In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Government Jobs Buoyed Bush's Economy And Sunk Obama's (CHART)


To date, Obama's overseen a cumulative loss 274,000 private-sector jobs. If the recent job-growth trend continues, Obama will enter positive territory in the next month or two. By this point in his first term, Bush had overseen over 2.7 million private-sector jobs losses. By the end of his first term, that had rebounded to a cumulative loss of 913,000 jobs.

The public-sector story is much, much different.

To date, government cutbacks have led to 590,000 public-sector jobs losses under Obama. That falloff is finally slowing, but it hasn't reversed, and locked in austerity measures suggest it won't any time soon. At this point in Bush's first term, by contrast, he'd benefited from 716,000 public-sector jobs gains. And over his first full term he benefited from 900,000 gains, almost fully offsetting private-sector jobs losses.

That huge difference is reflected to some extent in today's high unemployment rate, though Obama came into office with a high unemployment rate baked into the cake. But it gives the lie to the notion -- perpetuated by Republicans -- that Obama's overseen a massive expansion of government. That was their guy.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at