Your Opinion: GOP efforts harm workers
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Any hourly laborer or any employee in the public sector in law enforcement, public safety or education thought when Republicans emphasized jobs during the campaign they meant job creation. Missouri’s Republican majorities and the Republican governors and legislators in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio will quickly disabuse them of that notion.
Rather breaking the rights of working people to collectively bargain, making public employees bear the brunt of balancing budgets and rewarding the corporate interests that funded Republican campaigns to sell their “jobs” message are the consistent themes.
The crown jewel of Missouri’s Republican “Fix the Six” agenda is the elimination of membership as a prerequisite to receive the benefits of collective bargaining in Missouri. Why buy the cow when the milk is free? The result of that measure is clear. Wisconsin’s Republican legislators and Republican Governor Walker attempted to gut the rights of public sector employees to bargain. Their $165 million in surrendered benefits became $140 million in business tax incentives.
Florida’s Republican Governor Scott with Republican legislators transferred $1.7 billion in education cuts into a $1.6 billion business benefit. Michigan’s Republican Governor Snyder and his Republican legislature transformed $1.7 billion in reduced aid to or increased taxes upon the low income and seniors into $1.6 billion in business tax cuts. Ohio’s Republican Governor Kasich with Republican majorities in the legislature transformed millions in reduced benefits for state employees and the elimination of collective bargaining rights for 350,000 teachers into $800 million in business tax cuts.
In Washington, the Republican House insists upon cutting $60 billion more from the 2011 budget, which will cause the loss of 700,000 jobs, according to Mark Zandi, John McCain’s economic expert. That approaches half of the 1.8 million private sector jobs created in the last 13 months. At the same time every Republican refused to withdraw $3-4 billion in federal subsidies to the oil industry and of course there is the $70 billion annually in tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires Republicans refused to consider.
Nowhere were the savings applied to deficits. Almost every dollar was spent to reward the corporate interests that funded their elections.
Trickle down hasn’t worked for 30 years. Must we really keep trying to prove a hypothesis with 30 years of contradictory evidence?
I would encourage voters, when they walk into the booth in 2012, to remember where the true loyalties of Republicans lie. Workers no, Koch brothers yes.