Posted by: Debby Durkee | February 7, 2010

Honey, they shrunk the private sector.

Honey, they shrunk the private sector.

Debby's Web Finds
Tom Blumer of Pajamas Media points out how the private sector has shrunk since the genesis of the Pelosi, Obama, Reid triumvirate. He dates it from June 2008, during the election campaign while Democrats were in the majority in Congress in the last six months of the Bush Administration. He points to the January employment report that shows the private sector lost 22,000 jobs and to the inflation-adjusted gross domestic product of the last six quarters. He compares the fourth quarter of 2009 with the second quarter of 2008:

• Even after six months of “recovery,” the economy as a whole has shrunk by almost 2%.

• Uncle Sam’s level of annualized consumption and “investment” has grown by 8.5%.

• Despite the incessant pleadings of poverty by most state and local governments, their consumption and “investment” have hardly changed.

What remains, i.e., the private sector, is over 3% smaller. Snip –

Meanwhile, the past year and a half has been a great period to be a federal government employee. While the private sector has shed almost 6.4 million jobs …federal non-postal employment has leaped by over 150,000, a stunning increase of over 7.5%. Two-thirds of the increase occurred during the first eleven full months of the Obama administration, even though the severity of the recession was drop-dead obvious well before he took office

USA Today reports the average federal worker’s pay is over $71,200, compared to just over $40,300 in the private sector. Nearly one in five federal workers makes $100,000 a year or more. In late 2007 the Transportation Department had one person earning a salary of $170,000 or more, now 1,690 employees have salaries above $170,000. Effective in January, despite a virtually zero-inflation environment and while pay and jobs were still being slashed in the private sector, a typical federal worker saw his or her pay increase by over 3%.

He calls this amazing environment, where public employees make gargantuan salaries compared to the private sector which is required to pay them, an “accomplishment” of the Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy.

… the key to understanding what has transpired is accepting the truth about when it really began. Its origins go back to June 2008, when Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid injected enough of the aforementioned uncertainty to cause deep concerns about the future among the people who matter most when it comes to creating and sustaining economic growth: entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and investors.

June 2008 is when the terrible triumvirate went visibly wacko on energy. In the name of “protecting” humanity from the horrible consequences of …global warming…they promised to starve the nation of the conventional energy it needs to functionThe fact that they and their party intend to pursue their radical cap-and-tax plan in spite of the comprehensive scientific debunking that the colossal Climategate scandal represents merely proves that the business community’s fear-based mid-2008 reaction was more than justified. Their accurate advance perception was that the “climate change” discussion isn’t really about the environment; it’s about control.

At the same time, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid — but especially Obama — promised to punitively tax the five percent of the nation’s most productive so they could redistribute money to everyone else. These promises were routinely accompanied by heavy doses of business-bashing, pseudo-populist rhetoric

In mid-2008, perceptive entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and investors reacted defensively — as anyone who has decided that they are under attack would — by abandoning expansion plans, trimming employment, and cutting their spending to the bone. Thus, the second-quarter-of-2008 recovery from the previous quarter’s difficulties abruptly ended. In the third quarter, the recession as normal people define it began.

…The decades-in-the-making Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-driven housing and mortgage lending debacles, the “stimulus” that has only stimulated bogus claims…and the “Chicago way” conduct of the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies have only reinforced the business community’s justifiable siege mentality.

… the government has become bigger, bolder, and more intrusive, while a worried private sector has contracted. Is there any good reason to believe that this has not been part of the plan all along?

So, Atlas began shrugging during the 2008 campaign when those who hold our economy on their shoulders observed the handwriting on the wall put there very clearly by those who still hold the reins of power today: Pelosi, Obama and Reid. Let’s hope Nevada removes Reid from the equation this year and that the rest of the country removes many of Obama’s and Pelosi’s supporting cast as well. Read it all here: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/honey-they-shrunk-the-private-sector/

Steyn: Unsustainable.

In a similar, but uniquely Mark Steyn way, Steyn focuses on the statement by the director of the Congressional Budget Office that our current deficits are “unsustainable.” As Americans watch their country circling the toilet bowl, the Obama administration continues the same policies that put the country in the toilet in the first place.

National Review’s Jim Geraghty sums up Obama’s America thus: “Unsustainable is the new normal.” Indeed. The other day, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, described current deficits as “unsustainable.” So let’s make them even more so. The president tells us, with a straight face, that his grossly irresponsible profligate wastrel of a predecessor took the federal budget on an eight-year joyride, so the only way his sober, fiscally prudent successor can get things under control is to grab the throttle and crank it up to what Mel Brooks in Spaceballs (which seems the appropriate comparison) called “Ludicrous Speed.”

Obama’s spending proposes to take the average Bush deficit for the years 2001–2008, and double it, all the way to 2020. To get out of the Bush hole, we need to dig a hole twice as deep for one-and-a-half times as long. And that’s according to the official projections of his Economics Czar, Ms. Rose Colored-Glasses. By 2015, the actual hole may be so deep that even if you toss every Obama speech down it on double-spaced paper you still won’t be able to fill it up. In the spendthrift Bush days, federal spending as a proportion of GDP average 19.6 percent. Obama proposes to crank it up to 25 percent as a permanent feature of life.

But, if they’re “unsustainable,” what happens when they can no longer be sustained? A failure of bond auctions? A downgraded government debt rating? Reduced GDP growth? Total societal collapse? Mad Max on the New Jersey Turnpike? Snip—

Testifying to the House Budget Committee, Director Elmendorf attempted to pull back from the wilder shores of “unsustainable”: “I think most observers expect that the government will act, that the unsustainability will be resolved through action, not through witnessing some collapse down the road,” he said. “If literally nothing is done, then eventually something very, very bad happens….” …The one thing that can be guaranteed is that a political class led by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, a handful of reach-across-the-aisle Republican accomodationists and an economically illiterate narcissist in the Oval Office is never going to rein in unsustainable spending in any meaningful sense…Snip —

It’s not the “debt” or the “deficit,” it’s the spending. And the only way to reduce that is with fewer government agencies, fewer government programs, fewer government employees, lower government salaries.

Instead, all four are rocketing up: We are incentivizing unsustainability, and, when it comes to “some collapse down the road,” you’ll be surprised how short that road is.

We must put pressure on the Democrats in Washington to stand up against the president and Pelosi. I think congressional Democrats are in fear of Obama and his Chicago thugs. They’ve gotten in bed with some vicious beasts and don’t know how to get out. Obama and Pelosi are so ideological (and perhaps delusional) that they will take the country’s economy down rather than do anything the people think is right. What is their vision of the country? It’s hard to know at this stage, but whenever and wherever a Democrat does the right thing and opposes Pelosi, Obama and Reid, we should raise that person up. Then maybe more will be courageous enough to join him. Read all of Mark Steyn here: http://article.nationalreview.com/424153/unsustainable/mark-steyn?page=1

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