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.