Rick Miller (“Comparing Obama to Bush,” May 27 column) is free to assume the worst motives of presidents but he is not entitled to his own facts. His claim that public sector jobs have grown as a result of Obama’s 2009 stimulus policy is wrong: Overall government employment has decreased by 2.6 percent, a loss of 607,000 jobs in government service.
The greatest loss of jobs has been in local government, especially the termination of public school teachers. The federal stimulus money that went to localities two years ago helped to stem this local job loss but this money ran out when Republicans refused to renew it. Overall government employment has gone down in Obama’s years by more than it did in Reagan’s first term as president. It’s a matter of public record.
Miller is also flat-out wrong when he says “private sector jobs plummeted” under Obama’s watch. When Obama became president, the economy was plunging toward depression, with 4.2 million private sector jobs destroyed in 2009 by the recession under way. Since then, again helped by the stimulus spending Republicans opposed, those jobs and a bit more have been recovered. Remember, our population constantly grows and millions more are looking for jobs.
So why are many still jobless, public and private? The Republican leaders said that their primary mission was to defeat Obama and figured he would get the credit for any recovery in the economy. This cynical strategy is unprecedented and stunning in the hurt it has inflicted.