The GOP "Put Your Neighbor Out of Work" Plan

Republicans have a wonderful knack for twisting reality; in fact they have become so adept at it, they’ve convinced the rest of rational humanity to believe that paradoxical solutions are what this country really needs to get the economy back on track. Take for example the Minnesota GOP plan to put 5000 of your neighbors (AKA State employees) out of work. How does the thinking go on this?
Problem: Unemployment. GOP Solution put more people out of work.
Right! And that will improve the economy… how? The GOP answer; by lowering taxes and freeing up money for private investment. My question is, investment in what? Anyone see any pent up demand out there, needing to be filled? If so please share!
How about the banks you say. Let’s look for some stellar investment opportunity there. How about this for a great return on investment, found at Money-Rates.com.

A whopping 1.1% APY. Wow. Why are they so generous? (Look back to 2008 news reports and it will be evident. They are DESPERATE to raise cash.

Here's the pitch:

Shouldn't this guy be selling watches in Times Square?
Do you think he makes $38,000 a year?

If you could afford the gas to do so and frequented any retail outlets over the last couple weeks as I did, you’d find dozens of private sector employees wandering aimlessly looking for something to do, desperately seeking customers to help, out of boredom if out of nothing else. As a customer, this is great, dozens of people fawning over me to make a sale, even ones on which their employers are losing money. But somehow this is all the fault of government employees.
Here are a few Minnesota public employee facts:
• The wealth of Minnesota millionaires has doubled under the Pawlenty administration, as their state and local tax rates have decreased by 4 percent. Meanwhile, the wages of most public workers have been frozen.
• AFSCME members earn $38,000 a year, on average. They’re struggling paycheck to paycheck, just like average Minnesotans.
• Public workers in Minnesota earn 4 percent less than private-sector employees, when matched by education and experience. That’s because public workers have sacrificed wages for better benefits.
• Minnesota’s state workforce is the 10th leanest and one of the most productive in the nation. Minnesota has 71 public workers for every 10,000 residents, according to the U.S. census. We’re tied with conservative Florida.
• If Gov. Pawlenty fired all state employees, the cost savings would erase only 21 percent of the state budget deficit.
• Minnesota Chamber president David Olson’s concern about public compensation is hypocritical. As a trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, he paid bonuses totaling $415,875 to 33 top administrators who earn six-figure salaries. Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers’ League, and Mike Veckich, chair of the Emmer recount team, are also MnSCU trustees appointed by Gov. Pawlenty.
• Public pensions are modest. The average AFSCME retiree has pension benefits of about $13,000 a year.
• Minnesota’s pension systems pay out more than $2.5 billion, add $3.3 billion to the state economy, and create 22,500 additional jobs.
• State and local taxes collected on public pensions exceed public employer pension contributions by $80 million a year.
• 90 percent of retired public workers stay in Minnesota. That benefits our economy and keeps seniors self-sufficient.
• More than 20 percent of senior citizens are living in poverty with only Social Security.
• Minnesota taxpayers pay for only 15 cents of every dollar in public pension benefits.
• Most private pensions are 100% employer paid. AFSCME members pay for half of theirs.
The state's largest employee union joined Democrats in their criticism. Eliot Seide, executive director of the American Federation of State and Federal Employees Council 5, said a better alternative was to raise taxes on the wealthy. He said the bill would have a disastrous impact on the state's economy.
"Every time you lay off another worker, Main Street loses a customer," Seide said.
Pointing to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, Seide said Minnesota's government employs one worker for every 71 residents, the 10th-lowest ratio in the country. He also pointed out that the state's work force shrank 11 percent under Pawlenty and that his members have seen four wage freezes in the past eight years.
"The Downey and Republican myth is that Minnesota's government has been growing, and in fact it's been shrinking by every measure you can put together," Seide said.
The bill got its first hearing in a House committee Wednesday, where it passed on a voice vote.
Jason Hoppin can be reached at 651-228-5445.

What is this really about? Try the Grover Norquist government bathtub project
which he's been successfully promoting for over a decade.


Roadkill said...


There is an old axiom that small errors at the beginning lead to large errors later on. Your arguement is a good example.

With respect to the proposed cuts to the MN budget via reduction in the state bureacracy, the problem being addressed is not Unemployment; rather, its the 6.2 Billion Dollar State Budget Deficit.

If there is too much government spending, its not unreasonable to cut back on some government jobs. That's how any efficient business handles things in tough times. Why should government be any different?

Besides, those laid off goverment workers, whose salaries (and benefits, and pensions) are now paid for with private sector taxes, will now be getting paid from from a different pot of public money (unemployment), which is also paid for from private sector taxes. In either case, they are living off public largesse.

Thurston Howell III said...

I have to wonder if you read the post?

"If Gov. Pawlenty fired all state employees, the cost savings would erase only 21 percent of the state budget deficit."
You also assume that the budget deficit is totally caused by "over spending" when in fact it is caused in part by underfunding, i.e. under taxation of the wealthiest Minnesotans, some of whom actually took out a full page ad in the twin cities newspapers several years ago stating as much.

Right now you hear little about the deficit as opposed to unemployment. I doubt that voter rage was aimed at the deficit more than unemployment.(Unless your a Tea Tottler, whose just pissed at anything government.)
In regard to bureaucracy, the public sector does not have a monopoly of this. Have your tried
calling your health insurance provider to resolve any issues lately? Good Luck, you'll need it.
I'm afraid you still don't get the gist of the post.
Let me summarize.
1. Putting people out of work is harmful to them and the economy.
You are eliminating potential customers.
2.Supply side economics has proven itself to be an abysmal failure.
3.The savings to the "wealth producers" have nowhere to go to create wealth, unless you believe that clown from IMG and you think 1.1% on a $10,000 min investment is going to make you wealthy because they charge low fees. What a joke!

That's enough for now, cause I now you will come back with the same tired Supply Side argument you always to. And of course I will reply with (in your view, a "Socialist" response.)
Round and round we go......