Okay, today I’m REALLY pissed off. I’m pissed off because there are a LOT of people out there these days playing politics with other people’s lives. I’m going to run through some of these issues, so bear with me. First off there is this guy Ed Schultz. I don’t know much about him but he is a TOOL.
In this clip he is ranting and raving about sticking up for firefighters. That may APPEAR to be what he is doing. But it isn’t. He is USING firefighters to push his apparently liberal point of view. He simply is using us to bash people like Chris Christie and John Boehner. What’s more, he is being completely disingenuous. He’s a skunk in plain words. The clips he flashes are taken out of context. Take the one with Glenn Beck. I saw that show and what Glen was saying is factually correct, but Schultz pulls one line out and uses it for shock effect. He relishes sticking it to Republicans, but Ed apparently missed this video of that assclown Rahm Emanuel:
I find it telling that Rahm-bo equates cleaning and plowing snow with police work. But what else should we expect from a guy with ZERO law enforcement or emergency services background? As far as I know he’s just another lawyer with a big mouth-turned-politician. Like most other Democrats, he will try to run these departments on less than shoestring budgets and people will die because of it. Emanuel is quietly talking about massive cuts to public safety in Chicago. Chicago, much like Camden, is crime-infested and can ill afford those kind of cuts.
The other issue is municipal pensions. Some are in bad shape. But they are in bad shape for various reasons, chief among them is the refusal of the governments and politicians to fund them correctly or in some cases at all. MANY municipalities CHOSE to spend their pension payments on things other than their legal obligations. The cities signed contracts then reneged on their obligations, plain and simple. Many cities have historically ignored laws and intentionally allowed their pension plans to get dangerously close to insolvency. Philly is always like that DESPITE restructuring them on more than one occasion. Many figured that they could always count on a state or federal bailout if things got too bad. So they just pissed away taxpayers’ money. They won’t talk about all the money made when the economy was good and they BORROWED money from the pension plans.
Now if you’re a cop or firefighter like me, you don’t get Social Security. You count on your pension for your retirement. SO after years of collective bargaining and obeying the laws, often taking reductions and no pay increases, and without the ability to strike, cops and firefighters are looking at risking our lives and livelihoods for what amounts to empty promises.
Now Governors like Chris Christie are on the right track for a lot of what they are doing. You wouldn’t know it, but most cops and firefighters trend toward the Republicans. We see every day the destructive, practical reality of failed liberal ideology. Everything from unsound social policies, to ridiculous legal policies to insane fiscal policies, cops and firefighters are often up close and personal with the failure of the left. We understand and demand the government has to balance the books. After all we usually have to live in these towns and cities. We don’t want them to go broke.
The problem is that we are all too often the victims of that effort. What’s going on right now in Philly and Camden is a prime example. Camden is so poorly managed financially and in every other respect that cops and firefighters are being laid off further eroding the quality of life there. Who in their right mind would move to or open up ANY business in Camden? It’s too dangerous to even sell drugs in Camden!
BUT here’s the point – Camden isn’t bankrupt BECAUSE of the police or fire department. It is the rest of the runaway municipal government and agencies combined with widespread corruption, waste, fraud, mismanagement and outright theft that has done Camden in. I’m not saying the police or fire departments could never trim some fat. EVERY organization in the world could do that. But traditionally, the fire department is one of the most tightly run organizations in all of city government. Conversely in Philadelphia, the Sheriff’s department didn’t even keep records of overtime. The Housing Authority and school district waste MILLIONS while we grovel for scraps to save lives. On the other hand I could show you EVERY overtime in my company going back two years. Man for man, hour for hour. So you get the point. With the right management we are a no-nonsense, cut to the bone high performance department. We are the original do more with less guys.
There was a time when the municipal pay scale had a hierarchy. Cops were usually on top and deservedly so. No one else in government is asked to not only RISK their life, but quite possibly TAKE one as well. For that reason they are on top. Firefighters are rightly second. Although there are a lot of people we would LIKE to off, we are sworn to help save everyone.
Somewhere down at the bottom are were the unskilled workers. Sanitation comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong. I respect the job the trash men do. But at the end of the day it’s low-risk, unskilled labor. Yet because of labor unions, the disparity in pay is nearly non-existent anymore. Teachers and bus drivers make as much as cops. That’s the liberal push towards socialism manifesting itself, front and center. Bus drivers and teachers are important. Just not as important as cops and firefighters. So this blurring of the pay scale has contributed to the fiscal decimation of city budgets and pension plans.
That’s why Republicans like Chris Christie need to understand that treating cops and firefighters like every other union is not only bad policy, it’s just plain wrong. It’s the Democrats who have been destroying the emergency services for twenty years. Why align yourself with the people who are doing the real damage? The emergency services are natural constituents for the Republicans. What’s worse, the International Association of Firefighters (our little loved or respected) international union is preparing a public relations campaign that will blame everyone except those responsible for our pension and budget problems.
It’s time they wake up and start to realize that.