Hello, reader! Thank you for visiting our Web site and looking at this article. Perhaps you were enticed by our intentionally enticing headline? If so, congratulations to us.

Look, we are very well aware that the assertion we make above is controversial. But it's not without merit.

Republicans regularly argue that the goal of a president should be to reduce the size of government and to oversee growth in the private sector. The last Republican president, George W. Bush, was not successful in that regard. Between the January he took office and the January he left it, private sector employment declined by 463,000 and government employment increased by 1.7 million.


President Obama, by contrast, has seen a net change in private sector jobs of 9.3 million, as of the new jobs report out on Friday morning -- and that's even after the dip due to the recession. Government jobs, meanwhile, are down 591,000.


There are lots of other ways to read this data and lots of extenuating circumstances. And, of course, Barack Obama's term isn't yet over. By this time in Bush's second term, private sector employment was still increasing and was at nearly 4 million more than when he took office.

But it's hard to argue that most Republicans would rather see a president's jobs graph look like Obama's rather than Bush's. And making that argument in a headline is good media strategy.