According to former GOP chairman Michael Steele, the government has in the history of mankind, ‘never created one job’. According to John Boehner, government has created jobs, but because they are government jobs, they don’t count. From the NYTimes (h/t Oliver Willis):
During his weekly news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Boehner claimed that Mr. Obama had added 200,000 federal workers since he took office (a figure that has been disputed), and shrugged at the idea that Republican efforts to slash government spending would put many of them out of work.
“If some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it,” Mr. Boehner said. “We’re broke. It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.”
If you are confused, you should be. The economic philosophy espoused by the current Republican party is so plagued with inconsistencies and nonsense it is barely worth discussing. But because they control congress, the alternate reality they believe in is a serious threat to the country.
Republicans believe that government debt is more important than anything else. If it means cancelling social security and firing every federal employee in the country, then so be it. They would also have you believe that the gigantic economic mess left by the deregulated (and private) banking industry never actually happened, and that the government stimulus didn’t save or create a single job.
Boehner accidently let slip that the GOP isn’t interested in jobs or helping the economy. They are interested in ramming through an ideologically driven economic agenda that dismantles the state and hands more money over to the rich regardless of its effect on the economy. They might use rhetoric to convince people that the private sector is so dynamic and efficient it will be able to plug the holes left by a drastically reduced government, but every now and then, they’ll admit they don’t care either way.
The notion that government jobs are not ‘real’ jobs is ludicrous to say the least. The millions of workers on the federal payroll help build roads, schools, go to war, do important scientific research, protect us from terrorists, deliver our mail, teach our children, cure our sick, and protect our environment. The money they earn gets ploughed back into the economy when they buy food, go to the movies or buy a new car etc etc. Firing them all won’t help the economy, it will hurt it.
But then people like Boehner are not interested in helping the economy. They are mostly interested in helping the rich – a philosophy proven to be disastrous in every conceivable way.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.