Political campaigns are strange, and the 2010 gubernatorail campaign in California was even stranger. Republican nominee Meg Whitman promised to reduce the state workforce by 40,000 -- even as she promised to rebuild the California economy and produce more jobs.
Jerry Brown also talked about bringing the jobs back, while also, with much less specificity, saying he would crack down on state spending in ways that would cost jobs.
Two years later, both candidates are in office, Brown as California government and Whitman as CEO of HP. And both have delivered -- but not on private sector job growth.
Whitman recently announced that she would slash 30,000 jobs at HP.
Brown, while not touting it, has presided over cuts that have reduced the state payroll by 15,000 jobs, and he's proposed eliminating another 15,000 on the way, the Contra Costa Times reports.
If this were a contest, it would be close.
These two both turned out to be major job cutters, not job creators. Because eliminating jobs is easier than creating them.
Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).