Senate Republicans block $35 billion for teachers and first responders

Well, that was a headline to gladden my heart this morning. It’s not that I hate teachers and first responders. It’s that these sacrosanct professions are being invoked in a sleazy attempt to increase spending on the public sector.  (Oh, and they belong to unions that have given the president a lot of support.)

Instead of doing things to free up the private sector, the Obama administration focuses exclusively on enriching the public sector.

So, yeah, I am delighted that the GOP (with help from two Democrats) defeated this attempt to funnel more money to teachers, who shouldn't be one bit more immune to the nation's economic woes than any of the rest of us. (I'm a little hesitant to diss firefighters.)

National Review calls the administration employment bill a “a public-sector jobs bill:”

The public-sector jobs bill to be considered by the Senate today is another installment of “bailout lite,” President Obama’s plan to ensure that no bureaucrat is left behind.

In announcing his plan to move the bill forward, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) declared: “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine.” That Senator Reid can say this with 14 million Americans unemployed is remarkable.

Despite talk of austerity, National Review reports that public sector spending is increasing, sometimes quite a lot.

In an effort to get us to throw even more astronomical sums at the public sector, Vice President Joe Biden predicts an epidemic of rapes if Democratic spending proposals aren't passed by the Congress.

Biden recently noted that the city of Camden, New Jersey had had to cut its police force in half, and “crime has gone through the roof.” It is important, says National Review, to realize what austerity in Camden looks like:

The vice president might want to consult the city’s own budgetary figures, as summarized by CamConnect, a nonpartisan government-transparency group: “The total size of Camden’s operating budget has grown 26% after inflation, from $134 million in 2001 to $169 million in 2010, an average of 2.62% per year.” (Lest you think that this is because Camden is undergoing a population boom, note that the city’s population has in fact declined by thousands in the past decade.)

CamConnect soberly notes that “an increase of $35 million is large in absolute and per capita terms.” That spending growth is, however, slightly slower than that of the typical New Jersey city. In Camden, as in most cities, the largest expense is personnel, and government employees’ paychecks continue to get bigger — by an average of 2.72 percent a year in Camden. Police- and civilian-compensation costs both have climbed faster than the inflation rate. On top of that, Camden’s police department is 20 percent larger than the average for comparable cities, its fire department 17 percent larger, and the city has little to show for it.    

 Hang tough and don’t fall for the teachers and firefighters ruse.