Friday, August 27, 2010
And here it is.
Why Boehner’s Blaming Bureaucrats
”In an address billed as a major speech on economic policy, the House GOP leader yesterday (Tuesday) attributed our economic woes to the fact that “taxpayers are subsidizing the fattened salaries and pensions of federal bureaucrats who are out there right now making it harder to create private sector jobs.””
Not only did I tell you it was coming, I get extra Brownie points (you’ve got to admit that was cute) because the source of the story -- Robert Reich -- is in my blogroll.
I hope all you Republican-voting controllers are paying attention. This isn’t some backbencher Congressman talking. This is a guy that will likely be the next Speaker of the House if the Republicans regain the House in November’s elections. Part of his remarks (full text here):
”GOVERNMENT RUN AMOK
By trying to build a recovery on government ‘stimulus’ spending – and failing – Washington has kept the private sector in bust while manufacturing a boom for the public sector.
Since February 2009, the private sector has lost millions of jobs while the federal government has grown by hundreds of thousands of workers.
We’ve seen not just more government jobs, but better-paying ones too. Federal employees now make on average more than double what private sector workers take in.
More appalling is the fact that this gap more than doubled in President Obama’s first year in office – during a time when millions of private sector workers either lost their jobs or agreed to take pay cuts just to keep the one they have.
It’s just nonsense to think that taxpayers are subsidizing the fattened salaries and pensions of federal bureaucrats who are out there right now making it harder to create private sector jobs.”
You can try to tell yourself that he isn’t talking about you -- but he is. I know you don’t think of yourselves as bureaucrats, but trust me, they do. I know you think you’re indispensable, but Ronald Reagan proved you aren’t. I know you don’t think they will cut your pay, but George W. Bush proved they would.
I know some of you genuinely believe that the pro-business, anti-government message of the Republican Party is the true path. History disagrees with you. In less than 30 years, Reaganism went from ideological triumph to an economic disaster.
-- "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."
Ronald Reagan, Washington, DC, Jan. 20, 1981
--"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2008”
If you’ll dig for the details of history, you’ll see that the winners and losers aren’t so clear cut in real time. FDR was called a socialist in his day too. Today it is Glenn Beck’s turn for 15 minutes of fame. Back in the 30’s, it was Father Coughlin. If you haven’t heard of Father Coughlin, then -- hopefully -- I’ve made my point. The Tea Party may become as famous as Huey P. Long and his Share Our Wealth program. I’m betting they will be relegated to that locked trunk in the attic where we keep the really embarrassing memories -- like the German American Bund.
Republican air traffic controllers might think they are putting country before self. I know some that have genuinely believed that over the years. It’s a noble thought. It is also -- I believe -- incorrect. Cutting the ranks of government workers will not cure America’s ills. Cutting unemployment benefits won’t either. Cutting welfare didn’t cure our problems. Yet these are the policies presented by the Republican Party as solutions. They won’t work any better than their economic policies have worked. The “trickle down” never happened. Unregulated industries are unfolding disasters -- from the BP oil spill in the Gulf to the “liar loans” created by the financial industry.
Do the country a favor. At least consider the notion that what is good for you might be good for the country too. I believe a professional, competent, ethical government workforce is in the best interests of America. Ask yourself why John Boehner doesn’t. Cui bono? If not to your benefit and not to other American’s benefit, then whose? Who would benefit from a gutted civil service -- one unable to attract talented, dedicated Americans trying to serve their country? You need to answer that for yourself. I’ve already found my answer.
August 27, 2010