Administration, Republicans both take credit for drop in unemployment
March 4th, 2011
10:41 AM ET
7 years ago

Administration, Republicans both take credit for drop in unemployment

(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."

Filed under: Economy • Hilda Solis • unemployment
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Robert Cloosdoosch

    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.

    Right, and Santa comes down your chimney on Christmas eve.

    March 4, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Rdepontb

    Maybe it's the coming Spring that's giving employers refreshed attitudes about growth. Maybe it's in spite of DC altogether.

    March 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. geecee

    Republicans probably hate that jobs numbers are going in the right direction. They know the only way to defeat Obama is if unemployment stays around 10%, so they surely aren't happy about any good news in the jobs market sector. Actually, the Republicans want to defeat Obama so badly, they probably are hoping for the worse case scenario for this country so they can blame him over and over. They are sad, sad people really. Our Country has to faill so our President will. Bet they cringe when they see the stock market go up, too.

    March 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Jim

    What, exactly, did the Republicans do in order to address this? NOTHING! They said no to every single stimulus deal in order to try and take credit when the economy failed. And when it didn't,. they are trying to take credit. What a bunch of losers.

    March 4, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. d

    Ah, so according to the Republicans, they're responsible for the unemployment rate falling, but the president is responsible for the unemployment rate not falling far enough?

    March 4, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. sonia

    Republican John Boehner is in denial, the small businesses did the hiring, not the rich corportations who got the tax breaks! Look it up, it was announced today when the unemployment rate dropped! John Boehner keeps forgetting that he is part of the LEADERSHIP he speaks of, he is indeed the speaker of the house right?

    March 4, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  7. Irma in North Carolina

    I sure cant see why the republicans should get any credit for this, all they ever did was say no.

    March 4, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Gregory

    When things look bleak the Republicans blame the Democrats. When things improve they want to take the credit. You know, they were ready to pounce on the Prez if things came out looking bad. Next month, if there is a slight, temporary, setback the Republicans will be out in force blaming the Prez. Sorry guys. This improving economy, which has been improving for about a year and a half, is on President Obama's watch. It's his policies that are creating the recovery (from teh Republicans disastrous 8 years).

    March 4, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. Drod3

    Boehner is a fool and a clown.

    March 4, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  10. terry, va

    Obummie was dragged kicking and screaming by the repubs to extend the Bush tax rates and as a result the unemployment rate is falling. Now Obummie wants to take credit. What a joke of a president. If it wasn't for the country going further in the toilet I wish the repubs would have let him raise taxes. One thing I will never figure out is why people hate the rich. Being rich is not a sin. Coventing is. Maybe it is because most people would rather cry in their beer and not do anything and expect a handout and criticize those that want to get ahead.

    March 4, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Silence Dogood

    The unemployment figures are not high enough. We need to fire more union people in Wisconsin!

    The Republicans were put in place supposedly for JOBS JOBS JOBS! I guess the joke's on us when we thought it was job creation; apparently what they can't outsource they'll fire anyway.

    March 4, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  12. XWngLady

    DON'T EVEN *%$#& TRY IT REPUBLICANS!!! The unemployment rate went as high as it did because of the economic free-fall that Republicans created and just plopped in Pres. Obama's lap. We are now on a positive trajectory and unemployment is going down because of everything that President Obama and the Democrats did (YES. Including the STIMULUS) that you systematically voted against. Had we been able to get an even larger stimulus passed, we would have seen a quicker and more robust recovery that what we are seeing now. Republicans have in NO WAY contributed to this economic recovery.....I can't even believe that Republicans would even have the stones to try to take ANY credit for the recovery given the symphony of "NO" that they have been playing incessantly since even BEFORE Pres. Obama's inauguration.

    March 4, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  13. chill

    Business is coming back because there is demand for their products and services. Period. Tax incentives and such may provide a nudge, no doubt, to do now what you are planning to do anyway. But if there weren't enough demand, it wouldn't be happening.

    March 4, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. majikbunny

    The arsonists complain that the fire departments hoses are too small to put out the inferno they started.

    March 4, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    Republicans taking credit for what? G.T.F.O.O.H While they're trying to get some credit for creating NO jobs since they took over the House, there are republican governors around the country intentionally trying to layoff people. It's a crying shame.

    March 4, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. michaelam

    Please! "we have yet to see the leadership we need coming out of the White House to restore sustainable economic growth...." Where is the GOP/TEAHADISTS' jobs bill? Oh, that's right.....they do not have one. They are too busy redefining rape, trying to people of their basic human rights, starving women and children, repealing health care, defunding and/or abolishing the EPA......all of which creates NO JOBS!!!!!

    Where are the jobs, "Leader" Boehner???? The American people have spoken and they want jobs! Jobs, jobs, jobs!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. Charles Williams

    Let me see if I understand this: The US government is divided over balancing our budget & considering cutting entitlements for Americans, & @ the same time considering spending millions, & possibly millions to protect Libyans?!! What is wrong with this picture? I would appreciate it if one of CNN's pundits could explain this.

    March 4, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Viet. Vet

    Its amazing the Republicans trying to take credit for the drop in unemployment when everything they have presented and everything they have attempted to cut from the federal Budget would increase unemployment if it wasn't for the President and the democrat effort in stopping their train wreck, but what the heck, why get in the way of facts. The Repugs continue to believe the majority of Americans are dumb, stupid and un-educated.

    March 4, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Tanja


    The republican's HAVE DONE NOTHING FOR JOBS!!!!!

    They took over the house and VOTED TO END HEALTHCARE. When that FAILED, as they knew it would, they voted to use styrofoam cups instead of recyclable paper cups...just to piss off Democrats.

    NEVER have they VOTED to CREATE JOBS!!!!

    March 4, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  20. mms55

    all of america knows this belongs to obama.has nothing to do with the repulicans.they can't be that stupid.

    March 4, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  21. Really?

    Boehner right as far as the number not going far enough, but attributing this drop in unemployment by maintaining the same tax rate that has been in place for the past decade to the sudden improvement is total BS. The republican congress needs to do something substantiated to improve the job market like they promised during the last election cycle or they are going to lose their jobs!

    March 4, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    If it is the CASE – the TAX CUTS – then why for the past year the numbers were going down SLOWLY!!!! Why were the reports for last month and January WRONG and the unemployment incorrectly reported?

    In reality – NO ONE should take credit – Businesses hire in the first quarter anyway because their $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ numbers were GOOD in the LAST quarter of the year!!! They all got their FAT BONUSES and were still sitting on TRILLIONS/MILLIONS of dollars and by DEFAULT – that had to hire!!!! I know good and well that these Politicians knew that and were BANKING on that happening. Now they are trying to “capitalize” on it. The numbers were falling “steady” for the past year and we have President Obama to THANK for that while the Party of NO said NO!!!!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. TJ

    WTF!?!?! Are there really people taking credit for the decrease in unemployment based on the fact that they kept the status quo and changed nothing 2 months ago? Do they believe that the tax breaks that were in place for the past 10 years during the full scope of the recession magically decreased unemployment because they were left in place an additional 2 months?

    March 4, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Jon

    Yep. Standard Republican strategy. And the Bush tax cuts didn't help unemployment in all of the years before now because ...?

    March 4, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. willie floyd

    Reps. haven't done anything to help this country since they took over the House!! They can talk all they want, but facts don't lie.

    March 4, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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