Derpitude (Government jobs edition)

by pdxblake

If I wanted to, I could talk all about how pointless austerity is.  And I have here and there.  Here’s one post Henry Blodget wrote today.  Or you could go find some nice info from Paul Krugman.  For some reason it is still a question whether cutting government spending when inflationary pressures are non-existent and the economy is still recovering from a deep recession.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.

No, instead I feel like Googling for some talk about how big the government is getting under Obama.

National Review (October 2011): “Obama’s spend-o-rama includes federally funded green jobs that Boskin dismisses as “the leprechaun economy.”

Washington Times (June 2010): “Government is creating jobs.  The private sector is not.  No surprise there, as this Administration is all about creating government jobs, even if it harms private sector job growth. In fact, for the sixteen million unemployed Americans, the federal government is often the only one hiring. In contrast to growing government, the private sector has been relatively stagnant in creating new jobs.  The Gallup job creation index for April shows a 2 to 1 lead in federal government hiring over the private market.”

Daily Caller headline (September 2011): “Obama jobs bill grows government payroll and clout”

Heritage Foundation (February 2011): “Since the beginning of the last recession (December 2007) the private sector workforce has shrunk by 6.6% while shedding more than 7.5 million jobs. Over that same time period, the federal government workforce (excluding Census and Postal workers) has grown by 11.7% while adding 230,000 jobs.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (June 2012): “Another flawed assumption behind the president’s comment is his misplaced confidence in the economic power of the public sector. Columnist Paul Krugman and others who point to cuts in the public sector as the reason for our troubles are confused. Public- and private-sector jobs are not on the same economic footing. No one wants to see vital public servants lose their jobs, but artificially expanding the public sector at the expense of the private sector (federal employees already are better compensated than their private-sector counterparts) is a recipe for disaster”.

Sounds to me like these people are all saying they want to cut the number of people employed by the government.  Like they are saying that if only Obama were more like Reagan and cut government jobs, the economy would be great.  Instead, these people’s argument goes, Obama has just made more jobs in government.

Oh, wait, let’s look at some data about total employment in government (all levels, Federal, State and Local).  Hmm, three drops in absolute numbers.  One was after World War 2, one was during the first couple years of Reagan and one was under Obama.  No wonder it’s so hard to argue about the detriment from austerity (specifically the effect of falling government employment).  One side is not even aware or willing to admit that the number of government jobs has fallen.  I don’t know how you argue with people who see inconvenient data and close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears and start shouting “I can’t hear you!  Obama socialist! Cut gummiment!”