Who's Serving Whom?
Topic: Decline of the West
Well, this story begs a question! From the Washington Post:
As the economic recovery has struggled to pick up speed, one of the biggest stumbling blocks has been job losses in state and local governments, which have been on the rise for much of President Obama’s term.
Early on, Obama fought for aid that saved hundreds of thousands of these jobs, economists say. Yet a year later, when his economic advisers said another large round of aid was critical for the health of the economy, Obama declined to make it a key part of his agenda. His political advisers said such an effort would be fruitless. Republican opponents on Capitol Hill, including some who were glad to see the public sector shrink, were arguing that these jobs were not vital for the economy.
Today, as Obama seeks another term, the heavy job losses at the state and local level remain a significant economic concern. His response at different moments underscores how the president has sometimes fought hard against the political odds for policies he thinks crucial and at other times relented when the chances of success seemed low.
Since the beginning of his term, state and local governments have shed 611,000 employees—including 196,000 educators—according to government statistics. Unlike the recovery in private-sector employment that Obama and his reelection campaign often cite—with businesses adding 4 million jobs since hiring hit its low point in 2010—the jobs crisis at the state and local level has continued throughout his term.
So here's the question: How is is it, exactly, that the loss of 611,000 public-sector jobs has stymied the economic recovery? The Post story doesn’t say. In 2008 there were roughly 22 million federal, state and local public sector employees (excluding the armed forces). The loss of 611,000 public sector jobs represents about one fortieth of the total—this without taking into account the expansion of public sector employment at the federal level that has occurred under Obama. Moreover, many of these job losses occurred when retiring workers were not replaced, and so did not affect the unemployment rate.
In reality, however, the Obama Administration’s real concern has nothing to do with “job losses.” The truth slips out in this paragraph:
On Friday, new government data showed that economic growth slowed in the first three months of the year, in part because government at the local, state and federal level has been spending less money—money that could have fueled economic activity.
Aha! So federal aid to support public sector employment at the state and local levels is really just stealth stimulus spending. And of course, it benefits greedy public sector unions, which are key Obama allies.
The reason that state and local governments are cutting down their work forces is that they overspent and over-promised when times were good. Now they’re feeling the pinch and, unlike the federal government, states and localities have to bring their budgets into balance. The current fight in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s benefit and collective bargaining reforms exemplifies the crisis. On one side are responsible leaders who realize that the gravy train has run off the rails. On the other side are power-hungry union thugs and public sector employees in denial about economic realities. The latter group is looking to the Obama Administration for…a bailout. Once again, the hard-pressed taxpayers of this country would be forced to pony up in support of public servants' gold-plated wages and benefits. Does that sound like a plan to you?
Posted by tmg110
at 9:09 AM EDT