The White House Fact Sheet on Jobs and What Actually Happened

GW’s administration has made all sorts of claims about how the tax cuts were going to create jobs… The claims, of course, shift over time.. the goalposts are moved continuously. But I think this White House “Fact Sheet”, from June of 2002, is either the earliest claim or close to it, so its worth a look:

President Bushs [sic] tax cut came at just the right time to help American families and workers. Workers started getting checks in late July, 2001, pumping $40 billion back into the economy and boosting consumer spending at a critical time. The tax cut will help create 800,000 jobs by the end of 2002.

I guess one can interpret that as meaning there will be at least 800,000 more jobs at the end of 2002 than there were in July 2001, and the tax cuts play a big part of that increase.

Its kind of an odd claim… Looking at the BLS table on the total, non seasonally adjusted number of people employed, we learn that from 1992 to 2000, the smallest increase in the employed population between July of one year and the December of the next year was 2.6 million. So a claim of an 800K increase means the goalposts were already being set pretty low.

But were they met? Well, we’ve had 7 years of GW, so you know the answer to that. Even GW’s supporters know the answer to that. Still, I’ll go through the motions…

The employment level in July of 2001 stood at 138,239,000. In December of 2002, it was 136,599,000. Instead of an increase of 800,000 jobs, we got a decrease of 1.6 million jobs. Put another way, the decrease was twice what the predicted increase had been.

Or maybe the fact sheet meant that there would be 800,000 more jobs between June of 2002 and December of 2002? Well, in June of 2002, the employment level was at 137,181,000, so that’s still a loss in the number of jobs. Still, I’m sure there’s some interpretation that some of GW’s supporters would find that would make it possible for them to declare victory. (Wait a few hours and check the comments. I note that comments by one of these supporters led to this post.)

Anyway, I think this was the prototype of the GW administration forecasts, and this forecast is in the mold of so many others.