The Romney campaign is trying its hardest to frame this election as a choice between the job-creating businessman and the job-preventing bureaucrat. But this week, Romney showed that he really only cares about creating certain kinds of jobs. In fact, he thinks we have too many public sector workers - like teachers, firefighters, police.
Last Friday, Romney said of Obama:
"He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people."
Really? Too few students per teacher? Too many firefighters per fire? Too few crimes to justify a full police force? Daily Kos points out that "over the past 27 months, we have added 4.3 million private sector jobs-while losing more than a half-million public sector ones." And if Romney had his way, we'd lose even more.
Despite widespread grumbling about bloated government , a Washington Post polling round-up shows that most Americans at least support spending on critical employees:
- A CNN poll in October of 2011 found that 75 percent of Americans supported "providing federal money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders," including 72 percent of independents.
- A New York Times/CBS poll in September of 2011 found that 52 percent, and 51 percent of independents, think it's a "good idea" to "provide money to state governments to avoid layoffs."
- A National Journal poll at around the same time found that 70 percent thought "providing funds to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, and other first responders" would be "very effective" or "somewhat effective" in creating more jobs.
Romney, however, has gone so far as to call Obama's plan to provide aid to support retention of these workers a "bail out."
In Texas, we've seen the impact of balancing budgets on the backs of educators, with 8,000 Texas classrooms exceeding state class size limits. If that's what too many teachers looks like, imagine the school system (or law enforcement, or public safety...) under a Romney presidency.