Skip to comments.Reid says government jobs must take priority over private-sector jobs
Posted on 10/19/2011 8:58:45 AM PDT by jazusamo
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday said Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.
"It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about," Reid said on the Senate floor.
Reid was responding to recent comments from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who accused Democrats of purposefully pursuing higher taxes as part of the teacher/first-responder bill, S. 1723, so that Republicans would oppose it. McConnell said the bill was meant to fail in order to give Democrats an issue to run on in the 2012 election, but Reid said the Republicans are simply trying to defeat President Obama any way they can.
The legislation Reid is defending is part of Obama's jobs package. Vice President Biden was in Pennsylvania, an important election state, on Tuesday to push for the administration's plan on increasing the number of teachers.
Reid reiterated his emphasis on creating government jobs by saying Democrats are looking to "put hundreds of thousands of people back to work teaching children, have more police patrolling our streets, firefighters fighting our fires, doing the rescue work that they do so well that's our priority." He said Republicans are calling the bill a "failure" because they are "using a different benchmark for success than we are."
Private-sector jobs have increased over the last 19 months, while government jobs have lagged. They've also seen cuts in several states that are struggling to balanced their books.
Reid also said a majority of people polled support the bill, and that the tax hike needed to fund the $35 billion spending program is minimal.
"My friend, the Republican leader is complaining about a tax of one-half of 1 percent on people who make more than $1 million a year to pay for a program that would stop teachers from being laid off and rehire some of the teachers that have been laid off," Reid said.
Democrats who support the bill have said it would help save 400,000 teacher jobs and thousands of first-responder jobs that have either been cut or could soon be cut. Reid said Wednesday that these layoffs are "rooted in the last administration," but did not explain further.
Senate Democrats are hoping to pass S. 1723 as early as this week, although votes could be delayed until early November, depending on the progress made on passing a 2012 spending bill.
Reid also dismissed efforts by the Republican House to ease environmental regulations as a way to create jobs.
"The Republican response has been cutting back environmental health safeguards, I guess hoping that a sicker, more polluted country is a better place to create jobs, and it's not," Reid said.
Exactly. After the first year of fed funding it'll revert to funding from property and state taxes and people aren't going to go for it.
Jobs that do not create tax revenue. This doddering old fool needs to retire.
I recall a statistic that Barkie's (mis)administration has added 140,000 "government jobs" in the last three years. All salary and bennies paid by the taxpayers, of course. If these unproductive drones have had any measurable impact on the economy, it has been negative as they suck money out of the private sector while adding nothing of value.
And the reason they have to lay off teachers and police here in CA is because their pensions and healthcare take up too much of their budget and the Unions would rather have layoffs to scare the public instead of giving on the benefits.
Reid is an idiot.
where does the money come from to pay for the government jobs?
As a side note, why do government jobs pay more than private paying jobs? It used to be that teachers, firemen, policemen and government workers were paid less than the private sector due to their excellent benefit program and stability. Now they’re all driving BMW’s and living the good life. Cut their pay to a lower percent of the overall wage average and charge them a public employee surcharge tax. And why hasn’t anyone suggested that congress take a pay cut?
Continuing to spend money we do not have is foolhardy at best and plain stupid, Mr. Reid. Are not teachers and firefighters paid by state, local and municipal governments? Why does the federal government need to step in and spend borrowed money? It is no wonder your state has the highest unemployment in the country!
Perhaps Mr. Reid needs to talk to John McCain to understand that business and growth creates jobs and additional revenues.
Mindless spending without revenue and without a budget does not work. Adding tax burden to those already carrying the load is counter-productive.
With a chart of the unemployment rate during the Obama years superimposed.
What does “shoring up teachers” even mean? There is not a shortage of teachers, is there?
Unemployment in the public sector: 4.7%
GOP should not vote to pass this bill.
This guy just went full retard. You never go full retard.
I was honestly expecting the source for this to be The Onion.
Paying for teachers and cops is a local expense, not federal.
Tell Harry to bite it..
He's just keeping in with his paymasters. 33% of Govt workers unionised v's 7% in the Private sector, and the unions fund the Democrat party. It's corruption on an immense scale.
Damn! You beat me to it. Great minds think alike.
What Biden fails to grasp is that public sector jobs are non productive in the economy. Public sector jobs, while necessary to a point, do not produce any goods or services sold in a market nor do they create any new businesses or jobs. Public jobs are also paid for by taxing those who do produce in the economy. If you want an example of how increasing public employment has devastated a country look to Greece where 18% of the labor force is directly or indirectly employed by the government and the country is bankrupt.
I sure haven’t heard of a shortage of teachers or first responders here in southern Washington but if this ridiculous bill should pass I’d bet we’ll get funding anyway.
Sicker and more polluted EXACTLY describes Washington (and Government at ALL levels), today.
Infested with Union parasites, producing NOTHING but Taxpayer expense that cannot be sustained.
Sh#t-can ALL of Washington's current politicians, and start over.....VERY few should be re-hired, and ALL should then be limited to ONE TERM, and then back to Private life.