* Must-see chart of the day, courtesy of Ezra Klein, comparing how sharply government employment has fallen in comparison with previous recessions, during which it has risen. Under ... Republican presidents.
Conclusion: “Public-sector austerity looks a lot better to conservatives when they’re out of power than when they’re in it. “
* Related point, from two experts in economics at Yale:
Without this hidden austerity program, the economy would look very different. If state and local governments had followed the pattern of the previous two recessions, they would have added 1.4 million to 1.9 million jobs and overall unemployment would be 7.0 to 7.3 percent instead of 8.2 percent.
* Glenn Kessler catches the Romney campaign explicitly asking for his Massachusetts record to be judged by late job growth, a standard he won’t grant Obama (though Kessler also faults Obama’s metrics, too).
* No end to it: This Romney falsehood is so absurd that it’s almost demeaning to have to spend time debunking it.
* Caitlin Huey-Burns on tomorrow’s special election for Gabrielle Giffords’ seat, which Dems are favored to win, and why it could preview the fate of both sides’ messaging this fall.
* Jim Tankersley’s three iron truths of the (not-fine) recovery. A taste:
Demand remains the big issue. There simply aren’t enough customers to force companies to add workers to make more money.
* Super PACs will make their influence felt most strongly in Congressional races, and it will give Dems pause that the top five super PACs supporting GOP candidates have pulled in over $100 million.
* Brian Beutler on why Obama and Dems really may stand firm on the Bush tax cuts this year: Letting them all expire may be the only hope of breaking the GOP’s anti-tax fundamentalism.
* Associated Press ledes the Obama campaign loves: “Keeping his secrets, Mitt Romney tends to lift the veil on his finances and campaign only if the law says he must.”
* Jonathan Cohn debunks a new one: The idea that the insurance industry’s self-reforms somehow undermine the case for Obamacare’s guarantee health care to millions who otherwise might go without it.
* Relatedly, I’m happy to be wrong, but I’m very skeptical that the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare could end up being driven by a desire to make the court appear less partisan.
* And Steve Benen marvels at Rush Limbaugh’s claim that it’s “Marxism 101” that hiring cops, firefighters and teachers “reduces” the private sector. However, I’m not sure I want to know the answer to this:
Exactly how many voters are going to hear this and think, “Yep, that makes sense”?