THE BLOG
05/24/2012 02:33 pm ET | Updated Jul 24, 2012

Should There Be a "Sell By" Date for Presidential JOBS Responsibility?

In anticipation of this year's election, a big debate is gathering steam -- citing Obama's alleged failures, first in creating job losses and then in not recreating new jobs, versus Romney's so-called record of killing jobs and creating new jobs.

The real facts are simple and clear. Obama is being charged with responsibility for losing jobs that were, in fact, almost entirely lost before he took office. Since he has held office, jobs have been net increasing (so far a total of 4.25 million in the past 26 months) albeit more slowly than anyone would like, but steadily.

In fact Obama immediately - -on Jan. 21, 2009 -- launched a program that quickly turned the tide, but because of the severity of the Bush recession and the shifting of the global economy, the strength and pace of the job recovery has not been, seen in historical terms, robust.

By comparison in the first 34 months after the first 'W' Bush recession the economy had gained only 364,000 private sector jobs.

There is no legitimate basis for concluding that Obama has failed American workers. Bush and changes in the global economy did that.

These indisputable facts point to the vital question of when a president should be held responsible for job destruction and creation.

The answer must be that something like six months after taking office, presidential responsibility really begins, and should end some six months after the end of the term of office. A lag factor should become a well-accepted practice.

It is vitally important for the voting population to get these facts straight, because if this year's election is going to turn on jobs, which it likely will, it is crucial that all voters not base conclusions and their ballots on misinformation being aggressively peddled at the moment by ad makers of dubious integrity.

This is a set of facts far too important to be left uncorrected.

Similarly, Romney's record in this regard should be made much clearer. His campaign refers to some 350 companies that were owned by his company Bain during his time. We know some companies in which many jobs were lost, but that partial fact should not be a sufficient basis to conclude he is overall a job destroyer.

It would be helpful to know the facts of all 350 companies. As a group, did they end up with more jobs or fewer? And, even if there are more jobs at the end of the day, what does that prove about his macro skills with respect to job creation on a national scale? It would be helpful also if Romney would explain in more detail what he proposes to do to create many more jobs, beyond lowering taxes and cleaning up excessive regulation. The problem requires a much more complex and far reaching solution than that in today's rapidly shrinking and changing world.

How quickly memories fade! 'W' Bush's eight years were responsible for virtually all the jobs Obama is now being held to account for.

Nor is Romney's limited job development experience in the private sector a basis for concluding that he is the right policy leader for the next national steps in job development.
So let's be certain the public has the facts straight as they assess which candidate and party has the right polices for getting the workers of America out of the ditch today.

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