Americans For Tax Reform: “Safe”

Blaming Rep. John Barrow for unemployment figures caused by the recession, Americans for Tax Reform ties the Georgia Democrat to President Obama, who inherited a tanking economy but has lately presided over 31 months of steady private-sector growth. ATR also attacks Barrow over his votes to raise the debt ceiling, which prevented the economic catastrophe associated with default on our debts but didn’t authorize any new spending.

Recession-Fueled Massive Monthly Job Losses Have Turned To Steady Private-Sector Growth

Recession Officially Ran From December 2007 To June 2009, Making It The Longest Since World War II. From the National Bureau of Economic Research: “The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months. In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.” [, 9/20/10]

  • Recession Resulted In 8.3 Million Job Losses. According to the Associated Press, “the Great Recession killed 8.3 million jobs, compared with 1.6 million lost in the 2001 recession.” [Associated Press via Yahoo! News, 5/4/12]

Bush Recession Was So Severe That Economy Was Still Shedding Over Three-Quarters Of A Million Jobs Per Month Through First Few Months Of President Obama’s Term. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed 839,000 jobs in January 2009, 725,000 in February 2009, 787,000 in March 2009, and 802,000 in April 2009, for a four-month average of 788,250 lost jobs per month. [, accessed 5/3/12]

Since The Recession Ended In June 2009, The Private Sector Has Added 3.5 Million Jobs While Public-Sector Employment Has Fallen By 569,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 107,933,000 private-sector jobs in June 2009, and 111,499,000 private-sector jobs in September 2012, an increase of 3,566,000 jobs. The BLS also reports that there were 22,570,000 Americans working in the public sector in June 2009, and 22,001,000 working in the public sector in September 2012, a decrease of 569,000 jobs. The private-sector gains and public-sector losses add up to a total increase of 2,797,000 jobs. The following chart shows the cumulative private-sector job gains and public-sector job losses since the recession officially ended in June 2009:


[, accessed 10/5/12;, accessed 10/5/12;, 9/20/10]

  • Conservative AEI: The Public Sector Has Shrunk, But Private-Sector Growth Is Above Average. From American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark J. Perry: “In the second quarter of 2012, ‘public sector GDP’ decreased -1.44%, and that was the eighth straight quarter of negative growth for total government spending, averaging -2.88% per quarter over the last two years. In contrast, there have been 12 consecutive quarters of positive growth for private sector GDP averaging 3.07% per quarter in the three years since the recession ended, which is slightly higher than the 2.8% average growth rate in private real GDP over the last 25 years.” [, 7/31/12]

The Private Sector Has Added 4.7 Million Jobs Over 31 Consecutive Months Of Private-Sector Growth. The following chart shows the monthly change in private-sector jobs dating back to January 2008:


[, accessed 10/5/12;, 10/5/12]

Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Has Fallen From Recession-Driven High Of 10.5 Percent To 9 Percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia’s unemployment rate peaked at 10.5 percent in October 2009 (four months after the last official month of the recession), remaining above 10 percent for more than a year. As of September 2012,
Georgia’s unemployment rate was an estimated 9.0 percent. [, accessed 10/31/12;, 9/20/10]

Georgia Has Gained Over 80,000 Jobs Since Recession Ended In June 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,857,900 people employed in Georgia in June 2009, the last official month of the recession. As of September 2012, the last month for which data are available, there were an estimated 3,942,100 people employed in the state, a gain of 84,200 jobs. [, accessed 10/31/12;, 9/20/10]

Failure To Raise The Debt Ceiling Could Have Had Severe Economic Consequences

Debt Ceiling Does Not Determine U.S.’ Debt Level; It Is “A Limit On The Ability Of The Federal Government To Pay Obligations Already Incurred.” According to the Government Accountability Office: “The debt limit does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to run deficits or incur obligations. Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay obligations already incurred. While debates surrounding the debt limit may raise awareness about the federal government’s current debt trajectory and may also provide Congress with an opportunity to debate the fiscal policy decisions driving that trajectory, the ability to have an immediate effect on debt levels is limited” [, 2/22/11]

Failure To Raise Debt Ceiling Could Have Resulted In Default Or Had Other Severe Economic Consequences. From CNNMoney: “A failure to raise the debt ceiling would likely send shockwaves through the underpinnings of the financial system — and possibly ripple out to individual investors and consumers. The federal government would be forced to prioritize its payments. It would risk defaulting on its financial obligations. And if that happens, credit rating agencies would downgrade U.S. debt.” [, 7/21/11]

Debt Limit Has Been Raised Over 90 Times Since 1940. From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Before World War I, Congress generally had to approve each separate issuance of federal debt. Since then, the limit has evolved into an overall dollar cap on the amount of debt the federal government can incur.  Since 1940, Congress has enacted 91 separate increases in the statutory debt limit, an average of one every nine months (though individual increases lasted anywhere from three days to eight years).” [, 7/21/11]

[BARROW CLIP:] “My support for President Obama is beside the point.” [NARRATOR:] Hmm? Let’s take a look. One – eight – 73. John Barrow said job creation is priority number one, but after eight years of Barrow in Washington, Georgia’s unemployment has exploded 73 percent. Over 193,000 more Georgians are out of work. Barrow even voted five times to increase our debt limit. Barrow’s support of Obama is the point. Time to make Georgia safe from them. Americans for Tax Reform is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Americans for Tax Reform via, 10/31/12]