Monday, July 9, 2012

Massive Public Sector Job Loss In a Recession is a "Test of Government Competence"

This graph is pretty amazing:

A few things stand out:

1) Bush's economy = much shittier than people gave it credit for. It's not like many people are putting up these billboards, but it really is incredible how terrible those years were.

2) The public sector losses under Obama are just stunning, and were completely preventable. When you have control of congress, you simply have to find a way to help the states and ensure those layoffs don't happen.

Oh yeah, and maybe spending a full year of your presidency talking about deficit reduction, belt tightening and other austerity bullshit wasn't a great idea either. Because that is exactly what Obama did. From David Corn's book:
Plouffe was concerned that voter unease about the deficit could become unease about the president. The budget issue was easy to understand; you shouldn’t spend more money than you have. Yes, there was the argument that the government should borrow money responsibly when necessary (especially when interest rates were low) for the appropriate activities, just like a family borrowing sensibly to purchase a home, to pay for college, or to handle an emergency. But voters needed to know — or feel — that the president could manage the nation’s finances. The budget was a test of government competence — that is, Obama’s competence.
That was the calculation. I don't give the slightest shit about what David Plouffe has done to get to this position in Obama's White House. If he thought that bullshitting about deficits to "prove to voters" he could manage the budget was important, then he is a fucking idiot. Obama's year of austerity was successful at convincing Democrats that a made up problem (deficits) are actually important. While making Democratic voters dumber is a laudable goal, I'm guessing there are a few more useful things Obama could have spent A FUCKING YEAR focusing on. But we shouldn't be surprised, since David Plouffe also thought that benefit cuts to social security would be "win" with independent voters. Seriously, where do they find people this out of touch with reality?

With morons like that running the show, it's kind of a miracle things aren't worse.

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