Obama’s Nevada economy
“By the time we get out to the end of next year, we will have exceeded our pre-recessionary high by close to 100,000 jobs,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, on June 9, 2016.
This election, many Republicans are running on the idea that the economy is still terrible, that it’s all Obama’s fault, and that they have the magic answers to fix everything. To provide a little context to these claims, here’s a scenario to consider.
Imagine you’re the parent of a 16-year-old girl, a junior in high school. She’s bright, ambitious, and planning to go to college. Then one day, she tells you she’s pregnant. And yes, it happens in the best families. Now you all have a major decision to make.
There are several choices possible. She could get an abortion. She could marry the father of the baby. She could have the baby and raise it herself. She could have the baby and give it to you to raise. She could have the baby and give it up for adoption. Think about these choices and then decide which is the good choice. Take your time. (Side note: Democrats are not “pro-abortion.” We just believe such an important decision should be left to the woman, not some government bureaucrat.)
The answer to the above scenario is, of course, that there is no good choice. There are just some that are less horrible than others. Once your daughter is pregnant, the options become very limited. None of them are good; all of them will create other problems.
During his administration, President George W. Bush did something similar to America. He signed two huge tax cuts, unpaid for. He passed Medicare Part D, unpaid for. He got us into two wars, unpaid for. Every president has raised taxes when we go to war. Bush just put everything on the national credit card; now those bills must be paid.
Bush created a giant mess that culminated in the Great Recession. Remember when John McCain suspended his presidential campaign on Sept. 24-25, 2008 to go to Washington because of the economic crisis? This was the situation that President Obama inherited.
As soon as he was inaugurated, Obama had to find solutions to the chaos he’d inherited. There were no good choices, only some less horrible than others. Republican obstruction made his job tougher, but Obama did manage to dig us out of the mess. Jobs were created. Federal spending was leveled off. The deficit was cut. The economy is improving. But the credit card bills must be paid, so the debt still increases.
Nevada’s economy is proof Obama’s policies are working. Bill Anderson, quoted above, is the chief economist for the State Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department. According to him, Nevada has regained all of the jobs lost in the Great Recession and is on track to gain 100,000 more. He also reports that …
Small-business jobs are at a record high in Nevada with gains reported in each of the past 20 quarters.
Las Vegas area employment is at an all-time high with complete recovery of all the jobs lost in the recession.
The number of employers is at a record high of 67,000 with gains in the past 19 quarters.
All employment sectors except mining are showing job gains.
The majority of these jobs are full-time positions.
As of 2015, Nevada was outpacing 48 other states in terms of job growth. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 9, 2016)
Now we have Republican candidates saying that they want to change this. They see these gains as failure. I’m not sure what they would consider success, but I hope it’s not the collapse Nevada suffered under Bush. However, this is apparently just what they want — a return to those glorious days of record foreclosures, massive job losses, and economic stagnation.
New businesses are starting in Fallon and elsewhere. In Hawthorne, the Hawthorne Technology and Industrial Center just opened; this is a 16,800 acre industrial center suitable for warehousing, manufacturing, and other industrial uses. New jobs will be created. The business climate in Nevada is improving every day.
I have asked several times what the right-wing would have considered a success by Obama. He inherited a collapsing economy and brought us back from economic disaster. He could have done more with Republican cooperation, but that wasn’t an option. Nevada is coming back. Do we want to return to the days of G.W. Bush, or do we want to continue the positive growth we’re experiencing? Let’s make the right choice.
.Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.