On January 9, 2009, a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal wrote a smear piece entitled, “Bush On Jobs: The Worst Track Record On Record,” in which an attempt was made to show that Bush was somehow the worst President, and that therefore, Conservative economic policies (i.e. tax cuts) don’t work.
According to the staff writer, George W. Bush created a dismal +375,000 jobs per year during his eight year term; Bill Clinton created +2.9 million jobs per year; while George H.W. Bush created +625,000; Reagan prospered by +2.0 million; Carter by +2.6 million; etc… The staff writer also went into population growth during each term and the percentage of change in the population (for whatever reason). You can find the smear piece and the WSJ table here. Following is an excerpt:
President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 just as a recession was starting, and is preparing to leave in the middle of a long one. That’s almost 22 months of recession during his 96 months in office.
His job-creation record won’t look much better. The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton’s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.
Naturally it is important to use this same benchmark to measure how Barack H. Obama stacks up against his predecessors. So I went over to the good old Bureau of Labor Statistics website and made up my own table, based on the raw data. I brought my chart up to date through May 31, 2010. True, Obama has only been in office for 17 month’s, but we can at least get an idea of how he measures up.
Like the WSJ writer, the counts are based on total payrolls between the start of the month the president took office (using the final payroll count for the end of the prior December) and his final December in office (May 31, 2010 for Obama). Thus, there is no blaming the last POTUS for inheriting a bad economy, and no foul in taking credit for inheriting a good one. After all, being President is about leadership, and leaders take what is in front of them and do the best they can.