Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Trading barbs on job creation and the stimulus

Vice president Joe Biden talks about jobs and the economic stimulus on July 14, 2010.
Vice president Joe Biden talks about jobs and the economic stimulus on July 14, 2010.

Republicans and Democrats have been trading fire over how well President Barack Obama's administration has handled job creation. Today, we look at competing claims from Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

On July 14, 2010, Biden and Christina Romer, who chairs the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, held a news conference to discuss the latest quarterly report on the economic impact of the economic stimulus bill enacted in February 2009.
   
Biden said, "We went from losing 3 million jobs in the last six months of the Bush Administration and 3.6 million, or 3.7 million in the first six months we took office -- inheriting the policy we could not possibly turn around before we could pass anything -- to the first six months of this year, actually adding almost 600,000 private sector jobs."

We found Biden's numbers pretty close to the actual statistics, so we rated him a Mostly True.

A day later, as Obama was scheduled to speak at an electric battery plant in Holland, Mich., Boehner published an op-ed in the Detroit News.

"Since February 2009" -- when the economic stimulus bill was passed -- "our economy has lost roughly 3 million private sector jobs while the federal government has grown by more than 400,000 jobs," Boehner wrote.

We found that Boehner was basically correct on the number of private-sector jobs lost, but his number of government job gains was greatly exaggerated by hundreds of thousands of soon-to-disappear temporary Census jobs. So we rated his statement Half True.