Conservative icon George Will hit the Obama administration with not one, but two, haymakers during his time on Fox News Sunday discussing our languid economy. The first hit came when Will reminded viewers that this was now the second year in a row where the Obama administration was blaming a bad economy on the fact that global warming wasn't severe enough!
Well, for the second year in a row they've blamed poor quarterly growth on insufficient global warming, that is on winter, on an unusually cold winter.
Will then went on to remind us all that during the Reagan recovery, when times were similarly hard, our nation saw greater job growth every month for two years than the Obama administration has seen in any single month! Then host Chris Wallace asked Will for another amazing statistic that he had recently been touting, this one about what the unemployment rate would look like if so many Americans hadn't left the job force during the Obama years.
If the workforce participation rate today were as high as it was on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, the unemployment rate in this country would be 9.7 percent, we wouldn't be complaining about the bad recovery because we wouldn't call it a recovery.
Chris Wallace: We could continue this conversation and I'm sure we will, but let's turn to the economy and some really disappointing numbers on the economy this week. Here they are. Only 126,000 jobs were added in March. That's the weakest hiring in 15 months. Labor force participation dropped to 62.7 percent, matching the lowest since 1978. And the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta estimates first quarter growth at zero, zero percent, flat. George, what's going on here?
George Will: Well, for the second year in a row they've blamed poor quarterly growth on insufficient global warming, that is on winter, on an unusually cold winter. Let your mind go back to November last year. There was job creation of 321,000 jobs and the administration said this is a miraculous achievement and a harbinger of things to come. It wasn't a harbinger and it wasn't miraculous. During the Reagan recovery there were 23 months of job creation over 300,000. Reagan had a month of job creation of 1 million and this was at a time when there were 75 million fewer Americans. Now, never mind zero growth. We are now being told really that two percent growth may be the new normal. If so, that's a disaster because every day, today, yesterday, tomorrow, every day between now and 2030, 10,000 more baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. If we have two percent growth, the crisis of the welfare state, the crisis of the private sector being able to throw off the revenues, to pay the bills for the promises we've made to ourselves becomes impossible.
Chris Wallace: Just tell again that the labor force participation stat that you have, if it were what it was at the beginning of the Obama administration.
George Will: If the workforce participation rate today were as high as it was on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, the unemployment rate in this country would be 9.7 percent, we wouldn't be complaining about the bad recovery because we wouldn't call it a recovery.