Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) continued his attempt to draw contrast between his and President Obama’s economic experience today as he delivered a speech in Nevada detailing his plan for job creation, just two days before Obama will provide his own version in front of Congress. Romney advanced the speech with an editorial in USA Today, providing a rough, if vague, outline of his forthcoming speech.
One of the tenets of Romney’s plan is reducing the federal workforce, which he claims has exploded in size and needs to be scaled back. In the editorial, Romney writes that “while the private sector shed 1.8 million jobs since Barack Obama took office, the federal workforce grew by 142,500, or almost 7%. A rollback is urgently required.” Pat Garofalo noted today why that position (among others) is wrong. But according to ABC News, Romney’s position is also hypocritical. During his term as governor, the number of Massachusetts state workers not only grew, it grew twice as fast as the private sector:
When Romney took office in January 2003, the Massachusetts state government employed 112,000 workers, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Four years later, the ranks of Massachusetts state employees had grown by 3,000, or a 2.6 percent increase. (Over the same period, nonfarm employment grew just 1.2 percent.)
Romney has repeatedly made it clear that he does not consider government workers part of the “real economy,” the one that has provided him with the real job creating experience that he says Obama lacks. He has also made a habit of ignoring his public sector experience, particularly his state’s ranking 47th in job creation during his term as governor, and he continually misstates the facts about public sector employment and compensation.
Now, given this bit of hypocrisy, perhaps it is time for Romney to stop including layoffs — an area in which he has plenty of experience — in his jobs plan and instead start focusing on actual job creation, an area in which is record is much less impressive.