Unions are the last chance

Yes, Carter did sign acts that weakened the unions, by deregulating the railroads and motor carriers, whose genesis dates back to initiatives started with Nixon and carried through to Reagan’s coup de grâce of the air traffic controllers.

I have but a simple understanding to the convoluted Republican obfuscation of our budget woes by blaming collective bargaining at every opportunity. During the last six years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, and for the first
six years of the Bush presidency, there was one hell of a party thrown
by the Republicans. Everyone was invited. Banking rules to keep
mom-and-pop savings and loan banks from being investment banks became
passé. Environmental and safety rules were laughed at in coal mining and
oil exploration.

This
party racked up a bunch of bills and IOUs and the son of a Bush didn’t
have a clue what was going on in his “ownership society” that he bragged
about in his State of the Union speeches. When George finally saw what
he had wrought, he made a deal with the devils of Wall Street to put it
right.

Today, those
same pious, fiscally responsible, self-made bootstrapping Republicans
are stiffing the caterers, cooks, waitstaff, valets, ice sculptors,
florists, dry cleaners and the band. What makes it really funny is they
are convincing the Kool-Aid drinkers that it was those union cooks and
union valets that demanded too much for their services and put us on
this road to perdition.

Now
there is a budget to be balanced and every last dime needs to be
squeezed from those that enabled the Republicans in their myopic
partying. Those same cooks and valets need to pony up to balance the
budget, leaving scarce funds to give to noble causes. It brings a warm
fuzzy math feeling to your tummy when you think about how the über-rich
are going to step out of the way and let Mimi and PapPap freeze to death
in the dark of night, for the good of their grandchildren.

Congressman
Paul Ryan’s plan to balance the budget by gutting the social safety net
will work, but just about the same amount of money — dollar-for-dollar —
can be had by letting the Bush tax cuts for the über-rich expire.
Unions, with their organization and fundraising, are the only impediment
to complete Republican control and the only force large enough to
challenge the Wall Street snake oil salesmen and the corporate greed
that they serve. They are the only chance of a balanced argument left in
this Republic.

—Jim Ammerman
Norman

Jim Ammerman

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