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False verdict on pensions

Froma Harrop’s March 5 column demonizing public employee pensions as primary barriers to government financial solvency shows how easily even supposedly liberal corporate media pundits can be duped into swallowing Limbaugh talking-points Kool-Aid.

Looks like more amnesia about what sucked us into this near-depression: Wall Street’s 2008 pyroclastic fiscal fecal firestorm, for which not a single high-ranking executive has been prosecuted by the Obama-administered Justice Department.

Nevertheless, Harrop says, the real villains are those fat-cat globetrotting retired teachers, firefighters and law-enforcers supposedly living in laps of luxury, lighting Cuban cigars with $100 bills. Yes, if only we could blunt their high-on-the-hog lifestyles with those $15,000 to $40,000 (hard-earned) annual pensions, government budgets would pop back into the black, the rest of the working class would be fully employed and small businesses everywhere would flourish.

Harrop demonstrated again that even relatively bright persons, if sufficiently economically-distanced from real working-class families, will happily sew discordant seeds by pitting one middle-class faction against another.

Maybe former PATCO members (whose union supported Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980) can enlighten her on what it’s like to be pawns of the ruling corporate elite, as both major political parties and chambers of Congress likewise continue to skillfully demonstrate.

Robert A. Ethington



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