According to news reports, Republican Tea Party (GOTP) presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney’s running around the country proclaiming it’s bad for private-sector workers to lose their jobs, but it’s good for government workers to do so.
Of course Willard’s various – as in ever changing – positions on employment are drawing renewed scrutiny following continuing comments that the country doesn’t need to hire anymore firefighters, police officers and teachers, and besides all that the federal government doesn’t pay for them.
The idea the federal government doesn’t pay for firefighters, police officers or teachers is – to use Willard’s words – absurd; of course the federal government pays for, or at least a very sizeable part of the salaries for these positions; in fact it spends billions of dollars annually paying for teachers, police officers and firefighters throughout the country, and the fact Romney fails to know this is just one more clear demonstration of how he’s not ready for the prime time – he’s just one more conservative businessman in an expensive suit proclaiming how he’s going to run the government like a business, and won’t that be grand? Well, except for two things, the government’s not a business, and second, the last time we elected a “business man” as president we ended up with two unfunded wars and the economy over the side of a cliff.
Local governments of course do the actual hiring, but many of those hires are only possible thanks to federal dollars and all too many local communities would have far fewer of these vital public employees if the federal government suddenly stopped funding teachers through Title I, police officers through the COPS program and firefighters through the SAFER program.
Everyone knows how Willard “likes to fire people”, but his non-stop suggestion that firing a government employee can directly lead to the hiring of one or more private-sector workers is pure fantasy. Recently he told Colorado voters that President Barack Obama’s stimulus program “didn’t help private-sector jobs. It helped preserve government jobs.”
As Ronald Reagan would say, “Well, there you go again,” meaning Willard’s not just a liar, but a big fat hairy liar and what’s more he knows he’s lying. President Obama’s more than $800 billion stimulus created both public-sector and private-sector jobs and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated the stimulus saved or created more than 3 million jobs. Talk about being out of touch with economic reality; the truth is the vast majority of the stimulus was used for “shovel ready” construction projects which hired? Wait for it; private sector employees wielding those shovels.
But facts don’t concern the Rominator, and who cares if it saved public sector jobs, he’s selling the idea government employees aren’t real people, so if they lose their jobs, health insurance etc it’s no big deal. “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president,” Willard mews. “Let’s send them home and put you back to work.”
And dolts look at him and nod, thinking, “That’s right, fire them govment people and give me their jobs instead,” because that’s what he’s selling.
Romney wants to take public sector jobs and convert them into private sector jobs; we’ll hire companies like Black Water to run our local police forces because that’s worked so well in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that’s where this is going, it’s going towards private sector run schools, police departments and fire departments where we – as citizens – will pay these groups to perform these services instead of paying taxes; the catch is if you don’t pay, you don’t have fire fighters showing up to put out your burning house, and you don’t have police officers coming to help with that intruder, and your schools will be run by some giant conglomerate a thousand miles away; no more school board, instead you’ll have a board of directors more concerned with stock holders being paid dividends than your child getting the best possible education.
It doesn’t matter to Romney and his minions that numerous independent economists have verified the stimulus prevented a devastating economic collapse, including private and public-sector jobs losses, from being worse; facts don’t matter to Willard.
Recently on Fox News, Willard rejected claims his policies would worsen unemployment and deprive communities of needed services.
“Teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level, and also by states,” Romney said. “The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously, that’s completely absurd.”
Well, let’s look at the facts; Title I funding for school personnel was $14.5 billion this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee said. Federal grants to states for special education reached $11.5 billion. Additionally, millions of federal dollars put police and firefighters in various communities.
Clearly Romney doesn’t get it; he doesn’t understand how federal funding’s essential to local communities; he’s out of touch with anything outside his millionaire reality. Many on the right scream about cutting federal spending and handing the programs back to the states; well, guess what? When you remove federal dollars for essential services those states will be forced – sooner or later – to increase state taxes and localities will also raise taxes to pay for them; we’ll see our federal tax burden drop only to see our state and local tax burdens rise to meet the deficit.