This morning as I was finishing my breakfast glass of milk, I could barely contain it when I saw a video clip of Michael Steele, newly minted chair of the RNC, say something like the jobs being created by the economic stimulus package aren’t real jobs. It took a while today, but I’ve finally located a transcript of his remarks.
Steele was on This Week with George Stephanopolous yesterday when he made the following assertion. Whatever jobs are created by the stimulus package arent real jobs becauseÂ “a job is something that a business owner creates.” Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript.
STEPHANOPOULOS: [Florida Gov. Charlie Crist] suggests that you and Republican Party leaders here in Washington are on the wrong side of the biggest issue, jobs.
STEELE: Well, no — you know, with all due respect to the governor, I understand where he’s coming from. Having been a state official, I know what it means to get those dollars when you’re in tight times.
But you’ve got to look at the entire package. You’ve got to look at what’s going to create sustainable jobs.
What this administration is talking about is making work. It is creating work.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s a job.
STEELE: No, it’s not a job. A job is something that — that a business owner creates. It’s going to be long term. What he’s creating…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So a job doesn’t count if it’s a government job?
STEELE: Hold on. No, let me — let me — let me finish. That is a contract. It ends at a certain point, George. You know that. These road projects that we’re talking about have an end point.
As a small-business owner, I’m looking to grow my business, expand my business. I want to reach further. I want to be international. I want to be national. It’s a whole different perspective on how you create a job versus how you create work. And I’m — either way, the bottom line is…
STEPHANOPOULOS: I guess I don’t really understand that distinction.
STEELE: Well, the difference — the distinction is this. If a government — if you’ve got a government contract that is a fixed period of time, it goes away. The work may go away. That’s — there’s no guarantee that that — that there’s going to be more work when you’re done in that job.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, but we’ve seen millions and millions of jobs going away in the private sector just in the last year.
STEELE: But they come — yes, they — and they come back, though, George. That’s the point. When they go — they’ve gone away before, and they come back. And the point is that the small-business owners take the risks. They’re the ones that are out there in the morning putting that second mortgage on the house, taking the risks that are necessary so that they can employ your — your kids and my kids and future generations. That’s sustainable, long-term growth.
After reading this, my first thought is that Michael Steele doesn’t have a real job, either. He doesn’t work at a company in the private sector. The RNC isn’t a small business (or a large one) and there isn’t a business owner. But I guess he would consider that a petty interpretation.
Oddly, I thought a job was doing some kind of work in exchange for money, which it seems is what Stephanopoulos was trying to get at.
Steele went on to say that because these “make work” jobs will eventually go away, as when the road is built or the school is renovated or the hospital is complete, the jobs will go away. Now that brings up another curious thought. Was there ever a guarantee that follow-on private-sector projects are lined up for when one finishes? Does the funding source change the entire dynamic? Of course not, unless you’re an ideologue in blind opposition to the president’s plan and you’re trying to find your footing as the sands shift beneath you while you load up the package with poison-pill tax cuts designed to create failure. Well, actually, it could change the dymanic if the stimulus works because then there likely would be other projects to follow. Isn’t that part of the point of an economic stimulus package?
Now to be clear, I’m not entirely happy with the stimulus package. I think it’s not going to be big enough and there are too many gratuitous tax cuts. But that’s another story.
Dear Michael Steele is on a roll. Today he said the following in a brief encounter with Politico’s Glenn Thrush.
Steele, before ducking into an elevator on on the second floor of the Capitol: “I thought it was very, very interesting. It looks like he’s trying to very hard to shore up support from Democrats” because “he’s upside-down” in the polls.
So, what is it that Michael Steele is smoking?
If he and Sarah Palin are the future of the Republican party, I suspect the party’s in trouble thus leaving the nation in good hands.