The folks who put together the Rasmussen Report apparently do not want to acknowledge that the unemployment situation is beginning to at least stabilize. So over the weekend it came out with a remarkably distorted news release that's headlined thusly:
14% Say Job Market Better Than Year Ago, 46% Say Worse
It's only after digging into the particulars that you discover that another 38 percent of those surveyed say that the job market is about the same than a year ago. It's a large omission. Looked another way, the headline could have been:
14% Say Job Market Better Than Year Ago. 38% Say the Same
That second headline isn't exactly the cause for celebration, but it would better assess the state of the nation's employment situation. Which is to say bad, though not worse. Slightly better probably sums it up, thanks in part to the fiscal stimulus. Economist Robert Shapiro tries to offer some perspective on the subject by looking at job losses before the stimulus and after the stimulus.
From December 2007 to July 2009 - the last year of the Bush second term and the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy - private sector employment crashed from 115,574,000 jobs to 107,778,000 jobs. Employment continued to fall, however, for the next six months, reaching a low of 107,107,000 jobs in December of 2009. So, out of 8,467,000 private sector jobs lost in this dismal cycle, 7,796,000 of those jobs or 92 percent were lost on the Republicans' watch or under the sway of their policies. Some 671,000 additional jobs were lost as the stimulus and other moves by the administration kicked in, but 630,000 jobs then came back in the following six months.
So the tally to date:
--Obama is responsible for the net loss of 41,000 jobs (671,000 - 630,000).
--Republicans are responsible for the net losses of 7,796,000 jobs.
Politically, such data does little good for the Democrats. As we've pointed out before, running on a platform of "It could have been worse" won't get you very far. All that matters to voters is how many jobs he's been able to add - and those numbers are quite small. But for our purposes, the point is worth noting: It could have been worse, and the Rasmussen people know it.