Time to focus on the realities
By Kevin Gallagher, General President, Scranton, PA
YOU are responsible for YOURSELF! Stop asking for help and being a drain on all of us! If you are not happy with your pay, benefits, etc., then get a second job. If you already have one, then have your wife get a second job and improve your lot. Having trouble raising and educating your children? Child rearing and education are YOUR problem as we can't be expected to help when such severe financial problems exist. Are your parents having difficulty with energy costs and living expenses? Then YOU help them. That is what was done decades ago before Social Security and Medicare. Families took in their parents when they got old and could not afford to live alone. Yes, the oil companies got $58 billion this year from the government and will get at least that much next year. Natural gas drilling in our state is not taxed and won't be. So get over it! While much of our natural gas goes to China, realize that exploration and drilling are expensive and thus financial support is needed. If we do not subsidize this, the cost of gas and energy could be much higher.
Medicine and medical care getting too expensive? Get a second job! Research and development is expensive and unless the drug industry can return profits to investors, the investors will put their money elsewhere and drugs could be even more expensive. Health insurance cost too much? Insurance companies have a right in our capitalist economy to make as much profit as possible. You voted against socialist medical care and this is capitalism at its purest -make as much profit as possible. Unions were good in their time many decades ago, but in this time of huge economic turmoil, our society just can't afford public and federal unions with their wages and benefits that are so much better than the private sector. Taxpayers can't afford this system anymore so collective bargaining will be done away with. First, the State public Unions and then the Federal Unions will be reduced or eliminated. And again, YOU are responsible for YOU, so we will stop this socialist Union system and YOU will be free to negotiate with your employer for YOURSELF. This is the capitalism that you voted for.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be addressed later this year. Medicare and Medicaid are a drain on the economy so they will be greatly reduced or eliminated. The average age expectancy in our country is nearly 77 years and people can begin receiving Social Security (at a reduced rate) at age 62. That is 15 years that people can withdraw benefits that we have to pay for. So we will reduce the benefits currently being received by the elderly, raise the age at which you can qualify for benefits, reduce future benefits, and increase what people pay into this system. We won't eliminate it yet, but the very word SOCIAL in Social Security stands for socialism and we intend to gradually privatize it or do away with it in the name of capitalism -what you voted for.
Understand we are doing what we said we would do in our campaign pledges and if you don't like it, too bad! Get over it and realize that YOU are responsible for YOU; and that pure capitalism has no room for social or moral ideals; so move on!
NOW -Once you see through the rhetoric, cut through the slanted commercials and realize the vague campaign slogans were merely a smoke screen, this is the brutal real message of the State and National Republican Party. If you do not understand this message of the Republicans then I fear you are misguided and blinded by ideology or lack common sense. It is not my intent to anger anyone, but this is what I truly believe. The facts are what they are, and they must be viewed in the clear light of logic and common sense.
A simple joke shows the clear intent and philosophy of the Republican Party A corporate CEO, a Tea Party member and a Union worker are sitting at a table. There is a plate in front of them with a dozen cookies on it. The corporate CEO takes 11 cookies and then tells the Tea Party member "Watch out for that Union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie!"
Unfortunately, I fear our members who have less than 27 years of service face the prospect that their collective bargaining rights will be reduced or completely taken away and this will significantly shrink wages, benefits and retirement plans. This is because the Republican Party, at all levels, continues to act on their philosophy of catering to wealthy elitists and subsidizing corporations at YOUR direct expense while attacking Unions. YOU face a future that may be much less comfortable than your past.
I have said for years that we must act by registering to vote and voting for our jobs and futures, only to speak to members at election time and hear they "didn't have time to vote" or voted Republican because of some ideological reason that defies the logic of voting for your job and future. This apathy and lack of logic is now coming back to haunt everyone.
Moreover, I have said for years that we must support our union through COP A donations to lobby Congress for us and to support and elect those politicians who support us. While the Scranton APWU always surpasses the COPA goals, I am ' disheartened at the refusal by many members to donate to the only organization that fights for them. It's time to donate to COPA, or those few dollars you save now will be nothing compared to what you will lose as the Republican Party comes after you!
Source: PPA Reprint 101 Facts