With the November presidential election drawing closer by the day, President Barack Obama is beginning to exchange campaign blows with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. While there are a variety of pressing issues that will influence the outcome – American troop deployments, healthcare, Osama bin Laden and gay marriage – the economy remains at the forefront of the national debate.
According to Reuters, President Obama caught some flak last week for stating that he believes “the private sector is doing fine” at a televised conference on Friday. With the national unemployment rate hovering just above 8 percent, this comment from the president caused some confusion. The news source notes that despite criticisms, the Obama Administration has managed to add new jobs to the economy every month since March 2010.
However, even with these 4.3 million new positions, the private sector is still 4.6 million jobs behind its position in January 2008.
“The problem is we’re not climbing out of a valley this time. It’s a canyon,” said Yale economist Benjamin Polak to the news source.
Alternately, Mitt Romney has challenged the president’s job creation success. According to NPR the Republican candidate claimed he would create 11.5 million jobs when speaking in Nevada last September. However, Romney also endorsed Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which would eliminate 4.1 million jobs as noted by the Economic Policy Institute.