Over the weekend a pro-union rally took place in front of the state Capitol.
A small but vibrant crowd wasted no time in condemning Gov. Rick Scott’s budget plans to cut state employee benefits.
The protesters’ motives were similiar to what brought thousands of state workers demonstrating in the streets of Madison, Wis. The lower and middle classes are fed up with their government’s decision to cut their jobs, pensions, and benefits in an effort to reduce the state deficit.
The participants, many of who dedicated their services to the state for decades, believe that GOP leaders are mounting an attack on the hard working middle class in order to give tax breaks to the rich.
Scott has called for $5 billion in spending cuts, which would eliminate 8,600 state positions and hurt the already high unemployment. But the idea of state employees paying 5 percent toward their pensions when they have received no raises is ridiculous, to say the least.
It is a shame that during a time of financial uncertainty those who are paid the least have to suffer the most.
Yes, it is true that a poor economy brings changes for everyone, but why not have those with higher incomes pick up the tab?
As a way to balance the budget, more taxes should be collected from coorporations than the lower and middle classes.
Although these approaches seem to favor more liberal than conservative causes, it is only fair treatment to our teachers, fire fighters, and even small business owners.
Scott’s cuts hurt those who are already having trouble making ends meet. Reducing or eliminating retirement makes the situation much worse for these emloyees.
Therefore the alliance of the union workers and small business owners is critical if they want to change Scott’s budget plans.
The state House and Senate are controlled by Republican majorities who favor policies for the rich.
But there are far more poor and middle class people who are being overlooked.
If Republicans can huff and puff, then now is the time for state unions along with Democrats to take a stand and do the same. But realize the future of the state of Florida is at stake.