On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh said that police and firefighters are nice to have, but they take away from private sector jobs and contribute nothing to the economy.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
Transcript via Rush Limbaugh:
RUSH: You know, Axelrod was on CNN with Candy Crowley on the State of the Union show on Sunday. He said, "We need to accelerate job creation in the private sector." And then he added, "One of the ways we can do that is putting teachers and firefighters and police back to work. Because those are good, middle-class jobs." Do you realize…? Well, I'm alternately stunned and at the same time exhilarated by this, because of how explanatory this is.
All of the jobs that he listed are actually public sector jobs!
All the money for them comes right out of the private sector.
But now we know where Obama gets his economic advice from. Look, as nice as they are to have — teaching jobs, firemen, policemen — they are all paid for with money out of the private sector. They are paid for with tax revenue from citizens. They cut into the amount of money left for private sector. They don't grow the number of private sector jobs, they reduce them. Now, I've gotta very careful here. Because nobody's against teachers or firemen or cops. But those are public sector jobs.
Look at the way these people think.
They're combining two things here: A, the never-ending appeal to tax revenue for firemen, cops, and teachers. That is the education of your kids and the safety you and your house and your family. And they're trying to say that those jobs are being cut and now we're not safe and your kids aren't being educated. And that's because the private sector's been too selfish and too greedy and so forth. (pause) Look, folks, this is where I have to be very careful. Nobody's opposed to cops or firefighters or teachers.
But they aren't private sector jobs. They do not contribute to economic growth. Their purpose is otherwise. They have an entirely different purpose: Public safety, public education, this kind of thing. But there's no growth in the economy. If you add those jobs — and if there aren't other types of private sector jobs added while at the same time we're adding to the fire rolls and the cop rolls and teachers — we are reducing the size of the private sector. This is Marxism 101. It's also Ignorance and Sophistry 101.
Limbaugh tried to accuse Democrats of doing exactly what he did by mixing together private and public sector jobs. Republicans like Limbaugh don’t want to talk about their cuts to teachers, firefighters, and police departments across the country. They don’t want the American people to know that their beloved tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy come at a cost of fewer police, teachers, and firefighters in communities all across the country.
However, Rush’s biggest Econ 101 fail was the idea that police and firefighters don’t contribute to economic growth. Each public sector job adds value to the economy. Public sector employees take their paycheck and pay the mortgage/rent, buy food, and support their families. All of that money goes back into the economy. When a public sector employee orders a pizza or goes to the mall, or gets their car fixed at the garage, just like a private sector employee, they are adding to the economy.
Republicans like Limbaugh want to keep the two types of employment separate because they don’t want the American people to catch on to the amount of damage their war against the public sector has done to the economy. Without the public sector layoffs, the unemployment rate would be at least one point lower. The public sector layoffs have cost the private sector 500,000 jobs. Republicans at the state and federal levels have used public sector layoffs to minimize the economic recovery.
In the Republican mind, police and firefighters are parasites that take from the taxpayers and give nothing back. (I guess risking your life everyday counts as nothing). Many law enforcement officers consider themselves conservatives, and I hope that they pay close attention to the words of Rush Limbaugh.
Mitt Romney’s remark about needing fewer police and firefighters wasn’t a mistake. Republicans really believe that those who are involved in professions that serve the community aren’t giving anything back, and can be eliminated.
For his sake I hope that somebody shows up the next time Rush’s house catches on fire, or he has to dial 9-1-1. If Limbaugh thinks first responders add nothing now, maybe he will understand their value if they aren’t there when he needs them.
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