Fox News is all about the 50 "actual operational" permanent jobs that the Keystone XL Pipeline will create, but For Whatever Reason™, they don't seem all that stoked about the 1,000 or so new job openings that Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry recently discovered on the Department of Homeland Security website. Henry grilled White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about the postings, about which Earnest joked "Been scanning the classifieds?"
"Looking around a little. Why not?" Henry replied.
"Ed, seems to me you've got a great job," Earnest quipped. Then, Henry got what passes for serious at Fox News:
Henry: "These are permanent positions, some making up to $157,000 a year. I thought the President said that these were temporary executive actions, not the kind of actions that you would need government employees working many years on. I assume they have other responsibilities beyond implementing the executive actions. But is there some reasonable estimate for U.S. taxpayers on how much it’s going to cost to implement the President’s executive actions?"
Earnest: "Well, many of the executive actions that the President has directed the Department of Homeland Security to implement are actually funded by the fees that are paid by individuals who pay for this application process. So it’s a fee-funded operation. I can't speak to all of the..."
Henry: "But then -- so that's what I’m really trying to get at. But if you're hiring a thousand government workers, it seems that maybe the fees might not cover all of that. I mean, you’ve said many times the fees cover the paperwork, the applications. I’m just trying to get at -- and if you want to come back to us, fine -- I’m just saying -- because I understand you’re not going to be scanning the DHS web ads, as you say. But in all seriousness, the question here -- the President said this was a temporary implementation, temporary measures. A thousand government jobs is not small chump change."
Earnest explained that he couldn't break out all the responsibilities and costs of those jobs, but reiterated that the costs that Henry and his viewers are concerned about "would be paid for by the individuals who are filing those applications."
See, not all of those employees will just be working on deferred action applications, but according to a DHS memo, their duties will include that kind of work. So, to review, Fox News is slamming the President for creating 1,000 good-paying jobs that will be paid for by illegals, and which, within the scope of the President's executive action on immigration, will cost the taxpayers nothing.
As stupid as that is, the underlying premise is even dumber. Henry points out these "permanent" positions as a way to suggest that the President's immigration action is actually intended to be permanent, which doesn't make any sense to begin with. Obviously, the President wants his reforms to remain in place, but that's not up to him, it's up to Congress and/or the next president. But if Henry had done a little checking around, he'd have known that according to the Office of Personnel Management, "temporary" federal jobs are limited to one year or less. With two years left in his term, it would be poor planning not to hire "permanent" workers.
Henry's conspiratorial narrative is subtler than the insane treatment this story has been given by FoxNews.com, which posits the hirings as further evidence of presidential usurpation:
Many of the openings were posted the day after Obama announced he'll offer work authorization and temporary legal status to up to 5 million illegal immigrants. While that move is now the subject of congressional and legal battles, the job postings indicate the administration was well-prepared to quickly carry out the orders.
Yes, those dastardly dastards at DHS had that memo all ready to go eleven days after the announcement!
Leave it to Fox News to find the bad news in a thousand new jobs and lower gas prices. If unemployment gets any lower, we'll have to put them on suicide watch.