Conservatives in 2009: As Scroogish as they were last year

Ned Ryun, baby boy of the discredited and disreputable former Congressman Jim Ryun, wonders "do we really need 600,000 new govt. employees?":

Appears that Obama is promising 600,000 new government employees. That is just slightly troubling.

Ryun is currently employed at a conservative group that trains people to run for public office, so if he's really troubled by all that government out there, he might reconsider his current profession. And I will mention only in passing that George W. Bush, for whom Ned used to work as a writer, is the first president since World War II to see government job growth outpace private sector job growth. But my issue is not Ryun's hypocrisy.

My issue is his apparent willingness to elevate partisan ideology over human compassion. Because those 600,000 new jobs that he doesn't think we need represent less than half the jobs that have been lost in just the first ten months of the last year of the Bush administration:

The government reported more grim news about the economy Friday [November 7], saying employers cut 240,000 jobs in October - bringing the year's total job losses to nearly 1.2 million.

According to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the unemployment rate rose to 6.5% from 6.1% in September and higher than economists' forecast of 6.3%. It was the highest unemployment rate since March 1994.

"There is so much bad in this report that it is hard to find any silver lining," said Morgan Keegan analyst Kevin Giddis. …

With 1,179,000 cuts, the economy has lost more than a million jobs in a year for the first time since 2001 - the last time the economy was in a recession. With most economic indicators signaling even more difficult times ahead, job losses will likely deepen and continue through at least the first half of 2009.

"It's pretty clear that we're in a recession," said Robert Brusca, economist at FAO Economics. … "We may be in a severe recession, in which case these job numbers are not even big yet," he said, suggesting monthly job loss totals could grow in excess of 300,000 an unemployment could rise to around 7%.

Heck, those 600,000 jobs lost represent only slightly more jobs than those lost in November, 2008, when nonfarm payroll employment fell by 533,000:

Job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors in November.

Both the number of unemployed persons (10.3 million) and the unemployment rate (6.7 percent)continued to increase in November. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, as recently announced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of unemployed persons increased by 2.7 million, and the unemployment rate rose by 1.7 percentage points.

Now, Ned is entitled to think that the size of the government should decrease. I happen to think that the size of the government isn't so important as what it does. I also care a lot less about the question of whether we need 600,000 new government employees than I do about whether we should have 600,000 more people with jobs. When the economy is shedding jobs at a record pace, hiring people makes all kinds of sense.

From his cushy place on wingnut welfare, Ryun can afford to place ideology over the needs of millions of people. Unfortunately for the millions of people suffering through the second Bush recession, ideology doesn't put food on the table, it pays poorly and the benefits stink.

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