“The single biggest job killer is Obamacare,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — the embattled conservative group behind Stand Your Ground and dozens of controversial right-wing bills pushed at the state level — on Thursday.
The crowd leapt to its feet.
Cruz was speaking just hours after a new unemployment claims report showed layoffs falling below 300,000 in the last week, only the second time since May of 2007. The next morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7.0 as the economy beat expectations and added 203,000 jobs in November. The percentage of Americans unemployed fell even as more Americans entered the job market and the number of involuntary part-time workers fell by 331,000. The number of hours worked by the average employee was up .5 percent and earnings were up .7 percent. Good news all around.
For 45 straight months the private sector has been growing, creating 8 million jobs. Essentially, when it comes to the employment market, things have not been this good since before the Great Recession. With more than two million jobs already created, 2013 will be the best year for payroll gains since 2005.
This is reality.
You can credit these improvements entirely to the Federal Reserve’s active buying of bonds, fueling a record stock market. You could say that the economy does better when there’s a Republican House. You could even say that the economy likes it when the approval rating of the GOP is near all-time lows. All of these correlations would not necessarily prove causation.
What you can’t do is pretend that jobs are being killed.
As the Obamacare exchanges have been put into place, the job market actually has heated up, with nearly 200,000 jobs created each month.
Cruz would argue that the jobs that could have been created are being killed. This argument makes as much sense as saying that millions of jobs would have been killed if Obamacare hadn’t been passed. It’s an imaginary proposition completely unprovable with facts.
Republicans make these impossible-to-prove-or-debunk assertions because they work. They declared the stimulus and the auto rescue to be failures before they could even begin to work. They argued that Obamacare was resulting in an explosion of part-time jobs. And when they’re completely disproven, they simply move on to the next talking point.
The Republican base loves to be lied to about Obamacare — as Ted Cruz has discovered and perfected.
So don’t expect him to ever stop doing it.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr