Thursday, September 22, 2011

September 22: Don't Blame Middle-Class Benefits For Crisis

By Sylvia Gurinsky

When did middle-class workers become the bad guy in this economic crisis?

Media - including entities that should know better, such as The Miami Herald and WPLG-Channel 10 - have been running a torrent of stories about how police, fire and other public employees have been making high salaries and getting lots of benefits.

Now, there's no question there have been abuses of the system, particularly in the upper echelons. But the rank-and-file who have risky jobs as a police officer or firefighter, or a postal worker who does the job through extreme heat and humidity, rain and nasty dogs, have every right to receive the best of health and vacation benefits.

Those whose benefits are worth questioning are CEOs who have continued to receive their millions while they've been laying off thousands of employees, as well as politicians who still receive full perks while they slash the health protection of those who work in the public sector.

It's also worth questioning why U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder did not prosecute those responsible for the 2008 financial collapses.

But picking on middle class workers is absurd. They're not responsible for this crisis. Making them the scapegoat won't fix it.

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