The Senate Majority Leader dropped this stunner in the context of explaining why Congress must drop everything and spend more money we don't have to prop up public sector jobs. Because, Reid apparently believes, government workers are the real victims of the great recession. Ladies and gentlemen, the Democrat Party mentality, distilled:
"It's very clear that private sector jobs have been doing just fine. It's public sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers."
A few reactions, if I may:
(1) I'm struggling to conceive of a more out-of-touch political statement than this. I also remain incredulous that this clown managed to survive last fall's purge.
(2) Between Obama's first full month in office (Febrary 2009) and this past September, the American private sector has lost more than 1.5 million jobs. The "official" U-3 unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, and the U-6 figure is much more gruesome. Fourteen million American job-seekers are unable to find work. Amidst all that misery, what's the unemployment rate for government workers? 4.7 percent -- nearly half that of the overall population.
(3) As of last year, government employees earned higher wages and benefits than their "just fine" private sector counterparts:
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.
(4) The private sector pays for the public sector.
I'm not surprised that Reid believes the nonsense he just spouted on the Senate floor. I am a bit surprised that he actually came out and expressed so explicitly. At its core, the Democrat Party is committed to the inexorable growth of government at every level. Period. If this little performance doesn't convince you of that fact, you've willfully chosen not to consider the evidence. Then again, if you see the truth for what it is, you're a veritable accomplice to rape and murder.
UPDATE - Check out Greg's flashback mashup below.
UPDATE II - I'm told Senate Democrats just killed a McCain amendment to divert already-allocated federal bike path funds (these evidently exist) to bridge repair -- a red-herring scare issue Dems have been flogging in their vain attempts to drum up support for Stimulus 2.0. I guess bike paths are more important than tending to all of those alleged crumbling bridges.