The leader of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, has given his blessing to Mitt Romney for his recent comments reaffirming his disdain for public workers — the great people who protect us and educate our children. Here is a reminder of exactly what Romney said.
“[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
Rush Limbaugh, in his infinite wisdom, helps to explain the Republican position for us all. This is the Republican party in 2012.
“Nobody’s opposed to cops or firefighters or teachers — but they aren’t private sector jobs,” Limbaugh said. “They do not contribute to economic growth. Their purpose is otherwise. They have an entirely different purpose: public safety, public education, this kind of thing. But there’s no growth in the economy. “If you add those jobs — and if there aren’t other types of private sector jobs added while at the same time we’re adding to the fire rolls and the cop rolls and teachers — we are reducing the size of the private sector. This is Marxism 101. It’s also Ignorance and Sophistry 101.”
In Rush’s warped mind, I’m sure it makes perfect sense and it’s an easy sell to his mindless listeners. This zero sum argument plays well with people who lack critical thinking skills because it reduces it to a concept they’ve already accepted, the idea that if some benefit, others suffer. The problem is, it makes no sense at all. If the public sector creates more police, firefighter and teacher jobs, it has no effect on whether private sector jobs are created. Why would it? The private sector creates jobs when there is a demand for their products, as Nick Hanauer’s Ted Talk so eloquently lays out.
Limbaugh also injects another often unsaid conservative concept, that public employees don’t contribute to the economy at all. Steve Benen addresses this issue with his usual style.
But if Romney and Limbaugh actually, sincerely believe what they’re saying, I’d just ask them to consider one question: do they believe teachers, police officers, and firefighters spend money?
I mean, really. Limbaugh argued with a straight face today that cops, firefighters, and teachers may work and contribute to society, “but there’s no growth in the economy” as a result of their jobs. In other words, there are hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, but they never buy things and they never invest, so when they get laid off en masse, there are no economic consequences whatsoever.
I’m glad that Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh have taken this tact, because the vast majority of the American people disagree with them on the importance of police, firefighters and teachers.
Personally, I make a point to thank police, firefighters and teachers for the tough jobs they do. I also think they are vastly underpaid.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles