Without a hint of irony, Steve Benen calls Reince Priebus “dangerously stupid.”

Okay, maybe he does recognize the irony. I’m only reading what he wrote, after all. I can’t tell how he was reacting while writing it. Maybe he was laughing out loud. Or smirking, at least. Or turned to a co-worker once he was done and remarked “you won’t believe what I just wrote.”

But there’s no obvious irony, which is ironic in itself. Benen writes:

In a statement this morning, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blamed rising unemployment on “out-of-control spending.”

Perhaps now would be a good time for reasonable political observers to call this what it is: dangerously stupid.

To be perfectly clear — which isn’t Benen’s purpose — Priebus blamed continued high unemployment on President Obama’s economic policies, only part of which is out-of-control spending.

But, feh, leave such details to those who think details are important. Benen has no time for such things.

He goes on:

We know austerity doesn’t make things better, in large part because it’s not supposed to. That’s the point on austerity – to impose pain and sacrifice, not to grow and flourish. We can already see the results at the state and local level, where officials are forced to cut spending and laying off thousands of public-sector workers. These were preventable job losses, but the congressional GOP refuses to consider state and local aid. Worse, they intend to duplicate the results at the federal level.

It’s true, if governments would only hire more people, the unemployment rate would go down. Create 20 million new government jobs, and unemployment would virtually disappear! Overnight!

If only we’d known this throughout the 20th century, when the U.S. economy grew to dominate the world!

And, hell, if revenues don’t cover all the payroll costs…well, feh. So what? We’ll just borrow more. Or, no, wait, we’ll raise taxes. And if that has a detrimental effect on the economy, we can just create more government jobs.

Genius!

One more quote, again without the slightest hint of irony:

If the politics won’t allow for measures to make things better – if, in other words, Republicans refuse to consider steps to create jobs – then it’s probably time for the public to change the politics.

We did that already, in 2010.

UPDATE — Via Memeorandum, David Leonhardt makes the exact same argument as Benen:

In round numbers, state and local governments have cut about a half million jobs over the last two years. If they had continued to hire at their previous pace – expanding as the population expanded – they would have added about a half million jobs.

In other words, the state and local austerity of the last two years has cost the economy about one million jobs.

And that’s a mistake, Leonhardt says, especially while the private sector is struggling.

Odd that he doesn’t tell us how, especially while the private sector is struggling, we’re supposed to pay for those million government employees.

Or maybe it isn’t so odd. I mean, how would you explain it?

Posted by The TrogloPundit.

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