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  1. #1
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    GOP proposes cutting nearly 1 million jobs

    Boehner the budget hawk shifts his course

    By Dana Milbank
    Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 8:00 PM


    "So be it."

    That was House Speaker John Boehner's cold answer when asked Tuesday about job losses that would come from his new Republican majority's plans to cut tens of billions of dollars in government spending this year.

    "Do you have any sort of estimate on how many jobs will be lost through this?" Pacifica Radio's Leigh Ann Caldwell inquired at a news conference just before the House began its debate on the cuts.

    Boehner stood firm in his polished tassel loafers. "Since President Obama has taken office the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs, and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it," he said.

    "Do you have any estimate of how many will?" Caldwell pressed. "And won't that negatively impact the economy?"

    "I do not," Boehner replied, moving to the next questioner.

    Well, Mr. Speaker, I do. I checked with budget expert Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress, and, using the usual multipliers, he calculated that the cuts - a net of $59 billion in the last half of fiscal 2011 - would lead to the loss of 650,000 government jobs, and the indirect loss of 325,000 more jobs as fewer government workers travel and buy things. That's nearly 1 million jobs - possibly enough to tip the economy back into recession.

    So be it?

    Let's assume that Boehner is not as heartless as his words sound. Let's accept that he really believes, as he put it, that "if we reduce spending we'll create a better environment for job creation in America." A more balanced budget would indeed improve the jobs market - in the long run.

    But in the short run, the cuts Boehner and his caucus propose would cause a shock to the economy that would slow, if not reverse, the recovery. And however pure Boehner's motives may be, the dirty truth is that a stall in the recovery would bring political benefits to the Republicans in the 2012 elections. It is in their political interests for unemployment to remain higher for the next two years. "So be it" is callous but rational.

    Boehner could dismiss the forecasts of job losses as the work of liberal administration critics. But Boehner himself is well aware that the cuts will lead to more unemployment; that's why he's fighting hard to shield his Ohio constituents.

    Among the savings proposed by the Obama administration (and before that, the Bush administration) is to end the wasteful effort to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon is satisfied with the engine it has, made by Pratt & Whitney, and it doesn't want the second engine, made by General Electric and others. Eliminating the second engine would save $450 million this year and some $3 billion over 10 years.

    But it just so happens that a GE plant that develops the second engine employs 7,000 people in Evendale, Ohio, near Boehner's district. Rather than take a so-be-it attitude toward jobs his constituents may hold, he's backing an earmark-like provision in the spending legislation to keep funding the unneeded GE engine. . .
    Source.

    When Speaker Boehner claimed earlier this year that the focus of the GOP would be "jobs, jobs, jobs" I guess we didn't realize he meant destroying jobs rather than creating them. The next time you hear the GOP's focus-group-tested line about "job-killing" policies, think of Boehner's blithe "so be it" in regards to the 1 million jobs his own proposals would kill.

  2. #2
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    Interesting, and a point I didn;t pay much attention to. But it makes sense in that if you slash government spending, you therefore slash goernment employment.

    Do we know what kinds of government positions would be eliminated? It might help determine how difficult it might be for many of them to find new employment, and for how long they held these government positions, etc.

  3. #3
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    I don't see any problem. When the GOP talks jobs they have always talked private jobs, not government jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindmydesk View Post
    I don't see any problem. When the GOP talks jobs they have always talked private jobs, not government jobs.
    Well, I'd say if the figure is truly 1 million jobs or around that...then it is a big deal. People seem to see "government jobs" as guys in suits getting paid to sit behind a desk and surf the net all day, but the majority of government jobs aren't very high-paying. I sincerely hope it's not these people who will lose their jobs. No matter how you swing it, laying off a million people does not seem to be the best idea in a recession...

    As I stated n other threads, looks like the middle class again will be forced to make sacrifices...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schmooze View Post
    Well, I'd say if the figure is truly 1 million jobs or around that...then it is a big deal. People seem to see "government jobs" as guys in suits getting paid to sit behind a desk and surf the net all day, but the majority of government jobs aren't very high-paying. I sincerely hope it's not these people who will lose their jobs. No matter how you swing it, laying off a million people does not seem to be the best idea in a recession...

    As I stated n other threads, looks like the middle class again will be forced to make sacrifices...
    I don't, I mean sure yes I do think some have a government job and dont' do anything, just like their are private jobs that people got it made and don't do anything, but post on psd all day.

    It's not about that to me, it's about shrinking government. To reverse the argument to help you see where i'm coming from, if cutting 1 million jobs is bad to you, why not request an increase in 1-5 million jobs so everyone has jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by behindmydesk View Post
    I don't, I mean sure yes I do think some have a government job and dont' do anything, just like their are private jobs that people got it made and don't do anything, but post on psd all day.

    It's not about that to me, it's about shrinking government. To reverse the argument to help you see where i'm coming from, if cutting 1 million jobs is bad to you, why not request an increase in 1-5 million jobs so everyone has jobs.
    I have a job, AND post on PSD. I get all my work done though dammit!

    Certain aspects of "shrinking government" I actually agree with Republicans on. However from your POV I realize that alot of that would include firing alot of people in those jobs. A re-org would help bring alot of these redundant government agencies under the same umbrellas, and could save alot of jobs, but I guess people losing jobs is inevitable, but one million jobs certainly seems like a ridiculous amount.

    I believe this article brings up another instance of hypocrisy by politicians, yet how many people will notice?

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    Am I the only one who has a problem with the tittle of this thread? Can I post "Obama lies about budget" and post this politifact article... http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/...would-not-add/ I might point out that politifact is non partisan unlike the American center for progress.

    The GOP is proposing cutting the federal governments budget. Bohner never said anything about cutting 1 million jobs. He said to the job cuts that come with it, "so be it". Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, but I find this title totally misleading.

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    Quote Originally Posted by b1e9a8r5s View Post
    Am I the only one who has a problem with the tittle of this thread? Can I post "Obama lies about budget" and post this politifact article... http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/...would-not-add/ I might point out that politifact is non partisan unlike the American center for progress.

    The GOP is proposing cutting the federal governments budget. Bohner never said anything about cutting 1 million jobs. He said to the job cuts that come with it, "so be it". Maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, but I find this title totally misleading.
    I find the title quite correct, because it is about the consequence of budget cutting. Sorry if it does not fit your take, but it really is correct.

    Secondly, while you made a correct comment about partisanship of the source of the article, there was no contradiction of the underlying point. I am guessing that you don't dispute it. It strikes me that you just don't think it is fair to point out the consequence of an action that you do agree with. I fully understand that because I am stuck with the same problem from time to time.
    Here is the question of the day, does anyone think that wealthy people should pay a lower percentage of their income to taxes than middle class people? Don't argue tax brackets, just a simple question. Do you think someone earning 46 million dollars should pay a lower percentage of their income than say someone earning sixty thousand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabernetluver View Post
    I find the title quite correct, because it is about the consequence of budget cutting. Sorry if it does not fit your take, but it really is correct.

    Secondly, while you made a correct comment about partisanship of the source of the article, there was no contradiction of the underlying point. I am guessing that you don't dispute it. It strikes me that you just don't think it is fair to point out the consequence of an action that you do agree with. I fully understand that because I am stuck with the same problem from time to time.
    I think it is fair to say that this is what the CAP estimates will happen as a result of Boheners proposal. Frankly I'm in no posistion to agree or disagree with there math or methodology since I haven't seen it. I just think when it comes to projecting things like this there are great degrees of varriance based on slight changes in projections. Look at the wide varriety of numbers you got on the healthcare projections. I'm starting to get dangerously close to getting in over my head here, so I'll stop. I just don't like that it's presented as a fact that the GOP is proposing cutting 1 million jobs when that wasn't the proposal.

  10. #10
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    1 million useless, wasteful, and violent government jobs. So be it.

    = N E W | Y O R K =

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindmydesk View Post
    I don't see any problem. When the GOP talks jobs they have always talked private jobs, not government jobs.
    This doesn't exactly help our economy and survival of middle-lower class right now. You have to create alternatives BEFORE you cut out the gov't positions.

    I don't buy the 1 mil estimate here, but if its 200k-500k, that's still a whole lot of people out there on unemployment in a time when we're trying to improve that number.

    I just despise partisan politics and with this I forsee a GOP plan that results in higher unemployment and then in 2012 they'll point at Obama and say "unemployment has increased with you".

    I'm not suggesting it is the intent, just a side effect.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGGGG-Men View Post
    This doesn't exactly help our economy and survival of middle-lower class right now. You have to create alternatives BEFORE you cut out the gov't positions.

    I don't buy the 1 mil estimate here, but if its 200k-500k, that's still a whole lot of people out there on unemployment in a time when we're trying to improve that number.

    I just despise partisan politics and with this I forsee a GOP plan that results in higher unemployment and then in 2012 they'll point at Obama and say "unemployment has increased with you".

    I'm not suggesting it is the intent, just a side effect
    .
    I can't help but keep that in the back of my mind either. Politics is a cut-throat business, and it wouldn't surprise me if either party did it intentionally

  13. #13
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    ^^^ Of course that is what they'll do.

    = N E W | Y O R K =

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    59 billion per year to keep nearly a million people working doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Hell, maybe they could just pull the money from unspent stimulus dollars (I assume that there are still many billions of stimulus dollars unspent), and call it part of the stimulus. And how much money will really be saved once you take into account that basically all of those people will immediately begin receiving unemployment benefits? Doesn't the GOP want to reduce the number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits, not increase it drastically?

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    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/...ate-fundi.html

    I wonder if this is what Boehner meant when he said cut spending, does it apply to his own district. Fortunately it doesnt matter whether he meant that or not. Apparently government spending doesnt create jobs...unless it is in YOUR district.
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