On July 8, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the June unemployment numbers: 9.2%. The press greeted this as bad, right wing talk radio declared the end of Obama and no one actually read the numbers closely. As much as the GOP would like to blame the Democrats, led by President Obama, for “another dismal unemployment report,” the Republican and Tea Party priorities are to blame for the high and slowly increasing unemployment numbers.
A major plank of the GOP’s current agenda is that government is too big and therefore has too many employees.
“I want my candidacy for the presidency to stand for the moment when ‘we the people’ reclaimed our independence from a government that has gotten too big, spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberty,” she said. Michelle Bachmann, as quoted by USA Today
Nationally syndicated radio host Roger Hedgecock took his show to the Montana Tea Party state convention Friday in Helena, firing up a crowd of about 100 with warnings of big government, big deficits, federal health care reform, immigration and voter fraud. The Billings Gazette, February 12, 2011
Anyone listening to television and radio knows that GOP and Tea Partypundits blame President Obama for the unemployment rate.
“Barack Obama’s big government policies continue to fail. He should put a link to the national debt clock on his BlackBerry. The gears on that clock have nearly exploded during his administration. Yesterday’s terrible job numbers should not be a surprise because it all goes back to our debt.” Sarah Palin on her Facebook page, July 9, 2011
But a closer look at the numbers reveals that there is growth in almost every sector of the economy except…. wait for it… government! Government employment was down 39% from May to June of 2011! (BLS Report, dated July 8, 2011) Local government was down 18% while Federal was down 14%. The only private sectors to lose that many jobs was education services, a private sector area closely tied to government monies, and financial services (-17%), but given the state of the banking and investment industries this should come as no surprise.
Clearly, based on June’s unemployment numbers, the Tea Party’s plan to shrink government is working. The only problem with that is that government is made up of people, people with jobs. After those people lose those jobs so that the taxpayers pay less, they become the unemployed.
It is disingenuous for the right wing to complain about the unemployment numbers when it is conservative policies that are keeping them in the basement. If the policies you espouse, correct or not, call for the unemployment of thousands of people per month, then you do not have a leg to stand on complaining about the unemployment rate. That’s like being an oil tycoon and complaining about the high price of gasoline. ‘This is a have your cake and eat it too’ issue… if anyone bothers to read the numbers, that is!