[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
87°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


The Rational Center | Commentary by John Zaring
| Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013

johnzaring2012The February jobs report was released Friday, showing that 236,000 jobs were added, which means unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since 2008.

That number would have been even better if the economy hadn’t seen a forced loss of 10,000 public sector jobs, and if the recovery weren’t hamstrung by a feckless, dysfunctional U.S. Congress.

The best news is that jobs in construction are coming back – with 48,000 added – which means the recovery in the housing market, which had been devastated by the financial crash five years ago, is real.

Each week there is clearer evidence that if Republicans were in control of the economy, we’d be right back in a recession.

The good old human wet blanket, House Speaker John Boehner, interpreted this positive economic news a little differently. He trotted out his tired talking points, saying, “Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government’s ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy.”

You know, the same John Boehner who also said, “Our goal here is to cut spending.”

So what’s the truth?  Since March 2010, the private sector has added jobs every single month, reversing months and month of red ink begun under President George W. Bush.  Meanwhile, the federal government has been reducing public sector jobs and funding for jobs at the state level.

Ask the average Republican, though, and he’ll tell you the opposite: that Obama is a socialist dictator who has been expanding government at an alarming rate.

Except it isn’t true.

Before the November election, the GOP’s mantra was that the economy was terrible, and they constantly downplayed its prospects because their candidate, Mitt Romney, insisted he was the only guy who could fix it.

Well, Obama won, so you would think that Republicans in Congress, who will themselves soon be up for reelection, would want to see the economy improve, if only so they could lay claim for a share of the credit for its revival.

But that only matters in a general election, and in today’s GOP, being against Democrats in general and President Obama in particular is beyond necessary, because these politicians have a greater fear of being primaried from their own right flank than losing in the general.  Thus, they take the contrary position on nearly every issue just to solidify their base.

A jobs report is backward looking, so this is the last set of numbers we’ll see pre-sequester.  The history of the American economy has shown that when you withdraw government spending at the same time the private sector is withdrawing spending, you lower the GDP.

Beyond being simple logic, the statistics reflect this perspective, and no one has ever explained to me how cutting government spending leads to growth.  They can’t, because history has proven that it doesn’t happen.  And still this drumbeat is heard from conservatives.

Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending – Boehner and others on the right have been repeating this mantra for five years.  In that time, plenty of countries in Europe have employed that approach, so after a week when virtually every day saw a new record high in the stock market, it is worth considering what’s happening across “the pond.”

The head of the International Monetary Fund recently predicted that the Euro Zone, which has embraced German-style austerity with open arms, will stay in recession for the rest of 2013.  In a statement, the IMF said, “The Euro area continues to pose a large downside risk to the global outlook.”  The IMF is also predicting that Europe’s economy will contract by 0.2 percent in 2013, while it expects the U.S. economy to grow by 2 percent in 2013 and by an additional 3 percent in 2014.

And yet, it is becoming increasing clear that the GOP’s rejection of science doesn’t only apply to climate change; it also applies to the economy.

Paul Ryan released his budget Monday, and it not only includes another basket of cuts that would further cripple the economy should it ever be put into practice; he ironically includes revenue sourced from the increase in taxes on the top 2 percent Obama fought Republicans to achieve. Comically, it also assumes the repeal of Obamacare, which is little more than a fantasy of those to the right of the right wing.

Remember when they all called Obama’s policies and Obama himself a job killer?  Boehner, Romney, Ryan, they all predicted disaster.  In reality, the stock market is at an all-time high.   Still, the elephants on FOX News are crying wolf.  They are still calling for austerity and cuts to discretionary spending.

Remember what Republicans said about taxes when they went back to Clinton-era rates?  You know, all that malarkey about how raising taxes on the top 1 percent would hurt the job creators and lead to private-sector job cuts?  Have you seen those job losses in the statistics?  Umm, no.  That’s because these tax increases did not kill jobs.

Republican economic policy is based only in ideology, not in reality.  We’d be a lot closer to full employment if the government weren’t shedding jobs.  Since Obama became president, 740,000 government jobs have been cut, which is roughly 1 job cut for every 5 created in the private sector.

We can expect greater damage as the sequestration cuts take effect.

Whose jobs have been getting whacked?  Firefighters, cops, teachers, public safety workers, first responders, TSA agents, border patrol agents, air traffic controllers.  The true impact of the sequester will be felt in coming weeks and months, so expect more public sector job losses to put a further drag on the economy.

Furlough notices are going out every day.  One example: All 60,000 border agents will get a notice, losing an average of 14 days of employment due to the sequester.  Gulp!

The simple truth is that you’ve got to have government spending during a slow economy. It is the very point of stimulus.

Yes, my Republican friends, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.  But it is still broken.  It is time for the elephant to get the hell out of the way.

 

John Zaring describes himself as a reformed Republican turned moderate Democrat who believes democracy works best when its government actually functions because its leaders are working together. He serves on the Castaic Area Town Council’s Land Use Committee, Castaic Middle School’s Site Council, the Hart District’s WiSH Education Foundation, and he is the West Ranch High School representative on the Hart District’s Advisory Council. A self-proclaimed “New Democrat” a la Bill Clinton, he lives in Castaic with his wife of 21 years and their daughters, Fiona, 16, and Kylie, 12. His commentary publishes Tuesdays.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The 22nd annual Santa Clarita Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2017, following the Santa Clarita Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday.
Nov. 4-5: 22nd Annual Santa Clarita Marathon Events
The Los Angeles Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series following Tuesday night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLCS at Wrigley Field.
Dodgers Out to Sweep Cubs in National League Championships
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's 2017 Medal of Valor Awards were held Tuesday in Los Angeles, and SCV Sheriff's Station Deputy Dmitry Barkon was recognized for his bravery and heroic actions.
SCV Sheriff’s Deputy Dmitry Barkon Earns Medal of Valor
Now is the time for all good college-bound high school seniors to join the 'Race to Submit' applications for FAFSA and CADAA grants to help cover college expenses.
High School Seniors: ‘Race to Submit’ is on for 2018 College Financial Aid
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies interrupted a smash-and-grab burglary on The Old Road early Friday morning, arresting one suspect and seeking two alleged accomplices still at large.
SCV Deputies Catch Window-Smash Burglars in the Act
Pukúu Cultural Community Services, founded in 1971 by members of the local Fernandeno-Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, will host its 13th Annual scholarship gala fundraiser, "Night with the Stars," in Sunland on Saturday, November 4 starting at 6 p.m.
Nov. 4: Local Tribe Honors 3, Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
California's Attorney General today filed a motion to compel the federal government to follow the law and pay the subsidies that millions of Americans rely on to lower the out-of-pocket costs in their insurance plans.
California AG Fights to Keep ACA Cost-Sharing Subsidies
Santa Clarita business owners are encouraged to take the city's broadband feasibility study online survey and participate in the next phase of the study -- in-person focus groups scheduled for October 30.
Oct. 30: Focus Groups in Next Phase of City Broadband Study
Maryama, a band led by CalArts alumna Maryama Mirbagheri (Music MFA 17), was recently nominated for a 2017 Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category.
Maryama Nominated for Hollywood Music in Media Award
The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, in response to President Trump’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has declared Oct. 16-20 "DACA Advocacy Week."
California Community Colleges Ramp Up DACA Advocacy
COC and the Hart District will host the 2017 College & Career Fair in the college’s Honor Grove on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oct. 21: 2017 College and Career Fair at COC
The College of the Canyons Art Gallery will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based painter Sheldon Figoten in a one-person exhibition of new paintings, “Light Fields,” opening Saturday, Oct. 28.
Oct. 28: Sheldon Figoten ‘Light Fields’ at COC Art Gallery
The Santa Clarita Artists Association held its 28th Annual Art Classic fine arts competition at William S. Hart Park's Hart Hall in Newhall on October 14.
Santa Clarita Artists Association Names Winners in 2017 Art Classic
Here is the Castaic-Val Verde Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 25 through October 1.
Crime Blotter: Arson, Burglary, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
California and New Mexico launched a fresh challenge Tuesday against the Trump administration’s repeal of higher royalty payments to states for oil, gas and coal leases on public lands.
California, New Mexico Challenge White House Favors to Oil, Gas, Coal
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Crime Information & Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of October 2 to October 8.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Petty Theft in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Canyon Country East (Zone 8) Crime Information and Public Safety report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for September 24 through October 8, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Theft, Burglary in Canyon Country East
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP), the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts, opens Fantômas: Revenge of the Image at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, on Oct. 19.
Oct. 19: CalArts’ Fantomas: Revenge of the Image Premieres in China
The CSUN women's golf team fired rounds of 306-309 and is in fourth place, just eight shots off the pace at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Seattle University Invitational at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club in Tacoma, WA.
CSUN Just Eight Shots Off Pace At Washington Invitational
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Recreation, Community Services, Arts and Open Spaces Director Rick Gould announces retirement. Plus, the Board of Supervisors approve mental health care improvements. Check out these stories and more tonight on SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The Advanced Technology Presentation about "Careers in the Making...Design, Engineering, Fabrication and More..." in celebration of National Manufacturing Day was a huge success.
SCV Students Gain Knowledge, Advice at National Manufacturing Day
A local company is expanding its footprint in the Santa Clarita Valley to accommodate business growth and another is relocating a division of its company from Sylmar.
Accurate Freight Systems Expands, Leases Space at IAC Commerce Center
The Domestic Violence Center (DVC) of Santa Clarita Valley is accepting applications for Adopt-a-Family 2017.
DVC of SCV Currently Accepting Adopt-a-Family 2017 Applications
Major Impact Theater, founded by Jill Garson and Shawnda Davis in 2014, is a non-profit theater group that specially adapts plays for performance by adults with disabilities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nov. 4: Major Impact Theater Presents Blunderland
California State University, Northridge will make history on Thursday, Oct. 26, by becoming the first California State University with a Sustainability Center.
Oct. 26: CSUN to Open Sustainability Center
Registration for the Purple Walk of Strength is now open.
Oct. 21: Purple Walk of Strength to Benefit Domestic Violence Center
Raising a child is a demanding job for any parent, especially when supportive resources seem to be elusive or nonexistent.
Oct. 22: CSUN Hosts Special Needs Resource Fair
College of the Canyons dominated its match vs. Bakersfield College from start to finish on Friday night, resulting in a 5-1 victory over the Renegades for the Cougars' first conference win of the season.
COC Gets First Conference Win of Season Against Bakersfield College
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Following a two-week layoff, College of the Canyons cross country was back in competition on Saturday, running with a mix of community college and Division I programs at the Sixth Annual UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
COC Cross Country Back in Competition After Two Week Layoff
The race to qualify for the Big West Conference Men's Soccer Tournament continues for CSUN this week with a home match against UC Riverside Wednesday night before the Matadors head to UC Irvine Saturday.
Oct. 18: CSUN Faces Off Against UC Riverside
After 16 years as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Service for the city of Santa Clarita, Rick Gould announced Monday he's retiring in mid-December.
Rick Gould Retires as City’s Parks & Recreation Chief
High school seniors whose dream is to make a difference in the world by majoring in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) are invited to apply for Edison International’s $1.2 million Edison Scholars Program.
STEM Students Encouraged to Apply for Edison Scholars Program
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teenagers, ahead of all other types of injury, disease, or violence.
National Teen Driver Safety Week Underway
Elder abuse and scams targeting seniors are a growing problem, Santa Clarita detectives said, but there are numerous resources and protections available.
Resources, Outreach Available to SCV Victims of Elder Abuse
Despite rallying from an early 2-0 deficit, College of the Canyons dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Victor Valley College on Friday.
Canyons Rally Not Enough To Hold Off Victor Valley College