Posts tagged "Carly Fiorina"

On Sunday, economist Paul Krugman hit back against GOP claims that public sector employment has increased under Obama, and that such jobs consist mainly of wasteful bureaucrats and somehow count less economically than private sector ones. Back in September it was tea party Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) toeing that line, and this morning it was former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carly Fiorina.

The exchange commenced immediately after Krugman made the point that, had government employment in the current recovery followed the same path it followed under previous recessions in the Bush and Reagan years, unemployment now would be slightly above 6 percent:

CARLY FIORINA: I think it’s important to remember, when we talk about the economy, that a private sector job and a public sector job are not the same things. They’re not equivalent. I’m not saying public sector jobs aren’t important. But a private sector job pays for itself. A private sector job creates other jobs. A public sector job is paid for by taxpayers. […]

PAUL KRUGMAN: But when we say public sector jobs, it is not a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.

FIORINA: Oh, it is, actually.

KRUGMAN: When we talk about public sector jobs — when we look at the ones that have been lost in large numbers in this — it’s basically school teachers. Don’t think about bureaucrats. It’s school teachers. What we’ve laid off hundreds of thousands of school teachers.

And when we talk about the cuts in public spending that have happened, they are not, you know, some god awful who knows what. It’s actually public investment. It’s largely fixing potholes and repairing bridges.

So, you know, you have this image of these wasteful bureaucrats doing god knows what. What we’ve seen is an incredible drought of basic infrastructure, and laying off hundreds of thousands of school teachers.

FIORINA: It is a fact that virtually every department in every organization in Washington, D.C. has seen its budget increase for the last 40 years. That money is being paid to hire people. The number of people who are — of course there are some teachers…

KRUGMAN: The vast bulk of public sector employees are at the state and local level. They are largely school teachers plus police officers plus firefighters. And your notion that it’s all these bureaucrats — that’s a myth that’s used…

FIORINA: It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. We don’t have enough private escort job creation.

It’s a myth. Public sector jobs at the federal level have actually remained pretty stable over the last forty years. They began and ended the period around approximately 2.8 million, with a bounce to about 3.1 million circa-1990. Public sector jobs at the state and local levels increased significantly over those forty years, peaking at a bit over 19 million total when President Obama entered office. (They’ve fallen since, accounting for the decline in overall public employment.) But nearly all of that growth was in teachers and support staff for the education system, who now total nearly 7 million of those state and local workers.

The other major categories of jobs in state and local public employment are, as Krugman noted, police, firefighters, health care workers, and maintenance workers and drivers for the country’s transportation infrastructure. And the overall population of the country has also been growing, so even though the raw number of state and local workers increased significantly, the ratio of those workers to the overall population did not — 59 per 1000 in 1980 versus 65 per 1000 today.

h/t: Jeff Spross at Think Progress Economy

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are renewing their attacks against reform law by claiming that it will harm health care. On Sunday, Carly Fiorina — a Mitt Romney surrogate and a cancer surviver — fear mongered against the law, telling CNN’s State of the Union, that Obamacare would have undermined her access to medical services:

FIORINA: As a cancer survivor, I will also say this. It terrifies me that the survival rates for breast cancer, which is what I had, are so much worse in the U.K. and Canada. Why? Because they don’t focus on prevention and aggressive detection in the same way we do.

CROWLEY: There’s prevention in the new bill, right?

FIORINA: The new protocols that have come down as a result of Obamacare would have been very deleterious to my personal health.

From the 07.01.2012 edition of CNN’s State Of The Union:

But Fiorina is wrong that the Affordable Care Act would have limited access to breast cancer screenings or hurt her cancer treatment. For one thing, Obamacare requires insurers to cover preventive services — like mammograms — at no additional cost and so far, more than 45 million women have taken advantage of the provision. Additionally, the health care reform law ensures that insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, so cancer survivors — like Fiorina — cannot be denied coverage. The law also ensures that patients do not have to pay co-pays for cancer screenings.

h/t: Amanda Peterson Beadle at Think Progress