GOP Responses To Jobs Report Ignore Main Obstacle To Growth

November 04, 2011 3:46 pm ET — Alan Pyke

We've already discussed today the public-sector layoffs that are sandbagging job growth in the private economy. October's private-sector numbers from the BLS means that portion of the economy has added 1,601,000 jobs since the Recovery Act really began to reach the economy (and the technical end of the recession) in mid-2009. According to private-sector numbers, the Obama recovery compares favorably with the Bush and Clinton recoveries, although due to the shocking severity of the job losses from the financial crisis that closed out President Bush's term, there are still far too many Americans out of work. Why isn't hiring more robust?

Businesses are very clear about why, and economists agree: The problem is insufficient consumer spending and demand. People aren't purchasing enough of a businesswoman's products to require her to enlarge her workforce, so she doesn't hire.

In late September, Mitt Romney briefly deviated from Republican economic orthodoxy when he acknowledged that demand, and not taxes or other balance-sheet considerations, is what drives hiring. But today, Romney was back to blaming Washington, D.C. and "President Obama's reckless spending," along with the rest of his party's leaders.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today blamed "government barriers holding back robust private-sector growth job creation." Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) blamed "uncertainty and excessive taxes and regulations." RNC Chairman Reince Priebus blamed "over-regulation, tax threats, and reckless spending." Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) blamed "Washington overreach and overregulation."

These well-worn talking points ignore what we know to be the problem: demand.

Read our full fact check here.