Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Catch of the Day

I think Steve Benen qualifies, with his post pointing out that John Boehner is indifferent to jobs lost from cutting government spending. Why the hesitation on my part? Because I'm not really sure it's a "catch" to point out something that the Speaker appears to be bragging about.

The alternative would be to run a "Translated, from the Republican" item: just as Republicans don't mean anything about how government revenues compare to government outlays when they talk about the deficit, what they mean by "jobs" may turn out to have nothing to do with actual people getting employed. I'm not sure about that, however; I'll start listening more carefully to GOP rhetoric on jobs, and report back if I hear anything interesting.


  1. He cares about jobs in his home district for the aircraft engine that the Department of Defense does not want to buy. He included an earmark for this in his budget proposal.

  2. You're just learning to translate from the Republican? For the past 3 decades, GOP "Jobs" = supply-side tax cuts, 'right-to-work', no regulations, privatized 'entitlements' limited to the 'deserving' poor, Laffer-curve, trickle-down economics, plus district pork. The formula remains the same regardless of macroeconomic conditions, and despite accumulated evidence that supply-side economics doesn't deliver as promised. Voodoo economics is still voodoo economics, fit only for true believers.

    The only thing that's shocking about Boehner's remark is that he hinted the emperor's clothes may be a bit thread-bare.

  3. Translated from Republican: government jobs are not actually jobs. This is a concept I've seen quite a few times, mostly in the context of the unemployment rate numbers.

    To me, having had both, I've got to tell you that a government job and a private industry job feel about the same: I go there, I do stuff they want me to do, and then they pay me for it. But to today's conservative, they seem to be two completely different things. A worker in the private sector is a productive member of society, contributing to the economy. A worker in the public sector is just leeching off the taxpayer.

    Add to that the idea that government jobs crowd out private jobs, and the fact that cutting government jobs reduces the size of government (which is seen as a good thing in and of itself), and there's no reason at all for John Boehner to be concerned about cutting government jobs.

    Really. Keep an eye out for the "government jobs aren't really jobs" thing. It is just about an alternate meaning of the word, in the way you theorized.


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