Today’s White House Facebook “picture of the day” featured President Obama meeting again with the sociopathic greed-centered Republicans who have been promising more pain for the American People as an election strategy.
In the past few days, Obama alienated his base AGAIN by preemptively capitulating to one of the standard Republican dirty tricks of demanding the “small people” tighten their belts by freezing federal worker salaries for 2 years. True to form, Senate Republicans welcomed Obama’s pathological obsession with getting them to like him by putting their dedication to obstructionism in writing, pledging to continue to block everything unless the president extends the deficit-ballooning Bush tax rates… while TWICE blocking the extension of economically stimulating unemployment benefits.
Obama’s latest desperate move to win the love of Republicans was highlighted as “tightening our belts” on the White House website, while the standard of living of the top 1% continues to rise during the worst economic collapse since the FIRST Republican Great Depression.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “No one is served by our government participating in a ‘race to the bottom’ in wages. We need to invest in creating jobs, not undermining the ones we have. The president talked about the need for shared sacrifice, but there’s nothing shared about Wall Street and CEOs making record profits and bonuses while working people bear the brunt. It is time to get our nation back on track, but we should not do so by placing an even greater burden on the middle class.”
John Gage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees said, “This proposal to freeze federal pay is a superficial, panicked reaction to the deficit commission report,” stated AFGE National President John Gage. “This pay freeze amounts to nothing more than political public relations. This is no time for scapegoating. The American people didn’t vote to stick it to a VA nursing assistant making $28,000 a year or a border patrol agent earning $34,000 per year.
“President Obama asks federal workers to share the sacrifice, but it’s unconscionable for him to attack the wages of federal working people while the millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street not only get their bailouts and astronomical bonuses; they also get their tax cuts.” Read more at the Huffington Post.
It’s a sad day for the working people of America when a Democratic President adopts failed Republican ideology for political purposes that does nothing but pit the working class against each other by sowing the notion that people who work for a living should not expect to be paid a living wage.
Since Reagan declared war on working people, private sector wages have declined and stagnated. Republicans have deflected blame they deserve, exploited the inevitable economic insecurity of private sector employees, and sowed resentment by propagating the notion that salaries of government employees are exorbitant when the truth is, strong Unions representing Federal employees have shielded members from the inevitable “belt tightening” that views wages as a detriment to the bottom line of overindulged CEOs.
Rather than demand Federal employees join the rest of the working class in the Republican-induced race to the bottom, we should be demanding that the standard of living of the private sector rise to the levels of their government-employed counterparts while the pay rate of CEO’s join the rest of us here on Earth.
Professor G. William Domhoff of the University of California at Santa Cruz, wrote, “The ratio of CEO pay to factory worker pay rose from 42:1 in 1960 to as high as 531:1 in 2000, at the height of the stock market bubble, when CEOs were cashing in big stock options. It was at 411:1 in 2005 and 344:1 in 2007, according to research by United for a Fair Economy. By way of comparison, the same ratio is about 25:1 in Europe. … It’s even more revealing to compare the actual rates of increase of the salaries of CEOs and ordinary workers; from 1990 to 2005, CEOs’ pay increased almost 300% (adjusted for inflation), while production workers gained a scant 4.3%. The purchasing power of the federal minimum wage actually declined by 9.3%, when inflation is taken into account.” Read the entire report.
Seething when recalling the time and money donated to a candidate who promised “CHANGE”, I am left to wish once again that a modern-day FDR were in the White House – not this chronic capitulator who “welcomes” the SAME “Republican ideas” that have given us 2 economic collapses in a century, created the widest gap between rich and poor since the Gilded Age (another time of “Republican Ideas), and turned America into the LEAST upwardly mobile of all industrialized nations.
If FDR were alive today, he would slap Obama with his crutch! How much more can the working people of this nation abide the betrayal of a man who ran on the promise of “Change” but doesn’t have the courage of DEMOCRATIC convictions? How much longer will we stand by and watch Republicans walk him like a dog after all they have done to destroy the American Dream?
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