Paul Krugman writes a great piece for the NYTimes about the con game conservatives are playing with the jobs numbers and blame for the bad economy. As Krugman points out, the problem is not government regulation, bad markets, or tax fears. The problem is demand. There is no demand and so no incentive to expand and add jobs.
Krugman also points out that the job situation, while bad, is not that unusual when compared to historical evidence of what happens after any recession. He even notes that the jobs market has been better since the current recession than after the 2001 recession.
The reason for the deception is the conservatives are trying to push the country in a direction that benefits them. This isn't all that surprising really, but it is disheartening. By laying the blame on the government, conservatives are trying to anger people and get them to demand change. The conservatives are ready with their message of change, which includes privatization, cutting taxes on the wealthy and businesses, slashing regulations, and doing away with whole sectors of public government. What is scary is that, now more than ever, people are buying into this.
The Tea Party in particular is a symptom of how effective this smear campaign is working. Conservatives have been so effective in duping these poor people that they've got them protesting the very things they depend on! TPers rag on about "keep government out of my medicare!" without realizing the medicare is a government program. The elderly who receive social security checks are screaming about social security. This kind of hypocritical madness is what the wealthy want. They want the masses, the poor majority, to be so misguided that they support the very system that oppresses them. Historically, this is what all oppressive regimes strive for. And it's happening here, now.