Reid: Private sector employment doing just groovy, so we need to hire govt workers

posted at 3:25 pm on October 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Sometimes, one marvels at the shamelessness of the spin and outright lies politicians tell to deflect criticism of their failed policies.  In Harry Reid’s case, one has to marvel also at the unbridled cluelessness of attempting to use easily-checkable claims — such as the notion that the real problem in unemployment is a lack of government workers, which is all the fault of George W. Bush.  No, really:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.

“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, and that’s what this legislation is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

Reid was responding to recent comments from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who accused Democrats of purposefully pursuing higher taxes as part of the teacher/first-responder bill, S. 1723, so that Republicans would oppose it. McConnell said the bill was meant to fail in order to give Democrats an issue to run on in the 2012 election, but Reid said the Republicans are simply trying to defeat President Obama any way they can.

The Hill tries to give Reid a little cover on this point:

Private-sector jobs have increased over the last 19 months, while government jobs have lagged. They’ve also seen cuts in several states that are struggling to balanced their books.

Research must be a dying art these days in both Congress and newsrooms, but it’s not because the data is hard to find.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has literally decades of data on unemployment, and make it as easy to use as possible, short of providing a sherpa and a mule.  In just a few minutes, I was able to produce three charts that utterly refute this argument.

First, let’s look at private-sector employment from the beginning of January 2006, roughly in the middle of the last recovery, through almost five years to September 2011:

employment, unemployment, Reid, BLSNote that this does not account for population growth, but are just the raw job numbers from the private sector.  We are still almost 4 million jobs below where we started in 2006 (113,247,000 to 109,349,000), and more than six million private-sector jobs below our January 2008 peak of 115,610,000.  Since troughing out at our low point in February 2010 (106,772,000), we’ve averaged an addition of 135,632 private-sector jobs per month, enough to just barely keep ahead of population growth (usually figured at 100K-125K).

Now let’s look at government workers in the same period, at all levels of government:

employment, unemployment, Reid, BLS

In the past five years, this sector has seen a net gain of 568,000 jobs.  It has dropped from a late-2008 peak of 21,521,000 jobs to 20,568,000 in September, but that’s less than a million jobs, as opposed to a drop of 6 million in the private sector from its peak in January 2008.  Government employment actually rebounded last month by 282,000 jobs.  That sector doesn’t appear to be the problem, nor the solution.

Finally, let’s look at a critical data set that comes directly into play when calculating the unemployment rate — civilian participation in the workforce:

employment, unemployment, Reid, BLSWe have hit generational lows for civilian participation in the workforce, and as the charts above show, that’s a direct result of losing private-sector jobs, not bureaucratic positions.  This depicts a real crisis as millions of Americans get estranged from production and success.

Anyone with a functioning conscience would blush while claiming that private-sector job growth has been “just fine” while shilling for funding of bureaucrats.  Maybe someone can review the tape to see if Reid had any color in his cheeks while shamelessly lying about the economy.

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Thanks, Nevada.

BTW, speaking of that dumb state, their unemployment rate is in the teens, is it not?

Doughboy on October 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Stupid is as stupid does.

MES401067 on October 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Is honesty dead?

publiuspen on October 19, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Harry Reid’s reelection campaign was run from Los Angeles, but the Democratic operatives in the People’s Republic of Northern Tiajuana.

You weren’t paying attention, as usual.

CrazyGene on October 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Well, government workers tend to vote for democrats. Its not rocket science to see what Reid is shooting for.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

If we can’t win in 2012, the country is truly lost. No hope.

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Not to mention that private sector jobs produce tax revenue while government jobs just gobble it up.

ctmom on October 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

A lot of dumb statements coming from the Dems today. I think people can more easily get past these sorts of statements one at a time.

theperfecteconomist on October 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Private Pyle, you have got to be sh**ting me!!

JohnGalt23 on October 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Las Vegas’s Finest.

Egfrow on October 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

“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, and that’s what this legislation is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

I can’t believe this guy gets elected…over and over again. I smell fish.

equanimous on October 19, 2011 at 3:36 PM

“It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine…”

There’s a national campaign ad against the Democrats in there some where…

Seven Percent Solution on October 19, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Ok, this is the part of the movie where the First Mate steps up, declares that the Captain is mentally unfit for duty, and relieves him of command, right?

Seriously – is there some mechanism by which everyone can look around, atonished at the breathtaking mental deficiency on display, and step in and say ‘enough’?

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

McConnell should just take to the floor of the Senate, read Reid’s statement and just start laughing.

mankai on October 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

If we can’t win in 2012, the country is truly lost. No hope.

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Pretty much.

lorien1973 on October 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM

If we can’t win in 2012, the country is truly lost. No hope.

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I’ve said it before; its almost certainly already lost. By waiting for 2012, I think we’re ensuring it.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I’ve said it before; its almost certainly already lost. By waiting for 2012, I think we’re ensuring it.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

What do you mean?

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Thank you Nevada!

GarandFan on October 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

What do you mean?

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

That we need to build a fence to 2012. Or something like that. Only a fence will solve our problems.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

You could have included the federal workforce chart (with or without the USPS) – it’s up from the start of the recession (and the non-USPS fed employees are up from last year)

Steve Eggleston on October 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Just how much lead is in the water in Nevada that compelled the people to re-elect this moron?

capejasmine on October 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Captain Ed gets his stats from bls.gov while Harry Reid’s source appears to be bs.gov

DubiousD on October 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Truth is a stranger to this person.

ted c on October 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Reid,Pelosi and obama—What a country!

tim c on October 19, 2011 at 3:51 PM

The true idiocy here (actually there is a lot of it) is Reid’s lack of recognition that federal jobs are a closed loop. Yes, federal employees pay taxes, but their salaries are paid out of total federal revenues. If every employee in the country was a federal employee, and with federal revenues coming from its oen employees, it would take only a few months before we were completely out of money. You can’t pay out a dollar every month and withhold .$20 of that dollar before your $.20 in taxes no longer support the ability to pay that dollar going forward.

In the private sector, the federal government takes in taxes as an asset, with no liabilities in the form of compensaiton to employees.

What Reid is advocating is the Congressional equivalent of drinking one’s own urine. Not pleasant, but it works in the short term in a survival situation. However, your output is continuously less than what you ingest, and it does not take long for the flow to completely stop. Which leads to death.

Bottoms up, Harry!

Jim M. on October 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM

He’s not even trying to be sane anymore.

stevezilla on October 19, 2011 at 3:57 PM

What color is the sky in your world, Harry?

AZCoyote on October 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Harry and Nan never have figured out this new media thing,…that one’s statements can be checked for truthfulness.

a capella on October 19, 2011 at 3:58 PM

What do you mean?

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

I mean we let Obama drive our passanger bus, with us on it, to the middle of the bridge over the Gorge of Eternal Peril, stop, douse the bridge with gasoline, and set it ablaze.

Our response was, “holy crap, did you see that? That’s not right, I’m outraged!”

The bridge is still there, but its on fire and disintegrating quickly. It *will* collapse, but for some reason we haven’t done anything about it yet – we’re still sitting in the bus that’s on the burning bridge, and complaining that its getting hotter.

Seeing that the bridge is still standing (for the moment), Obama and his friends are rigging it with dynamite, have wired up the detonator, and begun to push the plunger.

Our reponse so far is, “holy crap, look what he’s doing now? Can you believe it? Wow, I sure hope the bridge survives *that*!”

=====

My point is that we could’ve stopped the burning bridge awhile ago, but we didn’t. Now it may be too badly burned and is going to collapse anyway, even if we finally tried to do something about it today. But we still seem to simply want to wait, let Obama do whatever the hell he wants, and hope we’re not plunging towards the bottom of the gorge in another 15 months or so.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

We aren’t part of that we

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

That we need to build a fence to 2012. Or something like that. Only a fence will solve our problems.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Never said anything of the sort – that you have to lie about it shows that you’re full of sh1t, I suppose. ;)

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM

There you go Nevada. Only 5 more years of this guy.

SlaveDog on October 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

We aren’t part of that we

blatantblue on October 19, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Understood.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I think to myself when I see news like this that 2012 elections will be a cake walk and then I see and listen to these protestors and the supposedly intelligent people backing them and I’m getting scared. Where is the common sense? Now I understand why the polls show a 40% acceptance of the left agenda with the protestors cursing the government in one breath and praising Obama with the next. It’s the sixties all over again.

mixplix on October 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Senator Reid?

Spicoli called. He wants his doobie back. He says you’ve bogarted it long enough.

nukemhill on October 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Never said anything of the sort – that you have to lie about it shows that you’re full of sh1t, I suppose. ;)

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Well slap my behind and call me born again!

Ya know, I hear people say this – “a fence won’t work”, etc – and yet we see news stories that where fences are built they *do*, in fact work, and illegal traffic moves to places where there aren’t fences.

So… why again do you suggest it doesn’t work, when the facts say that when actually tried it does actually work?

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Then you go on and on about the fence while several folks try to educate you…to no avail.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Captain Ed gets his stats from bls.gov while Harry Reid’s source appears to be bs.gov

DubiousD on October 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

So stealing bs.gov ! :-)

pambi on October 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

It’s all a scam. Gov’t workers lay people off then bring them back as “temporary help”. So Joe Public thinks the “poor” public workers are getting the boot when, actually, they are keeping their jobs indefinitely. It gets the public off the backs of the government, at least temporarily.

Alibali on October 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Then you go on and on about the fence while several folks try to educate you…to no avail.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I went on and on saying to do a fence when/where you can, *and* all of the other stuff as well (boots on the ground, surveillance, etc).

And to the part that you posted, what’s the problem? The fact is that where a wall has been put up… IT WORKS!

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 4:18 PM

And to the part that you posted, what’s the problem? The fact is that where a wall has been put up… IT WORKS!

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 4:18 PM

So you say, but, ya’ know, if you build that bridge the same way you think the wall will work, it wouldn’t burn and wouldn’t collapse no matter how much explosives Obama used.

I guess you forgot all about the rest of the idiotic things you came up with as well as the debunked name calling.

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Union money must be drying up

red131 on October 19, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Captain Ed gets his stats from bls.gov while Harry Reid’s source appears to be bs.gov

DubiousD on October 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Comment of the Day™

Steve Eggleston on October 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Say, Harry, have you gotten a budget passed? You’ve had a couple of years to do it, you know…

ajacksonian on October 19, 2011 at 4:39 PM

And, don’t forget, unemployment benefits payments stimulate the economy.

Dingy and Nan, two of a feather (brain).

iurockhead on October 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Is there no Senate Democrat who will call him out on this?

diogenes on October 19, 2011 at 5:16 PM

cozmo on October 19, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Hey, your demented insistence of focus on and mischaracterization of one aspect of a conversation while ignoring everything else doesn’t reflect poorly on me, pal…

And as to debunked name calling… nah, no one’s debunked the notion that you’re being a nitwit.

Midas on October 19, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Harry Reid (D): Spewing cranial diarrhea in the Senate chambers since 1999.

locomotivebreath1901 on October 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Pomegranates. He misses his pomegranates.

How’d he get reelected, anyway?

Boy, Dick Morris of dickmorris.com got that one wrong!

Sherman1864 on October 20, 2011 at 3:58 AM