On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh insulted police and firefighters by saying that they are great to have around, but they don't create wealth, but they exist to protect the wealthy.
Transcript via Rush Limbaugh,
Rush: I guess the real point here is they are part of the community.
We live and work side by side with them.
I didn't want to create this line of demarcation where they are public sector and that equals the bad guys. That's not what I was saying, and I didn't want anybody even infer that. They are with us, those of us in the private sector. They interact with us in the private sector, and they are different. They're not bureaucrats. They're not behind-the-scenes regulators that you never interact with, or very rarely. But these people — the cops, the firemen, the teachers — create the essentials of civil society. And Obama wants that to be seen as a public sector gig because he wants the public sector seen in a great, great positive way.
Okay, here's the thing: The police are great. They don't create wealth. They protect it. That's crucial. They protect wealth. Firemen, they're also wonderful and great. They don't create wealth, but they, too, protect it. Teachers are wonderful profession. They help educate people to become good citizens, which is their job, so that citizens can then go create wealth. But they don't create the wealth themselves. One of the things that's happened… You know, we need these people. They are us!
They're as much in the community as we are. They are not bureaucrats. But look what's happened here. We don't want to make promises that we can't keep. These pensions and health programs and retirement in perpetuity for 30 years, what does that end up doing? It ends up dividing. And the union members — the cops and the firefighters and teachers — they all get caught in the middle. A Democrat Party money-laundering scheme has created financial burdens that are impossible to pay for now.
But we have the cops and the firefighters who work to protect the wealth created and the security (including their own), and the teachers who, theoretically, educate people to be good citizens so that they can go forth and create wealth and become productive themselves. But what got in the middle here? Why are we divided? And I would submit to you it's because of the unions. These jobs became unionized. Then, all of a sudden, there became opposition between us and people that do this work. And that division was intentional. And the war between the citizens was intentional.
And if not for the unions and so forth, there wouldn't be all of this friction.
Yesterday, Limbaugh argued that police and firefighters contribute nothing to the economy. Today, while trying to dig out of that hole, Limbaugh admitted that police and firefighters are nice to have around. He even went as far as to apologize to his conservative police and firefighter listeners, not all police and firefighters, just the conservative ones, but he has changed his argument to suggest that teachers, police, and firefighters don’t create wealth. Their sole purpose is to protect his wealth.
Rush’s wealth creation attack on police and firefighters is another spin on the GOP’s mythical job creators. According to Limbaugh, only the privileged worthy few can create wealth. The rest of the world exists simply to serve the wealth creators. None of this is actually true, because wealth creators wouldn’t have money without the rest of us contributing to the economy. Wealth creators aren’t gods, or lucky folks who have a money tree in their backyard. Wealth is created when a law enforcement officer buys a home, or when a firefighter opens an IRA, or when a teacher starts a small business in the summer.
Every American creates wealth when they spend money. No one can do it alone. That is how it works. For Rush Limbaugh to look down on police and firefighters and proclaim that they are nice to have around, but we don’t need that many of them, typifies the attitude of the right. The right mantra is that public sector employees are parasites who consume wealth, but without public sector employees and their spending, less wealth will be created in the country.
Law enforcement officers, teachers, and firefighters aren’t slaves, although Republicans are trying to pay them like they are. Like all workers, they aspire to create wealth for themselves. They don’t create as much for themselves as Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, and Mitt Romney, but their economic contributions are valuable to the nation.
His lack of appreciation for people who risk their lives for us all is neither surprising nor unexpected. (These people risk their lives everyday, and all he can say is that they are nice to have around?)
In two days Rush Limbaugh has gone from calling police and firefighters economic freeloaders to now insinuating that they are parasites on the body of wealth creation.
Like Mitt Romney before him, Limbaugh has gotten himself stuck in a trap that he can’t get out of, and boy, is it fun to watch him squirm.
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