Infographics / Obama vs. Romney / Unemployment

Black unemployment under Obama – and Reagan

A major part of the narrative that Obama and his enablers used in 2007-2008 to justify his quest to be president, was the firebrand criticism that he leveled against President Bush’s record on black unemployment:

(In 2003) Obama assailed Bush’s “attack on working families,” arguing that the President needed to “fix up the economy first” before doing anything else — like lowering taxes. Black unemployment, at the time, was 10.3 percent. Obama spoke about “the economic disaster that is occurring in our communities.”  When black unemployment edged up to 10.9 percent the next month, Obama called out Bush for his “unprecedented $300 billion deficit,” which, he said, “underscores the recklessness of the George W. Bush administration and the Republican Congress.” Under Bush, the economy grew for 35 consecutive months. And black unemployment reached a low of 7.9 percent.

– Larry Elder, “Black America — What If Obama Were White?” Real Clear Politics, October 4, 2012.

Once Obama was elected president, however, all he had to do was look at the Bush and Reagan records of job creation – including dramatic gains for black Americans – to discover their winning formulas.  Chief among these were lower taxes across-the-board; fewer regulations and obstacles to creating businesses; and making the federal government into less of an enemy of the small businessperson.  Particularly in Reagan’s case, the results were jaw-dropping:

  • 20 million new jobs created
  • Unemployment reduced from 7.6% to 5.5% – and as shown below, the unemployment rate for black Americans dropped from 21% to 11.5%
  • Inflation reduced from 13.5% in 1980 to 4.1% by 1988
  • Net worth of families earning between $20,000 and $50,000 annually grew by 27%
  • Real gross national product rose 26%
  • Prime interest rate reduced from an unprecedented 21.5% in January 1981 to 10% in August 1988
  • Rebuilt the American military and won the Cold War without firing a shot

Reagan laid out his economic vision in his 1981 Inaugural Address:

“This Administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this ’new beginning,’ and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy.”

This infographic illustrates the skyrocketing black unemployment situation that Reagan inherited (from 15% to 21% in less than two years) – and the fact that once the recession ended in November 1982, black Americans saw massive, unprecedented job growth during his administration:


Obama took a completely different approach – and produced the opposite results:

When Obama took office in January 2009, black unemployment was 13.2% and rising.  He and his enablers immediately began instituting one big-government “stimulus” bailout after another, massive new regulations on businesses of all sizes, and passed the 2,700 page federal takeover of our healthcare system.

The official Bureau of Labor Statistics data (select “Unemployment Rate – Black or African American – LNS14000006”) shows that even after the recession Obama inherited had ended, five months into his term (in June 2009), black unemployment continued growing, reaching a peak of 16.7% nearly a year later, in March 2010. Since then, black unemployment has averaged more than 14%:


An apples-to-apples comparison of black unemployment under Obama vs Reagan

The Obama campaign recently began falsely claiming that his record of post-recession job creation was better than Reagan’s.  A number of economists quickly debunked this claim; MysteryPatriot summarized and graphically depicted their research here.

Being that Obama is so intent on misrepresenting his record relative to Reagan’s, how do their actual records compare, specifically in regards to the black unemployment situations under their administrations – and the results of their policies, once the recessions they inherited had ended?  Take a look:


So why aren’t more Americans aware of these facts?

The answer is multi-faceted:

  • The Democrat-Media Complex, in conjunction with the teacher’s unions (among the top donors to Obama and Democrats),  perpetuate the narrative that leftist policies do the most to help black Americans – to the exclusion of the fact that free-market principles help blacks the most, the fastest.
  • The Romney campaign (and the “institutional right”) has utterly failed to educate the public on these basic facts.
  • Top members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) openly admit that they will not hold Obama to the same standard that they would hold a white president, for the persistently high black unemployment under his administration.  The next section provides direct quotes from the chairman of the CBC, and a senior member.

Congressional Black Caucus leaders admit they remain silent regarding black unemployment under Obama – but that they’d be intensely going after a white president

“Look, as the chair of the [Congressional] Black Caucus I’ve got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the president. With 14 percent [black] unemployment if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House. […] The president [Obama] knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”  [A]nd as much as I love Sen. Clinton, [were she president instead of Obama], I would have been all over her on 14 percent unemployment for African Americans. I would have said, ‘My sister, I love you, but this has got to go.’

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), interview in The Root, September 17, 2012.

“We don’t put pressure on the president,” said Waters to cheers and jeers as people interrupted at will and yelled at her. “Let me tell you why. We don’t put pressure on the president because ya’ll love the president… You’re very proud to have a black man [in the White House]… the Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too. We’re supportive of the president but we’re getting tired ya’ll…we’re getting tired […and] our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), cited in “Fired-Up Rep. Waters To Black Voters: We Don’t Criticize Obama Because You ‘Love’ Him,” The Blaze, August 17, 2011.


Sources

“Black Employment and Unemployment in August 2012,” by Labor Center at the University of California – Berkeley.

BLS: “Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age,” October 05, 2012.

BLS: http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet (select “Unemployment Rate – Black or African American – LNS14000006”).

“Black Scholars Give Obama an ‘F,'” by Anthony B. Bradley, Acton Institute, July 11, 2012.

“The Black Unemployment Litmus Test: Obama Needs a Growth Message… or Hillary Clinton,” by Cedric Muhammad, Forbes, August 16, 2012.

“Black and White Unemployment Over Time,” by Mark Thoma, Professor of Economics, University of Oregon, Economist’s View, January 16, 2006.

“Study: Black Americans Feel Less Empowered Under Obama Than They Once Did,” by Elizabeth Flock, US News & World Report, October 17, 2012.

“Under Obama, African-American unemployment up; wealth, wages, political influence down,” by Neil Munro, Daily Caller, October 4, 2012.


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