Bill O’Reilly – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
I think that today’s show is a repeat, but I had not seen it before. Bill O’reilly was at it again, comparing apples and oranges to make a false argument against so-called “entitlements.” He used a chart that disappeared before I could write down the numbers exactly, but they were approximately 105+ million employees in the private sector, 20+ million government employees and 60+ million recipients of government largesse. Government employees pay taxes at the same rates as you and I and teachers, policemen, firemen, and members of the armed services provide services that we all need and benefit from. There are drones on the public payroll just as there are drones in private enterprise.
And not every recipient of a government “entitlement” check is a single black mother with three or more illegitimate children. I suspect that most recipients of government “entitlements” have paid taxes for many years and feel “entitled” to them. O’Reilly lumps different categories together to generate large numbers so that he can draw simplistic and false conclusions to support his GOP world-view.
Republican tactics lead to deminished wages for American middle class – American income gap grows (Photo credit: EN2008)
Yesterday Barack said that the private sector of the economy is doing well; he meant in comparison to the public sector, and now the GOP is running with that snippet of tape. The total economy is suffering because the GOP want to defeat Barack in November. The private sector is adding jobs while the public sector continues to shed jobs yielding a combined unemployment rate of 8.2%. If the GOP in Congress would allow the Federal government to aid the states during this recession, then the states would not be laying off so many public sector employees. Most of those layoffs are occurring in red states, states that became red or redder due to the TEA Party influence in the 2010 election.
If the employees being laid off were private sector employees, you can bet the GOP would be more amenable to providing assistance. If all the teachers, firemen and police officers were employed by private employers, rather than government, you could be sure of two things. If they were employed, they would be earning less and if their employers needed government assistance, they would get it.
English: Scott Walker, 45th Governor of Wisconsin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Early in his term, Scott Walker told a wealthy supporter that he intended to use a strategy of divide and conquer. That strategy will be widely used because realistically speaking, how else can the 1% win elections? Without divide and conquer, the 1% would lose all elections 99% to 1%. They must use divide and conquer to have a chance of winning.
After the recall election failed, the media interviewed an individual who supported Walker. He said that he thought that public service employees should share the sacrifice that private sector non-union employees were being asked to bear. Exactly 180 degrees the wrong viewpoint and the result of the divide and conquer strategy working. Without a union to protect them, private sector workers have lost ground faster than unionized public sector employees. Now public sector unionized employees are being coerced into giving up benefits that the private sector has already lost.
The proper strategy on the part of members of the 99% is to support each other. The 1% are not sharing in the sacrifice of this recession and thanks to the GOP, they never do share in the sacrifice. It is always the poorest among us who bear the most burden of sacrifice during recessions because they lack the political influence possessed by wealthier Americans.
It is time to put an end to the successful use of divide and conquer by the 1% and their agents like Scott Walker. United we the 99% will stand, divided we will fall.