Republican double talk has put us in this mess

Republicans tell us that the pension crisis facing state and local governments is the result of greedy public employees and their “champagne pensions.”

Really? After eight years of colossal mismanagement and lack of oversight during the Bush years, the nation experienced a Wall Street induced banking and mortgage collapse that caused the worst financial meltdown since the 1930s, cratering invested pension funds.

Adding to that debacle was a Republican administration in this state, that of Gov. Ridge, which, prior to the meltdown, had irresponsibly severely reduced contributions to the pension fund for teachers and state employees, a policy that continues to this day.

Likewise, it was the Republican majority on the county commission in Blair that irresponsibly did the same to the pension fund for county employees.

Now, some of those same public officials, like Gov. Corbett and Commissioner Tomassetti, blame employees, who never stopped contributing to their pensions, for the increased pension costs.

As Grover Norquist has stated, the Republican objective is to “reduce government and drown it in the bathtub.”

Privatize as much as possible, be it schools, nursing homes, the lottery or liquor stores, remove accountability from the taxpayers, destroy good paying jobs and benefits, but enhance the bottom line of the Republicans’ corporate benefactors.

These were the attitudes that existed a century ago, before the labor movement and progressive legislation created a large and thriving middle class.

We’re reaping the whirlwind of 30 years of Republican double talk, believing that what’s best for millionaires is what’s best for the rest of us.

Where’s it gotten us?

Jobs overseas, bank accounts overseas, stagnant and falling wages, income inequality on a level with the 1920s.

It’s time to tell the Republicans in Congress, in Harrisburg and in Hollidaysburg, we’re fed up and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Robin Aurandt