Cause and effect?

73% of new jobs “created” in past five months are in government.

Detroit prepares to declare bankruptcy.


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25 responses to “Cause and effect?

  1. JRH

    Not “in” government, “by” government, i.e., teachers, firefighters, police officers too.

    You’re in fantasy land if you want to pretend that government employment has grown under Obama.

    • No question that state employment took a hit during Obama’s recession, though federal jobs swelled, but the printing presses are humming and the state union workers will be back in even greater numbers by the time Obama finally leaves.

      • Inagua

        With respect to state and local employees, it is not just the number that matters, it is the total cost per employee, including pension and medical. Most state and local employees cost more in retirement than they do during their working careers. Many profligate blue states and cities actually have too few public safety personnel because so much of the budget goes to pay retiree costs.

        • JRH

          Inagua, I’d agree with much of this sentiment. Liberals need to better realize that if nothing is done on the pension reform front, government will no longer be able to fund excellent public schools, ensure access to health insurance for children who through no fault of their own are born into poor families, provide for basic infrastructure, etc. Interesting developments by Democrats in Rhode Island on this front.

        • >>Most state and local employees cost more in retirement than they do during their working careers.<<
          Except, one Robert Kennedy, former chair of the Connecticut Board of Regents. Read it and gag. The polcie and firemen etc add value. This guy? Jeez, I can't think of a thing he added, except lint in the state coffers.
          Despite being paid $455,000 in 13 months, Connecticut’s former Board of Regents president charged taxpayers nearly $400 for gourmet coffee and a yearly subscription to Sirius XM radio so he could stay tuned-in while driving around in his free state car, among other perks.

        • Inagua

          JHR – The coming crack-up of the blue public pension model is going to be long and drawn out. Look at the rear guard action some unions are fighting in RI.

          All credit to David Boies for arguing that statues are not contracts. But I fear that even if Boies wins this round, the Supremes might go the other way. Almost certainly, Ginsburg, Breyer, the Wise Latina, and the Refrigerator Dyke will go with the public employee unions. And if Obama gets another appointment (my personal fear is Hillary), it could be a total disaster.

        • JRH

          And for what it’s worth, calling it the “blue state pension problem” makes no sense. Worst ten states by state of full funding include:

          West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alaska, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas.

  2. JRH

    If by “swelled,” you mean “increased by 6.2%”, well, sure. Just out of curiosity, what did the Gipper’s numbers look like? Uh oh. 6.4% increase in federal employment from 1982 to 1988.

    • There are products on the market now, JRH which, if they claimed to swell something by 6.2%, would be pulled from the market and their sellers prosecuted by the FDA. The term is valid, regardless of your “he did it too” argument. Are you now channeling Dollar Bill? How disappointing.

      • JRH

        Use whatever adjective you’d like, but again, that’s not what a tu quoque argument is. I’m not saying your criticism is invalid because it is hypocritical. Your clear implication that Obama is somehow growing federal employment by unprecedented levels is invalid because it’s untrue, not because it’s hypocritical. Unless, of course, what you’re saying is, “Obama grew the federal employment rolls at a slightly slower rate than Reagan, and that’s worthy of criticism.” At least that doesn’t rest on false premises.

    • Inagua

      JHR – Thank you for pointing out that the total number of federal employees grew by roughly 6% under both Reagan and Obama. Do you think you think that percentage comparison might be more helpful if it were adjusted for the number of years over which the increase occurred? After all, 6% over eight years is not quite the same as 6% over four years, is it?

      • JRH

        Inagua: compare four years to four years, then, and you find that from 82 to 86, Reagan’s increase was 5.1% to Obama’s 6.2%. Hardly the difference between tyranny and freedom. Let’s also remember that there was a certain decennial event that occurred during Obama’s first term that I’ve cut out of Reagan’s numbers by starting in 1982, skewing them even more in his favor.

        • Inagua

          If you compare Reagan’s first four years to Obama’s first four years the spread is even greater. The long term difference between a 5% and 6% rate of increase is very substantial.

    • Anonymous

      Under Obama, Katherine Sebelius’ HHS is larger than LBJ’s entire government. 6% of a mid-size number, or 6% of a very large number? Obama’s fedgov is spending 25% more than Clinton’s fedgov, and IIRC things weren’t so bad during the Clinton years.

      • JRH

        Yikes. You just compared Obama to Clinton while skipping over a certain administration that in its two terms took us into two wars, put a prescription drug benefit on the credit card (hey, Mr. Romney, wasn’t that a “gift” for your party’s base of white senior citizens?), coincided with the creation of a new federal department and the massive expansion of the national security apparatus (I say coincided because both parties did this), while all the while cutting tax revenues. So, yeah, we spend more than we used to before all that. You recall correctly about the Clinton years, which is why doomsday arguments about returning marginal tax rates to Clinton levels on marginal dollars above $260,000 are ludicrous.

        • Inagua

          “…doomsday arguments about returning marginal tax rates to Clinton levels on marginal dollars above $260,000 are ludicrous.”

          Correct. But I have not heard one responsible person make a doomsday argument. What is so depressing about the putative hike from 35% to 40% above $250,000 is how economically insignificant it is. Krauthammer is right, Obama is doing this as a political tactic.

          In a saner world, the Republicans would say to Obama, “The way to get more revenue from the wealthiest is to tax all income from all sources at the same rate, and you can set the rate.” This is what essentially what Bill Bradley and Richard Gephardt said to Reagan in 1986, and those three gave us the best tax code we had since the 1920s. However, it had one flaw. The 28% rate was too low. But instead of kicking it to 30% or maybe even 33%, the twin idiots of George Bush Sr. and George Mitchell reintroduced complexity, which Clinton and Bush Jr. substantially increased.

  3. Does it need to be pointed out that government jobs contribute NO revenue to government? Their paycheck comes from a taking of one kind or another.

    • JRH

      Great point, Greg. Teachers don’t produce any value for society. Neither do police officers. After all, just look at the number of businesses that thrive with uneducated employees in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

      • I’ll give you the police, JRH, within reason. Teachers? Maybe a handful are worth their pay.

      • JRH, you twist my words into a flaming straw man. I did not use or imply the word ‘value.’ Nor do I or have claimed government provides no important services. However, my point still stands. All government jobs are paid with takings from the private sector. As for value? The value of the government to the private sector jumped the shark long ago, ‘excellent’ innercity unionized teachers and administrators to the contrary.

  4. Abdul al Kaboom

    Get rid of bothersome police officers, and then you can have merry mayhem like in Cairo, chasing down the women. And an occasional boy.

  5. JRH

    CF, a curious choice to exclude my comment while letting Inagua’s stand.

  6. No more arguments!


    Bring make moderation — now that folks can respond immediately your blog now has running arguments (just like other blogs) and I prefer to run from running arguments.

  7. pulled up in OG

    Can’t just scroll to the bottom to catch up.

    This “reply to any old previous post along the line” feature ain’t much of one.