"President Obama is often blamed for the precipitous drop in government payrolls," write the Roosevelt Institute's Bryce Covert and Mike Koncza in The Nation. But don't be fooled, only 13 percent of public sector job loss happened at the federal level. But the real culprit, they write, is the party that's never been comfortable with employing a lot people in government in the first place.
Noticing that public sector employment declined a whopping 1.2 percent in 2011, Covert and Koncza looked at state-by-state data to see where most of these job losses occur. Most occurred not at the federal but at the state and local levels. However, cuts did not occur evenly among the states. As charted above, of the 11 states whose legislatures experienced GOP takeovers in 2010, five -- Montana, Maine, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin -- are among the seven states that cut public employment more than 2.5 percent. (The average for the states was 0.5 percent.) "Overall, these 11 states were responsible for 40 percent of the total state and local public sector job losses in 2011," according to Covert and Koncza. Texas, where both houses have had GOP majorities since 2002, accounted for another 31 percent given its large size and its governor, Rick Perry, who believes that "government doesn’t create any jobs, they can actually run jobs away."
These results aren't terribly surprising, since the GOP is after all the self-proclaimed "party of small government." Just something to mentally file away for next time a Republican candidate talks up how he or she will be a job creator and an advocate of small government in the same breath.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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