Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 15, 2011

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.

Steve Benen 12:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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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.

Is this not really corruption?

Posted by: cld on February 15, 2011 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think those numbers by WaPo are highly suspect at best, misleading at worst. This may be the number of Federal government employees, but it doesn't necessarily include all the private contractors working on behalf of the Fed and their accompanying overhead costs. Why hasn't the GOP called for cutting that head count too (including those in security and defense) - oh wait, welfare is only bad if it's going to poor people, not corporations...

Posted by: goterpsgo on February 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the Rethugs, or at least the Teabagger faction, doesn't see government jobs as legitimate 'jobs in the first place'. All government is wasteful and unnecessary so somehow real people aren't affected when the positions are cut. Government employees are overpaid, underworked, and Democrats. What more need be said.

Posted by: rrk1 on February 15, 2011 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I hope this becomes the headline sound bite in Democratic ads across the country: "If some of those jobs are lost so be it."

Marie Antoinette, anyone?

The perfidious way those Republicans try to play on everyone's basest motives: government workers get a free ride, they do nothing, etc. etc. (Not me, of course, he implies--even after doing what? about 3 or 4 days worth of work in a month?).

So their main strategy is try to make everyone JEALOUS and ENVIOUS of those who work for the government. And of those who get 'handouts' from the government, if they are people of color or poor: but not if they are oil companies, Blackwater, Halliburton, et al.

But does anyone recall how BUSH expanded government employment dramatically, AND loaded it up with conservative youth? Where was BOEHNER THEN?

Posted by: jjm on February 15, 2011 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

And will anyone actually hold them to it? Will the American voters remember that once again, the GOP has lied through their teeth to get into office only to push through massive redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the rich and giant corporations? Will people finally recover from their repetitive memory loss and actually demand that politicians on the right serve the people, instead of exploit them? I won't hold my breath.

Posted by: Bryant Turnage on February 15, 2011 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

How about the billions that Gates wants to cut from the Pentagon budget for those spare engines for planes that will never be used and are not needed, Boehner & Cantor are refusing to cut them because the companies that make them are in their districts. Rachel does a good job of highlighting this, of course we should also rescind the tax breaks for the rich - balanced (nearly) budget!

Posted by: j on February 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, and where ARE the Democrats, who ought to be raising hell about this?

Seems like most of 'em pretty much agree with Boehner but don't feel like making it public.

Gotta keep the banksters happy, though, that's important!

Posted by: bleh on February 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Captain Merlot strikes! When does he start his 12 step program again?

Seriously, America's biggest douche, today..

Posted by: Trollop on February 15, 2011 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

"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."

Do we know if the 200,000 federal jobs added under Obama includes temporary census positions. I suspect it does, making this claim ridiculous propaganda. Either way, it's good to see the GOP is getting smoked out and forced to acknowledge the grim, job-destroying reality of their proposals.

Posted by: danimal on February 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Surely those tax breaks for millionaires will create at least double the (fictional figure of) 200,000 jobs for people willing to work sub-minimum wage. Cuz rich folks need clean bathrooms too (and they have *a lot* of them).

Posted by: Ian A on February 15, 2011 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

As our government leaders argue over how many people will lose their jobs because the wealthy do not want to pay taxes to support the government we should remember what brought us to this point.

America wasted massive amounts of money and many lives unnecessarily invading Iraq based on the "threat" of WMD. Now "Curveball" admits that he made up his stories of Saddam's WMD programs which were to an amazing degree the basis for our invasion of Iraq. The very gullible Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell bought his lies completely and largely based the unnecessary war on those lies.

Now we are all going to pay heavily for Curveball's lies the the Bush administrations gullibility. The cost is still climbing.

This is not to mention the Bush administration's and conservatives sell out to the idiot Wall Street bankers. But that's a mostly separate rant. Curveball lied. Americans died. And now we are all paying the price for things we should not have bought in the first place.

Posted by: Rick B on February 15, 2011 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

What is a Republican made of?

Canards, deflections, untruths, and mirrored reality where they only see themselves and their own needs even though they are elected decision-makers for all citizens!

The Republican brand, and its leaders, is only concerned with growing wealth upward where the top 2% can live lives of luxury while the rest of us scrounge around to make ends meet! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on February 15, 2011 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know from which asshole Boehner is pulling that 200,000 figure. Does it include private contractors for stimulus related road/infrastructure improvements or just purely government employees?

Either way, Steve paints this as some kind of game changer, which unfortunately it's not.

The GOPBP and its snack oil purchasing hick base, don't see any government job as legitimate. "That's just funneling our tax money into lazy people's hands", they'll say. Of course, if asked to stop tax breaks for Exxon and make that company pay the same as the rest, they howl, "Energy prices are already too high, taxing them fairly would be too hard on hard-working Americans."

Thus, tax money funneled to special interests = good.
Tax money spent on low-paying government service jobs without some company raking in profit off the top = bad

Posted by: AndThenThere'sThat on February 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Boner:

"HELL NO YOU CAN'T HAVE JOBS!!!!!!"

Posted by: citizen_pain on February 15, 2011 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

to be fair . . .
not
"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."
but
"He freely admits he doesn't care if thousands of Americans lose their GOVERNMENT jobs, but he cares a great deal if millionaires and Exxon Mobil lose their tax breaks."

Posted by: SteveADor on February 15, 2011 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

That makes no sense, what are you correcting? A job is a job ... irregardless if some horse's ass attempts to place a pejorative in front of it for their own political purposes. Tell that to their soon-to-be-hungry kids. Actually, for maximum effect, tell them "a man named Boehner decided you don't get formula no more, enjoy your sawdust and water!"

Posted by: jsacto on February 15, 2011 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Americans get exactly what they voted for. Stupid people.

Posted by: impik on February 15, 2011 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

impik, I agree but we might not agree on which candidates. Take a look at the number of federal employees in 2008 and now. Lay off the difference. It would save the difference between salaries and unemployment, a lot, but it would also save all that money they spend, especially on porno sites.

Posted by: Mike K on February 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Americans get exactly what they voted for. Stupid people." -impik

Once again, I think of my Uncle in Kentucky. He's a veteran of the Navy and that's exactly the only good thing I can say about him. He's a reactionary Tea Bagger, a Birther, a Theocrat and pretty much every negative stereotype once can imagine about Republicans from Kentucky.

He complains nonstop about people living off of the government - nevermind that he has never had a private sector job in his life. After leaving the Navy my Uncle got a job at a Post Office. He lost that job a few months ago thanks to restructuring, and is currently on unemployment.

And still (STILL) complaining about people who survive on public money. . . at the same time that he complains about being laid off by an "ungrateful" government.

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

Posted by: Mitch on February 15, 2011 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The difference sir is that any plan to cut GOV'T JOBS
is VIEWED differently by the vast swath of independents (and maybe mainstream Repugs too).
And Boner KNOWS that.

Just a thought, maybe you want to spend a second thinking before you pull the trigger.

''''''''''''''''''''
That makes no sense, what are you correcting? A job is a job ... irregardless if some horse's ass attempts to place a pejorative in front of it for their own political purposes. Tell that to their soon-to-be-hungry kids. Actually, for maximum effect, tell them "a man named Boehner decided you don't get formula no more, enjoy your sawdust and water!"

Posted by: jsacto on February 15, 2011

Posted by: SteveADor on February 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I am sure you are correct in assessing your Uncle as an A#1 jerk, but . . .
from what I have observed at my post office, the employees there WORK for the salary they are paid.

They are not in any sense "on the dole" (or as you put it "living off of the government").

'''''''''''''''
"Americans get exactly what they voted for. Stupid people." -impik

Once again, I think of my Uncle in Kentucky. He's a veteran of the Navy and that's exactly the only good thing I can say about him. He's a reactionary Tea Bagger, a Birther, a Theocrat and pretty much every negative stereotype once can imagine about Republicans from Kentucky.

He complains nonstop about people living off of the government - nevermind that he has never had a private sector job in his life. After leaving the Navy my Uncle got a job at a Post Office. He lost that job a few months ago thanks to restructuring, and is currently on unemployment.

And still (STILL) complaining about people who survive on public money. . . at the same time that he complains about being laid off by an "ungrateful" government.

Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

Posted by: Mitch on February 15, 2011

Posted by: SteveADor on February 15, 2011 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

So is Boehner introducing a budget bill called "The Job Killing Budget"?

Posted by: Gridlock on February 15, 2011 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

SteveADor,

I agree 100% that the vast majority of Post Office employees work their butts off to earn what is often a barely adequate amount of pay.

Indeed, I think that the vast majority of Government Employees of all stripes probably do work their butts off, in important glamourless jobs that this nation needs, even if we're unaware of it.

When I said "living off of the government" those are not my words, they are my Uncle's words. The same uncle who has worked for the governement since he was 18 and the son of a woman who raised 5 kids alone on minimum wage (with every form of assistance you can think of from Food Stamps to housing). That's why I find disgusting irony in his words. My family never could have survived without help from Uncle Sam; my Uncle has never known a life other than one dependant on the governement. And yet he HATES the government with an undying Glen Beckian level of hatred.

My Uncle (and most of my conservative friends) all seem to act as if anyone who gets money from Uncle Sam is a leech. Except them, no, never them. Even the ones who could not live without SS or Food Stamps, even those who live in housing projects or receive any other sort of assistance.

It's one of the most frustrating parts of talking to conservatives. Their PoV makes no sense to me. Especially in situations like this.

Posted by: Mitch on February 15, 2011 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

New GOP slogan: Fuck Tha Police.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on February 15, 2011 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Well well well Mr. Boehner, and just who put us in the poor house?

Eight years of Pres. Bush and you guys in Congress and now we "Can't Afford No Shoes" (FZ, One Size Fits All)! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on February 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Mitch,
The term low information voter (or citizen) is not entirely apt.

This is all about the same socialization
that makes people racist.

A racist parent coupled with either
poor education in our schools that does not encourage a challenging mind, an ability to think outside the dogma,
or
home schooling that that does not encourage a challenging mind, an ability to think outside the dogma.

In this case there is ignorance of facts, an incurious mind, an unwillingness to do the mental work of independent analysis, and an external reinforcement process using tactics of fear.

Give up, or maybe better, get it all off your chest once and then give up.

Best wishes.

Posted by: SteveADor on February 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

SteveADor,

Oh, I know that I cannot convert the unwilling. But I am also too stubborn to let their endless Fox "News" quotes go on without a retort. I don't expect them to learn, and I don't get angry over their actions.

It's just mind-boggling, is all.

Thanks for the convo.

Posted by: Mitch on February 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

@ bleh - that is precisely the problem. The Democrats won't go on the attack over this or anything else. Because that would damage bipartisanship and heaven forbid they give as good as they get.

Posted by: MarkJ on February 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, kiddies...this is just part of the good news.

Couple this with the STATES doing away with state jobs and poof! 200,000 federal jobs become a million of public sector jobs across the country.

INCLUDING prison guards, cops, fire fighters, teachers, social workers.

And let's not forget that every job lost triggers additional job losses in restaurant porkers, etc., etc.; those people whose jobs feed off of other people's ability to buy or use their good or service.

Sing along everyone...

We. Are. So. Fucked!

Posted by: MsJoanne on February 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

whoops...that was restaurant WORKERS not porkers (although, now that I think about it.... :-)

Posted by: MsJoanne on February 15, 2011 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Broke? So raise taxes. Or STFU.

Posted by: DNS on February 15, 2011 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

It's not often one gets to see a political party committing slow-motion suicide. The last such occurance, if I remember my history, were the Girondists in France in 1791-92.
Of course, when they lost their heads, it wasn't a simile...

Posted by: Doug on February 15, 2011 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

MIKE K: Take a look at the number of federal employees in 2008 and now.


take a look at their pay..


GOP Pushes Pay Cuts - After Boosting Own Payroll - CBS News 12/20/10


Cantor, the Virginia Republican who has led the GOP charge this year to freeze federal salaries, has boosted his congressional office's payroll by 81 percent since coming to Congress in 2001 - about 8 percent per year through 2009.


When he became minority whip last year, the office's personnel expenses went up by at least 16 percent.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/20/politics/main7168200.shtml


gop 2011: the less you know..the more we like you

Posted by: mr. irony on February 16, 2011 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

"And for those who happen to take facts seriously..."
—Steve Benen 12:40 PM

All 37 of you.

Posted by: smartalek on February 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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