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David Brooks Rows Down River Denial

In his segment on PBS, David Brooks could not bring himself to give Obama or Democrats any credit for the jobs report and consistent economic growth.
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David Brooks is a kinder, softer version of the Fox talkers. What he says is just as evil, but he shovels it down everyone's throat with a spoonful of sugar and gentle talk.

There was really good news on Friday on the jobs front. In spite of Republicans, we had record job creation in November -- over 300,000 jobs. More significantly, that marks the 57th straight month of job growth after the worst recession since the Great Depression. In those 57 months, 10.9 million jobs have been added in the private sector.

That doesn't mean we're out of the woods, or there isn't work to do. There are a lot of people who are still closed out of the job market and if wages don't move out of the mire they've been in for years, the economy won't grow.

But still, job growth is good. And it's good in spite of Republicans, not because of them. It's good because President Obama has been pushing the private sector to create those jobs. He spent the entire last year meeting with CEOs and changing policies to make jobs better and to increase wages where he could through executive orders.

So this is what David Brooks offers as his 'analysis':

No, listen, if the president could turn up a dial and create jobs, that would be great. But presidents can’t do that. The correlation between policies and actual job creation, there’s a huge amount of lag and they just don’t have that ability. A lot of it is just the function of the cyclical labor market.

Mark mentioned President Bush’s lamentable job performance. But he created a bunch of jobs, and then they all got wiped out in the last year during his recession, because we had this grand recession. And so business cycles come and go. And what the government can do is create a landscape which can create long-term job growth, but it’s rare that an administration has the ability to turn it on and off in that kind of short-term way. So, I just don’t think it’s that germane a number.


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Okaaaaaay. Shorter David Brooks: The Bush recession killed all the jobs Bush created but all the jobs created while Obama has been in the White House are the result of Bush? Oh, and Bush didn't really create all those jobs during his tenure because there's no correlation between policies and job creation.

Keep in mind, this is the very same David Brooks who lamented the "emotional recession" the country was in, just in October. Here's what he wrote then:

It is precisely at this moment that leaders are called upon to leap past the current moment and to point the way to the sun-drenched path ahead. You may disagree with every policy they ever uttered, but Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher leapt beyond the stagnant mood of the late 1970s.

But wait. Policies don't matter. The White House doesn't matter. It's just cyclical labor trends, right?

Then there's this gem in 2011, when he chided the federal government for not creating enough jobs fast enough (even though apparently government and the White House can't create jobs):

In his 2008 convention speech, Barack Obama promised to create five million green economy jobs. The U.S. Conference of Mayors estimated in April 2009 that green jobs could account for 10 percent of new job growth over the next 30 years.

Alas, it was not to be. The gigantic public investments in green energy may be stimulating innovation and helping the environment. But they are not evidence that the government knows how to create private-sector jobs.

Yet. Here we are, three years later, with a cumulative total of nearly 11 million private sector jobs created, which is more than Republican administrations managed cumulatively.

Why, you'd think there was an economic stimulus passed in 2009 or something. By Democrats, because Republicans don't believe government can create jobs.

Keep rowing down that River Denial, David, and you'll soon plunge right into the abyss if you haven't already.

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