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Think tanks battle about which jobs are at risk in state budget

Rosalind Helderman

The head of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy has issued a formal reponse to an analysis of the Virginia state budget released last month by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis that had argued that budget cuts would cost the state 37,000 public and private sector jobs.

In a column released today, Michael W. Thompson, president of the more right-leaning group, argues the Commonwealth Institute failed to weigh potential job losses connected to budget cuts against job losses that would have occurred if the government had raised taxes to close the state's budget shortfall. And he argues that the state workforce loses 8 to 10 percent of its workers each year, meaning the impact of those lost jobs can be ameliorated by not replacing employees who leave voluntarily.

According to Thompson:

Those who believe in government as the employer of last resort, as this report seems to do, rarely weigh state budget cuts against the impact of increased taxes. They don't seem to understand that long-term economic health is based on jobs in the private sector and not jobs in government. And as the federal government vacuums up more and more financial resources from the private sector to pay for the ever-increasing national debt, it is all the more important for Virginia to keep its taxes low.

He calls on McDonnell and the General Assembly to find ways to continue cutting government. "Let's rid state government of unnecessary activities. Let's combine agencies and programs where possible and see what jobs can be done by the private sector," he writes.

McDonnell has said he soon will appoint members of a government reform commission who will recommend ways to do exactly that.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 8, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2010 , House of Delegates , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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Comments

Privatize safety and education.

Posted by: millionea7 | April 9, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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