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Too bad it’s the kind that can’t happen in Barack Obama’s America.
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There is no question that public sector in the U.S. have been relatively sheltered throughout the “Great Recession” and the official but anemic recovery that began in the summer of 2009. At 111.3 million, private sector employment in the U.S. today is still more 4.3 million jobs below the peak of 115.6 million in January of 2008. At 4.2 percent, unemployment in the government sector has been only about half of that in the private sector.
Obama’s Trickle-Down Economics
The president made his first big gaffe this summer (neatly setting up the even bigger you-didn’t-build-that gaffe to follow) when he declared, “The private sector is doing fine,” and went on bemoan the lack of job growth in the public sector. “If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work,” he scolded, “what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments.”
For more than a year now, Obama and his team have been calling on Congress to help pay for more “police officers, firefighters, and teachers. ” And it is always those three jobs that are mentioned.
If Obama, Biden et al. were to call for more “meter maids, street cleaners, and garbage collectors,” people would ask: Why do they want more people writing parking tickets, sweeping streets, or hauling trash? Team Obama assumes (rightly) that many people will not apply the same scrutiny to “first responders,” or to the people teaching their children.
But they should. Here is a closer look at the case for more firefighters, more police, and more teachers. Consider:
On the week of July 23, Vice President Joe Biden hit the road in pledging the administration’s undying support for firemen, police, and teachers. On that Monday he went to Miami to speak to the National Association of Police Organizations; on Wednesday he was Philadelphia speaking to the International Association of Fire Fighters in Philadelphia; and on Sunday he was Detroit speaking to American Federation of Teachers.
Press reports described these speeches as “emotional.” A better description would be wildly dishonest. Biden repeatedly asserts that if the president’s job bill is not passed, it will lead to increased rape and gun crime and leave fire departments short of the manpower and resources needed to do their job. This is totally at odds with the facts cited above.
But surely, even in Obama and Biden’s deliberately dumbed-down America, police, firemen, and teachers are aware of the failure of what I will call the administration’s “trickle-down economics” to deliver anything of lasting value to their members.
How much have they really gain as a result of the president’s $800 billion stimulus program? How much do they stand to gain from a new jobs bill or stimulus program that would about half that size?
Not much in either case, it seems.
In reading Biden’s speeches to police and firefighters, I was struck by how little he was able to offer these groups other than a great deal of overheated political rhetoric (about the terrors that would be unleashed upon them if Mitt Romney becomes president) and the usual moral posturing about making the “rich” pay their “fair share.” This impression was confirmed when I checked some of the numbers regarding what had trickled down to firefighters and police in my home city of St. Louis from the $800 billion stimulus bill. You might think that St. Louis had done well, given the fact that Obama carried the city with 84% of the vote in the 2008 election. But you’d be wrong.
Stimulus money funneled federal agencies to the city currently supports just 50 out of 2,100 police department, or just 2.9%, and just 29 out of 630 fire department jobs, or 4.7%. What’s more, the money to support those additional jobs will run before the end of the current fiscal year.
Nor does Eddie Roth, the director of public safety in St. Louis, expect much if any additional money to be forthcoming from the federal government any time soon. He told me, “We’re not counting on anything, let’s put it that way.”
So where has all the money gone that Obama has spent in the course of adding $5 trillion to the federal deficit since coming to office?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?