All us middle class Florida families getting squeezed down, and working poor families getting squeezed down and out, and unemployed folks still trying to squeeze back into contention; together, we ought to make a New Year’s resolution to raise hell in 2012.
A good place to start would be by banding together as Public Sector Protectors, fighting back against unduly elected Public Sector Defectors posing as “public servants”.
For a dozen years now, from Governor Jeb Bush right up through Rick Scott, the Republican Party of Florida has spoken in generalities and gibberish about downsizing State Government, making it more efficient, running it like a Big Business.
Two problems (at the very least) with that:
A) Government was created to serve and protect the Common Good – the collective best interests of We The People – not to make and maximize profits.
B) For Government to have the balanced “books” of a well-run business, it has to have adequate, fairly assessed and consistently collected tax revenues.
That leads straight to the third, Really Big Problem: These same politicians who keep attacking the Public Sector, who keep trying to chop away at it and “privatize” pieces of it; they have failed to fairly assess and consistently collect corporate taxes– creating giant budget deficits in the process.
Is that any way to run a business? Or a government??
In fact, these Public Sector Defectors have pushed through corporate tax reductions, created countless corporate tax breaks and loopholes, given taxpayer handouts to corporations and called them “incentives”, and rolled back many of the government regulations and citizens’ legal rights meant to protect us from corporate misbehavior.
Hmm. It’s almost as if they were intentionally trying to drain enough money and resources out of the Public Sector to then feel empowered to talk about turning big pieces of it over to private, for-profit companies…run, no doubt, by some Big Business they know and trust…perhaps from having done Business together before, eh?
You get the picture, and it’s not pretty. Pretty ugly, actually.
We keep hearing these Republican politicians trying to group all Florida businesses together when they speak publicly about their suspiciously one-sided policies. But the awful truth that’s plain to see all across Florida is that they have favored and helped only Big Business, while small businesses go under or struggle simply to survive.
These politicians keep talking about helping the “Job Creators” – who after a dozen years of GOP “help” have created very few jobs in Florida, while making billions in profits, awarding millions in top executive salaries and bonuses, and paying only tiny fractions of what they are supposed to be paying in state income taxes.
Where is the simple, basic fairness in there?
Meanwhile, the income gap between Florida’s super-rich folk – like those corporate executives – and all the rest of us; that gaping gap just keeps growing, with more of us in the middle class sinking below the poverty line all the time.
These Public Sector Defectors who have bailed out on serving our Public Interests, they don’t want all us middle class and working poor people seeing and understanding what’s really going on here – because they don’t want us raising hell and disturbing the unfair imbalance of power and income they’ve conspired to create.
Whom then, do they blame for all the obvious, ongoing economic problems of all us “little people” and small businesses?
They blame the Public Sector.
The Public Sector they defected from, secretly, under the cover of all those generalities and gibberish, in order to serve the Private Sector that quietly enriches them while in office, but most especially later on, when they rejoin its ranks in cushy consulting and lobbying jobs.
These Public Sector Defectors will be coming at us hard and heavy again in 2012, going after what used to be called “Good Government” – the one we mostly take for granted, the one that gets clean water to come out of our faucets, and drives our kids to and from school on the bus, and teaches them in the classroom, and makes the traffic lights work, and puts out fires, and protects us from criminals, and on and on and on.
These corrupted politicians masquerading as public servants will imply and insinuate that the people who make all that happen, the people who make our lives “go” day-to-day, that these people have it too good, and cost us too much – because unlike so many of us who have had so much taken away, these people still have modest pensions and health benefits, thanks to the unions that negotiated for them in good faith.
Yes, a precious few police officers or firefighters do retire with sizable pensions – after playing by the rules and putting in lots of extra overtime service in their last year on the job. And so we will hear the Public Sector Defectors disgracefully use these often heroic first responders as scapegoats, pointing to them as poster children meant to symbolize a statewide glut of “greedy public employees”.
This, when most police and firefighters risk their lives for decades and then retire with modest annual pensions of maybe $30-40,000.
This, when the overwhelming majority of public employees are struggling Everyday Floridians; clerks, janitors, water & sewer workers, bus drivers, mechanics and such; hard-working but still nearly-poor people who haven’t had a raise in years, who mostly make less than their private sector counterparts, who can barely afford their growing share of health insurance costs, who after many years of service may get a paltry pension.
But the Public Sector Defectors, they do their best to turn us against these people; against humble public servants who also happen to be some of the most upstanding citizens in our local communities – not to mention being our relatives, friends and neighbors.
Those same politicians, they also try to turn us against and weaken the labor unions that represent these government workers, because the unions are all that stands in the way of stripping away their remaining benefits – just like what has already been done to those of us who haven’t had union representation in the workplace.
The politicians figure that if they appeal to our base, negative emotions, like envy & jealousy, then they can get all us non-union workers angry at unionized public workers who still have benefits that so many of us have already been stripped of, or never had.
But it would make a lot more sense to get angry and raise hell with the Public Sector Defectors who block unions from organizing, representing and negotiating those same benefits for millions more of us that so desperately need them.
It would make sense for us to all unite and raise hell, as Public Sector Protectors.
Because if we don’t join forces as Protectors and do battle against the Defectors, they’ll keep cutting jobs, limiting the range and availability of services we all count on from our Public Sector, and threatening the quality and safety of life in our communities.
They will claim to be balancing budget deficits when they try again in 2012 to put the Public Sector back on the chopping block.
But the truth is out there. And the truth is, it is the Public Sector Defectors that have created those deficits with all of their suspiciously one-sided corporate tax cuts, loopholes and giveaways. It’s a fact, and you can look it up if you don’t believe it.
And so in this coming New Year of 2012, we’d all better resolve to fight back against the Public Sector Defectors, joining a vast citizen’s army of Public Sector Protectors.
Our weapons will be phone calls, emails, Letters To Editors, attendance at rallies; and most of all, determined appearances as avenging voters in the 2012 General Election.
What we Protectors stand to win here, is nothing less than the recapturing and remaking of a Florida government that was hijacked and turned against us, by all those damned Defectors.
Happy New Year, Everybody!
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