Ezra Klein is a columnist and blogger at The Washington Post and a policy analyst for MSNBC. His work focuses on domestic and economic policy-making, as well as the political system that's constantly screwing it up.
Mitt Romney’s campaign would have you believe that every job lost over the past three years is President Barack Obama’s fault. That includes the 820,000 jobs lost in January 2009, even though Obama didn’t become president until the 20th of the month.
It includes the 726,000 jobs lost in February 2009, before any of Obama’s policies had gone into effect. This suggests that Romney holds a deeply ambitious view of a president’s power to influence the labor market -- a view, as we’ll see, that’s not shared by economists who were responsible for White House economic policies in recent administrations.
Romney, too, discounts the president’s power when he highlights his own record in Massachusetts. In fact, Romney’s campaign asks us to believe that every job created in Massachusetts while he was governor was Romney’s doing. Obama might deserve the blame for the jobs lost on his watch, but George W. Bush, who was president during Romney’s governorship, gets no credit for the jobs created on his. Romney also claims that every job created by any company that Bain Capital LLC had a hand in should also be credited to Romney -- even if the job was created long after Bain separated from the company. Heads, I created a job; tails, you lost one.
The Obama campaign isn’t much better. They want credit for every job created, but not for every job lost. They also want Democratic economic policies to get credit for the jobs created under Bill Clinton’s presidency (what tech bubble?) and for Republicans’ economic philosophy to take the hit for the financial crisis that began during Bush’s administration (what Clinton-era opposition to the regulation of derivatives?).
Governor Rick Perry’s campaign, meanwhile, assigns Obama responsibility for every job lost nationwide, but Perry gets credit for every job created in Texas. Neat trick. And he, like all Republicans, wants the jobs created under President Ronald Reagan added to conservatism’s side of the ledger.
READ MORE by clicking on the link. Quite informative.