Obama: ‘Economy Would Be Much Better Off’ With More Government Workers

July 30, 2013 - 4:37 PM
Obama

President Barack Obama speaks at the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com)President Barack Obama – citing the job losses since he took office -- said “the economy would be much better off,” unemployment would be 6.5 percent and the national deficit would be in decline if there were more federal, state and local government workers.

“If those layoffs had not happened, if public sector employees grew like they did in the past two recessions, the unemployment rate would be 6.5 instead of 7.5,” Obama said. “Our economy would be much better off, and the deficit would still be going down because we would be getting more tax revenue.”

Obama spoke Tuesday at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he promoted plans he said would help the middle class such as corporate tax reform, increased federal spending on infrastructure, more education spending, public-private partnerships and rolling back the sequester.

“Instead of using a scalpel to get rid of programs we don’t need and keep vital investments that we do, the same group has kept in place this meat cleaver called the sequester that is just slashing all kinds of investments in education and research and our military,” Obama said.

“Yet all the things that are needed to make this country a magnet for good middle class jobs, those things are being cut. These moves don’t just hurt our economy in the long term. They hurt our middle class right now,” he added.

Sequestration was the automatic 2.3 percent reduction in the growth of federal spending that took effect on March 1 as a result of Congress and President Barack Obama being unable to reach a deal. The sequester is a result of the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations and was meant to be a trigger to force the two sides to reach a deal.

The president cited Congressional Budget Office estimates that the sequester would cost 750,000 lost jobs this year and 900,000 lost jobs next year.

Obama then referenced additional government jobs lost since he took office in 2009.

“Over the past four years, another 700,000 workers at the federal, state and local levels of government lost their jobs. These are cops and firefighters,” Obama said. “About half of them are people that work in our schools. Those are real jobs. It doesn’t help a company like Amazon when a teacher, cop or a firefighter loses their job. They don’t have money to place an order. That’s hundreds of thousands of customers who have less money to spend.”

“If those layoffs had not happened, if public sector employees grew like they did in the past two recessions, the unemployment rate would be 6.5 instead of 7.5,” Obama said. “Our economy would be much better off, and the deficit would still be going down because we would be getting more tax revenue.”