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Extreme Political Agenda, Not Jobs, Behind Budget Cuts Across Country

Andy Richards on our Field Communications staff highlights the anti-jobs agenda of Republican state and national lawmakers.

Earlier this year, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels sat down with NPR.  During the interview, he was asked whether he thought pushing a partisan political agenda that includes deep budget cuts were worth it even if it cost a lot of jobs.  He empathetically answered, “Yes.”  This zeal for moving extreme partisan policies at all costs has taken hold across the country with anti-working family governors and their political allies.  These lawmakers ran on promises of creating jobs but instead are leaving behind massive job loss after passing ideologically-driven budgets with cuts to education, health care and other vital services that hurt working families and local communities.

Take for example Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and Michigan.  Reports show that the punishing budget cuts and partisan agenda of Govs. Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Scott and Rick Snyder could cost more than 100,000 jobs.  Here are the numbers, state-by-state:

Add the 28,000 jobs lost from the refusal of Walker, Kasich and Scott to build high-speed rail in their states to that total and you are well above 100,000.

But these four states are not the only ones facing expected job loss from painful political choices from of extreme legislators.  These numbers only confirm a broader trend happening across the country and in Washington, D.C.  Rather than looking at ways to invest in good jobs to revitalize our economy, extreme legislators are continuing to push ideological policies that actually cause job loss and further hurt working families.

Bloomberg News reported this week that a recent study shows that nationally

state government employment is down to early 1999 levels…the lowest since 1976.  In May, the state and local government workforce dropped by 30,000, with 17,500 lost jobs coming from the education sector, the report said.”  And the worst is yet to come, according to CNN Money, which referenced another study showing that “state and local governments are forecast to shed up to 110,000 jobs in the third quarter…the first time above 100,000 job cuts in just one quarter.

A new report from the Center for American Progress shows that this fanaticism with pushing a partisan agenda to cut vital services is “erroneous.”  As Adam Hersh, an economist at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said:

Now these Republicans want the American public to drink a giant glass of their Cut-Grow Kool-Aid. But the data actually show the opposite of their claims to be true: Steep spending cuts are hampering economic recovery in some states, while other states that resisted cuts or increased spending are now seeing declining unemployment rates, faster private-sector job creation, and stronger economic growth.

Federal lawmakers have drunk the Kool-Aid, too.  The destructive agenda of out-of-touch lawmakers like Republican Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Eric Cantor (Va.), would cost between 1.7 million and 2.2 million jobs in the first two years if their budget plan took effect, according to reports earlier this year from Moody Analytics and the Economic Policy Institute.

But then, they don’t seem to really care. Here’s House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio):

Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We’re broke. It’s time for us to get serious about how we’re spending the nation’s money.

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