Thursday, February 14, 2008

“Pop A Top Again”

“Pop a top again
I just got time for one more round
Sit em up my friends
Then I'll be gone
Then you can let some other fool sit down”

Country/Western artist Alan Jackson sings a song about drinking….pretty much a standard C & W signature theme…why is this a topic I am writing about? Let me ask you an important question. Would you give an alcoholic another drink to help his recovery from alcoholism? That is exactly the solution President Bush has proposed for the ailing economy and is pushing through Congress…and not one member of Congress has the guts to stand up and say no to serving this drink to some estimated 200,000,000 voting alcoholics in an election year. What member of Congress wants to be the one that takes the blame for taking away your $600.00 tax rebate?

We need to think this through, logically…to fix the broken U.S. economy and bring us out of recession, the Bush administration is going to add even more national debt (to the tune of billions of dollars) just to give every tax payer $600 to $1000 dollars rebate and then urge us tax payers to go down to the local “Wally World” and spend it; buy a Red Chinese made flat screen TV so the “economy” will get better…duh! I am just a simple country boy from Amity, Arkansas, but it seems to me this is exactly how we got in a recession in the first place!

The credit card, “borrow and spend” Bush government took a trillion dollar surplus and in less than 12 months in office, sunk our nation into a trillion dollar deficit…even a simple country boy like me can add that up and see that totals two trillion dollars of unfunded Bush credit card spending. What was the money spent on?

The number one priority of that spending was to give Bush’s rich political supporters windfall tax breaks. Billionaires like Warren Buffet didn’t need a federal tax rebate, but none of them turned it down.

Bush went to war in Iraq to take out Hussein and when he did, he spent the treasury of our nation like a drunken sailor on liberty with a month’s sea pay in his pocket…and it has never stopped.

Even before the Iraqi war, the Bush administration was borrowing money to support his government spending. His national spending increased every month the war has continued. The U. S. national debt under Bush has increased geometrically and is funded by borrowing the money from foreign nations. Communist China has become a major U.S. lender and is one of the biggest bankers of the Bush government.

Every dime of this unfunded spending has been generated under the leadership of the standard bearers of the “Conservative” wing of the Republican Party: George W. Bush. Tom “the Hammer” DeLay, Vice President, and former Halliburton CEO, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Denny Hastert, Bill Frist, Duke Cunningham, Lindsey Graham, Trent Lott, Haley Barbour, Mark Foley, John Warner, David Vitter, John McCain, Doc Hastings, Ted Stevens, Larry Craig, and the list goes on…In fact, nearly every Republican in each House of Congress—with few and very rare exceptions—marched in lock step with their Party’s leader, George W. Bush. None of the Conservative Republicans in Congress or in the Administration had a problem or voiced real opposition to the ballooning national debt as long as it was being spent on their priorities and not on any “Social Entitlement” programs like public schools, social security, veteran benefits, public health, aid to dependent children, or school lunch programs. Now, since Democrats took back the House and Senate, and are shifting national spending priorities away from the Republican’s war, suddenly we have a “fiscal” crisis in government spending and Bush and his followers are demanding a 50% reduction in federal spending or he will veto it? Does the word “Hypocrisy” come to mind?

Think of this- Do you balance your home budget? Keep your family’s checkbook balanced? How do you do it? Do you just keep maxing out all your credit cards and never send in any payments to the creditors? That is how George W. Bush’s administration and his Republican Congress ran our federal government. Even today, Republican Congressional lawmakers in the House and Senate are blocking any attempts by Democrats to change any of the spending priorities of the Bush Administration.

We can’t run our households the way Bush runs America, can we? We have to limit our family spending and pay our bills or the power companies will turn off our utilities. We either have to get a better job that pays more money or cut back on what we spend.

Bush thinks the recession is a result of you and I maxing out our credit and cutting way back on our consumer spending. Bush thinks giving us more debt and another $600 a year of more credit is a great idea and will fix the recession. You and I will spend a lot more than $600 a year on just the increased price of $3.00 a gallon gas and $4.00 a gallon milk…under George W. Bush’s leadership, the Federal Reserve has dropped interest rates for borrowing all the away down to 3% in an attempt to get the economy going. Giving you more debt and cheaper credit is the way the Republicans think we can borrow our way out of recession. As Alan Jackson sings…Pop a top again! Give us another round, my friend…

Fixing a recession is very, very simple. Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt figured it out in the early 1930’s after Republican President Herbert Hoover’s administration (an uncanny likeness in its economic policies to today’s Bush Administration) had led America into the worst “recession” in history (but it was called The Depression then).

Roosevelt put America back to work by creating millions of blue collar jobs to rebuild public infrastructure. Franklin D. Roosevelt also created a fair system of redistributing America’s national wealth. Roosevelt legalized free trade unions by advocating, supporting and passing the National Labor Relations Act. Roosevelt knew that free trade unions were the most effective way to redistribute wealth from the super rich/big business owners to the average hourly worker, whose work and toil made these owners rich. Under Franklin Roosevelt’s administration workers’ wages and standards of living rose dramatically, public schools and colleges were built to educate millions of the children of the “working class” and union membership in America peaked.

The elite “old” money “ruling class” families hated Franklin D. Roosevelt, and considered him a traitor to his family’s ruling class traditions. The conservatives labeled him a “socialist” and demeaned his depression recovery plans as “entitlement programs.” Businessman and banker Prescott Bush, George W. Bush’s grandfather, was typical. As a businessman, Prescott Bush publicly berated Social Security and vigorously opposed Roosevelt’s legislative programs. By the time he worked his way up to win a Republican Senate seat in Connecticut in 1950, Prescott Bush was considered a rising star among his conservative Republican colleagues.

When George W. Bush came in office the very first Executive Order he signed as President prohibited unions from entering into “Project Labor Agreements” for building large public construction project like the new Interstate 495 Woodrow Wilson bridge across the Potomac River from Virginia to Maryland.

Under George W. Bush’s leadership, every department of the federal government declared an open war on America’s free trade unions. For the past seven years, Bush’s Department of Labor has been prostituted into an anti-labor/anti-worker organization and like the biggest, meanest junkyard dog, Bush has sic’ed it on organized labor and America’s workers. The National Labor Relations Board has become the hand maiden of corporations, and the enemy of America’s workers. The DOL advises employers how to avoid paying hourly workers overtime pay.

No department of the federal government has been exempted from the pro business, anti worker policies. The Right Wing, Think Tank zealots like those of the Heritage Foundation have been assigned by President Bush to take over every aspect of the federal government and to systematically dismantle every program President Franklin D. Roosevelt built.

The Bush recession and his war on America’s middle class are the direct result of his politically driven, Neo-Conservative policies made possible by the aid and support of the Republican Members of Congress. These unrelenting seven years of attacks by Bush and his cronies, have resulted in the greatest unfair distribution of wealth in the history of our nation and has systematically destroyed what free trade unions created—the American Middle Class. Today, there are only two classes in America; the “Haves” and the “Have Not’s.” That will not change until we change the mission of government back to the clear vision of our founding Fathers—that the federal government’s mission is to provide essential goods and services to its citizens.

A vote for Republicans in the November 2008 General Election is a vote to stay the present course of government and give George W. Bush’s vision of federal government a third four year term…..or America can vote to change the direction of our nation. Only you can make that happen. If we listen to the dishonest-dirty tricks “Swift Boat” smear ads and chase the old emotional wedge issues, they will win again.

Make your Vote count! Your nation and your family’s future are depending on you!

In Solidarity,

Ron Ault
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO