ThinkProgress: As of April, there are now more private sector jobs in the United States than there were in January 2009, when President Obama took office. You read that right. We have now replaced all of the private sector jobs lost while Obama has been president. And that was no mean feat, given that over the course of 2009, the private sector shed about 4.2 million jobs.
Unfortunately, the news is not nearly so good when it comes to the public sector, where there are currently 607,000 fewer people working than there were when President Obama took office.
The chart below tells the whole story. Under President Obama, the private sector has experienced a relatively robust recovery, and is now back to where it started when he took office. The public sector continues to shed jobs, and as a result, the overall jobs picture in the US remains weak. If you want to understand why conservative efforts to slash funding for teachers, firefighters, cops is bad for the economy, look no further than this graph.
Politicususa: Beneath all of the Republican and Tea Party grumbling about taxes, one key fact continues to be ignored:
According to the Tax Policy Center, Federal taxes are lower than at any time since 1955. Obama has now reduced taxes by more than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.
According to the Orange County Register, “For the past two years, a family of four earning the median income has paid less in federal income taxes than at any time since at least 1955, according to the Tax Policy Center. All federal, state and local taxes combined are a lower percentage of per-capita income than at any time since the 1960s, according to the Tax Foundation. The highest income-tax bracket is its lowest since 1992. At 35 percent, it’s well below the 50 percent mark of much of the 1980s and the 70 percent bracket of the 1970s.”
The problem is that the tax cuts have not promoted economic growth and have caused the federal deficit to explode … The answer to America’s revenue shortfall is to raise taxes. The US revenue gap could be closed immediately with a tax increase, but Republicans and tea partiers go insane as soon as the prospect is mentioned…The Tea Party set believes to their core that they are being overtaxed, but reality doesn’t match their perception.
In fact, most Americans have no idea that Barack Obama has lowered taxes. According to a 2010 CBS News/New York Times Poll, only 12% of Americans knew that Obama has lowered taxes. 53% thought that he kept taxes the same, and 24% believed that Obama has raised taxes. Not surprisingly, only 2% of Tea Party supporters knew that Obama had lowered taxes. 44% of them thought that the President has raised their taxes.
The right believes this because they got the idea from Fox News and talk radio…..While the Tea Party takes to the streets to keep tax rates low for billionaires, Barack Obama has lowered their taxes to historically low levels.
The bottom line is that beneath all the GOP spin the fact remains. Barack Obama, not Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, is the greatest tax cutter in American history.
Washington Post: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 12,000 Tuesday for the first time since June 2008. The milestone was another mark of recovery from one of the worst financial crises in the nation’s history – and a sign that investors expect the economy to keep growing instead of taking a second dip into recession.
….The news raised hopes on the economic front. “We have issues; we have problems,” said James W. Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, an arm of Wells Fargo. “But I don’t think they’re as overwhelming as what everyone thought, and that’s why we’re back here as fast as we are.”
The Dow, an index of major corporate share prices, has now risen more than 83 percent in less than two years….Companies such as IBM, Apple, Netflix and Caterpillar have contributed to the momentum with encouraging year-end reports or upbeat financial forecasts…..
The symbolism of a Dow 12,000 could be as much political as economic. In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama noted that the stock market had “come roaring back.”
AP: The best month for U.S. factories in nearly seven years is brightening the outlook for job growth.
Companies are exporting more construction and mining equipment, and Americans are buying more cars, appliances and computers.
The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, said Tuesday that its index of manufacturing activity rose last month to 60.8. It was the highest reading since May 2004 and the 18th straight month the sector has grown. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The strong data on manufacturing activity was a major reason the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 for the first time since June 2008.