Americans who are fortunate to have a job are some of the most productive workers on the planet regardless they are grossly underpaid and overworked. Most developed countries in the world provide their workers with a mandatory paid vacation of at least four weeks, but Americans are extremely privileged if they earn a week off with pay after staying with a company for several years; unless they are representatives in Congress. A company’s owner understands the value of rewarding hard work and sacrifice with well-deserved time off, but Americans are having a difficult time understanding why Congress is taking a month-long recess when, not only have they not worked hard over the past seven months, they have done absolutely nothing for the people who elected them.
Two-and-a-half years ago Republicans promised their primary mission was creating jobs for struggling Americans, but instead they wasted American taxpayers time and money chasing phony scandals, attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, assaulting women’s rights, and killing jobs with cruel austerity cuts. Now they are on vacation and in between time recreating with their families, they will spend a month plotting new ways to kill jobs, retard economic growth, obstruct governance, and explain to their constituents they intend to escalate their war against Washington. However, they may find their constituents demanding an explanation for their lethargy because according to a Fox News poll, an overwhelming majority of Americans do not think they deserve a month-long vacation.
The survey revealed that 82% of Americans do not think Congress worked hard enough to warrant taking a month off, and they are particularly disgusted that despite Republican promises to the contrary, they have spent no time creating jobs. Even a dependable Republican voting bloc, senior citizens, are unhappy with Republicans and their Draconian cuts that affect jobs, health care, retirement security, and investment economics. More than half (55%) of seniors say Republicans are too extreme, out of touch, and dividing the country, and only 10% of seniors believe Republicans do not put special interests ahead of ordinary voters. Seniors also rightly believe that on issues such as gay rights, aid to the poor, immigration, and gun control the Republican Party is too extreme.
The recent survey found that senior citizens oppose nearly every policy Republicans are pushing as part of their “austerity” and “economic growth” agenda, and they are more concerned with helping younger Americans than themselves. For example, 89% of seniors want to protect Medicare benefits and premiums, 87% want to raise pay for working women, 79% think Congress should expand scholarships for working adults, 77% want to expand access to high-quality and affordable childcare for working parents, 66% want expanded state health insurance exchanges under Obamacare, and 74% want to cut subsidies to the oil industry, agribusinesses, and multinational corporations to invest in education, infrastructure, and technology. Since America’s seniors are the generation that worked hard and built America into the great country it once was, it is doubtful they think Republicans deserve even a day off work, but it is also possible they think Republicans can do little damage to the people if they are away from Washington for a month.
What Republicans have done instead of creating jobs and spur economic growth has been assaulting the American people at every turn with special emphasis on hurting the poor and women. Republicans hatched a concerted effort prior to their month-long vacation to promote their war on the people, but they are likely to run into to Americans who will demand to know exactly what they have been doing for the past seven months that warrants a month off with pay. They certainly have not attempted to create jobs, and no, usurping President Obama’s executive power to approve the 1,700-job KeystoneXL pipeline does not count as “job creation” so much as an attempt to enrich the oil industry, Koch brothers, and John Boehner’s stock portfolio. So what have Republicans done to deserve a month’s paid vacation?
They voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 40th time despite if they were successful it would kill millions of jobs in the healthcare industry. They also voted to ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks regardless it is unconstitutional, a religious edict, and a means to punish women whose lives are in danger. To show their gross inhumanity they failed to fund SNAP because they could not garner support to cut food aid more than five times greater (20 billion) than the Senate’s version of the farm bill, and now they propose cutting food stamps by $40 billion to deny 3-4 million Americans food. Republicans also used an oil industry study to eliminate regulations on coastal oil drilling despite the BP oil spill, and voted to send regulations President Obama attempted to implement after Congress enacted them back to Congress to nullify the executive branches’ power. The Republicans’ only relief for Americans was their quick action to prevent wealthy air travelers from facing an hour-long flight delay resulting from the sequester cuts, but they have done absolutely nothing for the majority of Americans except kill jobs and cut domestic programs.
If Republicans worked in the private sector like they intend for all government employees, they would be summarily terminated as lazy good-for-nothing slackers. Obstruction is not part of their job description and their persistent witch-hunts into fabricated scandals have not created one job for Americans desperate for work. However, they have proposed work-related legislation to drive highly productive and overworked Americans deeper into poverty by eliminating overtime pay, and are lusting to eliminate the minimum wage at the behest of Charles Koch. Koch is preparing to take his campaign to eliminate the minimum wage national to convince overworked and underpaid Americans they can escape poverty if they work for less.
Perhaps there is a solution to get Republicans back to work for the American people after all. According to their libertarian free-market belief system, workers should be paid poverty-level wages, work longer hours, and forego retirement, healthcare, and vacation benefits and be damn happy they have a job. Americans should demand no less of Republicans, because as employers, their tax dollars are being squandered on part-time employees who get free premium healthcare, overly-generous pensions, and month-long paid vacations for being the least productive workers in America. It is no wonder senior citizens are disgusted with the GOP because they know what it means to work hard, be productive, save for a paltry retirement and if they were lucky, maybe get two weeks paid vacation that is about two weeks longer than slacker Republicans deserve.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.
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