Meet the Press   |  May 05, 2013

New job data reveals economic evolution

Pundits on Meet the Press review recent reports of a strengthening economy and what it means for the White House and Capitol Hill.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> republicans going to say about what is the signature issue for the second term? is it still economic restoration? it's somehow chipping away at our debt. the president's talked about this. well, the unemployment rate is down. private sector job creation , better than expected. you've got the stock market creating real wealth for investors around the country. there are real problems in the economy, but what do republicans say now in the face of that good news?

>> look, those are encouraging signs but clearly the employment market is not fully healed by any stretch of the imagination. you have almost 12 million people still looking for work. you have about 8 million people who are underemployed meaning they'd like to have more hours than they do now. and there are worrisome signs that the perverse incentive creaseuated for employers by obama care are beginning to have an effe where it's -- to avoid fines or paying for health care , employers are looking more to part-time workers. that's not a good thing for the economy. it's not a good thing for workers. if i can stand up for the president a little bit, though, he's been getting hammered this week for not having the interpersonal skills on the hill and not being another lbj. it's a lot easier to be another lbj when you have 60 plus senators and a lge house majority . he didn't have those. and everyone should have been aware there are limits to how much he'd accomplish in the second term because of that.

>> joy, the economy. good news for the president on this. what -- how does it help him in his arsenal against republicans and his agenda?

>> i don't think there's any objective facts that could really help the president with this particular congress. i think some people have described the current republican party as sort of post-policy. because really they're so fixated on opposing barack obama that i'm not sure there's any objective set of facts that could change the calculus of how he's able to deal with them. i think what we have is a republican party that needs to decide it has to actually govern. they're just opposing barack obama is not enough. look at the economy and the fact it isn't growing more strongly, we've been trying to force ourselves to do austerity which has not worked in europe, which has actually harmed the european economy . without being able to do a robust agenda from washington that does smart spending and smart tax increases the way we did in 1993 when democrats alone, without a single republican, passed that omnibus budget bill in '93 that got 90% of the way toward the fiscal balance we achieved in the '90s, without being able to do sane policy in washington you can't expect interpersonal improvement to change the economy.

>> newt, do republicans want to govern?

>> i have a slightly different memory of the '90s. let's not get into that. let me start with the point with the economy. i ran into a woman named jean who works at a mcdonald's just outside baltimore on friday. she said to me --

>> you got the mcwrap.

>> i got the mcwrap. she said to me, we've got to do something about the economy. i used to be in a system in an accounting firm. this is a job i now have. i kind find another job. i think it's very dangerous to suggest this economy's healthy. on the other hand, the big problem for obama in the next year is not going to be the economy, it's going to be obama care. the degree to which obama care gets implemented begins to desint grate and the pain level it's going to cause is going to be enormous. a number of people are going to have their jobs reduced to 29 hours because that way their employer doesn't have to pay for their insurance. it's going to be staggering. if you looked at the u-6 number it actually went up last month to 13.5%. i think this economy is going to remain a muddle. i think republicans want to govern. if you look at the third year republican governors they're doing a pretty darn good job. governors are the bright spot in this country right now on the republican side . they're actually balancing budgets, modernizing things, reforming education, a lot of innovation. i think in congress it's going to remain a muddle because you have a literal democratic president, a conservative house and a mixed senate.