On Private Job Creation, Obama and Reagan are Tied

Obama claims to have created more jobs than Reagan.  Republicans fire back with charts that say otherwise.

Here are the true numbers for private jobs created by these Presidents in office:

  • Reagan:    zero
  • Obama:     zero

Just once I would like to see a Presidential candidate answer:

"Why, I didn't create a single private job in office.  Anyone I hire is by definition a public employee.  The best I can do is to keep government out of the way, as much as possible, of the private individuals who do create new businesses and new products and new technologies that tend to lead to more private employment.  The worst thing I can do is to try to be investment-banker-in-chief.  Every dollar I hand to some company I like is money taken out of the hands of 300 million private individuals, who collectively know a hell of a lot more than I as to what makes for a better business investment  (and by the way they have far better incentives that I as well, since they are investing their own hard-earned money, and should I develop the hubris to play the stimulus game, I would be investing your hard-earned money."



  1. mesocyclone:

    Picky. Romney clearly understands what you say. But when they say "...created jobs" they obviously mean that their policies led to job creation. The language is just short-hand.

  2. ErikEssig:

    The Gipper himself generally got it. Here he is in his farewell address:
    "The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I'm proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created - and filled - 19 million new jobs."

  3. fredrick.:

    Yes Warren is being quite picky. But it is actually more difficult for a president to create a job than destroy one. Relax some regs and lower taxes and you might get some private growth in a year or so. Ban the construction of a pipeline or ban or greatly reduce oil drilling in the Gulf and in Alaska, and the President can destroy jobs instantly.

  4. Matt Landry:

    To be fair, getting and staying out of the way is a pretty big deal, at this point, given how thoroughly in the way government is.

  5. mahtso:

    The blogger is also almost certainly wrong with respect to whether 300 million individuals collectively know more than Mr. Romney about business investments.

  6. BTF:

    The poster is almost certainly wrong with respect to what collectively means.

  7. Ted Rado:

    It seems to be a common human failing to look over someone's shoulder and micromanage what they are doing. As a manager, I learned early thet people want to be given a clear assignment and then be left alone to do it. This applies in spades to USG interference in business. Whatever good they think they are doing is more than offset by the harm done by endless rules and regs.
    Badly run or dishonest businesses disappear naturally as customers realize what is going on. Endless red tape to try to regulate them only makes things worse.

  8. HenryBowman419:

    Gary Johnson, who btw is a Presidential candidate, has repeatedly stated that, despite what others have said about his creating jobs while New Mexico governor, he created exactly zero. In other words, what you said.

  9. Guest:

    A Gary Johnson quote (from a Daily Caller article) is:

    “The fact is, I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor,” Johnson added. Instead, “we kept government in check, the budget balanced, and the path to growth clear of unnecessary regulatory obstacles.”


  10. GilM:

    Here's a Gary Johnson quote:
    “The fact is, I can unequivocally say that I did not create a single job while I was governor,” Johnson added. Instead, “we kept government in check, the budget balanced, and the path to growth clear of unnecessary regulatory obstacles.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/23/gary-johnson-i-didnt-create-a-single-job/#ixzz29apniz3t

  11. Ryan:

    Actually in the debate last night Romney said:

    "Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs."

    This was his last comment on the topic of how to stop the outsourcing of jobs. Earlier in his response he said:

    "...This is the way we're going to create jobs in this country. It's not by
    trickle-down government, saying we're going to take more money from
    people and hire more government workers, raise more taxes, put in place
    more regulations. Trickle-down government has never worked here, has
    never worked anywhere. I want to make America the most attractive place
    in the world for entrepreneurs, for small business, for big business, to
    invest and grow in America."

  12. GoneWithTheWind:

    The government stifles by regulation and taxation. They could create the environment that would create jobs if they cut taxes and regulations.

  13. marque:

    Unfortunately I believe the thesis is incorrect. Since presidents can easily destroy jobs, Reagan may have created zero jobs, but with his pen Obama has destroyed at least 100K jobs, by not allowing Keystone pipeline construction, and reducing gulf oil drilling permits by 2/3rds - even before the great gulf oil spill. We also have him whacking Alaska jobs, by making areas off limits that weren't before. We also have coal workers being denied jobs because of an admin supported war on coal.

  14. Rick C:

    The Tennessean endorsed Romney yesterday. Here's the link: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20121018/OPINION01/310180040/Time-another-change?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7COpinion%7Cp&nclick_check=1

    Don't click it. It'll take you to a "we hope you enjoyed your trial of our website" overlay that makes reading the article impossible--very unfriendly. Instead, copy it and pasted it into a new browser or new tab. They must be doing referrer checking.
    Anyway I brought it up because the economy is why they endorsed Romney, where they said this:
    "President Obama and Gov. Romney have different jobs plans. Yet, neither can actually create jobs, despite what they say in speeches and debates. Mr. Romney has the business experience that gives him better understanding of the needs of real job creators.
    President Obama’s steps to get spending under control and reduce the debt are too tentative, and again hark back to his inability to possess the leadership to break the partisan gridlock in Congress."

  15. ron paul:

    when the federal government spends 700 billion dollars a year on defense, you better believe that millions of jobs have been created through pentagon welfare. over 3 million of them. and romney wants to increase the defense spending!!!! more jobs for a socialist program. as if we dont have enough socialism these days!!!! bottom line--the federal debt tripled under reagan. yes, tripled. and romney the big government conservative wont be making the fiscal situation any better for the country.

  16. Luken Limousine:

    Not that you'll ever see this but a few months ago I chastised you for not hiring me. I accepted a job with California land management in Big Bear California. I apologize for having admonished you. CLM is one of the most horrendous companies I've ever seen. They hired too few people to work the campgrounds, expected those few to work 80 hour weeks and be paid for 40, we're more than miserly with their expense budget, treated their employees like crap and kowtowed to the Forest Service with draconian regulations and mountains of useless paperwork. Employees literally spent days just doing paperwork each week. I was assigned to 2 horse camps and thought it would be wonderful living up there with these horse people. Instead the facilities were terrible, broken plumbing and dangerous gas leaking hot water tanks which were never fixed kept the campers in constant complaint form. The worst was the broken down water system which was never fixed. The company and the Forest Service were criminally negligent in the handling of the water health and safety aspects. It was a nightmare. To add to it before service had volunteers who acted like thugs hunting down people on horseback on foot you name it and threatening citations and arrest for lack of permits passes and other nonsense. I was laid off read as fired for having actually cared about the campers. You've mentioned these kind of things before but I experienced it first hand. After being fired I moved to a free campsite up the road and was threatened with arrest citation and towing of my vehicles by a Forest Service cop, shaved head steroids and all. Mea culpa. I returned to Los Angeles and am still running my struggling car service where I usually make as much on a single trip as I was paid for an entire week up there. My suppose it escape to Shangri la turned into a lesson in Agenda 21 And the future of this country. So here I am on bended knee begging you for another position. I would dearly love to get away from Los Angeles And go to any campground you manage. The second time is a charm. Howard Luken

  17. MingoV:

    Government can and does take actions that create private jobs. For example, when the federal government piles on more rules related to personnel (affirmative action and EEO, sexual harassment, health insurance, etc.), private companies had to hire more HR staffers. When the federal government changed the accounting rules for investments firms, hundreds of accountants got new jobs in the private sector. Whenever OSHA and EPA rules expand, many private businesses hire people to interpret the new rules and ensure compliance to avoid fines.

    Basically, increased fascism (government control over private businesses) results in private businesses having increased employment, decreased productivity, and lower profits.