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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 05:55 PM

Job Report Proves GOP’s Austerity Has Held Back Economic Recovery

Every country that has attempted this path has suffered the same outcome. Last week’s Department of Commerce report shows that our economy shrank .1% last quarter (as measured by Gross Domestic Product). Yet the GOP continues to hold the American economy — and the middle class — hostage to austerity type policies by refusing to enact the president’s stimulative policies that would not only increase employment but lay the ground work for increased tax receipts and economic activity. With interests rates at record lows (near zero), this is the most appropriate time to rebuild our failing infrastructure that will be much more expensive to rebuild in later years even as it negatively affects our economics.

The unemployment report released today should give every American pause. It shows a trend that has been evident throughout this recovery. Private jobs in retail, construction and healthcare are up by 84,000. Combined with other industries, US employers added 157,000 jobs this January. However, public sector jobs for state and federal federal government are down by 9,000. What is ironic is as the country’s population grows and needs more services as a society from government, they are being laid off. Many will complain about slow government service as an indication that government services are inherently poor without realizing that is the exact outcome Republicans are hoping for in order to move the privatization ideology forward, profit for a few from taxes paid by the many.

Private sector jobs are growing as both state and federal government are laying workers off. This means just maintaining government levels of employment would have provided a much better employment picture, likely at least 2% lower since the maintenance of those jobs would have ensured increased spending by these employees who would have kept your local sandwich shop, your local theater, your grocery store employing more folk. Additionally the tax base would be less deteriorated.

It is the failure of government policy that has exacerbated this downturn. Republicans not allowing the institution of job creating policies is not simply a display of intransigence. It is a penalization of the American middle class to force an ideology they do not want. It is a systematic destruction of government and faith in government to enhance a private sector so out of balance with government, “we the people”, that it would ultimately overwhelm democracy.


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