Austerity Hammers Teachers and Cops Across the Nation
Across the country, many states that happily accepted stimulus money to pay for existing employees are laying off those workers now that Congress has turned off the spigot, the New York Times says in an editorial.
Over the last three years, at least 700,000 state and local government employees have lost their jobs, including teachers, sanitation workers and public safety personnel, contributing a full percentage point to the unemployment rate.
That seems to be just fine with Mitt Romney, who, like many Republicans, does not consider a job to be economically significant unless it is in the private sector. Last week, he attacked President Obama for proposing to help states hire more teachers and other workers, saying the president doesn’t understand that Americans don’t want to hire “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.”
Only right-wing ideologues make that distinction; most Americans know driving a bus or picking up trash is just as important economically as working in a big-box store.