Last month’s jobs report was undeniably dismal, and Republicans were quick to place blame on President Obama and the Democrats (even after they took credit for job gains that were made since January). But House Financial Service Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) decided today that blaming the current crop of Democrats isn’t quite enough.
During his opening statement before a hearing on monetary policy, Bachus explained that, in his opinion, the blame for weak job creation should be placed at the feet of former Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson:
BACHUS: The uncertainty and lack of confidence are at the center of the failure of our economy to achieve a robust recovery with job creation, job creation which would be necessary to support the continued improvement in our citizens’ lives that we’ve come to expect as Americans. The origins of this crisis of confidence is debatable. The Great Recession and its legacy of job losses and home foreclosures is a contributing factor, and those are things we’ll have to work through. And as your testimony said, it will be a long process. But in my opinion seeds of this lack of confidence were first sown in well-intentioned programs of the 1930s and of the Lyndon Johnson Great Society.
According to Bachus, businesses are so freaked out about New Deal and Great Society era programs (presumably Social Security and Medicare) that they aren’t hiring. But according to the June National Federation of Independent Business survey, the reason businesses aren’t hiring is easy: “when sales pick up, owners will have a reason to hire more workers to take care of customers, to produce more output and will have a reason to invest in new equipment and expansion.”
Bachus didn’t deign to explain his theory, but it’s worth pointing out that, while the private sector is slowly adding jobs, the public sector hemorrhaged jobs last month, coinciding with what conservatives say they want. After all, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) essentially shrugged when asked if he cared about public sector job losses, while Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) this week advocated that more government workers be laid off.