QUOTE OF THE DAY…. As of this morning, the official Republican line has gone from “where are the jobs” to “to hell with the jobs.” As a substantive matter, that’s not exactly new, but as a rhetorical matter, I didn’t expect this much candor from the House Speaker.
If House Republicans succeed in cutting tens of billions of dollars in discretionary spending over the next six months, some of the most immediate victims will be federal employees, many of whose jobs will be slashed as their agencies pare back.
At a press conference in the lobby of RNC headquarters Tuesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shrugged this off as collateral damage.
“In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs,” Boehner said. “If some of those jobs are lost so be it. We’re broke.”
That’s a rather extraordinary acknowledgement. Confronted with accusations that his own budget plan would kill jobs, Boehner not only conceded that the charges are correct, he went on to say he simply doesn’t care.
Mark the day and time — the House Republican leadership no longer thinks it matters if GOP policies force thousands of American workers from their jobs.
Remember, as far as Boehner is concerned, this is a feature, not a bug. The GOP plan calls for deep reductions in education, transportation, law enforcement, food safety, environmental protections, and community health centers, among many other areas. The result — indeed, the intended result — is to lay off thousands of teachers, police officers, medical professionals, food inspectors, etc. “So be it,” Boehner said.
For Democrats hoping to prove that the GOP plan would make unemployment worse, this is manna from heaven. It’s one thing to levy an accurate charge; it’s another when the target of the criticism tells reporters the charges are true.
And for those who happen to take facts seriously, let’s also note that Boehner has no idea what he’s talking about. On a per capita basis, the federal workforce is already at its lowest level since 1962, and practically all of the recent job growth has come from the private sector, not the public sector.
Postscript: And as long as we’re adding context, don’t forget that Boehner thinks “we’re broke,” but doesn’t have a problem adding the cost of tax cuts to the national debt. He freely admits he doesn’t care if thousands of Americans lose their jobs, but he cares a great deal if millionaires and Exxon Mobil lose their tax breaks.