George Will: If Workforce Participation Today Was As High As Day Obama Was Inaugurated, Unemployment Would Be 9.7%

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CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: We could continue this conversation and I'm sure we will, but let's turn to the economy and some really disappointing numbers on the economy this week. Here they are. Only 126,000 jobs were added in March. That's the weakest hiring in 15 months. Labor force participation dropped to 62.7 percent, matching the lowest since 1978. And the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta estimates first quarter growth at zero, zero percent, flat. George, what's going on here?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, for the second year in a row they've blamed poor quarterly growth on insufficient global warming, that is on winter, on an unusually cold winter. Let your mind go back to November last year. There was job creation of 321,000 jobs and the administration said this is a miraculous achievement and a harbinger of things to come. It wasn't a harbinger and it wasn't miraculous. During the Reagan recovery there were 23 months of job creation over 300,000. Reagan had a month of job creation of 1 million and this was at a time when there were 75 million fewer Americans. Now, never mind zero growth. We are now being told really that two percent growth may be the new normal. If so, that's a disaster because every day, today, yesterday, tomorrow, every day between now and 2030, 10,000 more baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. If we have two percent growth, the crisis of the welfare state, the crisis of the private sector being able to throw off the revenues, to pay the bills for the promises we've made to ourselves becomes impossible.

WALLACE: Just tell again that the labor force participation stat that you have, if it were what it was at the beginning of the Obama administration.

WILL: If the workforce participation rate today were as high as it was on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated, the unemployment rate in this country would be 9.7 percent, we wouldn't be complaining about the bad recovery because we wouldn't call it a recovery.

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