So says none other than the XXXL Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, the widest politician since President William Taft, who signed a bill this week that silences 500,000 state workers—firefighters, police officers, and other public employees—from collectively bargaining over their health rights and benefits.
Christie’s outsize ego is probably trying to outdo Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who after nixing his municipal’s municipal workers’ voice to collectively bargain, recently signed a new Republican budget bill that cuts $800 million from public schools. And you, kids, shut up, too.
Not to be out-failed, the “Live Free or Die” state of New Hampshire told their public employees to drop dead last week by repealing the minimum wage laws. Maine and Ohio municipal workers are desperately fighting equally piggish proposals from state lawmakers.
It’s sort of a special extension of the hunting season for US legislatures to fire away at the people who do the work of their governments. The “lawmakers” are picking apart the carcasses of wages, health care and pension programs to supposedly cut budgets for the $14.2 trillion federal budget that’s still on Viagra from the trillions in Bush tax cuts and bailouts to the rich, and the 49,000 Americans who have a net worth of to $50 million to $500 million.
I figure most of you know some poor state municipal worker and could call him or her or both to express your sympathies over their losses. I also figured not too many of you know how the top 2 percent lived.
So I found this MSNBC feature to give you a glimpse of the ritchie rich life-style these adult brats live. Seeing is believing, so don’t not miss it. This gives new meaning to Robin Hood in reverse: stealing from the poor (and working class) to give to the filthy (and I use the word decidedly) rich. You’ll see multi-mansion millionaires with 20 or 30 cars, swimming pools scattered like postage stamps on their estates, guilt-free consciences that would make Marie Antoinette sound like Billy Sunday.
Eighty percent of their wealth might have been taxed way from these fat cats if not for Bush and Obama’s vote-kissing, tax cut giveaways. Now this might anger you all to get your pitchforks and shotguns out of the closets and make your presence, if not rage, heard or felt. Now you know why the people of Portugal, Ireland, Greece or Spain (wrongly labeled Europe’s PIGS) are out in the streets rioting, thanks to their corrupt leaders and central bankers, these folks have enough debt to chew on for generations to come, unless of course something were to happen like a revolution.
Yes, he said the R-word, oh my. But we’ve been trying to avoid that while most of the Mid-East is far ahead of us, kicking butt over generations of crooked leaders, skyrocketing food and oil prices and unfair austerity programs foisted on them to make the banksters and crooked leaders richer at the expense of the peoples’ futures. The US government, despite its humanitarian stance, is not far away from the crooked politicians, corporatos, and other banditos.
For instance, independent news radio and TV reporter Thom Hartmann did a feature called Are Some CEO’s traitors? This too is worth watching. He mentioned that from 2009–2010 the incomes of US CEOs kicked up 27 percent while workers’ incomes ticked up 2 percent, causing a $12.8 trillion wealth transfer from the middle class. The average CEO pay of $8.6 million wasn’t too far from the pre-recession level of $9.2 million. This is not to mention heavy hitters like the CEO of Viacom, Philippe Dauman, who “made $84.5 million in 2010, including a $50 million raise fueled mostly by big gains in stock options and awards.
“That’s up from the $34 million he earned in 2009. The 148.5 percent increase was mostly due to $54 million in one-time stock options and awards. Without those, Dauman’s 2010 compensation would have been a paltry $30.2 million, less than the $34 million he earned in 2009. Since they were one-time additions, his salary next year could go back down into the $30+ million range . . .” What will he do with himself?
Will he have to do what the average American white family, earning $54,000 a year and the average black American family, earning some $32,000 a year do, and cut down on food, fuel, health insurance, savings, even summer air-conditioning to make ends meet? Nah, Dauman’s rolling in cash. In fact, so much so that Hartmann felt that Dauman and his ilk should be tried for treason, i.e. for taking singly and en masse $12.8 trillion from the financial system with their wheels and deals during a recession. Hanging noose, anyone? Guillotine?
And speaking of that air-conditioning the average American family has to cut often, the US government spends $20.2 billion on air conditioning, which is more than the NASA budget, school lunches for 2010, more than HIV research. So, for sure the attitude must start at the top echelons of US government and trickle down a sense of greed.
Obviously, the corruption is not only corporate. A jury found former governor of Illinois Rob Blagojevich guilty of corruption and convicted him Monday. It seems the former governor of Illinois [was] trying to personally benefit from his role in selecting a replacement, trying to sell the seat of then, United States Senator of Illinois, now US President Obama. I’m sure the sale wouldn’t come near the personal or cumulate figure of US CEO’s hands in the system’s honeypot, but it’s exactly the kind of action that corrupts the U.S. system of government.
In fact, “Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat whose former aides say once saw himself as a presidential contender some day, was found guilty of 17 counts of wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery, extortion conspiracy and bribery conspiracy. He was acquitted on one charge of bribery, and the jury deadlocked on two counts of attempted extortion.” Well, that’s what happens when you reach too far for that 1 percent tax bracket and miss it by a mile. It becomes a long way to the bottom. So beware, politicians, CEOs, hedge funders of the real. Every now and then, there is be a day of reckoning. And it could be yours.
Which brings me to the Supreme Court of the United States creating the fallacy of personage for corporations—though no rational person could consider a legal mechanism of a corporation a living, breathing person who can give as much money as he wants to whomever he wants, and thus corrupt the whole fabric of the electoral system. But rest assured, Clarence and the boys on up to Roberts had themselves a Merry Christmas after they put this desecration of the Constitution into law. SCOTUS, you are not worthy of the people of the United States.
Nor are you Governor Chris Christie, Governor Walker of Wisconsin, and your fellow Republican hacks and hatchet men and women, and all the human sleaze mentioned in this article worthy of leading the American people. So I will reverse the title of this article to: WORKERS OF THE UNITED STATES, OPEN YOUR MOUTHS AND SHOUT OUT THE WINDOW, I’M SICK AND TIRED OF THIS CRAP, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE, STARTING NOW! Whatever its effect, trust me, it will be cathartic.
Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. An EBook version of his book of poems “State Of Shock,” on 9/11 and its after effects is now available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on politics and government as Associate Editor of Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal). Reach him at email@example.com.