Political Animal


January 04, 2013 9:28 AM Slow But Steady

By Ed Kilgore

Yes, it’s the first Friday of the month, and even though political animals may not follow the numbers as obsessively as they did prior to November 6, there is a new monthly BLS jobs report out, for December. It shows net new jobs of 155,000 for the month, almost precisely the average level for 2012 (and for that matter, 2011). The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8%. The number of long-term unemployed came in at 4.8 million, in case anyone wonders why a big part of the so-called “fiscal cliff” was the expiration of extended unemployment insurance.

Speaking of the fabled cliff, here’s a line from WaPo’s Neil Irwin’s reaction to the jobs report:

The new numbers offered little confirmation to the idea that the “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, and which was averted earlier this week, caused employers to ratchet back hiring on any large scale. While many executives voiced fear and annoyance at the hijinks in Washington over the standoff, it did not, from this report at least, appear to translate into less job creation.

Remember that next time the deficit-hawky pundit class tells us the job-creators will panic and lay waste to the economy if we don’t do exactly what we are told by our betters.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • T2 on January 04, 2013 9:44 AM:

    exactly. Once again the GOP talking point on "job creators" has been shown to be a farce. A closer look at the job number charts,courtesy of Steve Benen, shows the normal trend.....private sector growth continues to grow, the public sector layoffs by Republican Governors in red states continue to slow overall job growth. Republicans talk a lot about "job creators (rich people) but the reality, shown by raw statistics, is that it is the Republicans that are hindering job "creation". And doing so on purpose.

  • c u n d gulag on January 04, 2013 9:51 AM:

    Well, in all fairness to the Republicans, and why and how they actually hinder job growth, if President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate impove the economy and lower the unemployment rate significantly, what will the Republicans have to run on, in 2014 and 2016?

    Nihilists and Terrorists revel in bad times.

    And chaos and anarchy, are growth mediums, for these viruses in human form.

  • sjw on January 04, 2013 9:56 AM:

    Imagine what the numbers would be if the heads-up-their-ass-Laffer-curve-mindless-austerity Republicans had not blocked more stimulus ...

  • c u n d gulag on January 04, 2013 10:16 AM:

    The Republicans couldn't possibly approve of a larger stimulus.

    Not after they discovered that the KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistAtheistMuslim Usurper apparently had racked up almost $12 Trillion dollars in his first few days in office!!!
    HOW DID HE MANAGE TO THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    What' more depressing to me than Republicans choosing, wisely, I think, to never mention the name of the 43rd President of the USA, or their role in his mis-administration, and hoping that the pubic would forget that it was it was he and they who spent more money than ALL other 42 previous Presidential administration's combined, hoping that the public would forget - it's that enough people actually seem to have forgotten that it was the Republicans, with a Republican President, who were the ones responsible for that debt, before Obama even laid his hand on the Bible (or, secretly switched Koran - ZOMG!!!).
    Proving, once again, how P.T. Barnum's old saying about how many suckers, fools, rubes, and marks, are born every minute, continues to be true to this day.

  • T2 on January 04, 2013 10:27 AM:

    @gulag....erasing George W. Bush is about all they can do. The GOP and it's TeaBag offshoot can hardly win elections on a "We caused a Great Recession because of our policies" platform. Yet, that is real truth. As time marches on, the public memory of that debacle will fade, and with it the proper target of blame -GOP. But by then their new and profound errors in judgement will supplant the Bush Years....because at the end of the day, Republican/Conservative policies and edicts do not create a healthy government/nation. One has to look no further than the ham-fisted, inept attempt by some TeaParty GOPers to unseat the amazingly weak John Boehner as Speaker. They are really that stupid.

  • boatboy_srq on January 04, 2013 10:34 AM:

    @T2: They are really that stupid. True. What remains of a moderate, rational GOP is no doubt regretting all those years they opposed education - every time they see some junior Congressional Teahadist doing something especially unintelligent (which appears to happen several times a second).

    Captcha: Hesiodic chinline. So that's what it is about McConnell.

  • c u n d gulag on January 04, 2013 10:43 AM:

    LOL McConnell line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mine's kind of good, too:
    $13K-No Supsfy

    I guess, without no 13K, it's no soup 'f'or 'y'ou - or me.