Calling Harry Reid Back to Reality

Speaking on the Senate Floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to make the case for President Obama’s so-called “Jobs Act” which, in part, would impose permanent tax increases on private sector  employers to pay for temporary federal subsidies that supposedly would enable state and local governments to rehire employees they have had to lay off.

Said Senator Reid:

The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today have, of course — are rooted in the last administration, and it’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine. It’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers.

Before this bit of “wisdom” is repeated so often by the media that much of the public begins to believe it, let’s look at reality.

We’ll skip past Reid’s attempt to blame Bush and ask, incredulously, are you sure the private sector is doing “just fine?”  Perhaps Senator, you’re ignorant of some facts that are easily available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • In January, 2008 more Americans were employed than any previous month in American history.  In September, 2011 there were 6,662,000 fewer jobs than in January, 2008.
  • In January, 2008 the public sector accounted for 16% of all jobs.  But as of September, 2011 only 6% of  lost jobs were from the public sector.
  • The private sector started in January, 2008 with five times as many jobs as the public sector.  But since then the private sector has lost 16 times as many jobs.

The simple truth is that in hard times the public sector is better off than the private sector because it does not depend on voluntary customers for revenue.

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