of government. When he said that the private sector was doing fine, it was as if he said, “Lets forget about helping the free market. Instead, let’s spend more money on increasing the size of the government.” What’s really shocking is how much we are already spending and now Obama says we need to focus on government jobs instead of private sector jobs.
What the President didn’t mention is how growth is slowing down dramatically. In May the net employment gain was 69,000. That is the lowest of the year and supports a trend in a downward direction from 2011. Here is the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The private sector has indeed seen growth over the past years. I can guarantee you will see President Obama’s line about the private sector in many GOP television ads in the future. The irony is that back in 2008, McCain was quoted as saying that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. The Obama campaign went on to use that in many ads, in the same way the GOP will be using Obama’s similar line. We are only a few months away from the election and the economic climate is not giving Obama any kind of advantage, especially when he tries to pretend that everything is “fine”.