Republicans have blocked Obama’s jobs policies

Republicans have had to tread carefully not to seem too gleeful about today’s lackluster jobs news: The economy gained only 69,000 new jobs in May.

This is bad news to most Americans, of course, but good news for Republican efforts to unseat President Obama. And Mitt Romney wasted no time trying to lay the blame for the bad news on Obama’s doorstep in a hastily released statement:

Today’s weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families. This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another. Slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims, and now another dismal jobs report all stand as a harsh indictment of the President’s handling of the economy. It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class.

There is one small problem with the notion that today’s numbers prove that Obama’s policies have failed: Republicans have controlled the U.S. House and engaged in all-out abuse of the filibuster in the Senate for well over a year. Obama has proposed new jobs creation policies, most notably last year’s American Jobs Act, which independent economists said would lead to the creation of more than 1 million jobs this year. The House refused to take it up, and Republican senators filibustered it.

Obama was able to pass meaningful stimulus soon after he took office. Though the common wisdom is that the stimulus failed, the fact is that the stimulus turned around a horrific jobs situation in which the nation was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs a month and helped create sustained, if weak, private sector job growth. But the stimulus spending has dried up, and, clearly, the economy isn’t recovering on its own.

Republicans were more than happy to take credit for a good month of job growth in February 2011, a month after they took control of the House (but had yet to pass any jobs legislation; which remains the case to this day). Romney and other Republicans need to understand that they are co-owners of this economy now, and their obstructionism is the main reason why Washington not only hasn’t taken steps to stimulate job growth but has intentionally undermined public sector employment.

You can’t blame Obama’s policies for the sluggish economy when you refuse to even consider passing any job creation idea Obama has proposed. Pass the American Jobs Act. If the economy isn’t better by November, then you can blame Obama.

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