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. Bennycat

    Some suggestions for saving money:
    *Close US bases in Europe. WWII and the Cold War are over.
    *Realistically assess the cost effectiveness of undeclared drone warfare (since we can't seem to get a grip on the moral angle). How much do these things cost and, a. how many actual terrorists have the killed versus, b. how many innocent civilians and, c. how many jihadists have the recruited?
    *Stop the ridiculous out-sourcing of military functions, including food service and embassy security, to vastly overpriced private contractors who are, by the way, owned by a pack of these same debt-conscious Republicans.

    March 8, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Wilson

    Any increase in jobs is good. This is happening in spite of this administration's policies, not because of them. The republicans need to keep doing their job, stopping as many of this administration's country killing policies as possible, or at least minimising the damage as much as they can.

    March 8, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Facts don't Lie

    so is the GOP ready to talk about the income disparity from top to bottom? I seriously doubt it. Leave it to the GOP to always find a cloud in a silver lining. Besides ask Dick Cheney about if deficits matter.

    March 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. System Failure

    Republicans need to take a new tact. Instead of trying to sabotage the economy (debt ceiling crisis, default threats, No on jobs bill), they should get on board so they can take some credit for it later. And stop complaining about the debt if you're unwilling to raise taxes to fix it. People are figuring out that spending is not the problem. Discretionary spending has barely increased. Bush tax cuts and the Great Recession caused our current debt problem.

    March 8, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. Art Rightous

    Silly me! I keep remembering all this debt being caused by a republican. Oh some has been caused by stimulus packages, but a majority came from two wars placed on a credit card, and business managerial practices straight out of the stone age. But it seems every time the republicans put a spin on it, it all rests on the shoulders of Romney's 47% league. Well, I haven't been new for a long time, and I'm tired of being treated like I'm right off the boat. It's getting tiresome.

    March 8, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. iTexan

    Dick Cheney: "Deficits don't matter." Also, wars are good. Soldier's lives don't matter. It's okay to spend trillions on rebuilding a country, as long as it's not this one. And, it's okay to spend another trillion on prescription drugs, as long drug companies contribute to my campaign. Sorry, but the Republican party is delusional and morally bankrupt. Nothing they say can be believed.

    March 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Gerg

    The GOP grandstanding in the last 3 or 4 years has helped put us where we are. The GOP lost the opportunity to help right the economy; the GOP lost the election; they abdicated their leadership role in helping grow our economy. Instead, they relied on, and continue to rely on, mediveal conservative religious tenets; the TEA party leaves only carnage in its wake, not substantive and constructive contributions...this is the issue, not whether Obama is doing absolutley the right thing. Obama is making decisions - right or wrong - where the GOP has failed to to and failed to contribute to. Nuff others can wail on the looming "Zombie Econo-pocalypse" until it comes. Instead, why not step out of your knee-high cynicism and destructive propaganda and actually do something about it - on a constructive level...Nuff said (again)...

    March 8, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. DC Johnny

    If only we'd close the loopholes, that would really start the job growth rolling!

    - The incredible logic of the Democrat machine

    March 8, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Economics 101

    The Republicans are trying to lower government spending and fix our debt. If we don't fix our deficit spending, it will destroy our economy like it did in Japan & Greece and you can't fix debt by borrowing money from China for more "stimulus". People who think we're doing okay will be shocked when inflation hits, prices skyrocket, stocks fall, interest rates and unemployment shoot up; all unavoidable unless we fix our debt.

    March 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Joe

    Gee the party who hindes everything, asking about the dept. The ones who got us in this mess. At least Mr Obama is doing something right , at least hje is trying .

    March 8, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Minnie Mouse

    There are still millions without jobs, relying on unemployment and welfare assistance. How's that good for anyone?
    No, were are not any better of this month or even in the coming up months if things keep up like this. Yes, and what about our debt? It's huge, off the roof top! So what do we keep wasting money on? Dumping money into cupcakes, moving furniture, hanging pictures on the wall, bridge to nowwhere, state golf course, sitting and unused property ect...instead we need to be investing money into things are really needed and that are of importance to our country. Who doesn't love cupcakes, but we don't want our tax dollars wasted on them!

    March 8, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY


    This is happening in spite of this administration's policies, not because of them.

    and if the unemployment rate goes up, it's BECAUSE of Obama's policies right?

    March 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. James Bond

    Wilson, let me get this straight, the economy is getting better because of the obstruction in congress, i spoke too soon, sorry mike, wilson just put it out of the park, really?.. man , talk about in denial, whew, what a place he must live in, again WOW

    March 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What about the debt??? Really???Are teapublicans really serious???

    The Clinton Surplus the GOP squandered – $230 billion

    The GOP's Iraq and Afghan wars – $5.5 Trillion

    Bush's failed and ineffective Prescription drug Program $1 Trillion

    Bush Era Tax Cuts for the wealthy – $1.2 Trillion

    The GOP's Port Barrel Earmark to Gravina Island Bridge-To-No-Where – $398 Million

    Bush's TARP bailout that failing Wall Street Banks gave to their partying CEOs -$700 Billion


    And note: The two stimulus bills passed by the Obama administration in 2009 and 2010 were passed out of NECESSITY to stabilize and regrow the broken economy and fix the Great Recession the GOP caused.

    And the Affordable Care Act is designed to reduce our national debt by 250 billion over 10 years.

    Yes, what about your debt GOP?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    March 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Facts don't Lie

    @ Wilson...... so good news on the job numbers is not due to anything Obama has done BUT if they were bad it would be all his fault right? Typical Republican you folks crack me up. The GOP has killed EVERY jobs bill that has been offered even some that would put people to work fixing our roads and bridges. And to others that say 7.7 unemployment is not good news I say ANY is not good news but try Spain and Greece where it is in double digits where the Republicans are trying to extend austerity here like it worked so well over there. Silly rabbits!

    March 8, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Logic N LA

    Oh Wilson- at what point does a Republican such as yourself ever say Obama did something right? Based on the popular thinking, jobs were created despite a tax increase on the rich. This is because despite the rubbish about the wealthy create jobs, business hire when business needs people.
    You want to lower the debt- put tax levels back to where we were before bush and we had a surplus.

    March 8, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Billster

    Unemployment has dropped to the lowest level of Obama's presidency and all the GOP leadership can think to do is loop the conversation back to the national debt? Come on, guys.

    March 8, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. easchner

    I've heard Rubio (and others) say on several different occassions that the US would never get out of debt through tax increases and that the ONLY way to get the budget, deficit, and debt under control was to create new jobs. Well, jobs are up so what response do we get? "What about the debt?"

    Seriously? One of your poster boys continually touts don't worry about the debt directly, worry about jobs and that will follow. Once again showing that the only thing Republicans care about is showing Obama as a failure.

    March 8, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Jon Dough

    How is it that the Republican's obstructionist policies don't matter (to them)? They tried to get the whitehouse back by stalling the economy, but failed. They ignore the obscene distribution of wealth. They support offshoring of good jobs and tax revenues. Current policies aren't the best, but given the alternatives..................

    March 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. James Bond

    Why do the hard left bloggers seam so much more in touch with reality, the hard righters concern me, they function in society with that mindset?

    March 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. MTATL67

    The Republicans are making huge fools of themselves. The economy is improving and the country is moving forward and they are getting left behind. At this point the next two elections do not look good for the GOP. The end of the Republican party on the national stage is completely within the realm of possibility

    March 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Steven Colo

    "While we regretfully applaud the good jobs news, we need to point out that Obama has still not dug out of the hole we put the country in."

    March 8, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. Andrew

    Seeing as the debt really started with Herr Reagan, maybe the GOP should be addressing the question, not asking it.

    March 8, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. AK_steve

    I bet the GOP is upset that the sequester didn't hurt the jobs report quick enough.

    March 8, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. James Bond

    Da nile is a really big river, lots of room

    March 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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