Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

With new job numbers, GOP's record of economic prediction remains perfect

In 1993, President Clinton and congressional Democrats voted to increase taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, with most of the new revenue committed to slashing the deficit. At the time, Newt Gingrich and his fellow Republicans predicted economic calamity would follow. It would create a recession, it would cost millions of jobs, it would balloon the deficit, etc.

"This is now your package," then-Rep. John Kasich warned Democrats on the floor of the House." We will come back here next year and try to help you when this puts the economy in the gutter. And virtually every major economic estimating firm in this country says your bill is going to kill jobs."

Over the next eight years, the U.S. economy added 22 million jobs, part of the longest peacetime economic expansion since the Great Depression. Oh, and the deficit was turned into a budget surplus.

We're now seeing that history play out again.  Remember all the dire Republican warnings about "job-killing ObamaCare" and "job-killing tax hikes" on the rich and "job-killing government regulation"? Remember John Boehner five years ago? "Despite bizarre claims to the contrary from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, economists are warning that the tax hikes, mandates, and regulatory costs in (ObamaCare) will only accelerate America’s jobs crisis."

Accelerate the jobs crisis? With the latest jobs report -- 173,000 new jobs last month, plus another 44,000 added to the job totals in previous reports -- we've now experienced 66 consecutive months of job growth. The unemployment rate has tumbled to 5.1 percent -- Mitt Romney had vowed to cut it to 6 percent by 2017 -- and we've added 12.3 million jobs in the last five years, far more than in any five-year period under President Bush.

And Boehner's reaction for this economic growth that he claimed would never ever occur?

Yes. He's taking credit for it.


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.