Prop Zero
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Trying to Have It Both Ways on Jobs



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    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: Thousands of workers joined by community and labor leaders from across the US gather in front of Los Angeles City Hall for a labor rally seeking support of bills intended to create jobs on August 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who spoke at the rally wants the federal government to help his "30-10 initiative" plan to begin a number of major construction projects in ten years not the 30 year original plan, according to news reports. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    In this political season, many candidates rail simultaneously about California's high unemployment rate and about government spending, including the fiscal stimulus. (Yes, Carly Fiorina, I'm looking at you).

    Well, the new jobs numbers for the state make clear that a lack of government spending is helping keep the jobs figures high.

    The majority of the 63,600 jobs lost last month in California were government jobs. More than 37,000 government jobs in all. And the overwhelming percentage of those -- more than 32,000 -- were at the local government level. The LA Times has a smart breakdown of the numbers here.

    How is that governments are cutting back at the same time there's so much howling about deficits and big government? Well, here's one key fact overlooked in the much-debated federal stimulus legislation: moneys in the original legislation that were designed to prevent state and local government layoffs were taken out, at the behest of Republicans and moderate Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

    The result is more unemployment and more voter frustration: citizens see the bigger deficits in Washington at the same time they see the loss of local government jobs and services that they depend upon at home.