It turns out that if President Obama was a real socialist dictator like all the wingnuts say he is then our country would be doing a whole lot better. In reality under "Komandant in Chef" Obama the government sector has slashed jobs steadily since the recession, shrinking government payrolls to their lowest level in eight years.
The January jobs report that just dropped boasted only 113,000 new payroll jobs (mostly due to the horrific weather) with the unemployment rate falling to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent. The report was made slightly lousier in light of the fact that the federal government payrolls shrank by 29,000 jobs.
This is a trend under President Obama that is economically damaging and historically unusual that has undermined the economic recovery throughout his tenure.
Bear with me it's going to get a little wonky here...
With the exception of a hiring spike during the 2010 census, federal, state and local governments have been cutting payrolls every single month since the recession ended. The public-sector workforce nationwide is nearly three-quarters of a million jobs smaller than it was when President Obama took office. In that same time, the private sector has added 3.5 million jobs on net, even after accounting for the millions of jobs lost in the economic free fall five years ago. About a third of these public-sector job cuts come in the crucial field of public education, as local school districts cut staff by more than 250,000.
In January, there were just 21.8 million people working for the government, the lowest number since June 2005. Austerity policies at the state and federal level gave rise to the worst three-year run on record for public sector job growth.
Here is a chart from Think Progress that illustrates the divergent paths of the private sector job growth as opposed to that of government employee's...
This is not how recoveries are supposed to work. Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Reagan all faced recessions early in their presidencies, and each man oversaw substantial public-sector job growth. Those layoffs pull money out of the whole economy, spreading the pain from government workers to everyone else.
For comparison during George W. Bush's first term, the government sector grew by 4 percent. Bush alone oversaw the addition of more than a million new public-sector workers during his first term. If it had grown at the same rate during Obama's first term then the government sector would have been 2 million jobs bigger by the end of Obama's first term in January.
The 2 million job number just happens to gibe with academic studies suggesting pointless and destructive austerity measures have cost the U.S. about 2 million jobs since the recession.
In addition the government shutdown and sequestration cuts knocked a quarter off of overall economic growth for 2013. The unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower without the roughly $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction policy enacted since conservatives swept into a House majority in the 2010 elections.
Makes me wish Obama was a real socialist but as it turns out Reagan and the two Bushs' were far more socialist that our current President.