Yesterday on Meet the Press, David (the GOP Talking Point Spigot) Gregory peppered Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on the issue of jobs losses faced by women under President Obama. Most news items covering his response have only pointed out that he first said...
"It's a ridiculous and misleading way of looking at the economy"You can find that quote as the headline at the L.A. Times,, ABC News, Business Insider, Politico, and CBS News among others.
But what I found more interesting is what he said next. He pointed out that many of the job losses that have occurred while Obama has been President have been in the Public Sector and that's has disproportionately affected police, firemen, nurses and Teachers who are overwhelmingly female.
I asked Geithner about the technical accuracy of the Romney claim and he explained “this crisis was a very damaging crisis, hurt everybody. And it began in, as you know, in early 2008. And a lot of the early job losses in 2008 affected men, because they affected construction and manufacturing. And as the crisis spread and state and local governments were forced to cut back on services and fire a lot of teachers, that caused a lot of damage to women, too.”Politifact Rated the Romney claim as Mostly False and correctly noted that it come from the BLS:
Romney’s campaign pointed to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment figures from January 2009, when Obama took office, and March 2012, for all employees and for female employees.Although the number is technically true, it doesn't tell the complete story as noted by former Reagan Official Bruce Bartlett:
Here they are:
* Total Nonfarm Payroll Jobs:
January 2009: 133,561,000
March 2012: 132,821,000
Net loss: 740,000 jobs.
* Total Female Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
January 2009: 66,122,000
March 2012: 65,439,000
Net loss: 683,000 jobs.
They then divided the net loss among women by the total net loss and came up with 92.3 percent.
"To the extent there have been excessive job losses among women, a lot of it has to do with the fact that there has been an enormous reduction in state and local government employment," Bartlett said. "The decline ... has been especially pronounced in this recession as opposed to other recessions."This is what the loss of public sector jobs looks like compared to private sector gains under President Obama.
It's not like the GOP has necessarily been a fan of job growth among the public sector.
"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs," Boehner said. "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."And the Center for Budget and Policy points out, State Budgets have been hit hard by this Recession.
The Great Recession that started in 2007 caused the largest collapse in state revenues on record. Since bottoming out in 2010, revenues have begun to grow again, but states are still far from fully recovered. As of the third quarter of 2011, state revenues remained 7 percent below pre-recession levels, and are not growing fast enough to recover fully soon.And in which states have those public sector cuts been the worst? You guessed it - in Republican Controlled States.
Meanwhile, states' education and health care obligations continue to grow. Next year, states expect to educate 350,000 more K-12 students and 1.7 million more public college and university students in the upcoming school year than in 2007-08. And some 5.6 million more people are projected to be eligible for subsidized health insurance through Medicaid in 2012 than were enrolled in 2008, as employers have cancelled their coverage and people have lost jobs and wages.
Consequently, even though the revenue outlook is trending upward, states are still addressing large budget shortfalls by historical standards as they consider budgets for the upcoming year. In some states with two-year budget cycles, projected shortfalls for fiscal year 2013 have already been closed through spending cuts and other measures scheduled to take effect in the next fiscal year, but in the majority of states they must be closed through legislative action in the coming months in order to meet balanced-budget requirements. Extremely large shortfalls addressed in recent years have led to deep cuts in critical public services like education, health care, and human services; the new shortfalls likely will prompt legislators to make further cuts in those areas on top of those already enacted.
The 11 states that the Republicans took over in 2010 laid off, on average, 2.5 percent of their government workforces in a single year. This is compared to the overall average of 0.5 percent for the rest of the states. [...] [T]hese 11 states as a whole account for a total of 87,000 jobs lost, reflecting around 40.5 percent of the total.In several states the attack on public sector jobs has exempted police and firefighters, which leaves teachers and nurses unions to take the majority of the brunt simply so that GOP could give their corporate and Wall Street buddies Bigger Tax Breaks.
Texas and the 11 newly-Republican states accounted for a total of 71.5 percent of the year’s public sector job losses, even though they account for less than one-third of the nation’s public sector workers.
Many government job losses were due, indeed, to the recession’s impact on state budgets. But in many of the newly-Republican states, the GOP made the problems worse. In Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Maine, Republican-controlled legislators not only cut public sector jobs, they led assaults on public sector unions, targeting government workers under the guise of balancing their budgets. In those and others, Republicans exacerbated their states’ deficits with tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, thus leading to even more public sector layoffs that didn’t take place in states that didn’t pursue similar policies.
The bottom line is that President Obama attempted to stop these types of job losses by extending his emergency stimulus funding to the states. Guess who stood in the way of that? I'll let Jeff Hayes of the Institute for Women's Policy Research say it via Politifact:
"If you break out the 683,000 jobs women lost between January 2009 and March 2012, 64 percent were in government and only 36 percent in the private sector."There you have it, we now see who killed all those jobs for women. It wasn't President Obama. It wasn't Col. Mustard in the Kitchen with a candlestick.
That leads us to a point made by Eileen Appelbaum with the left-leaning Center on Economic and Policy Research. She noted that after the first wave of money in the president’s stimulus bill had run out, Obama asked for another $23 billion in "emergency aid" for state and local governments. The money was sought to avert the layoffs of as many as 300,000 public school teachers, but House Republican leaders stripped it.
"You could hardly blame Obama for that," Appelbaum said.
It was the G.O.P., in the Legislature, with a Tax Cut.