LIKE BANGING ONE’S HEAD AGAINST A WALL…. The real problem in the latest job numbers are in the public sector. The 71,000 private-sector jobs created is an underwhelming total, to be sure, but what made the new employment so discouraging was the public sector layoffs.
Republicans, giddy as sugar-fueled children about bad news for the country, consider the discouraging jobs report evidence of their superior economic philosophy. What’s likely to be entirely overlooked is that the opposite is true — with each passing month, we’re reminded of how incredibly, demonstrably, painfully wrong Republicans are when it comes to economic policy.
For quite a while, Democrats have said the government needed to intervene to prevent the job losses we’re seeing now. Republicans refused. To be sure, the job market would need to be stronger in either case, but the GOP is entirely responsible for holding the job market’s head below water — and yet, they’re also the ones gloating. It’s maddening.
Matt Yglesias’ item on this today bears repeating:
The losses came from the public sector. And they were foreseeable. And they were foreseen by the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the majority of House members and a majority of Senators. And the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the majority of House members and a majority of Senators voted for bills that would have prevented that. But because in the Senate a minority of members can get their way, action wasn’t taken. Consequently, we have a horrible jobs number. Which would be bad enough, but the way the American political system works, the minority party that prevented the majority from addressing the crisis will accrue massive political benefits as a result of the collapse.
Conservatives won’t admit it today, but what we’re looking at is a major breakdown of the logic of the American political system.
We’re not only rewarding those who were wrong and punishing those who were right, we’re also tolerating a system that gives those who were wrong the ability to block those who were right from doing what needs to be done.
Maybe Republicans are deliberately trying to sabotage the economy, maybe they’re just overwhelmingly confused. I really don’t know. The result, though, is the same either way — the GOP got us into this mess; the GOP fought efforts that made things better; and the GOP continues to stand in the way of efforts that would get us out of the hole they dug.