GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?
March 8th, 2013
10:04 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?

Washington (CNN) – With news Friday the economy had added a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February, Republicans quickly turned back to the ongoing battle with the White House over the bloated national debt.

"Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy," House Speaker John Boehner wrote in a statement released 45 minutes after the jobs report came out.

While the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level of President Barack Obama's presidency, Republicans still weren't satisfied with the 7.7% figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. The report was a measure of the jobs situation before the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts took effect at the beginning of March.

"We must recognize that America must do better than 7.7% unemployment," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a statement. "There is still more work to be done. Too many American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and too many of our fellow citizens have spent months and months looking for a good job."

But like Boehner, Priebus brought his criticism back the ongoing impasse over reducing the debt, writing that uncertainly in the business community over new regulations and tax increases was preventing job growth.

"We can accelerate this job creation if President Obama is willing to put together a serious budget, giving business more certainty and thus allowing them to hire more," Priebus wrote, pointing to measures accomplished by House Republicans and GOP governors as examples of fiscal responsibility.

"It's time for President Obama and his party to join us in working to get more Americans back to work and securing a debt-free future for our children," he concluded.

Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a White House statement that "While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction."

Krueger stressed that Friday's report reflected the hiring environment pre-spending cuts, which were triggered after the White House and Congressional Republicans failed to strike a deal to find alternative ways to reduce the federal debt.

"The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens," Krueger wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jobs • John Boehner • RNC
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. bkgrandma

    I have to laugh when I read the Repubs say"too many Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck". I guess these RICH Republican white men don't realize that the average American has ALWAYS lived paycheck to paycheck. My husband and I raised 3 kids and sent them to college, with the help of student loans, living that way and were very happy doing it. To say the Repubs are "out of touch with reality" is an understatement.

    March 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. PJ

    "Why would anyone think that an unemployment rate of 7/7 is good?"
    Answer: Anyone with half a brain that believes "any job creation is positive news".

    March 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. MGS

    Doom & Gloom or Fear & Smear... whatever you call it. Karl Rove's tactics just make the Republicans look more and more ancilary.

    March 8, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  4. an American

    Boehner, Priebus and other and other Republican "leaders" have failed in the attempts to destroy the economy for political gain. Things are getting better in spite of their intransigence. Imagine where we could be if they could demonstrate a little responsible cooperation.

    March 8, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. James Bond

    So a incresa in jobs from losing nearly a million jobs a month, to adding and you say not good enough, donna, if repubs were in charge we would have a much different economic outlook, your hatred and racism is amazing, you have blinded yourself, and NO SANE person would claim george was a better president, unless you enjoy our kidsdying thusands of miles ffromhome, just for profits for already wealthy people, your outrage over benghazi, and silence over iraq and afgan wars only shows your inability to see a honest picture of where the responsibility for our problems lye. get a grip, you sound foolish

    March 8, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. wilwright7

    So basically, unemployment could have been zero and the Republicans would have still complained about Obama.

    March 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. joe

    Why wasn't the debt important when Bush was president? Wasn't it Dick Cheney who famous quipped "Deficits don't matter"?

    March 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. John/kc

    The improved 7.7% unemployment rate can certainly not be attributed to any help given by the GOP. They have filibustered virtually every idea that Obama has proposed. Obama must be doing something right. If the GOP would just get out of the way and end all those rich and corporation tax loopholes, things would get that much better.

    March 8, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. us_1776

    Stupid GOP/TEA party.

    Over the past 33 years the GOP of which all of TEA was a part oversaw the largest expansion of govt ever seen in the world.

    3/4ths or $12T of our $16T debt is due to UNFUNDED GOP WARS and UNFUNDED GOP PROGRAMS over the past 30 years.

    Then GOP/TEA tops it off with the massive GOP economic collapse of 2007.

    GOP/TEA, pay for what YOU spent. Pay for the damage YOU caused. Then we'll talk about cuts.


    March 8, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. bear

    The Repubs think the only way for the economy to improve is to go to war, as long as their kids don't go.

    March 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. John in Brooklyn

    We are seeing the GOP flounder for talking points and political relevance....and failing miserably at it.

    March 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. Dave

    The Republicans should have been concerned about the debt an entire decade ago back when they were emptying te treasury on useless wars. They are hypocrites of the worst kind. I never believe what they say. Too many outright lies from a party corrupt to be core.

    March 8, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. James Bond

    And bill is right, we have big troubles, and reform is needed, but if the repubs get involved, we cn rest assured, we, the middlee class will pay, while huge corps get out of it sott free, easy solution is to take away the benefits i have paid into for thirty years, rather go bankrupt.

    March 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Patrick Lewis

    What about the debit? I'll tell you how this affects the debit. People with JOBS pay TAXES paying down the debit. That's why we got a huge debit when GWB sent the economy into the tank and millions of people lost their jobs. Stabilize the environment for The American people and the American businesses, GOP... stop the continuing brinksmanship and obstructionism... and the debit to GDP will resume it's normal place. We must grow out of our current problem and you can't do that by cutting, especially when we lose our soul as a nation in the process.

    March 8, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. GIUK

    The Republicans showing concern over the national debt and the unemployment rate, is like The Manson Family being worried about the homicide rate.

    March 8, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |

    These republicans are hilarious!!!! Forward Mr. President, forward! It amazes me that these people cant even be happy by a damn good job report....I pray the spending cuts dont hurt us in the coming months......Boehner, and Priebus are talking down the economy......if this trend of job creation continues......Another DEM will be in office in 2016.....Preferably Hillary.

    March 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Rob

    Oh those Republicans, questioning the debt. They'll be trying to cut back on government spending next! It must be a right wing thing to try to balance the books. Don't you know Obama is our friend? How could you be so mean spirited to ask about debt? Isn't that Un-American? The Tea Party must be behind this balanced book gimmick!

    March 8, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Mike

    And alas here come the liberal trolls to bash the GOP and lift high the almight Obama. Forget that all those jobs are meaningless when our country files for bankruptcy and millions of people find their jobs gone when not only the U.S. economy but the world economy completely tanks.
    Better stock up on food and water folks because if Obama has his way there will be a world economic collapse and he can then try to find any way possible to remain in power. Don't think he isn't stewing over the fact that he is limited to two terms. This guy has no intention of leaving peacefully.

    March 8, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. AntiChrist

    They are like a kid wanting to eat the cake first. There must be some thing in it for them.

    March 8, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. Michael S.

    Well, Mr. Squeaker of the Do Nothing House,. maybe you and your sheeple should quit opposing every single attempt made at creating jobs programs. And you might also want to think long and hard before you agree to any new unfunded wars.

    March 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. kj9

    No matter what the good news is, the repukes will always complain. If mittens had won they would be shouting from the rooftops about what a great job he was doing. These right wing wakos make me sick

    March 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  22. DC1973

    Enjoy that 7.7% while it lasts. Once those education and domestic spending cuts really hit, there are going to be a whole lot of people out of work again.

    March 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. sonny chapman

    The Debt: Most respectable Economists say don't confuse the Debt Issue with the Slow Growth Economy Issue. Debt is something that can be worked on as a Long Term issue. Slow Growth is what we should be concentrating on now. Cutting Govt. Spending in the wrong places is hurting Growth. If Growth would kick in, the Deficit would go down; like the Clinton Years. With Obama now owning the National Security Issue, the Debt is the only Boogerman that Repubs. have right now. And he ain't really that scary. But NO BOOGERMAN, NO GOP.

    March 8, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. GOPskeptic

    If the GOP feels compelled to spin every bit of good news into something 'anti-Obama,' they could try this: claim the improved unemployment numbers are due to the recent spending cuts, which they accidentally helped achieve. That claim would be complete B S, of course, but at least the GOP leaders wouldn't come across as such pedulant children 100% of the time.

    March 8, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Tony

    What about the lower taxes that led to the debt? Before the Bush tax cuts in 2001, the federal government actually had a budget surplus.

    March 8, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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