Tuesday, February 3, 2009

RNC Chair Steele Misinforms The Public About Government Job Creation

Since being elected Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele has been polishing his obstructionist credentials. Referring to the House Republicans' total rejection of Obama's stimulus package, Steele said in a GOP conference call, "... the goose egg that you laid on the president’s desk was just beautiful." He also spoke to Wolf Blitzer of CNN about the supposed futility of government job creation programs:

And first off the government doesn’t create jobs. Let’s get this notion out of our heads that the government creates jobs. Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job. Small business owners do, small enterprises do. Not the government. When the government contract runs out, that job goes away. That’s what we’re talking about here and those 2 to 4 million jobs that are projected? Won’t happen, trust me.

So the millions who work for post offices; libraries; parks; the Internal Revenue Service; the armed forces; bridges and highways; the police; fire departments; public transportation; courts, and local, state and federal government are all on temporary contracts? Did the Works Progress Administration, authorized by FDR in 1935, employ over 3.4 million people or was it just a fluke? No doubt, if the Obama administration supports legislation to finance infrastructure and green technologies, Steele would dismiss such projects. Would he instead point to the past eight years, ending in the tanking of the financial industry, recession and rising unemployment, as the Republican economic alternative in action?

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the recovery plan passed by the House will result in up to 3.6 million jobs by the end of next year (h/t Think Progress). That would be 3.6 million more jobs, according to Michael Steele, than government has ever created in the history of mankind.

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