Hardball | March 08, 2013
>>> may come as a shock to people lives in the conservative media bubble, but despite months of hyperbolic warnings, the election and re-election of barack obama did not, in fact, crash the u.s. economy . well, today we found out that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% for february, the lowest it's been in more than four years as businesses added, and this is really impressive, 236,000 new jobs. well, how did republicans respond to that? with as little enthusiasm as possible. here is the speaker of the house , john boehner . any job creation is positive news but the fact is unemployment in america is still way below the levels the white house projected. despite republican grumbling here is what the obama economy actually looks like. blue, there it is on the right, represents the months president obama has been in office since january of '09. since march of 2010 , the private sector has added jobs every month. the biggest loss of jobs in red on the left actually happened when george w. bush was president. doesn't this president, barack obama , deserve some credit for improving the economy from what he inherited? joy reid is managing editor of thegrio.com and michael crowley , what a great name to have these days with downton abbey, mary crowley, deputy washington bureau chief for "time" magazine. joy, let me start with you. it seems to me that when i look at the stock market breaking all records, when i look at 236,000 new jobs and i keep thinking when are the republicans going to do what rodney dangerfield asked for all those years, show a little respect, and what does this all mean? don't they secretly say damn it, things are getting better ? what are they saying when they read this stuff?
>> i agree with you. they've got to say that stuff. before the election happened the incentive for republicans was so constantly downplay the economy, to say the economy was terrible because their presidential candidate, mitt romney , was running on only one thing, the economy is awful, i'm the only one who can fix it. once the election was a fait accompli, you would think the incentive would change because the next person up for re-election if you're a republican member of congress is you. it's not president obama . he's done having elections. you're the next one up, so you would think talking up iment pro. in the economy and your participation would be a good idea but they're still not doing it. i think part of it is the incentive structure, the republican party is now so weighted on the side of constantly being against barack obama , whatever he's for, you're against. whatever is good for him is bad for you, bad for the country. if that incentive structure hasn't changed enough for the republicans to get the memo that maybe it would be good politics for them to start saying the economy is getting better. the other reason is they agreed to raise tacks in january. that was a painful thing to do and they'd --
>> for the top 1%.
>> barely. exactly. just a minor and we also raised taxes on everybody with that payroll tax --
>> nobody argues about that unfortunately. we should have a whole show on that baby.
>> they don't want to admit in a slyly higher tax environment jobs are being created.
>> let me go to you smikcle. it seems a couple shots have been taken at the president and they have never come to reality. inflation. the way i calculate it, it was like 6%, 2% annual, about one-sixth of 1% on a monthly basis. there's no inplation yet this year. high interest rates. they're so low you can borrow money now. austerity. where is that working in the world? not only are they wrong on their attacks, they're wrong on their prescriptions. i think estonia is doing all right with austerity and maybe a couple other countries but that's not generally the rule that that's working.
>> europe provides -- all due respect to estonia and the counter example i have heard about europe provides a strong counter xempl. i know we're talking about the president here but remember some of the things said by ben bernanke as he was engineering the monetary policy during this recovery. remember a rick perry saying he was rigging it for obama's election. he better not come down to texas. some of the things sarah palin said, completely wrong. but, chris, there is -- as joy said there, is just a kind of partisan dynamic baked in here. i think back with some amusement to the clinton years when clinton passed his economic bram in 1993 that included substantial tax hike. republicans predicted the economy would just completely collapse. it was going to be economic armageddon. then as you recall we had this tremendous economic boom and they immediately said that was because of the dotcom explosion and productivity changes and so, you know, you kind of can't win in this partisan situation and i think republicans are just too committed to the idea that the economy really can't be good under barack obama 's stewardship. it would be too hard to explain.
>> you're younger than me. the old line -- joy, you may not have lived like this. if you want to live like a republican, vote like a democrat. not true that people have better times , better life , existences under the republicans . marsha blackburn was asked by luke russert about the unemployment numbers earlier today. listen to her nonanswer answer.
>> the economy grew by 236,000 jobs last quarter, unemployment went down 7.7%. president obama deserves some credit for that one?
>> well, i think that there is credit to go around and also, luke, i have to tell you, talking to so many business owners here in tennessee, they were pleased to see that we stuck to the point of letting the sequester take place and beginning to cut across the board, make some cuts in this discretionary spending .
>> well, that doesn't have anything to do with luke's very pressing question there, joy. i mean, it was a good question. it was about today's news. what do you make of the day's news. her answer was i don't have anything to say about the news. but i guess the question is you were getting to it, does this affect the things look a little brighter than they did several months ago. although i have to tell you we've been rounding at 8% for 14 months. for all this talk about jubilation and everything else that's going on, whatever song that's from, that haven't gotten marginally greater. we're still around 8% in the history books and a question i have to ask, bernanke says he's going to stop pumping money into the question when we get to 6%. when are the republicans going to say good show?
>> if any republicans watching now in the political business, please let us know what number will make you quiet down at least say this guy may have it?
>> you're absolutely right. the irony of marsha blackburn 's comments is that the sequester is happening at the moment the jobs report is backward looking. so the sequester has zero, nothing to do with the jobs numbers that were just reported. what she's saying didn't even make sense. the problem is for republicans is that the history of the american economy is that when you withdraw government spending from the economy, as by the way fdr did after he did a couple years of the new deal, he tried austerity and we had had a double dip recession. hoover tried it. the idea of withdrawing government spending when the private sector is withdrawing spending, means you lower gdp. nobody has explained how cutting government spending creates jobs. they don't have a relationship. you've got to have somebody spending into the economy and if it's not the private sect dwror, hello, it's got to be the government. that's why stimulus works.
>> here is where it always surprises me, people are surprised by things. today on " morning joe " everybody found out mark harmon makes more money than brad pitt because people like mark harmon and he's on television all the time. we have been creating public sector jobs month by month ever since 2010 in this country under this democratic administration. meanwhile, reducing the number of public sector jobs. if you ask the average republican sitting at a bar stool tonight on some route 40 somewhere you stop in and say what are we doing creating a lot of public sector jobs a bunch of drones working in washington are are we creating jobs in the good old private sector . the opposite of what that guy is going to say. why are we so screwed up on the simple facts of where the jobs are coming from?
>> because there's a lot of misinformation going out there and the structure of the economy i guess to be a little more charitable can be complicated and people don't raek bra it down but there's a lot of place minute information. the sequester is providing a drag. so congresswoman blackburn may be right that business owners are making investments and making decisions that are growing the economy based on the sequester but everything i have seen is economists saying it's putting a drag on the economy. this is the wrong time --
>> you know what? we may disagree i think basically this is the grand solution. i think the democrats do not want to cut medicare and i understand why not and republicans don't want to raise taxes and politically i understand why not. they'll take the hit. i think the second best solution is better for all of them. that's why i think we're not going to get a deal this summer. the president just wants to say we're going to get a deal in july so he doesn't have to talk about it in august. i know. am i the signic? yes, continue. joy reid, thank you. and michael crowley , with that great last night. mary crowley, do i like her.
>>> up next, what do you do if you're too far to the right for the cpac crowd? you accuse them of being in cahoots with the muslim brotherhood . and that's ahead and this is "hardball,"