There’s a lot I simply don’t understand here, but let’s talk for a second about the thing in bold. Forget all of the problems with the chart and sustained unemployment and people dropping out of the job market and people accepting lower pay or benefits and everything else that your red and blue chart doesn’t address. That “steepest climb” you’re talking about … that climb doesn’t show job growth. Every one of those months shows continued job losses. And the time when the stimulus end?—that’s the time where there is actual job growth. The chart, in other words, can tell a story that’s exactly the opposite of what you’re saying in bold.
Now, you can argue that the stimulus resulted in smaller job losses than there would have otherwise have been, or that the job growth at the tail end of the chart was sparked by the stimulus that preceded it—you can argue these things, but the chart doesn’t prove these things. The chart is just data, with its flaws and limitations.
Seriously? Leaving aside the bit about your troubles with pesky “data”, your expectation is that one month: catastrophic job loss. Next month: spectacular, robust return to full employment of the go-go days of old. In the history of the world, I challenge you to show me a recession that ended abruptly. The one you might point out is the one you also wouldn’t want to mention, as it ended as a direct result of massive and sustained government spending (see: World War II, in which basically everyone in the country had a fake “government” job. How’d that work out for us?). They all end more or less like what we’re seeing now, a gradual improvement in “bad” numbers, then progressive and building improvement on “good” numbers. Businesses don’t simply rehire x-million workers overnight; in fact, they only hire when they absolutely have to, and are thus not typically leading indicators of a recovery. You’ll recall that this recession was declared “over” in September of 2010.
Likewise, you can see the same trending in the diminishing output gap. I know, I know, more dread data. The Democrat and his empirical reality crap again. But it’s a fact: the economy is improving, if slowly. It improved more quickly during the time of the stimulus. Were said stimulus still unspooling, we’d be seeing faster improvement now. The sooner we close said output gap, the sooner revenues improve and the sooner the deficit “crisis” is at an end.
The GOP, of course, knows this too. That’s why they’re riding this particular hobby horse so hard right now. It’s the opportunity to jam their view of society down our throats while the public is scared and feeling serious economic pain. Once things noticeably improve there will be even less stomach for “shared sacrifice” at the hands of eviscerating the social safety net coupled to deep tax cuts for the rich. So, from their perspective it’s now or never. That fact, as much as anything, is why they all voted for the Ryan plan. They see this moment as their last, best chance to end Medicare this decade.