ISSA: Whether or not the federal government borrows money from overseas sources to keep teachers in XYZ state on the payroll seems to be stimulus II. It seems to be something that the states have to decide what the right number of teachers are, and fund that, and not have us borrow money from overseas to keep $30 billion worth of money to try to aid the states. We did that once. It’s time for us to say states have to step up to the plate. That’s a good example where I don’t think that belongs in this stimulus bill. I don’t think we should be maintaining government workers with borrowed money.
Think Progress notes important context for this statement: "At least 600,000 government workers have lost their jobs since the recession began" and that hasn't been enough to make Darrell Issa think it might be a good thing to stanch the bleeding and keep at least a few teachers in classrooms.
In case you were in any doubt, 600,000 lost jobs is a lot. That's the entire population—not just the working-age population, the entire population—of Denver, CO, or Louisville, KY, out of work because of government cutbacks that Darrell Issa wants to continue and maybe accelerate. That's teachers and students cleaning classrooms because the custodians were laid off. It's kids riding school buses for an hour because bus drivers were laid off and routes combined. Then when those kids get to school, AP classes and art and music classes have been cut or even eliminated. That's the effect of the kind of job cuts Issa is cheering on here, and that's just in schools. We also have to talk about how many jobs have been cut that were dedicated to keeping our water supply clean or inspecting our bridges to be sure they're safe.
But, you know, to Darrell Issa that's all just a vague abstraction like "teachers in XYZ state" and the realities it implies are much, much less important than getting on television and saying the word "stimulus" as many times as possible.