E.J. Dionne: Three Cheers for Big Government!

Like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on some sugary-drinks containers, President Barack Obama's press-conference assertion last week that the problem with national employment is that government isn't doing enough of it has been very useful in smoking out the (literally!) big-government faith lurking within his coalition. For instance, here's Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne:

Why don't Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things. One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really [...]

[I]f progressives do not speak out plainly on behalf of government, they will be disadvantaged throughout the election-year debate. [...]

Decades of anti-government rhetoric have made liberals wary of claiming their legacy as supporters of the state's positive role. That's why they have had so much trouble making the case for President Obama's stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009. It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth.

Yet the drumbeat of propaganda against government has made it impossible for the plain truth about the stimulus to break through. [...]

[W]hen conservatives say, as they regularly do, that "government doesn't create jobs," the riposte should be quick and emphatic: "Yes it has, and yes, it does!" [...]

Let's turn Ronald Reagan's declaration on its head: Opposition to government isn't the solution. Opposition to government was and remains the problem. It is past time that we affirm government's ability to heal the economy, and its responsibility for doing so.

Here's one cheer for E.J. Dionne: At least he's coming right out and saying it. Yet even while hi-fiving big government, Dionne, like almost every progressive commentator, fails to be explicit about the math. The federal leviathan went from $1.8 trillion in Fiscal Year 2000 to $3.6 trillion in fiscal 2010, a decade during which the population grew about 10 percent. Unemployment in 2000 ranged between 3.8 and 4.1 percent; in 2010 it was beteen 9.4 and 9.9 percent. If there's anything "emphatic" about those numbers, it's the stunning lack of correlation between federal spending–excuse me, priming future growth–and job creation. You would think those who favor employment through government hiring would grapple forthrightly with that track record.

As The Daily Caller's Mickey Kaus puts it,

We don't want the number government jobs to keep growing, in part because we pay for them without the assurances, offered in a competitive private economy, that we're getting our moneys worth or that the jobs are necessary at all.  It's one thing to boost government jobs as a temporary stimulus measure. It's another thing to never let federal, state and local governments shrink to a more sustainable size.

To which I'd add, the cost of increased public employment (with its comparatively lavish benefits) comes directly out of the pocketbook of private citizens and companies. The more you take from Peter to pay Paul, the less Peter has to spend, save, and invest. Reductions in those latter activities, I would assume, tend to apply downward pressure on private-sector employment, since people tend to spend their own money on non-governmental goods and services.

As for Dionne's contention that Democrats just need to speak out more plainly, I've got four bad numbers for him: 72, 71, 70, and 67. Those are the percentages, in order, that Wisconities favored
"increasing the amount that government employees contribute to their own pensions from less than 1 percent to 6 percent of their annual salaries," that Wisconsites favored "increasing the amount that government employees contribute to their own health care from 6 percent to 12 percent of the cost of their health care," that San Joseans voted to increase public-sector employees' contributions to their benefit packages, and that San Diegans voted to put new public-sector hires into 401(k)-style self-contributing plas.

Put plainly, full-throated big-government advocacy is a losing argument, because Americans know that the price-hike doesn't lead to a commensurate increase in quality of services rendered, and comes at a direct cost to themselves and the broader economy. It is interesting and important that so many Democrats, including the president, do not seem to get this at all.

Meanwhile, like the Boy Who Cried Jobs, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is claiming that the latest iteration of the fedeeral transportation bill "creates and saves more than two-million jobs." Party of science and all that.

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Why don't Democrats just say it?"

    Democrats and progressives are simply not hard-core enough in stating their views. That's the problem.

  • sarcasmic||

    They don't "just say it" because that would be honest.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Why don't Democrats just say it?"

    Democrats and progressives are simply not hard-core enough in stating their views. That's the problem.

  • tarran||

    Why are you telling these pinheads that they shouldn't be open?

    We should be encouraging them!

    Let them piss off the electorate! Encourage them to shout their imbecility from the rooftops!

  • ||

    It's not like they don't already do that, dude.

  • Loki||

    Unfortunately a large percentage of the electorate are stupid to buy their "government is good, government great" bullshit. Far from being pissed off, the dumbasses would only be emboldened.

  • Libertymike||

    E.J. Dionne, another disciple of Diocletian.

  • o3||

    "...because Americans know that the price-hike doesn't lead to a commensurate increase in quality of services rendered, and comes at a direct cost to themselves and the broader economy."
    _
    resume of an oil speculator.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Yes, of course, because a physical asset and government services are the same thing.

  • o3||

    yes - using the quote.

  • Sevo||

    o3|6.11.12 @ 12:41PM|#
    'yes - using the quote *incorrectly*.'
    There ya go.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "Not content to rest on his earlier moronic comments in response to another article, H'n'R commenter Urine doubled down on teh stoopid in a subsequent post..."

    Thanks again for bringing continuing to bring your unique brand of stupid to the party, Urine.

  • Spoonman.||

    Why don't you describe, in detail, how oil speculation works?

  • o3||

    fear n greed

  • R C Dean||

    Something about risk of loss, provision of liquidity, and enforcable contracts.

    At best, only one of those is a feature of government spending. And I'm being nice.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Stop using big words....o3 doesn't understand!!

  • o3||

    speculator(n); a commodities trader contributing [NO VALUE] to oil exploration, production, storage, transport, refining, distribution, or retail. alt; an individual who seeks profit from manipulating free-market pricing. see also; parasite.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Speculators must first buy an asset before they can sell it. Therefore, someone is receiving the market value for their product, providing liquidity to the market.

    The only time speculators become a real problem is when the government is backstopping their investments against losses.

  • Sevo||

    o3|6.11.12 @ 1:31PM|#
    "speculator(n); a commodities trader contributing [NO VALUE] to oil exploration, production, storage, transport, refining, distribution, or retail."

    Lies.
    Speculators provide a current market of a good where one may not otherwise exist and contribute to the distribution of a good where is is of highest value.
    o3's an ignoramus.

  • o3||

    u mean the highest value to the speculator. and the concept of "a current market of good" (if real) should stand extant regardless of threatened SPR release...which sends em scurrying back into the woodwork

  • Sam Grove||

    [NO VALUE] describes your grasp of economics.

  • R C Dean||

    speculator(n); a commodities trader who takes the risk of loss and opportunity for gain, and provides liquidity to markets, by entering into enforceable contracts calling, ultimately, for the delivery and acceptance of the commodity being traded.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    "see also; parasite"

    So, government official. Hey! You got one right, Urine!

    dumb ass

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Almost no form of investment adds value to the underlying asset. If we accept your argument, how would you suggest people save in a non-parasitic manner? Or do you believe no one should ever save money at all?

  • R C Dean||

    Stormy, if taxes are set at the proper level, nobody will have anything to save.

    That's how you know taxes are at the right level, isn't it? Everything you don't need for day-to-day subsistence is taken by the government for a Higher Purpose?

  • Mumu Bobby||

    No value is better than the negative value proposition of paying government retirees for the immoral pie in the sky promises made by politicians. Before they raise taxes, governments need to re-visit promises made to retirees. It's quite obvious that those benefits can't be paid. Acknowledging this sooner rather than waiting for collapse makes sense, though public employee unions will drag their feet all the way.

  • Fluffy||

    As the scarcity of an item changes, or as demand for that item rises, failure to adjust the item's price will lead to its misallocation.

    Oil is simply more valuable when more people want it, or when there's less of it. If you keep charging people 5 cents for it when it's worth $50, you're wasting the asset. And this is true for both the owner of the asset AND for the system as a whole.

  • o3||

    so the collary must be true. if speculators up-charge to $130/brl without any supply-and-demand change (as the saudi oil minister stated), then the speculator's wasting consumers' and economies' assets.

  • R C Dean||

    No, the speculator is giving his money to the people who were right about the price of oil. First, of course, whoever he bought the contract from, and second, whoever he sells it to for a loss because oil didn't stay at $130/bbl for very long.

  • Tulpa the White||

    So, how is the Commerce Secretary playing demolition derby on the streets of SoCal yesterday not plastered all over this place?

    I can imagine what would have happened if Romney had a low-level advisor who was seizing and driving.

  • Mo' $parky||

    It's because the nutty progressives at reason are obviously in the pocket of Team Obama. They don't want to do anything to hurt his reputation.

  • Randian||

    Oh my god you do go on.

    Somebody get Tulpa the fainting couch and a scented hankie.

  • Loki||

    a scented hankie

    Preferably chloroform scented.

  • Killazontherun||

    'Cause most of us would rather talk about the failings of establishmentarian progressive policy since it destroys the material life blood of our nation than to waste our time with the failings of one Team's individual players given moral failings tend to be distributed evenly amongst all teams. Seriously, to bring this up under a post where Welch criticizes what the Democrats actually think instead of how they drive as if that were the more important story? Do you see the problem there?

  • The Hammer||

    Why hasn't anyone asked if he was on Bath Salts?

  • SIV||

    He didn't eat anyone, or even threaten to.

  • Brandybuck||

    Zombie Commerce Secretary!!!11!

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    It was in the morning links.

  • ||

    And stuff in the morning links often gets blog posts or articles later, just as the subjects of some blog posts and articles show up in the evening links.

  • robc||

    Ive often found that unnecessary.

  • ||

    Post topics ending up in the evening links? So do I.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I can imagine what would have happened if Romney had a low-level advisor who was seizing and driving.

    Wake me up when the advisor is seizing and roof-riding.

  • R C Dean||

    I think the real scandal here isn't the destruction of private property or the disregard for legal accountability. That's all dog bites man stuff for government functionaries.

    No, the real scandal here is that he was driving an imported luxury vehicle.

  • fresno dan||

    Hmmmm
    Iraq
    Afghanistan
    (and ask yourself this - how many billions upon billions was spent on the CIA and NSA to monitor our enemies??? didn't seem like it paid off)
    Barney Frank and Freddie and Fannie
    IMF - run by the Honorable Jon Corzine
    The FED and subprime is contained The Bernanke
    Bush and the ownership society - even if you don't have the money to own anything. As well as the biggest expansion of Medicare since Johnson - but makes up for it by not paying for it.

    Government - stupid, corrupt, self serving, and makes the world demostraitably worst off...

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Government - stupid, corrupt, self serving, and makes the world demostraitably worst off...

    ...but other than that - AWESOME! Amirite?!

  • ChrisO||

    Most punchable face: EJ Dionne, David Brooks, or Ezra Klein?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • ||

    Damn it, Xenia!

  • ||

    Yes.

  • R C Dean||

    I think that can only be determined with via experimentation on the subjects.

  • Killazontherun||

    I got at least two fist and a couple of feet, why choose?

  • ||

    Most punchable face

    Your mom's.

  • Killazontherun||

    Well, she's practically a female character from a Chandler novel where she has the habit of flying into hysterics followed by gratefully thanking Marlowe for slapping her back into her good senses. I guess women have evolved where it is just not necessary to slap them around all the time.

  • Killazontherun||

    except for mum, of course.

  • ||

    Pauli Krugnuts, hands down. And Kruggers has the added benefit of a punchable gut, as well.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'd rather just punch his cat while he watched.

  • ||

    How about his cat watches as I punch Kruggy? I bet the cat would sing my praises like the Winkies hailed Dorothy.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Just remember, unless you're creating actual injuries that are bad enough to warrant a trip to the urgent care office, you aren't stimulating the economy. Do your part and get this country back on track.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Keith Urban

  • Brett L||

    This can never be wrong. Although any male pop-country singer's name can be inserted with equal amounts of rightness.

  • ||

    I don't understand all this punching face stuff.

    Are we punching them because of the actual shape of their face?

    Or because of what is coming out of it?

    None of them have particularly bad faces...of course i don't know how one judges a punchable face vs a non-punchable face based solely on the face....maybe a bad face is less punchable then a good face.

    Anyway I would like to punch Ezra Klein more then then other two...but it has nothing to do with the kind of face he has.

    Also I have a problem with cold cocking poeple. I would only want to punch him if he took a swing at me first.

  • R C Dean||

    I believe the face-punching reflex is triggered by the presence of arrogant smugness, josh. A smuggant face is just a punch magnet; law of nature. Its genetic, I guess.

  • ||

    So the face is not the issue...its what comes out of it that is.

    Got it.

  • Loki||

    Counting all the assholes punchable faces in the room

    ...although in a room with those 3, the original lyrics would work too.

  • Ted S.||

    Chuck Schumer.

  • Ted S.||

    Chuck Schumer.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome."

    Most progressives recognize this sentiment, I think, if only by the grace of polling and focus groups, so most progressives recognize that they can't shout from the rooftops an honest agenda if they hope to see it realized.

    But you will sometimes find those whose echo chamber existence is so deep that they want to express their beliefs to people outside it. Unfortunately those are usually the ones to try to shut down any resulting debate on the merits later on.

  • Brandybuck||

    If you get a bunch of progressives alone, and if they think you are one of them, then they will be very explicit about their pro-huge-government views.

  • ||

    E.J. Dionne is apparently living in a far different world than I am. Not that I wasn't already aware of that, but the idea that progressives aren't stating clearly enough that government is the answer to everything confirms it. I mean, I never see it plainly stated, except in every single thing I've ever read at the Daily Kos, Balloon Juice, Jezebel, HuffPo, Think Progress....

    Seriously, what rock has he been hiding under?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Seriously, what rock has he been hiding under?

    The one that serves as a substitute for his brain.

  • ||

    It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing. And such investments — in transportation and clean energy, refurbished schools and the education of the next generation — can prime future growth.

    I guess this could be true under some hypothetical situation....like say Somalia if Government invested in property rights and a sheriff department.

    But the simple fact is when debt is at over 90% GDP the economics are clear. Further spending will only hurt the economy and destroy jobs.

    Most Studies put the effect of this kind of spending at negating about 2% from GDP. In an economy as big as the US's that is a shit load of jobs that are being destroyed.

  • Lord Humungus||

    funny thing, during the 1800s crashes, the economy still managed to come back. Now what institution was created that could have messed things up? Anyway, I digress - somehow the ship managed to right itself without a massive infusion of government workers/programs.

  • ||

    The thing is i can find studies that show governments that spend too much hurt economic growth..

    But i can't find any that show how it makes it grow.

    I mean that studies that show it grow beyond a certain point. Yes i can find studies that show that government that spends 20% of GDP are better then a government that spends nothing...but for anything like the US (or Greece or Spain or japan) is spending I do not see them.

    Aside from pointing to Keynesian theory does the left have any actual evidence that it works?

  • mybarber||

    Government can create thousands of jobs jut by having all road work done by pick and shovel.The thing they don't create is wealth.,it' the key to a growing economy and jobs are a by product

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It ought to be perfectly obvious: When the private sector is no longer investing, the economy will spin downward unless the government takes on the task of investing.

    The private sector never stops investing. Investors want to, and need to make even more money every day. They do not let their money sit idle.

    Downward spin in an economy is a necessary, if painful, function of a healthy economy. It is a healing process that sheds bad investments, freeing capital for good investments.

    The government doesn't invest. Investors demand a profitable return on the use of their capital. How does the government expect a profitable return on a refurbished schoolhouse? What would a government "profit" look like?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    What would a government "profit" look like?

    Probably something like a Harry Reid real estate deal.

  • R C Dean||

    What would a government "profit" look like?

    Higher taxes?

  • ||

    No no no no. If the economy ever doesn't grow at a constant pace, that is evidence of market failure, and proof that free market capitalism is a wrong-headed ideology.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Downward spin in an economy is a necessary, if painful, function of a healthy economy. It is a healing process that sheds bad investments, freeing capital for good investments.

    NO! NO! NO! The sun must shine every day. I've never saved for a rainy one.

  • ||

    What we really need is government weather control to fix this broken weather system. After all, being in the rain is unpleasant; what good could possibly come from it?

  • mustard||

    "What would a government "profit" look like?"

    TARP made a profit for the government. But the hard right doesn't even appreciate it.

    When was the last time the firm of Bohner McConnell earned a positive return for taxpayers?

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahaha.

    Shut up.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Citations re: TARP, please.

    Do you believe the government should run as a for-profit enterprise? Are taxpayers "shareholders" that should expect a return on their "investment"? What rate of return should they expect?

  • The Hammer||

    Jesus Christ, can't you even keep your bullshit current? Rachel Maddow isn't even flogging the "TARP made a profit" myth anymore. It's been thoroughly disproven, dipshit. And for the umpteen millionth time, we're not Republicans, so the But but but but TEAM RED!!!!!!!! crap doesn't hold water here. Now kindly fuck off unless you have something relevant, or at least factually accurate, to say.

  • sloopyinca||

    When was the last time the firm of Bohner McConnell earned a positive return for taxpayers?

    About the same time the Reid-Pelosi group posted a profit. IOW, fucking never.

    When are you, urine, Tony and shrike gonna realize that Not Team Blue =/= Team Red? We hate both teams of statist assholes.

  • ||

    They never will sloop. Not. Ever.

    But of course they are all Demfags and their tiny little brains cannot comprehend the idea of NOT being a total party hack.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Fuck, even if the government did somehow "make a profit" (which it didn't by the way) the politicians would just piss the money down some other rathole. The taxpayers would not see dime one.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Any money returned from TARP projects was used to retire Treasuries. So essentially, the gov't used returned TARP funds to buy it's own debt back. So if I use all of my equities returns to pay my credit card bill, did I really profit?

  • R C Dean||

    Any money returned from TARP projects was used to retire Treasuries.

    Really? I know that's what they said when they passed it. But I doubt that's what happened. I'd like to see a link. Oddly, a Google for "TARP pay off debt" (and some variations) did not turn up any confirmation on the first few pages.

    Even if the TARP funds were used (on paper) to pay off some bonds, weren't those bonds just immediately replaced with new ones?

  • Mumu Bobby||

    No. It was used to reduce our borrowings.

    Tarp was a big winnah for Obama. It's all in the counting. Money Bush lent but didn't have the good sense to collect before he left office is equivalent to Bush gambling it away at the track. Since Obama collected on these loans, he clearly 'owns' them as enshrined in the constitution (and the heads of EJ and Paulie Krugnuts).

  • ||

    But if somebody loses they'll feel bad.

    /progressive

  • sloopyinca||

  • ||

    Is that how you treat your kids?

    If so, grats, I didn't think you had it in you.

  • ||

    This, as we all know, is the only way to properly motivate your children.

  • ||

    Well that, or sexual favors.

  • ||

    *channeling Warty*

  • The Hammer||

    Why would you sully your hands like that? It's a beautiful, sunny day, just use your monocle to burn the kid every time he drops one.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus someone needs to beat Sanchez within an inch of his life.

  • Fluffy||

    The funny thing about this story is that on all the newspaper comment threads about it, there are STILL people defending the guy because they stand up for anyone who uses a belt on a kid in any instance, lest their right to impose Biblical discipline on their own kid be threatened.

    I just don't get that. I can certainly get behind the idea that corporal punishment is called for in some - heck, many - situations. But for dropping the fucking ball during a game of catch?

    That's what's truly crazy here. Not the discipline itself. Not even that he used a belt. But that he used it because the kid dropped the ball during catch.

    We should strap this guy down and give him the N- Task test and zap him with electroshock every time he gets one wrong. Then we can see how much he enjoys physical punishment in response to failure at a random, pointless test task.

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    It is past time that we affirm government's ability to heal the economy, and its responsibility for doing so.

    ______________________

    Just imagine if the government spent some crazy amount of money -- I don't know, say, $900 billion -- as a stimulus. Man, would that ever heal our economy. And we could spend about a trillion recapitalizing banks and paying cash for clunkers! If only we could pass these kinds of programs over all the anti-government rhetoric, unemployment would be something like 5% right now. Oh, wait . . .

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's utterly insane about all of this "Tremendously more spending!" bullshit is the mammoth piles of evidence to the contrary. Here, in Europe, and in Japan.

    It's hard not to believe that they know it doesn't work but just want to reward their buddies before they're sent packing.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here, in Europe, and in Japan.

    All proof that governments didn't spend enough!

  • John||

    No Pro. Japan didn't spend enough money and neither did Greece or Europe. They stand as warnings against the evil policies of austerity. They actually tell themselves that shit.

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. The liberals can see the evidence. They know in their private, saner moments that the stimulus failed. But publicly, they're in denial. It is a very powerful and unfortunately fundamental part of the human pysche.

    It's also tactical. If Dionne et al forthrightly admit that the stimulus -- read, massive government -- failed, then they're on the road to admitting that the grandest experiment of liberalism, the welfare state, is failing, too. Government simply cannot do what the liberals promised it would do if we took off the reigns. All it's done is brought the wealthiest nation in world history to the brink of bankruptcy.

    The kind of delusion shown by Dionne will get much, much worse as things continue to spiral downward.

  • John||

    I don't think they are that slick. I think they are really that delusional. They are so personally invested in their politics. Remember politics is the personal. Believing in government is their way of feeling superior to others. Never under estimate people's ability to rationalize and live in denial.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    I can't deny this.

  • sarcasmic||

    The more you take from Peter to pay Paul, the less Peter has to spend, save, and invest.

    But don't you know? Peter is too doopid to spend and invest in the correct things.

    That's what Top. Men. are for.

  • ||

    Technically, Top Men are leaders of state government (such as California), while Top Top Men are Federal.

  • Paul.||

    Why don't Democrats just say it? They really believe in active government and think it does good and valuable things.

    Not the first time this has been suggested.

    I can't rememmber who it was, but someone during the 90s, someone associated with Bill Clinton-- an adviser, campaign official, anyhoo-- suggested that Democrats should take the European model and simply become "the Party of Government".

    They'd boost, flag-wave, have the support of all the public sector unions. They would essentially become the keepers of government. The suggestion was that Government was a self-feeding entity and as such, Democrats would expand their power base exponentially.

  • Lord Humungus||

    and with no side-effects!

    or "be careful what you wish for"

  • T o n y||

    If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them. Some such jobs (like soldiers and police) are better provided by government because the private alternative is an undemocratic mafia-like situation. In a private-sector glut, government spends money to stimulate employment with the goal of ending the glut.

    This is all very basic. The problem isn't that there is a political force advocating a heavier-handed government than we've ever had. The "pro-government" side of the political conversation is just struggling to preserve the status quo, not expand government, as antigovernment ideology taken to its most extreme is now the norm on the other side (there can never be too much cutting).

    I say if you want to have an honest conversation about political culpability for the weak economy, then you guys don't get to count lost government jobs when you trash Obama for the unemployment rate.

  • sarcasmic||

    The federal leviathan went from $1.8 trillion in Fiscal Year 2000 to $3.6 trillion in fiscal 2010, a decade during which the population grew about 10 percent. Unemployment in 2000 ranged between 3.8 and 4.1 percent; in 2010 it was beteen 9.4 and 9.9 percent.

    Yaaaaaaaaaaay government!

  • sloopyinca||

    (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs),

    What, like about 1/10 of the existing number?

  • Tulpa the White||

    The meager growth in private sector jobs hasn't been enough to keep up with population growth. So BO is screwed even if we agreed to that restriction.

    And in any case, lost govt jobs are not due to some ideological spending cut fever sweeping the nation, they're due to Obama's shrinking economy sending tax revenues through the basement floor and making the ridiculous explosion of govt jobs from the 2000s untenable.

  • Paul.||

    If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them. Some such jobs (like soldiers and police) are better provided by government because the private alternative is an undemocratic mafia-like situation. In a private-sector glut, government spends money to stimulate employment with the goal of ending the glut.

    What does hiring teachers, firefighters and police have to do with "stimulating the economy"?

    The message here is that government should be hiring... someone-- anyone to do "a job".

    Speaking for my own area, there is no shortage of teachers, police or firefighters. So that suggests that the government would simply overhire these positions, or they're hiring government workers somewhere else.

    Once again, Tony, if the goal is merely to hire people, why doesn't the government simply take a segment of the population and send them a check? Because if they're over-hiring, then we're not getting anymore productivity for our taxpayer buck.

  • Fluffy||

    It may in fact be true that certain jobs have to be performed by the state.

    My list isn't the same as yours, but I still have a list.

    That's entirely different from saying that government adding payroll just for shits and giggles is economically sound policy. Even if we agree that the state should employ police, it does not follow that when there's a recession the state should hire 100,000 more police. The number of police hired should be a function of the requirements of the policing task, and not a function of how many people require employment.

  • John||

    ^^This^^

  • Kwanzaa Cake||

    If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them.

    _________________________________

    Once again, when challened, a "progressive" retreats to the blatant lie that government employees are all teachers, police and firefighters. It's the easy way out when the federal government alone employs 2.2 MILLION FUCKING PEOPLE. All providing core services, I suppose.

  • MJGreen||

    Delivering the mail.

    Which could never be accomplished for-profit.

  • ||

    Please god tell me that's sarcasm.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Poultry inspectors. Gotta' have those.

  • ||

    $

  • ant1sthenes||

    "If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them"

    Cool, so if I create a for-profit corporate entity that wields police powers, you'll accept that we don't need government anymore?

  • ||

    Excellent point. Just because a service is provided by the government now doesn't mean it won't be provided by private interests if the government ceases providing it. Bonus: It would probably be done for 1/10 to 1/4 of the current cost.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y|6.11.12 @ 1:22PM|#
    "If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them."

    Shithead, those 'jobs' are like the janitors in a store. Private investment does create them; they are purely housekeeping costs.

  • The Hammer||

    Tony has taken on the aspect of a drive-by troll. I admit it's vastly preferable to having to watch him twist, mangle and simply re-define words to defend the garbage that spews from his keyboard, but I also think this is an excellent opportunity to NOT FEED IT.

  • ||

    enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs

    So why all the fighting about Scott Walker.

    According to your calculus Walker could have fired everyone but Police teachers and Firemen and there would be no problem.

    Instead the left had a conniption fit over the fact that he wanted them to pay for 6% of their pensions rather then 1%.

  • ||

    If the private sector created the types of jobs that government tends to provide (enough teachers, police, and firefighters to fulfill societal needs), government wouldn't need to provide them. Some such jobs (like soldiers and police) are better provided by government because the private alternative is an undemocratic mafia-like situation.

    Teachers? So for the purpose of education. Like, say, private schools and home schooling? Police? They're for security and safety concerns. So like, say, security guards and neighborhood watch associations? And firefighters? Really? You can't imagine that local volunteer organizations couldn't ever spring up to deal with things like that? You mean THOSE sorts of jobs that the private sector can't provide?

    Last, you mention mafia-like situations. You mean, things like going into other people's territory and hurting/killing them until they do what you want? Sort of like, I don't know, a war perhaps? An invasion? Yeah, government TOTALLY does all this better.

  • R C Dean||

    You mean, things like going into other people's territory and hurting/killing them until they do what you want?

    See, also, SWAT.

  • ||

    They should really change the term from law enforcement to lawful enforcement. Still not accurate, but much closer to the truth.

  • fish||

    I say if you want to have an honest conversation...

    You won't be joining us then.....apparently ever?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Your pussy hurts, eh, Tony?

  • ||

    As further proof that I can't turn around without seeing some lefty proclaiming that government is the savior, this popped up on my facebook feed about 5 minutes ago. As an added benefit, this puts a whole new spin on the term Orwellian

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Don't read the comments. I shouldn't have read the comments.

  • CockGobbla||

    That's the kind of pure comic stupidity that makes me wish I still had a Facebook account.

    At about T-6 months prior to my account cancellation, I had pretty much unfriended most of my lefties whacko friends, but I could still count on a few people (including my college advisor) to post some quality shit to get the chuckles rolling.

  • ||

    My workplace knows better than I do. It's blocked. I'm probably better off for it.

  • ||

    Wow. Great moments in lack of self-awareness.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "1984 was a warning, not an instruction booklet" was a complaint, not a challenge.

  • The Hammer||

    Do they really think that their target audience is not intelligent enough to parse anything more complex than Green=Good, Red=Bad?

  • MJGreen||

    Sheesh. And how is "Government spending" anything but the most descriptive term to use? Especially since, ya know, the government "invests" quite a bit of money that was lent to it by non-taxpayers.

  • robc||

    Someone missed the entire point of 1984, didnt they?

  • Killazontherun||

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    You can't make me click play.

  • CockGobbla||

    Actually, it isn't that bad. Just think; it could have been Barbara Streisand.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I prefer not to think about that.

  • Killazontherun||

    To be perfectly honest, I'd still fuck that old nutty gal if given the chance because I embrace life in all its damaged multitudes. Except for fatties, of course.

  • ||

    For her age I imagine she is in pretty good shape.

  • ||

    She looks much younger than her age in the video.

  • sloopyinca||

    You motherfucker. YouTube is usually pretty reliable when it comes to censoring nudity. I expected it to be blurred or something, but Noooooooooo!

    I blame myself for clicking it of course. I should have known better.

  • Killazontherun||

    Did not the pained screams of the crowd make it all worth it?

  • ||

    I wonder how many heterosexual men were in that crowd.

  • Brett L||

    Both of them were last seen drinking copious amounts of bad 'shine hoping the methanol content would be high enough to blind them.

  • ||

    Like we haven't already seen Madonna's nip a brazillion times since 1985.

  • John||

    She had a great rack back in the day. But she is now a fifty something grandmother or near grandmother. And thus looks a lot better in clothes than out of them.

  • ||

    Indeed. Madonna and I are the same age, and while I definitely look good for 54, there's no way I'd inflict my naked body on the general public; not as a matter of public protection but simply out of vanity.

  • Killazontherun||

    There was a time in my twenties when I only dated women in their late thirties and forties. Now I am in my forties I have a wife in her mid thirties. Never been with a woman in her fifties, but given the post menopause mid life crises Madonna is going through added on top of her life long crazy, I can only imagine the sex with her or similarly inclined quintegenarian must be exquisite.

  • ||

    You may be onto something. My husband is 12 years younger than I am. We've been together for 9 years now, and according to him he's spent the last decade having the time of his life. So have I, for that matter, vindicating my refusal, since about the age of 40, to even look at men my own age.

  • sloopyinca||

    Like we haven't already seen Madonna's nip a brazillion times since 1985.

    Some of us hadn't seen it once since like 1989 and we wanted to keep it that way.

  • John||

    The Playboy shots back in the day were not bad. But they were taken when she was like 19. And most 19 years old women look pretty good. And a hell of a lot better than they do in their 50s.

  • ||

    NSFW

    She was a cute little lunatic broad, wasn't she?

  • John||

    She was. I love breasts that are that size and natural.

  • Fluffy||

    Speaking of breasts, why did no one email me to tell me that Alexis Bledel went topless on MAD MEN again last night?

    I know I haven't been around lately but you still gotta clue a brotha in.

  • nicole||

    Damn, I haven't seen Mad Men since season 2, but I am so not ready for Rory motherfucking fake-CT stupid ho to be topless on television. How will she ever get into Harvard like that? Or was it Yale? God I hated that show.

  • Killazontherun||

    Pretty yummy there. All the ethnic quirks she was born with and not rich enough at the time to level out were on glorious display.

    SFW

    Speaking of ethnic beauty, pretty Israelite drums Tool

  • ||

    Ethnic quirks?

  • Killazontherun||

    Ethnic quirks?

    If I have to explain that one to you, you're beyond hope.

  • ||

    Jeepers creepers - lookit that muff!! How much floss would you need after going down on that?!?!

  • ||

    Given the choice, I much prefer to fish a short 'n curly out of my mouth every now and then to getting my face sandpapered by stubble.

  • Killazontherun||

    Floss is pretty cheap, a small price to pay for the extra benefit of digging for your own clam.

  • Brandybuck||

    Too much of it though and I worry that there will be the Velcro effect and I'll be stuck...

  • ||

    As boobies and nipples go, hers aren't that bad. It could have been a lot worse.

  • sloopyinca||

    Wait a minute. Wait just a goddamn minute.

    Did we just expend 100 comments of our collective energy on a thread about EJ Dionne?

  • sarcasmic||

    There is no collective. There are only individuals.

  • ||

    I spent most of that time looking at naked pictures of young Madonna. What's your excuse?

  • Sam Grove||

    One of those valuable things is that government creates jobs — yes, really

    Another way of saying that government raises costs.

    Are so-called "progressives" really this dumb?

    Apparently they are.

  • Brandybuck||

    The government CAN create jobs. Hiring more police officers, teachers, and county courthouse janitors does create jobs, axiomatically. So does hiring folks to dig ditches and other folk to fill them in.

    Of course these jobs are not free! The government does not create its own wealth, and every job it "creates" imposes a cost on the private sector. I don't begrudge many of these jobs, and quite a few of them have benefits that help offset their costs. But we must never forget that these jobs have a cost to them. We must keep public sector jobs to the necessary minimum.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The government could give each of us a billion dollars, too.

  • Brandybuck||

    But we need employment! Pay us all a billion dollar salary to dig ditches. Epi can fill them in after we're done. He likes filling in stuff.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Very well. One billion for a year of ditch digging.

  • Brandybuck||

    "I thought I paid you a billion dollars to dig this ditch! What are you doing just leaning on your shovel?"

    "I'm on my break"

  • ||

    Paul Krugman: shill for Team Blue, or outrageously stupid?

    “By this point in Obama’s presidency, if we had normal public sector job growth, we would have around 800,000 more people. Firefighters, schoolteachers, police officers. Instead, we’ve got 600,000 fewer. So right there, it’s like 1.4 million jobs that we should have had in the public sector. And, of course, those would have translated into more private sector jobs too. So that’s what he was trying to get at, and of course, he screwed up the line," Krugman said on CBS's "This Morning."

    Can someone explain how 1.4 million more public sector jobs would have translated into enough private sector jobs to pay for the increased public sector jobs?

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....overy.html

  • CE||

    It's the multiplier effect. Think of it as a perpetual motion machine, but instead of violating the laws of physics it violates the laws of economics and basic logic and common sense.

  • Bill||

    LMAO!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Can someone explain how 1.4 million more public sector jobs would have translated into enough private sector jobs to pay for the increased public sector jobs?

    The Jolly Employment Elf will give us enough private sector jobs!

  • ||

    Paul Krugman: shill for Team Blue, or outrageously stupid?

    Can't he be both?

  • fish||

    Can't he be both?

    I think it's pretty clear that he is.

  • CE||

    Obama: "The private sector is doing fine."

    Obama, the next day: "Let me clarify, the private sector is not doing fine."

    Weatherman: "The weather is fine."

    Weatherman, the next day: "Let me clarify, we're being hit by a Category 4 hurricane."

  • ||

    Anyone else having problems viewing reason on Chrome the last 10-15 minutes?

  • The Hammer||

    Nope

  • ||

    Something on my Chrome installation went kablooey. I can't even get on support.google.com to see what the problem might be. Bugger.

  • A Serious Man||

    Where have you gone, Frederic Bastiat? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  • The Unknown Pundit||

    woooo woooo woooo

  • ||

    Sadly, I don't think more than 2% of the nation have even heard of Bastiat.

  • ||

    [W]hen conservatives say, as they regularly do, that "government doesn't create jobs," the riposte should be quick and emphatic: "Yes it has, and yes, it does!" [...]

    That's not a riposte, dipshit. It's a content-free reply.

  • Mumu Bobby||

    When the horses aren't pulling the wagon fast enough it can only mean one thing - there's not enough piled into the wagon. Put 50,000 more teachers in the wagon and the horses will be fine.

    The Dems don't seem as shy as they used to be about this. Obama has been bad for the party in this regard. Two weeks ago on Meet the Press one of the Dem panel members nailed down this thinking, saying 'we gained 11 gazillion jobs during the Clinton years so if we go back to the Clinton tax rates it will happen again'. What independent can sign up for this nonsense?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hmm... mustard, and Tony, posting in the same thread.

    Can the smell of santorum be far behind?

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