Feb 16, 2011

Jobs and the Budget

The economy is adding jobs, and has been since that cold day in January 2009 where Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States. Clearly, throughout much of that period there has not been a net gain in jobs. However, the private sector has been hiring steadily throughout that entire period.

How do we reconcile these disparate facts? How can additional private sector jobs not lead to a net drop in unemployment? Because the public sector, made up of local, state and federal government departments, has been shedding jobs. In fact, since taking office President Obama has shrunk the size of government, there are now fewer workers on government payrolls.

Public sector employees are healthier, happier, better educated and better paid - though that may be changing as conservatives dominate state capitols. Public sector jobs are higher quality jobs than private sector jobs and in the long run they are better for our country. When we reduce public sector jobs by eliminating programs, we directly reduce the quality of life for millions of Americans, reduce consumer spending and destroy public infrastructure.

So budget cuts have led to sustained unemployment and a prolonged recession.

Why then are certain elected officials advocating further budget cuts while linking them with economic stimulus? You don't stimulate an economy by destroying livelihoods.

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