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Jackie Calmes: ‘A Lot of the Good Jobs’ Didn’t Come Back Post-Recession, But Obama Doesn’t Get Credit for Job Growth

On Friday’s broadcast of PBS’ “Washington Week,” New York Times National Correspondent Jackie Calmes argued that while after the Great Recession, “a lot of the good jobs” didn’t return, and were replaced with jobs that had lower pay, “even as there’s been steady job increases since 2010, there’s very little credit.” And it’s “the big lie” to say the stimulus failed.

Calmes said, “[T]here were 2.3 million jobs lost between Election Day of 2008, and inauguration in January 2009. And — but the trends — those job losses exacerbated trends that had been hurting the middle class back to the ’70s. You know, the idea of lower productivity, and more automation, globalization with trade, and wage stagnation and inequality. And so a lot of — with the Great Recession, a lot of the good jobs didn’t come back. And what they were replaced with was more of the service jobs, that are the current trend of where most of the new jobs come from, with little if any benefits and lower pay. So all of that has come into play. And, even as there’s been steady job increases since 2010, there’s very little credit.  And President Obama’s been hobbled. I’ve seen this throughout his entire term, that as things got better, he could only take credit so far. And he always had to couple every bit of good news with, but things aren’t good enough yet, and Democrats had to do the same thing, or they would have seemed to be tone-deaf to people’s worries.”

She added, “the second reason for why people — there’s this disconnect, is that, you know, you got to call it the big lie, which is that the stimulus failed. It did not fail. It should have been bigger, arguably, or sustained over a longer period of time. And that’s not me talking, that’s the consensus of economists in this country across the range. The University of Chicago does surveys of economists. And I was told recently, when I asked economists — I was told that there’s more consensus on this question that the stimulus was successful than any other question. And, so then — but the very people then who are — who have said — including, in this 2016 presidential campaign, and Congressional races, still saying the stimulus was a failure, were, you know, forces in the other party that were obstructing when he tried to do infrastructure, when he tried to do additional spending in areas that he thought would be stimulative, like education and human resources.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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