Harry Reid Claims The Bush Tax Cuts Cost America 8 Million Jobs

Per the congressional record, on Tuesday of this week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed that the Bush tax cuts had lost the country 8 million jobs:

My friend talks about no new taxes. Mr. President, if their theory was right, with these huge taxes that took place during the Bush 8 years, the economy should be thriving. These tax cuts have not helped the economy. The loss of 8 million jobs during the Bush 8 years, two wars started, unfunded, all on borrowed money, these tax cuts all on borrowed money; if the tax cuts were so good, the economy should be thriving.

Eight million jobs? That’s a lot, and it would certainly be an indictment of Bush-era economic policies…if it were true. Unfortunately for Reid, it’s not. In fact, what is true that is the country lost 8 million jobs during the Democrat super-majority in Congress:

During Bush’s eight years in office — January 2001 to January 2009 — the nation actually gained a net 1.09 million jobs. (Because there were gains in government jobs, the private sector actually lost 653,000 jobs during that period.)

This isn’t remotely close to what Reid claimed. Reid’s office didn’t respond to our request for information, but we think we know what he was referring to.
From the economy’s peak to its low point, the nation lost 8.75 million jobs. Here’s the problem: The peak for jobs came in January 2008, while the low point for jobs came in February 2010.

This means the starting point for Reid’s measure came seven years into Bush’s eight-year tenure, and the low point occurred about a year into Barack Obama’s tenure.

In other words, Reid had a point in saying that there was a “loss of eight million jobs” — but it didn’t come “during the Bush eight years.” The loss of eight million jobs occurred during a roughly two-year period shared more or less equally between Bush and Obama.

And remember, according to Jay Carney, the White House doesn’t create jobs. Which is technically true. The private sector creates job when the Congress/White House lets it.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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