Mitt Romney plans to move America forward by taking us backwards to decrease teachers, police and firefighters. And he’s got the experience and action to back up his words. Romney claims we don’t need “more firemen, more policemen or more teachers. “ Firing or eliminating more public servants will not strengthen the economy or make us a better country.
We need to improve education in this country and not further denigrate it. The U.S. has lost its standing in the world in education. And it’s not just China that’s ahead of us. According to 2009 reports, the U.S. trails its global leaders in education. Out of 34 countries, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. Education Secretary Arnie Duncan called this a “wake up call” for America. Apparently, Mitt Romney calls it an opportunity to get rid of more teachers. Romney thinks we need less teachers which will cause us to further lose our education standing in the world. On Romney’s web site, he says his campaign is about “restoring America to greatness.” I guess he’s not including education in his plan.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney slashed jobs for teachers and vetoed millions of dollars for firefighting safety and life- saving equipment for firefighters. He targeted the equipment with a line-item veto. Romney vetoed an item giving firefighters all the necessary equipment they needed to save lives. That’s like sending the police to a crime scene without a gun. It will save money but be ineffective and may cost lives.
As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney also did not leave police out of the cutting process. Fewer police means fewer arrests and more criminals. The only persons that will applaud this approach are the criminals who will take charge of our streets without adequate police protection. Most people have either been a victim of crime at some time in their life or know a friend, family member, co-worker or associate who has been a victim of crime. And in courtrooms across America, we put persons on trial everyday who commit crimes. First, we need police to do their job to arrest them.
Lives would be lost with less firefighters fighting fires. It’s a no brainer. Often times, firefighters are the first responders in an incident, even if it does not involve a fire. They are on hand to perform life saving techniques on persons who need immediate medical assistance. Many persons would die without the help of firefighters. Imagine having less firefighters to fight the wild fires as they get out of control. Should another terrorist attack or other catastrophe occur, I hope that Mitt Romney is not President. We will need all the police and firefighters we can find. Where would we have been if we had less firefighters and police on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked us? They were our heroes—then and now.
Even Republicans praise the job that firefighters, police and teachers do. Ten years after September 11, former New York Republican Mayor Rudy Guiliani still praises the firefighters and police for their job. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is no friend to public sector unions, even said that Mitt Romney learned the wrong lesson from Wisconsin. Governor Walker stated in an interview on Face the Nation that Wisconsin protected firefighters, police and teachers.
I don’t know of anyone besides Mitt Romney who thinks we need less teachers, less police and less firefighters.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post.