On "Democracy Now!," Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman recently said, "If we were to spend more money at the government level and...rehire the schoolteachers, firefighters, police officers who have been laid off in the last several years because of cutbacks at the state and local level, we would be a long way back towards full employment." This point is entirely lost on Mitt Romney. Of course, Romney was once for more stimulus before he was against it. Now, though, Romney's "solution" is to leave firemen, police and teachers unemployed, which he states is "the message of Wisconsin."
It's hard to see how masses of endlessly unemployed public sector workers can boost consumer demand, essential to getting the economy back on track. Yet leaving them jobless somehow "helps the American people," as if these former public employees are not real Americans. The actual "message of Wisconsin" for the Republicans is, as Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, put it, to "divide and conquer" the labor movement, setting private against public workers. Watch as Romney (whose state was 47th in job creation when he was governor of Massachusetts) criticizes Obama's demand for $35 billion in federal funds to keep these workers on the job:
ROMNEY: "He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”