Labor Sec Solis: All of these unemployment benefits have saved millions of jobs, you know

Appearing on CNBC this morning to offer the official government spin on the somewhat less-than-uplifting final jobs report of the 2012, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis aptly demonstrated what seems to be a disturbingly prevalent attitude among our federal officials: That money taken out of the private sector, essentially laundered through the federal government, and then spent by the federal government, is somehow even comparatively effective at producing real gains in economic growth than that money would have been if it just remained in the private sector to begin with. What the what?

“We helped to provide, I think, some stop-gaps, and what I think about is, those two million people who would’ve lost their unemployment insurance — because think about it, all that money that goes out in terms of what’s being spent by that unemployment check, helps to generate two additional dollars back in the community so small businesses, everyone continues to keep their jobs, so, I can’t give you an exact figure but I’ll tell you that just by the movement the president made, we saved millions and millions of jobs.”

This is the same type of thinking we’ve endured from the likes of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack time and again: Not so long ago, he argued that food stamps actually function as a sort of stimulus that can actively create jobs. But hey, if that’s the really the case, why don’t we provide food stamps and extended emergency unemployment benefits for everyone — that will kickstart our economy like crazy, right?

The Keynesianism is overwhelming me.

For the umpteenth time: Republicans do not want to eliminate these benefits. They want to foster a healthy economy in which most people neither need nor even want these benefits, because the material attractions of employment are so much better — and that’s a goal made infinitely harder with the federal government taxing and spending the heck out of us.

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