It’s unremarkable for President Obama’s opponents to deride his career in public service; ever since Ronald Reagan ran into term limits, conservatives have insisted that business experience is more important in the White House than intellect, vision, and policy knowledge. But conservative reverence for the business world and disdain for government work is so dogmatic today that Republicans often claim that Obama’s policies have primarily, or even only, benefitted the public sector at the expense of the private economy. This is nonsense. The primary difference between the Obama recovery and the previous three post-recession economies, other than the depth of the crater Wall Street’s actions created, is that where government payrolls expanded under Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Reagan, the public sector has shed well over half a million jobs since the end of the recession. Meanwhile, private-sector hiring has been far more consistent than conservatives would have you believe.
3.3 Million New Private-Sector Jobs Since Recession, But 640,000 Government Employees Out Of Work
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.” [NBER.org, 9/20/10]
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