When I awoke this morning, on my first day of sleeping in for the summer vacation, to the sound of a wood chipper, it didn’t put me in the best of moods. And when I sat down to watch Andrea Mitchell shortly thereafter, I was confronted with the new job numbers: just enough to keep up, and keep job numbers at around 8%, a huge improvement over the Bush Administration’s record.
Yet, it was seen as a failure by much of the punditry this morning. When I look at the graph, it’s pretty evident to me that there has been great improvement. After all, it takes longer to get the car out of the ditch than it did to get it in there…The pundits do have a valid point, though I don’t see it as dire as their “doom and gloom” predictions do. It’s going to take a while to dig out, and it’s an absolute wonder that we have at all, considering the Republican obstructionism that has been the marching orders of the Rethugs in the legislature. And have they ever been lockstep in their implementation of those orders.
Recently, the GOP was forced to approve the Transportation Bill, which means jobs in infrastructure, the only job package they’ve allowed through the legislature in nearly four years. It was a well-played card, with the Dems all on-message, and all of the President’s surrogates sticking to the party line. The President spoke out directly on the bill, in no uncertain terms, and framed the issue so that the GOP had no choice but approve it, or look foolish and obstructionist to the American people. Wish we had such solid skills all the time on our side of the aisle. Hope it’s the beginning of more battles in this style over the next few months.
But looking at job growth historically, we see that the party of “small government” has always done the antithesis: they’ve grown government, by adding government jobs to the workforce, funding teachers, police officers and firefighters to the government payroll. As usual with the GOP, hypocrisy rules the day. Now, of course, the charge is that the President has grown government more than any other Administration. But let’s look at the pastfew Republican administrations and their size of government:
Krugman demonstrates pretty clearly that, in time of recession, the way that other administrations have avoided job losses, including the GOP, was by growing the government workforce. Why? Because the government has the onyl pockets deep enough to do so. Take a broader look, over several other presidents:
Here’s the same data, with a look at both of the Bushes as well. So, who’s the only one who has actually shrunk government in the past 20 years? Yes, that’s right. And because the administration has been wary of the GOP claim that they are growing the government, the size of government has dropped drastically, more than any President’s term in the current era. Sadly, the Rethugs have done their usual dirty deed, the old “say it enough and the lie becomes truth,” stating in the right wing and mainstream media that the Prez has grown government to a record high. They make the accusation whether or not it’s true.
So why not grow government, Mr. President? Why not make folks as aware of this benefit as you did the Transportation Bill, and grow some jobs? They’re accusing you of growing the size of government, let’s do it and take credit for it! Because we know it will put people to work and grow the economy. Throw the data back in their faces. Get your surrogates moving on it – get Joe Biden out there to tell it like it is! Shame them into it, just like was done with transportation, and let’s get Americans back to work. Because the GOP will accuse you of bigger government anyway, and bigger government is the right thing to do for the country right now. Even if it’s by Executive Order, do it now. And it will reap benefits in November, ten-fold. People back to work make for great voter loyalty, Republicans be damned.
What do you think, folks? Are jobs an issue at your Kitchen Table? Is there a better way to grow jobs and the economy? Okay, besides infrastructure, but I’ve posted over and over about that…)? Pull up a chair to the Kitchen Table and join the conversation in the comments below.