We've had some fun over the past couple years, pointing out the the President says a lot of things that indicate that he isn't the brightest bulb on the tree. There was here, with the famous "corpse-man" incident; and here, when he invented the "Austrian" language; and here, when he declared the U.S. to be "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."
But yesterday he said something so totally at odds with the facts that there are really only two possible conclusions. Obama is either lying through his teeth, or he's doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.
At a town hall meeting, he said this:
"The reason the unemployment rate is still as high as it is, in part, is because there have been huge layoffs of government workers at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level,” he said. “Teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers– they have really taken it in the chin over the last several months. And so, what we’re trying to do is to see if we can stabilize the budget.”
Got that? We have 9.0% unemployment, according to the President, because of "huge layoffs of government workers at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level."
This statement is, as National Review's Jim Geraghty (who gets a big hat tip on this post) puts it, "Extremely and mind-bogglingly wrong."
Consider these numbers, from Obama's own Department of Labor:
Recent peak of private-sector employment, June 2007: 116,603,000.
Total private-sector employment in the month Obama became president, January 2009: 109,084,000.
Recent low of private-sector employment, January 2010: 104,933,000.
Total private-sector employment, April 2011: 108,494,000 (Seasonally adjusted: 108,862,000).
So note, we are about 8 million away from the most recent peak in private-sector employment.
Now, let’s look at total government employment (at all levels) for those four months:
June 2007: 22,176,000.
January 2009: 22,471,000.
January 2010: 22,376,000.April 2011: 22,594,000 (preliminary)
So, since Obama took office, there not only has NOT been any decrease in the number of government workers, but the number has actually INCREASED by 120,000 or so. We've lost eight million jobs since June of 2007, but government employment has remained steady. But Obama says falling government employment is "the reason" for high unemployment.
How does it make you feel to know that the President is so totally out of touch with basic economic facts?