(CNN) - New job figures released today show the unemployment rate falling, a drop that the Obama administration attributes to steps it took last year to get the economy rolling, but that Republicans argue is the result of stopping tax hikes.
"I think businesses are coming back because of what happened in December, the tax credits, the payroll tax credits, all of those things that help to incentivize businesses to make more business," Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said today on CNN.
House Speaker John Boehner disagreed in a statement, instead ascribing the drop to a stop in tax hikes that Republicans supported at the end of last year.
"The improvement seen in this report is a credit to the hard work of the American people and their success in stopping the tax hikes that were due to hit our economy on January 1," Boehner said. "Removing the uncertainty caused by those looming tax hikes provided much-needed relief for private-sector job creators in America."
Both sides also disagreed how to interpret the new figures – Solis was quick to herald the drop as "impressive," while Boehner and other Republicans said the numbers didn't go far enough.
"Looking back at the last year, we've added 1.5 million private sector jobs, and that is quite, I think, impressive," Solis said.
She continued, "It takes time to get this moving, and we said that from the get-go, but the investments that the president made through the recovery act are showing, I believe, their fruits in different ways."
While Republican leaders said the improved numbers were a good sign, they criticized the president for they see as a slow recovery.
"While today's job numbers are encouraging, unfortunately unemployment continues to remain unacceptably high," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said today in a statement. "Like so many other issues, we have yet to see the leadership we need coming out of the White House to restore sustainable economic growth. While spending taxpayers' dollars hand over fist, Barack Obama has failed to address our nation's long-term fiscal health."
It is a shame the Republicans want to take credit for this. 8yrs and they run the country to the ground and now that the democrats are finally getting it on its feet, they want credit for it? Tax cuts? what tax cuts..ask "Arnold the terminator" what good low taxes did for Californians. The economy is getting better because Americans finally have confidence in who is running the country.
It's been 2 years now that Republicans have been saying "NO" to everything Democrats and Obama have been trying to do and now that the economy is beginning to improve, they want to take credit for it by claiming that tax cuts did it. What a shame.