Administration, Republicans both take credit for drop in unemployment
March 4th, 2011
10:41 AM ET
4 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. OneMoreTime

    The more success President Obama and those who worked so hard to turn this Country around, the more desperate
    and hysterical the Republicans become. We know why this is happening, and the Republicans had nothing to do
    with it. Hopefully it will continue, but I don't trust Republican/TeaParty people and I fully expect them to do or say
    anything to stop progress because their strategy of "No" didn't work and they can't stand it.

    March 4, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Alex

    Nice try Republicans – unemployment began turning around in October – way before your job-killing, middle-class killing tax cuts went into effect.

    March 4, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "While Republican leaders said the improved numbers were a good sign, they criticized the president for they see as a slow recovery."

    So, GOPers criticize the slow recovery on the President, but take credit for the improved unemployment numbers, having held a majority in the House for, what, a little under 2 months now? Without having ONE of their so called initiatives yet to pass the Senate and actually become LAW? The unemployment numbers have been steadily increasing long before the GOPers *passed the tax cuts* this past December. Unemployment numbers have been decreasing throughout 2009. Fact is, these same tax cuts which now have become the GOPers ONLY talking point have been in place since 2002, and did little to stop unemployment from skyrocketing back in late 2007. Do you GOPers NEVER listen to your own BS anymore? Yep. The recession was Obama's fault, although it started LONG before he ever became President. The slow recovery is Obama's fault. And, now, having held a majority in the House for less than 3 months, and NEVER having passed any bill which has made its way through the Democratic controlled Senate, or to the Democrat President for signature, GOPers are taking credit for a 1 point improvement in job growth. Too funny for words.

    March 4, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. K3Citizen

    Of course the republicans want to take credit for Obama's work! The tax breaks were extended because of the Democrats in the House, Senate, and Oval Office. The republicans took over AFTER the extensions. Hell, the republicans are probably taking credit for the warm weather, too!

    March 4, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. Bob in PA

    I think the government really has nothing to take credit for. It is the lack of government action that has people being a little more optimistic. Once people saw a stalemate between branches of government, then there is less chance of the government passing more constrictive measures.

    If you had to declare a winner, the House Republicans win because they are the makers of the stalemate at this point.
    Keep up the good work Congressmen(women).

    March 4, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. vic nashville tn

    Wow “result of stopping tax hikes” really what about year 2005, 2006, 2007 ,2008 ,2009

    “Barack Obama has failed to address our nation's long-term fiscal health."

    How republicans addressing the fiscal health
    1) busting unions
    2) wall street did the crime punishing sesame street
    3) go after parenthood
    4) introducing series of silly legislative bills in republicans states

    March 4, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Buzz

    The truth is that NEITHER

    March 4, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Chipster

    John Boehner is an idiot. Tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans not only failed to create jobs during the Bush Administration, it bankrupted the U.S. in the process! When Bush left office, we were losing between 300,000 to 700,000 jobs per month. I will never understand why working people ever vote Republican. Corporations are now considered to be "people" thanks to Republicans and they are throwing unlimited amounts of money at ensuring the GOP continues to open the Treasury doors to them. They're destroying the middle class and we're becoming a 3rd world country. But the people allow themselves to be manipulate with side issues like abortion (notice the GOP made no effort to ban it while in power for over 6 years!)

    March 4, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Buzz

    The truth is that NEITHER of them have done anything to create more jobs. The realiith is that they don't want to until the middle class is complete ground up into a mass of inert protoploasm so that they will accept anything an employer offers them. The recent push to bust the backs of the unions is the latest step in that process. Won't be long now.

    March 4, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Bill from GA

    So when the 'stop in tax hikes' raises the yearly deficit $50 billion, it's Pres. Obama's fault, but when that same action might have helped job creation, repugs take credit.

    March 4, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. ps

    So let me get this straight. Republicans take credit for the drop in umemployment, yet blame the President that the recovery hasn't happened faster. Which is it? If you take credit for one, take blame for the other. Oh that's right if anything good happens it's because of republicans and if anything bad happens it's the democrat's fault.

    Republicans are shameless !

    March 4, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Andrew

    The republicans should be ashamed to be such fabricators.

    March 4, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. Me

    When the GOP took The House, I made a statement and a prediction.

    The legislation that we needed in order to recover our national economy was passed by the last congress (The Democrats) against stout, unified, lockstep opposition of The Republicans.
    Now that tthe GOP have a tenuous sliver of power in controlling The House, they will take credit for any economic improvement when they haven't done one single thing to help improve our economic situation.

    Since the GOP took the house they have
    -Read The Constitution out loud
    -Attempted to defund The Healthcare Reform Law
    -Targeted abortion rights
    -attempted to redefine the word rape.

    Can anybody think of ANY bill proposed by the GOP that actually focused on improving the economy and getting people back to work?

    March 4, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Jilli

    I credit the Obama admin, this is a continuation of the trend they had established. The republicans have not even mentioned the word JOBS since the end of the elections.

    If tax cuts were the cause, why didn't we see overwhelming job creation during the bush admin? Instead we saw the most massive job loss since the depression. Tax cuts don't create jobs, the eliminate them.

    The Obama admin deserves the credit – the republicans are still debating ABORTION for cripes sake. And that doesn't even rank on the list of most pertinent issues – it's been settled law for over 40 years.

    March 4, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Bill from GA

    Did any repugs notice that jobs growth has improved almost every month since Pres. Obama's stimulus program was put in place? All the tax rate extensions did was add to the debt.

    GDP is way up since Pres. Obama took office, also.

    March 4, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. Lee - Austin, TX

    How can you take credit for jobs when the only bills you've passed in the last two months have been about ending abortion, cutting funding for public services (and hence cutting tens of thousands of jobs, actually SUBTRACTING from our progress), and giving tax breaks to Wall Street so they can pass through taxpayer wealth to their executives in the form of bonuses (for a job well done?!?!)? How can these people look at themselves in the mirror with a straight face anymore. Can even one of them explain to me how the trickle down theory works, and why when it comes to sacrifice, it's ALWAYS the people who have less than who are made to suffer??

    March 4, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. once upon a horse

    so I'm guessing if the unemployment number happens to creep back up in the next month or so it'll be Obama's fault again. No matter how you want to paste it an improving economy just as a failing one is always on the POTUS. The Republicans are in a difficult positon because the "claim" they want to get jobs, but unemployment going down helps Obama more than it helps them, at least in the eyes of people that don't get their "facts" from FoxNews.

    March 4, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Then let them both take the blame, in a couple of months, when all the teachers across the country get laid off.

    March 4, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Darrell

    You Republicans kill me: for two years you guys said No to everything Obama tried to do get the economy going. Next you get elected in 2010 to take back the House. Nearly three months later, you guys have not proposed or taken one jobs bill. Please give me a break...Obama's policies are working, albeit slowly, and we are moving in the right direction, instead of th 700,000 jobs lost per month that GWB and the Republicans gave us. So, put a sock in it and leave the driving to the Dems. and Obama!

    March 4, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. zin

    U thnk if dems won the midterms and there were a repub pres and senate, dems wud agree their midterm gains had absolutely nothng to do with job gains? of course lefties who immediately began parroting righties about Where are the jobs Mr Bohner?, will not see the correlation, or deny it, between republicn gains in nov and job gains in feb. na, they it must be part of 2010 recovery summer. except everyone knws it is not

    March 4, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. PAUL W!

    Yeah, right. Sorry GOP, you don't get to claim to have been the cause of the decrease in unemployment rate if all you can point to is your lack of involvement in solving the problem over the last two years. Good try though.

    March 4, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Pretzel Logic

    Pretty unbelievable that the Republicans, who have done absolutely nothing about boosting jobs and the economy which they campaigned on, are taking credit for this. Obama deserves ALL of the credit for turning the economy around and staving off a depression.

    March 4, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Rickster

    Everything the republicans have said would happen has happened. They said repeatedly that Obama's policies would not work and would result in high unemployment and slow recovery. They have. The republicans also said that once the Bush tax cuts were extended, business would start hiring again. They have. Republicans have also said that Obamacare will result in lost jobs and a degraded health care system. It will.
    Obama may have finished at the top of his madrassa but he is in way over his head now.

    March 4, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Tony

    The only thing the Republicans contributed to this feast of good news was the whine.

    March 4, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. Inmyopinion

    I know I'm back on spending money in my business, we just bought new equipment, redesigning our website, hopefully we can hire 2 new people in the next few months. I don't have the tax worry over my shoulders anymore.

    March 4, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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