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Maddow-nomics: Have the Feds Hire Everybody!

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Posted on March 4 2011 2:30 pm
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.

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MSNBC has decided that the John Boehner quote below is the political blunder of the year, and Rachel Maddow loves to throw it into nearly every show.

JOHN BOEHNER: “In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs, if some of those jobs are lost, so be it. We’re broke.”

Her smug, simplistic refrain is always along the lines of, “the Republicans say they are about jobs and here is John Boehner talking about cutting jobs.”

MADDOW:  Mr. Speaker was responding to reports that his party‘s economic plan would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs.  His response was -

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BOEHNER:  So be it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  Ow.

What she and her network cronies leave out here– and what they don’t get when it comes to Wisconsin– is that Americans who work in the private sector are the employers of those who work in the public sector. And like any employer, they only want as many employees as it takes to get the job done. Having too many does not help your economy, it drags it down.

But just like when liberals argue for a minimum wage increase, it raises the question: Why stop there?  If 7 bucks is good, isn’t 10 better?  If those 200,000 jobs are so good for the economy, why not just borrow enough from the Chinese to hire 200,000 more?

But let’s also parse Boehner’s statement here:  ”If some of those workers are laid off, so be it.”

Is it Maddow’s contention that every federal job “created” in the last 2 years of the Obama spending orgy is sacred and cannot be touched?  That government was so small in 2008 that we can’t cut any of the new 200,000 “workers” without starting with– drum roll please– “cops, nurses, teachers and firefighters?”

Here is what passes for “smart” discussion on TRMS (yes, that’s her logo).  She had to get Dr. Robert Frank, Econ Prof at Cornell to drag out of the “duh” file that every economy has a mix of private and public sector jobs.

Really?  Oooh, please share more of your wisdom… like, what should the mix be?  No answer?  Wouldn’t that be the “smart” follow up question?

MADDOW:  Speaker Boehner, Gov. Daniels essentially saying they are OK with public sector jobs going away, that those don‘t really matter to them.  Is there any economic difference between a public sector job and a private sector job?

FRANK:  You know, you don‘t see any economy in the world that doesn‘t have a mix of the two types of jobs.  We need roads to drive our cars on.  We need schools to send our kids to.  Those are public sector jobs.

We have private sector jobs, too.  The public sector jobs deliver good value, many of them.  They are a good use of taxpayer dollars.  And right now, when we‘re in a spending shortage recession, the last thing we should be doing is cutting spending on those kinds of jobs.

That’s right, as every American knows, when you are running out of money, you should increase your overhead!  And on it goes.  But note, he did not answer Rachel’s elementary question about the difference.

So, Dr. Frank, from Econ 101 here are a few differences:

  1. Private sector employees produce things
  2. Private sector employees have to attract customers who voluntarily buy their products and services
  3. And oh, yeah, private sector employees pay for public sector employees

Dr. Frank, you say “many” federal jobs give good value for the dollar spent.  Which ones don’t?  Is anything beyond a platitude that promotes Rachel’s premise above your pay grade?

Next: Where to trim the fat…

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