10 million net jobs created during Jimmy Carter’s term

What to do with Jimmy Carter? I don’t know. I didn’t see the Democratic Convention video of him interviewing New Orleanians last night, but I assume it was pretty good.

Republicans like to slag on Carter, and they havecompared Barack Obama to Carter during the campaign. This linkage is sort of useful, actually, because you wouldn’t believe how many conservatives think that they need to suffer through another “Carter” before the country will be ready to elect the“next Ronald Reagan”. Operating under that assumption, conservatives will be much less willing to hold their nose for McCain this election if they think there is some strategic, long-term benefit in having a “Carter-esque” Democrat elected. And that’s fine. I won’t disabuse them of their “ultra-strategic” political history models. 

However, in the meantime, could Democratic talking heads please rememberone little talking point about Carter that stops conservatives in their tracks? I mean, it stops them cold. Seriously, you want to see a confused Gooper?– well, after they complain about the “malaise” of the Carter years, and how Obama will be “Carter’s second term”, hit them with this:

Over 10 million net jobs were created during Carter’s four year term, compared with only (about) 5 million during Dubya’s two terms. Why does the so-called “Bush Boom” compare so disfavorably to the so-called “Carter malaise”, in terms of net job growth?

Let’ em chew on that packet of butterscotch for a little while.

Further, more jobs were created during Carter’s four years than in either of Reagan’s terms. And if we’re gonna talk Democratic Presidents and net job growth, we’d be remiss not to mention the 23 million jobs created during the eight year Clinton administration. If you combine the net job totals under Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43… you get approximately the same total! So, twenty years of GOP presidents created roughly the same number of jobs that Clinton did in eight.

Hmm. But we don’t hear those facts very often, do we?

5 thoughts on “10 million net jobs created during Jimmy Carter’s term

  1. And on top of it, the GDP and population of the US were much smaller during Carter’s administration. Yet they still managed to create twice as many jobs as Bush. And now there’s a real chance that the DJIA may end up lower after 8 years of Bush than when he took office. Has any 2 term president managed that?

  2. For more on the actual performance of the economy under red and blue presidents I’ll recommend the Angry Bear.
    It’s a great web site for two reasons:
    1) They use and present lots of data from the BLS, BEA and other reliable sources. They aren’t afraid to make their own plots and spreadsheets.
    2) They repeatedly show that Democratic leadership, and generally higher taxes, are tightly linked to higher rates of GDP growth, lower unemployment, better wages, better business and all that good green stuff.
    I gather that there is a book coming out.

  3. “Let’ em chew on that packet of butterscotch for a little while.”
    Jeez Louie, Big Molluski! What are you, Gonzo’s illegitimate Son of Sam? Holy Moly Roly Poly!
    And Carter was an Evangelical Southern Baptist Deacon Too. Hit’em wit’dat and watch them start hiking up their pants and staring at the floor like some dip’wad who just farted in the middle of a gas chamber group tour. (jus’sayin:)(really though…how could you!?!)(I was eating hot soup!)
    Tell them that Jimmy Carter was chosen for Command of a Nuc’lr Attack Submaring. Tell’em THAT! HA! I sure wouldn’t want that Georgia Bulldog on My Ass if I was an evil Ruskie Tube Sucker from Sevastopol.
    Damn you are good though. So damn good that it really hurts me to haaaaave to say this…
    Con’di! Con’di!! Con!Di!!!
    Rock On, Noble Oyster!

  4. This might be the harshest comment that I’ve ever made on one of your blog posts, but you almost sound like Howard Fineman or Larry Kudlow (sorry about that one). Trying to convince anybody over 45 or 50 that he just didn’t realize how good the economy was in the seventies is like trying to convince people today that they just don’t appreciate the Bush boom. Forget job creation numbers, look at the numbers that make up the “misery index.” The unemployment rate was in the 7-7.5% range at the beginning and end of Carter’s term and the beginning and end of Reagan’s first term. But it dropped to arond 5% in the middle of Carter’s term, spiked to almost 11% in the middle of Reagan’s first term. So why did Reagan get re-elected instead of Carter? I would say the fact that the rate of inflation steadily increased under Carter and steadily decreased under Reagan was probably at least as important as events in the Middle East. Trying to convince people that the economy did well under Carter rings about as true as trying to convince people that it’s doing well under Bush. Because Pollyanna creep does have some effect on people’s perceptions, it probably rings a little less true.
    So what to do about the Carter comparison? Embrace it, but not because Carter was a great job creator. Agree that whoever gets elected president will probably end up looking a lot like Carter. To put it more precisely, because of Bush’s policies, the economy may very well look a lot like like it did in the seventies, when it performed poorly under three presidents — two of them Republican, or like like it looked during Reagan’s first term. You could probably find a few honest conservatives to help make that argument, the Cunning Realist comes to mind, or you could probably also find several not-so-honest conservatives who’ve inadvertently made that case.

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