Paul Krugman in the New York times article Bain, Barack and Jobs lays it out well. While it is true that we were in a free fall when President Obama walked into office, those job losses were not because of any of his policies.
That said, Obama’s job creation though anemic because of the intransigence of a Republican Congress and Blue Dog Democrats who prevented a right size stimulus, looks nothing like the Republican narrative of his job creation prowess. The chart is self explaining.
What is important was stated clearly by Krugman. Are you creating jobs if the jobs on your watch were effected by purchasing another company or at the expense of job losses by your competitor? ABSOLUTELY NOT! For Romney, any job creation he claims is likely a zero sum gain. Based on the job pilfering he did at Bain I would wager that he is likely a net job destructor, but coming to a deterministic value is rather dubious.
So when you are listening to anyone talk about Romney’s business experience or job creation claims, make sure to set the record straight immediately. Do not allow a false narrative to metastasize. That is how those that have destroyed our economy were successful in taking back Congress. Creating a false state of reality.
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Bain, Barack and Jobs
By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: January 5, 2012
America’s recovery from recession has been so slow that it mostly doesn’t seem like a recovery at all, especially on the jobs front. So, in a better world, President Obama would face a challenger offering a serious critique of his job-creation policies, and proposing a serious alternative. Instead, he’ll almost surely face Mitt Romney.
Mr. Romney claims that Mr. Obama has been a job destroyer, while he was a job-creating businessman. For example, he told Fox News: “This is a president who lost more jobs during his tenure than any president since Hoover. This is two million jobs that he lost as president.” He went on to declare, of his time at the private equity firm Bain Capital, “I’m very happy in my former life; we helped create over 100,000 new jobs.”
But his claims about the Obama record border on dishonesty, and his claims about his own record are well across that border.
Start with the Obama record. It’s true that 1.9 million fewer Americans have jobs now than when Mr. Obama took office. But the president inherited an economy in free fall, and can’t be held responsible for job losses during his first few months, before any of his own policies had time to take effect. So how much of that Obama job loss took place in, say, the first half of 2009?
The answer is: more than all of it. The economy lost 3.1 million jobs between January 2009 and June 2009 and has since gained 1.2 million jobs. That’s not enough, but it’s nothing like Mr. Romney’s portrait of job destruction.
Incidentally, the previous administration’s claims of job growth always started not from Inauguration Day but from August 2003, when Bush-era employment hit its low point. By that standard, Mr. Obama could say that he has created 2.5 million jobs since February 2010.
So Mr. Romney’s claims about the Obama job record aren’t literally false, but they are deeply misleading. Still, the real fun comes when we look at what Mr. Romney says about himself. Where does that claim of creating 100,000 jobs come from?
Well, Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post got an answer from the Romney campaign. It’s the sum of job gains at three companies that Mr. Romney “helped to start or grow”: Staples, The Sports Authority and Domino’s.
Mr. Kessler immediately pointed out two problems with this tally. It’s “based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain,” and it “does not include job losses from other companies with which Bain Capital was involved.” Either problem, by itself, makes nonsense of the whole claim.