By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
Republican lawmakers aren’t bad guys, they’re just the wrong choice for moving our country forward.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, articulated the problem better than he realized when he said: “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’d rather just sit around.”
Those really were his words, but OK, I took them out of context (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/john-boehner-unemployed_n_5846084.html). He was claiming this is the work ethic of the unemployed in answer to a question about expanding earned-income tax credit.
See, he thinks people are unemployed because they don’t want to work. This is insulting. People are out of work because there are at least 2.1 job seekers for every available job.
Actually, it’s Boehner and his colleagues in Congress who aren’t working — literally. They just gave themselves an extra seven weeks off work this year, after two four-day work weeks that followed their scheduled five-week “August” break (which had stretched into September). All while collecting full salaries, of course.
And that’s after this Congress was only scheduled to work 110 days in the first place, versus 250 days for a typical 50-week work year.
And the American people overwhelmingly wish congressmen would focus on creating jobs when they are at work. It seems obvious that an unemployment extension wouldn’t be necessary if they had, but they have better things to do than help Americans find jobs. Their mission is to hold onto their own jobs.
See, back in 2010, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates of cash expenditures in campaigns by equating money with speech. So increasingly, Republican lawmakers see their job as representing those on whose money they depend for re-election. Thus, even what little time they are at work is spent focusing on what their über-wealthy donors want rather than what the people want.
Seems like they’re the ones saying: “I really don’t have to work. I don’t really want to do this. I think I’ll go campaign for re-election (which is really just a giant paid vacation!).”
Is it any wonder “[a]n astounding 72 percent of Americans say they are unhappy with Republicans in Congress, according to a recent poll”? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/14/republicans-approval-rating-congress-gop_n_5820130.html)
Here’s the thing: we hire these people. They are supposed to work for us. They’re not bad people, but since they’re not representing us, they’re the wrong ones for the job. So, we should vote them out. And we the people are the only ones with the power to do it.
But we only get one chance per election cycle to vote. It’s imperative, then, that we not only register ourselves, but make sure every eligible voter registers, too. Then, we must go to the polls by Nov. 4 (earlier, if possible) and vote the Republicans out. We don’t have to put up with this “I really don’t have to work” obstructionist attitude any longer!
Nancy Churchill was raised in the D.R.C. (Congo), raced stock cars on short dirt tracks for 25 years, and is a proud, lifelong member of “We, the People.” She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Oct. 1-7, 2014, issue