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View Full Version : Boehner Lies? Can't Add? Can't Cut?



Gayle in MD
02-16-2011, 12:53 PM
See Chart Here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/john_boehners_funny_numbers.html





John Boehner is getting a lot of attention, little of it positive, for saying, "Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We're broke."

It's the let-them-eat-cake nature of the "so be it" that's attracted the most criticism. But where is Boehner getting his numbers? The normal way to count federal employees is to use the Bureau of Labor Statistics' seasonally adjusted data. But it pegs the difference in federal employees between January 2009 and January 2011 at 58,000. That's nowhere near 200,000.

An e-mail to John Boehner's office got me a bit closer. Michael Steel, his spokesman, directed me to "Federal Government Employees, Except U.S. Postal Service. December 2008 - January 2011." If you use that data, you get 153,000 more federal employees. But why are we excluding postal service workers? And why are we starting in December 2008, before Obama was inaugurated (if you start in January 2009, the difference is 141,000 workers)? And 153,000, of course, is still not 200,000.

Steel goes on to note that "they" meaning the Obama administration -- "created another 400K govít Census jobs, so the total is actually more than twice what Boehner said." But those jobs are gone now, and they have been for some time. And it's not as if Obama created the Census: That's a constitutional duty. President John McCain would've had to hire those workers, too. And the administration actually worked to hold hiring for the census down -- perhaps to the detriment of the labor market.

So I've yet to hear a defense of Boehner's numbers that's even remotely convincing. But looking into all this left me curious about the 58,000 new federal workers that were added,. I couldn't find agency-by-agency data for the period between Obama's inauguration and Boehner's comments, but I did find this OMB document (pdf) that shed some light on the question: The long view is that federal employees are plummeting as a total share of the workforce. "In 1953, there was one Federal worker for every 78 residents. In 1989, there was one Federal employee for every 110 residents. By 2009, the ratio had dropped to one Federal employee for every 147 residents." You can see that in the graph atop this post, which comes from the same report.

The personnel gains that are happening are happening on the "security" side -- which includes, in this data, the Departments of Treasury, State and Justice, in addition to Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. According to OMB, "Overall, security agency employment grew by 22 percent from 2001 to 2010. During the same period, employment in non-security agencies as a percent of population fell by 4 percent." And that trend was slated to continue in the coming years: "Seventy percent of the proposed increase in the size of the 2012 Federal workforce occurs in five agencies Ė the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State."

So the jobs that Boehner is deriding are, broadly speaking, jobs related to the military and homeland security, with perhaps a few more in the Justice and State departments. But the money Boehner is cutting from the government -- which is what his comment is in reference to -- comes from non-security discretionary spending.* So the new jobs are coming in the part of the budget Boehner is protecting, not the part he's cutting.

For all that, I'm very open to the idea that the Department of Homeland Security is bloated, and that the size of our military could be cut. But as the non-security focus of Boehner's budget cuts suggests, those are more controversial propositions, and in any case, they deserve a more serious and specific analysis than the funny numbers and misleading rationales Boehner is offering. If the speaker of the House thinks we should have a smaller army, that's an interesting and valuable debate to have. But as it is, his numbers don't add up, and the new federal jobs he's using as the rationale for his cuts are in the parts of the government Boehner has exempted from fiscal scrutiny.

Update: Steel clarifies that there are some security-related cuts in the Republican bill. But he wasn't able to say how many, or whether security spending, like non-security spending, would be cut overall. He also noted that the open amendment process has made room for various amendments that would cut defense spending to come up for a vote.

By Ezra Klein | February 16, 2011; 10:25 AM ET
Categories: Government

LWW
02-16-2011, 12:59 PM
So your issue is that he said 200,000 when the real number was 553,000?

LWW

pooltchr
02-16-2011, 01:40 PM
What she doesn't seem to understand is that federal jobs are simply one big part of federal spending. When the government adds jobs, it just adds to the debt. We don't have the money to pay all those federal employees, so where do their paychecks ultimately come from?

If that's his plan, why not just create a couple of million more federal jobs and get everyone back to work?

Why is it so difficult for the left to understand the most basic of economic concepts???

Steve

LWW
02-16-2011, 02:44 PM
Because the regime does not wish them to think.

An nearly omnipotent state requires a nearly illiterate electorate.

The NEA has provided that.

LWW

cushioncrawler
02-16-2011, 04:53 PM
The real number iz at least 2 more people hav had sex with Boner now than 3 yrs ago.
But this stat kood be wrong -- ie thems 2 might hav been having sex with Boner for the last 4 yrs.
And, one more worry with that extra 2 -- it karnt be kut. I mean, u karnt reduce it -- it kan only go up up up -- it karnt go down. Hmmmmmmm -- praps it kan go down -- it did with billy.
Just thinking.
mac.

JohnnyD
02-16-2011, 05:29 PM
Excellent thinking.

Qtec
02-17-2011, 03:57 AM
They say they are for creating jobs but all their proposed bills will cut jobs and as you so rightly pointed out, they don't care..

Go figure!

Actually, really, what can you expect from a group that thinks the world is 6,000 yrs old, can't wait for the end of the world and threatens armed revolt because the Govt 'is taking away their freedom'....while at the same time dictating to all women what they can and can't do with their own body.

Hypocrites the lot of them.
Q

Gayle in MD
02-17-2011, 04:21 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body">They say they are for creating jobs but all their proposed bills will cut jobs and as you so rightly pointed out, they don't care..

Go figure!

Actually, really, what can you expect from a group that thinks the world is 6,000 yrs old, can't wait for the end of the world and threatens armed revolt because the Govt 'is taking away their freedom'....while at the same time dictating to all women what they can and can't do with their own body.

<span style="color: #990000">Exactly! </span>

Hypocrites the lot of them.
Q </div></div>


<span style="color: #990000">Yes, they are the worst hypocrites imaginable!
I never dreamed, when I was growing up, that we'd ever see such grossly ignorant,unbalanced people, in elected office.

Republican corruption is bad enough, but now we have voters, putting people who are clearly mentally unbalanced, into office!

Bachmann? OMG! A true NUT!

Palin?

Boehner? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cry.gif

Ensign?

Sanford? Wah Wah Wah /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cry.gif

Santorum?

Gingrich?

Wilson?

Jan Brewer?

Virginia Foxx?

Christie?

No normal person grows to his size, unless they have serious emotional issues!

I'm still trying to figure out the connection between the religious sheep, and their love of felons, and glorification of Greed!!

G.</span> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif

LWW
02-17-2011, 05:05 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Because the regime does not wish them to think.

An nearly omnipotent state requires a nearly illiterate electorate.

The NEA has provided that.

LWW </div></div>

I would like to thank the cabal for proving my point.

LWW

pooltchr
02-17-2011, 10:58 AM
Q and G, for some reason, seem to believe that creating government jobs is going to help the economy. This idea follows the same reasoning as saying that unemployment helps the economy. Tax dollars putting money into the pockets of individuals for either not working, or performing government jobs that don't really need to be done.

Just when I think the left can't get any crazier.....they prove me wrong.

Steve

LWW
02-17-2011, 05:48 PM
If you can't use the dead to vote ... and you can't use illegals to vote ... and you can't buy votes with tax dollars ... then just how do you expect a democrook to ever win an election?

LWW