During a 15 February 2011, press conference, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that “over the last two years since President Barack Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official statistician for the United States labor force, the overall net rise in federal employees between January 2009 and January 2011 was 58,000. Additionally, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s on-line federal workforce data source, “FedScope,” reports the net increase of positions filled between the fiscal years 2009 and 2010, was only 59,995. Either figure is well below the 200,000 claimed by Speaker Boehner.
There’s one of two things going on here; either the Speaker is completely incompetent when it comes to rounding up numbers (not entirely impossible), or he’s a liar pulling numbers out of any number of orifices to try to back up a bogus political agenda supported by only the narrowest of far right wing Tea Party members of the GOP (extremely possible).
Far more troubling than his probable lying in order to curry favor with the great intellectually unwashed masses of the far right, is his cavalier attitude towards an additional 200,000 Americans becoming unemployed, “if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it,” the Speaker crowed. You can almost hear – mirrored in Boehner’s words – Ebenezer Scrooge’s famous cant “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” One can only hope that some night soon, Boehner will find himself being visited by the Ghosts of Speakers Past, Present (no doubt the scariest of all) and future.