fresh voices from the front lines of change







Mitt Romney says government workers are paid too well and in general government is a bad thing. But he wants to run it. Romney made his fortune by buying companies, laying off the workers, and keeping the money they were making for himself. He apparently thinks everyone but the 1% are paid too well. So maybe that's the plan.

In his "victory" speech Mitt Romney declared that if elected, "We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve." The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) President John Gage had a few things to say about that,

AFGE members are outraged by your recent comments disparaging government workers. You know what's really unfair? The specter of having a new boss who thinks so little about the work that you do that he can't bother getting his facts straight before making the ridiculous and patently false claim that federal workers are "getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve."

... More than half of these decent, hardworking, middle-class Americans earn less than $70,000 a year, and one-fourth earn less than $50,000. Decades of research by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistently proven that federal employees earn less than their private sector counterparts.

Tell me this: Do you think the meat and poultry inspector who earns less than $32,000 a year while protecting Americans from E. Coli and other deadly diseases is making too much? How about the correctional officer who earns less than $39,000 a year while guarding ruthless gang leaders in understaffed federal penitentiaries? And do you really think that the VA nursing assistant who earns just over $27,000 a year providing care to veterans who have come home with serious psychological trauma is living the high life?

...The vast majority of a federal employee's retirement income comes from personal investments in the government's 401(k) plan and mandatory payments into Social Security. Yes, they also receive a modest pension when they retire. ...

In his speech Romney said that having government means, "our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars." He went on to explain his vision of a country ruled by business instead of We, the People. If the country is ruled by businesses instead of We, the People, Romney said,

... free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

Romney did not explain how masses of unemployed people who offer to work for lower wages than their "competition" means wages and salaries will rise.

Romney went on to denounce the Bush administration, which put so many people out of work, and sent so many soldiers off to war (hey, why did we invade Iraq, anyway?) saying,

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth.

Romney was correct to point out how terrible it was that the Bush administration caused so many to lose their jobs.

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