Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote an opinion piece on the proposed republican budget cuts. Milbank published the following today.
Boehner the budget hawk shifts his course
By Dana Milbank
Tuesday, February 15, 2011; 8:00 PM
"So be it."
That was House Speaker John Boehner's cold answer when asked Tuesday about job losses that would come from his new Republican majority's plans to cut tens of billions of dollars in government spending this year.
"Do you have any sort of estimate on how many jobs will be lost through this?" Pacifica Radio's Leigh Ann Caldwell inquired at a news conference just before the House began its debate on the cuts.
Boehner stood firm in his polished tassel loafers. "Since President Obama has taken office the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs, and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it," he said.
"Do you have any estimate of how many will?" Caldwell pressed. "And won't that negatively impact the economy?"
"I do not," Boehner replied, moving to the next questioner.
Well, Mr. Speaker, I do. I checked with budget expert Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress, and, using the usual multipliers, he calculated that the cuts - a net of $59 billion in the last half of fiscal 2011 - would lead to the loss of 650,000 government jobs, and the indirect loss of 325,000 more jobs as fewer government workers travel and buy things. That's nearly 1 million jobs - possibly enough to tip the economy back into recession.