Both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney supposedly made gaffes recently, about jobs and the economy.
The key that many people seem to be missing is that neither comment was really a gaffe.
President Obama was asked a question that implicitly compared how the public sector is doing compared to the private sector. So the President responded by comparing the private sector job growth in America to the public sector job losses in this country, saying, "The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government..."
It's no surprise that, according to the facts, The President is correct. The private sector, comparatively, is doing incredibly well.
According to the Fed and the Department of Commerce, corporate profits after tax have never been better that they are right now, under President Obama. Corporate profits, as a share of GDP, have also never been higher. Even landlords are doing better than ever. In chart after chart - courtesy of Joe Wesenthal at the Business Insider - Obama's comment is proven true: compared to the public sector, the prviate sector is doing fine.
So let's look at the public sector.
Economists know that firing public workers after a recession is a recipe for failure. That's why, under Ronald Reagan and both Bush's, instead of shedding jobs, the Federal government stepped up post-recession hiring - to boost lagging demand in the economy.
Under Obama though, the GOP Congress has insisted that the Federal government take the exact opposite position it did under all those Republican Presidents. This has dragged down the recovery, just as top economists like former Reagan and Bush advisor Bruce Bartlett predicted it would.
This chart above shows exactly the opposite of what Mitt Romney said on Friday - that America needs MORE teachers, firefighters, and police officers, not less.
What Mitt said wasn't a gaffe, though. Gutting the public sector and government, so he can give to his wealthy friends in the private sector is Romney's policy.