Getting lost among the many quotable Montgomery Burns-esque grumblings in Mitt Romney’s now infamous fundraiser speech is his lament that unions will prevent him from making the deep cuts to federal employee rolls that he desires. Along with calling nearly half of Americans “moochers,” promising to not be their President, and wishing he was born Mexican so that people would vote for him, the election loser-to-be revealed his plans to “clean house.” From the tape:
“I wish we weren’t unionized so we could go a lot deeper than you’re actually allowed to go.”
As the AFL-CIO blog points out, that quote actually concludes with “but we can find a way” and led to cackles from the crowd at the $50,000 per plate fundraiser. We already knew about his anti-union, anti-worker stance from his track record at Bain Capital, but now Romney’s brash approach to doing away with unionized federal employees is out in the open.
Also on his hit list are the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These agencies are responsible for seeing through the mandates prescribed by the Dodd-Frank law of 2010 which aimed to beef up transparency in the financial system following the Great Recession. House Republicans have called for these agencies to be greatly underfunded so they can stifle regulation to the benefit of wealthy donors/puppet masters.
Mr. Romney’s stated goal is to cut the federal workforce by 10% in order to “sharply increase the productivity of Washington.”
Even the conservative Wall Street Journal admits that a cut in federal employees is likely to mean a cut in important and necessary services:
“When you hear comments like this, the next question you have to ask is: Where do you start?” said Cory Bythrow, spokesman for the National Federation of Federal Employees, which represents about 110,000 workers. “Do you want to reduce the number of food safety inspectors? The number of border patrol agents on our border, who are stopping human trafficking? Reduce air traffic controllers, who are keeping the skies safe? Once you get into specifics, you’re talking about services that really matter to the American people.”
While in Ohio last week, Romney stopped by the town of Painesville on his way to a fundraiser in Kirtland that was expected to net his campaign $3 million. He used this opportunity, before a crowd of 2,000, to bash teachers unions during the height of the CTU strike. According to WKSU:
“We’ve got to fix our schools. Look, our kids can’t have a great future unless our schools are competitive. It’s time for us to put the kids, the parents and the teachers first, and the teachers’ union behind.”
Sorry, Mittens. We know how the teachers strike turned out.