I was wondering this morning how the GOP field was going to react to the awful news — from their perspective — that the unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest level in three years.
Newt Gingrich didn’t make me wait:
Gingrich Response to December Jobs Report:
We Need a Reagan Conservative
Hanover, NH – Newt Gingrich made the following statement today in response to this morning’s report of 8.5% unemployment for the month of December 2011:
“Three full years into the Obama presidency, and there are still 1.7 million fewer Americans going to work today than there were on Obama’s Inauguration day.
“Today’s new December unemployment figure doesn’t capture the full scale of the tragedy: almost 24 million Americans still unemployed, working part-time for economic reasons, or discouraged from looking for work.
“The Obama experiment has failed, and it is time to look to proven solutions that have successfully empowered job-creators in the past.
“Ronald Reagan enacted historic income tax rate cuts, a stronger and more stable dollar, regulatory reforms, and spending controls. Three years into his recovery, Americans had created about 9.5 million jobs. When we took control of the House in 1995, we moved quickly to balance the budget, reform entitlements, and make the largest capital gains tax cut in history – three years later, 8 million more Americans were going into work every day.
“Now more than ever, America needs a Reagan conservative in the White House.”
Now, before you laugh too hard at his desperation to find a dark lining in a silver cloud… Newt definitely has a point. More than one, even. I can attest to the fact that there’s plenty of pain out there. Someone very close to me lost his longtime job just this week — along with most of the people in his office. And there are no statistics telling the story of the tons of people who remain profoundly underemployed, compared to the jobs they had before September 2008.
But still… Newt mentions Reagan here. Does anyone doubt that, if Reagan were in the White House now, Mr. Gingrich would be insisting, vehemently, that we embrace the good news in the report? I don’t.
I don’t know whether the policies President Obama has pursued have helped improve the economy or not, and I’m suspicious of anyone who claims to know.
But good news is good news. And Obama looks more like a two-term president than ever. And some of the candidates who did not get into this race — Huckabee, Barbour, Christie — are probably quietly congratulating themselves right now.