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Wag the Dog: The Republican Record on Job Creation

By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama State Senate District 11

It seems that nothing gives Governor Bentley a greater thrill than to go on TV, or speak in front of a group of people, and brag about how his administration has created jobs in Alabama.

In fact, with all of these new jobs, we should be doing quite well in Alabama, we should be in high cotton, but, unfortunately, the Governors claims on job creation are far from realistic.

According to AL.com, Alabama was 49th in the country in total job growth and 48th in private sector job growth between November 2012 and November 2013. In comparison, the State of Mississippi was 16th in total job growth and 11th in private sector job growth.

The only state in the country that performed worse than Alabama was Alaska, who actually saw a reduction in jobs during that time.

At this point, some of you are scratching your head and wondering about the news stories where the governor and the Republican leadership are bragging about the new jobs they have created. The governor has brought some new jobs to the state, but, unfortunately, when figuring job growth you have to count the jobs you lose as well as the ones you create.

You may create a 100 “new jobs,” but if you lose 90 of your “old jobs,” you have accomplished very little and you wind up 49th in the country in job growth.

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This is what has happened in Alabama. Governor Bentley has bragged about $1.1 billion in spending cuts by saying, “Alabamians elected us to make state government more efficient and live within our means without raising taxes or cutting essential services.”

The problem with that statement is that it is just not true.

You cannot say that you are not cutting essential services and creating jobs when nearly half ($505 million) of the savings comes from cutting 4,509 jobs, which were predominately teachers, emergency services, and mental health workers, while raising employee contributions to the retirement system by 2.5% and then capping the benefits. I guess the leadership does not believe that educating our children and keeping Alabamians safe is a part of the essential services that the public expects.

Exactly what government services does the governor consider essential?

That is not a rhetorical question, I would really like to know, and I think the people of Alabama would like to know what is more important than public safety and the education of our children.

To ‘Wag the Dog’ means to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.

The expression comes from the saying that ‘a dog is smarter than its tail’, but if the tail were smarter, then the tail would ‘wag the dog’.

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This is a tactic commonly used by the Republican Party.

In this case, by crowing about the jobs they have created and the money they have saved, and not the jobs that were lost and the cost of those savings, they are able to attract attention away from their failure to protect us, teach our children, and provide jobs for Alabamians.

The fact that Governor Bentley is crowing about jobs created, when Alabama is next to last in the country in job creation, just goes to show what little political success this administration has to brag about. If they had something legitimate to boast about, they would not need to fabricate a fairytale of lies and deceit in order to pacify the masses.

Alabamians deserve better from those we elect lead to our state.

When our leaders choose public deception over sound policy, when they choose to blame others rather than accept responsibility for the ineffectiveness of their actions, and when our leaders choose to place their own goals over the will of the people and the public good then it is time that we elect new leaders in Alabama.

 

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