House Republicans Have Tried To Eliminate Up To 6.7 Million Jobs In 2011

June 27, 2011 1:56 pm ET

Since the Republicans took control of the House in January, they have made deficit reduction their top priority. However, while Republicans dutifully argue that slashing spending will create a positive "environment for job creation," their proposed budget cuts will cause significant job losses in the near-term. In just three bills this session, House Republicans have voted to eliminate between 4 and 5 million jobs, with some economists calling their estimates "conservative." Including proposed legislation that has not yet passed, House Republicans have attempted to eliminate up to 6.7 million jobs.

Political Correction has prepared the following graphic charting the job losses that could result from legislation the House GOP has voted on or introduced since taking the majority in January (click to enlarge):

Jobs The GOP Has Proposed To Eliminate

Passed By The House Of Representatives

H.R. 1 — Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Total Jobs Eliminated: 200,000 - 1 Million

Center For American Progress Budget Expert Scott Lilly Estimates Nearly A Million Jobs Lost By Passing H.R. 1. According to the Washington Post's Dana Milbank: "I checked with budget expert Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress, and, using the usual multipliers, he calculated that the cuts - a net of $59 billion in the last half of fiscal 2011 - would lead to the loss of 650,000 government jobs, and the indirect loss of 325,000 more jobs as fewer government workers travel and buy things. That's nearly 1 million jobs - possibly enough to tip the economy back into recession." [Washington Post, 2/16/11]

The Economic Policy Institute Estimates Job Losses Up To 994,000. According to the Economic Policy Institute:

[T]he magnitude of discretionary funding cuts for the duration of this fiscal year proposed by House Republican leadership has grown substantially, especially considering the short time frame for implementation. After the House Appropriations Committee detailed $74 billion in cuts last Wednesday, a number of conservative members demanded $26 billion in additional cuts to make good on the "Pledge to America," bringing the total level of cuts relative to President Obama's FY 2011 budget request to $100 billion.  A full $100 billion cut to discretionary spending would likely result in job losses on the order of 994,000, using OMB's GDP projections (CBO's projections are based on current law) and assuming a fiscal multiplier of 1.5. 

The new GOP budget proposes cutting non-security discretionary spending by $81 billion relative to the president's $478 billion request for 2011. Non-security discretionary cuts of this magnitude would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000. (2/15/2011) [, 2/15/11]

Moody's Analytics Economist Mark Zandi Estimates Job Losses To Be About 700,000 By 2012. According to Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi: "The House Republicans' proposal would reduce 2011 real GDP growth by 0.5% and 2012 growth by 0.2 percentage points. This would mean some 400,000 fewer jobs created by the end of 2011 and 700,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2012." [, 2/28/11]

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Claimed HR 1 Would Cut "A Couple Hundred Thousand Jobs." According to Politico: "Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that House GOP's 2011 spending plan would likely cost 'a couple hundred thousand jobs,' a number he called 'not trivial.' Bernanke's testimony Wednesday was more specific than what he offered Tuesday before a Senate committee, in which he said he couldn't put a number on the number of jobs the GOP spending package would eliminate." [Politico, 3/2/11]

H.R. 2 — Repeal The Job-Killing Health Care Law Act

Total Jobs Eliminated: 250,000 - 400,000 Annually

The Center For American Progress Estimates That Repealing Health Care Reform Would Cut Up To 400,000 Jobs Annually. According to David Cutler from the Center For American Progress: "Figure 3 shows the net impact of repealing health reform on total employment. The baseline estimates show that 250,000 jobs will be lost annually if health reform is repealed. Annual job losses would average 400,000 using the greater estimate of 1.5 percentage point cost increases annually resulting from repeal. Figure 4 shows the estimated employment change by industry in 2016 (omitting health care, which will have more employment). More than 200,000 jobs will be lost in manufacturing and nearly 900,000 jobs will be lost in nonhealth care services." [Center for American Progress, 2/7/11]

H. Con. Res. 34 — "The Ryan Budget"

Total Jobs Eliminated: 1.7 - 2.9 Million

Economic Policy Institute's "Conservative" Estimate Of The Republican Budget Is 2 To 3 Million Jobs Lost Over 5 Years. According to the Economic Policy Institute's Ethan Pollack:

Over the next five years (during which time CBO projects that the economy will still be below potential), Chairman Ryan's Medicaid proposal would cut the program by $207 billion, which includes both eliminating the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and even deeper cuts to the Medicaid program.  Using a standard macroeconomic model that is consistent with private- and public-sector forecasters, we find that a $207 billion cut would result in a loss of 2.1 million jobs over the next five years, or 2.9 million full-time equivalent jobs. These figures are in job-years, which refer to a job held for a single year, meaning that five jobs lost in a single year is the equivalent to one job lost over five years.

Furthermore, the job loss would overwhelmingly be in the private economy.  Medicaid has very low overhead, as about 96% of the program's funds go toward benefits which are spent in the private sector.  Assuming the 96% ratio is relatively constant across states (or at least not systematically biased in one direction), Medicaid cuts of this magnitude would result in the loss of just under 2 million private-sector jobs, or 2.8 million full-time equivalent jobs.

This estimate is conservative for two reasons.  First, because Medicaid is a program that generally benefits low-income households-who out of necessity are much more likely to consume rather than save-a larger-than-normal share of these cuts will undermine demand in the private sector.  This suggests that the cut to Medicaid would have an even larger impact on the economy than we estimate here.  Second, it is likely that an even larger share of the job loss would fall on the private sector because overhead includes not only labor but equipment and supplies as well, which are provided by private companies. [, 4/6/11, emphasis added, underline original]

Moody's Analytics Economist Mark Zandi Estimates GOP Budget Will Eliminate 1.7 Million Jobs By 2014. According to Mark Zandi: "By 2014, real GDP is almost $200 billion lower and there are 1.7 million fewer jobs under the Ryan approach than is the case under the president's." [, 4/14/11]

Proposed By Republicans

H.R. 2114 — Reducing The Size of the Federal Government Through Attrition Act of 2011

Total Jobs Eliminated: Approximately 285,000

Republican Bill Will Eliminate 10 Percent Of The Federal Workforce. According to H.R. 2114:

(b) Limitation- The President, through the Office of Management and Budget (in consultation with the Office of Personnel Management), shall take appropriate measures to ensure that, effective beginning in fiscal year 2015, the total number of Federal employees ... shall not exceed 90 percent of the total number of Federal employees as of September 30, 2011 (as so determined)." [, 6/3/11]

  • The Current Federal Workforce Is Approximately 2,850,000 People. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 2.851 million federal employees as of May 2011. Therefore, a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce would cut almost 300,000 jobs. [, accessed 6/21/11]

H.R. 1745 — Jobs, Opportunity, Benefits, and Services Act of 2011

Total Jobs Eliminated: Approximately 322,000

The JOBS Act Could Cost Up To 322,000 Jobs. According to the Economic Policy Institute:

The JOBS Act essentially allows states to terminate the payment of EUC and EB, potentially eliminating about $40 billion in economic activity, according to CBO estimates, that would result from putting cash in the hands of needy families that will spend it.  The $40 billion in economic activity generated by the EUC and EB programs under current law would create around 322,000 jobs. [...]

But if the states choose not to spend the money on EUC and EB, some funding options will be better than others. For example, if a state uses its share of the $31 billion to pay down its debts to the federal UI trust funds, it will remove that amount of money from the economy, generate no new economic activity, and create no jobs at all.  Likewise, if a state chooses to eliminate EUC and EB and instead deposit its share of the federal funds into its UI trust funds to improve their balance, the money will be removed from circulation and create no jobs at all. [, 5/10/11]

H.R. 25 — Fair Tax Act Of 2011

Total Jobs Eliminated: 107,621

Fair Tax Proposal Would Disband And Defund The IRS. From a summary of the Fair Tax Act of 2011 via the Library of Congress: The bill "[p]rohibits the funding of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after FY2015." [, accessed 4/21/11]

The IRS Employs 107,621 People, All Of Whom Would Lose Their Jobs Under This Legislation. According to the 2010 Internal Revenue Service Data Book: "In FY 2010, the IRS employed a total workforce of 107,621, including seasonal and part-time employees." [, 2010]

H.R. 1094 — Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act

Total Jobs Eliminated: 17,979

The Act Would Abolish All Federal Reserve Banks. From a summary of the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act via the Library of Congress: "Effective at the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and each Federal reserve bank are hereby abolished." [, accessed 4/21/11]

The Federal Reserve Will Employ An Estimated 17,979 Employees in 2011, All Of Whom Would Lose Their Jobs Under This Legislation. According to the 2009 Reserve Bank Budget: "Total 2011 projected employment for the Reserve Banks, FRIT, and OEB is 17,979 ANP, an increase of 419 ANP, or 2.4 percent, from 2010 estimated staff levels." [, 12/15/10]