Vice President went into a pretty effective foray about growing the economy from the middle class out and lamenting the Romney/Ryan proposals.
However, a much simpler answer could've been given. Joe could've simply said:
"Well Martha, if Congressman Ryan here and his fellow Republicans in the most unproductive and unpopular Congress since the 1940's would've simply sent the American Jobs Act to the President's desk last fall, Unemployment would be below 7% right now. Additionally, if Republican governor's like Scott Walker hadn't come to power in 2010 and started firing people like it was going outta' style we'd be approaching 6% unemployment right now."
(I tried to make it read like Joe might've said it).
Macroeconomic Advisers had this to say about what would've happened had the AJA been passed:
"The various tax cuts aimed at raising workers’ after-tax income and encouraging hiring and investing, combined with the spending increases aimed at maintaining state & local employment and funding infrastructure modernization, would:
- Boost the level of GDP by 1.3% by the end of 2012, and by 0.2% by the end of 2013.
- Raise nonfarm establishment employment by 1.3 million by the end of 2012 and 0.8 million by the end of 2013, relative to the baseline.
The program works directly to raise employment through tax incentives and support to state & local governments for increasing hiring; it works indirectly through the positive boost to aggregate demand (and hence hiring) stimulated by the direct spending and the increase in household income resulting from lower employee payroll taxes and increased employment."
If we apply the Macro Adviser projections to the present day, we're looking at an economy that is growing around 2.6-3.0% by the end of 2012 and an unemployment likely below 7%.
Paul Krugman (via Mark Thoma) wrote as much in his column this Monday in the New York Times. You would think that his column ought to be required reading for the President and Vice President at this point.
Looking back it's kind of amazing that post 2010 our economic recovery has been halted by Republicans and yet they're successfully blaming the slow recovery on President Obama and are doing so mildly successfully as evidenced by the close Presidential race.
This kind of terrible behavior should not be rewarded!