Mission Accomplished

James Taranto hits a nail on the head at the Wall Street Journal regarding Obama’s statement that the private sector is fine. From his Best of the Web Today…

President Obama called a press conference this morning to deliver an important announcement: “The private sector is doing fine.”

Seriously, he said that. Then he said, “The big challenge we have in our economy right now is state and local government hiring has been going in the wrong direction” – meaning it hasn’t been growing fast enough. As the Washington Examiner notes, he went on to call “for Congress to avert the layoffs of police, firefighters, and other public employees that have taken place at the state level.”

That the private sector is doing fine is news to just about everyone, but the call for more federal borrowing to expand government payrolls is a familiar refrain–albeit one that is hard to square with Obama’s recent claim that he has governed parsimoniously.

Obama might have done better to follow the advice of the Washington Post’s Ed Rogers: “If you are president of the United States and you don’t have anything to say, don’t have a press conference to say it. If you’re the president of the United States and by Thursday it’s widely believed you’ve had one of the worst weeks of your presidency, take Friday off, and specifically avoid having a press conference.”

Actually, he couldn’t have followed that recommendation because he preceded it. Obama’s press conference started around 10:40 a.m., and Rogers delivered his brilliant recommendation at 12:03 p.m. Thanks a lot, Ed!

The Federal government has no business in state business (outside explicitly stated business and the employees Obama spoke of are not). Growth in government employment has far surpassed that of private sector job growth in the last few years. Finally, picking on police and fire departments is a classic tactic of progressives. If taxes aren’t high enough to fund desired programs, threaten to cut teacher, police, and firefighter ranks. Never mind the other expenses that could be cut. Never mind the relative merits and priorities of those expenses. They don’t catch attention like the “Big Three”. Now Obama is in it. Shameful at the city level. Shameful at the county level. Shameful at the state level. Shameful everywhere.

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