An eager reader forwards this CNN report that seems to turn conventional wisdom on its head: under President Barack Obama, government is getting smaller:
The layoff ax has hit public sector payrolls with force as states wrestle with massive budget shortfalls. Since August 2008, some 231,000 state and local government jobs have disappeared -- 22,000 last month alone, according to federal data.
The majority of the cuts are on the local level, which at 14.4 million workers is nearly three times the size of the state workforce. Plus, unlike at the federal level, most of these cuts come from the ranks of teachers, cops, firefighters and social service workers.
And more pain is coming down the pike. Some 19 states say they plan to implement layoffs to narrow budget gaps, according to a recent survey [Tami Luhby, "Endangered Species: Government Worker," CNN.com, 2010.06.18].
Remember, when you cut government at the state and local level, you're not striking a blow against tyranny. You're putting your local cops, the men and women in blue who stand between you and the real thugs in our society, out of work.
Note this report highlights cuts at the state and local level. Layoffs are not the case for the federal government workforce. Uncle Sam hired more people in 2008 and 2009:
For your weekend enjoyment, you can spin two opposing conspiracy theories from this data:
- Conservative flavor: President Obama and his fellow travelers are weakening state and local governments to remove that check against their expansion of federal power, all the better to forward the Marxist revolution.
- Liberal flavor: President Bush and VP Cheney used reckless deficit spending and tax cuts to drive government into such dire financial straits that it would collapse to bathtub-drownable size. The federal government has a little more power and wiggle room to continue deficit spending, so the axe is falling on the state and local governments first, but the trend will trickle up.