You often hear politicians say that government needs to get out of the way so private companies can start hiring. But government has been getting out of the way, at least in terms of employment. Total government employment — federal, state and local — peaked last May and is now about 350,000 below its level in January 2009. Yet those cuts don’t seem to have spurred much private-sector hiring. So to focus on government employment as the economy’s problem is to misdiagnose the situation.
---David Leonhardt, NYT, Yesterday