Which middle class do we protect?

Fear makes the top story in today’s “Dayton Daily news”- with the headline “AF furloughs to cost $111M” Below that we have a story about the State of the Union address. I understand the “me first” nature of driving news- the news that will impact me comes first- but, the constant PR feed of the Dayton Development Coalition, Dayton Defense and other organizations that are firmly attached to the government teat isn’t really news- it’s propaganda.

In the article about the State of the Union we hear from our Speaker of the House- formerly with a district that touched Wright Patterson Air Force Base:

House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp., on Tuesday night said Americans are still asking, “where are the jobs?” “Tonight, he offered them little more than more of the same ‘stimulus’ policies that have failed to fix our economy and put Americans back to work,” Boehner said. “We cannot grow the middle class and foster job creation by growing government and raising taxes.” (emphasis added)

via Obama: Economy an ‘unfinished task’.

Yet, all these jobs that will be put on hold at WPAFB that will have the huge catastrophic impact if the propaganda is to be believed are part of government growth. The meteoric rise in Defense spending since 9/11 has created the huge burden on our economy, and created a mountain of debt that has our country’s credit rating slipping and banks too big to fail being bailed out on the backs of the checkout girl at Krogers taxes.

The propaganda reads:

Furloughed Air Force civilian workers would cost Ohio’s economy $111.1 million in lost wages through September, according to a document obtained by the Dayton Daily News.

The estimate is based on 14,278 workers furloughed for 22 days of unpaid time off, the Air Force document said.

Wright-Patterson could send home up to 13,000 civilian workers on furlough if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to avert sequestration, or automatic defense and domestic spending reductions set to begin March 1. The Air Force has said it could furlough up to 180,000 civilian employees, each of whom would have to receive a 30-day notice before leaving the job temporarily.

Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said Tuesday the numbers were accurate, but were “constantly evolving.”“The issue really is the economic impact is not predictable right now,” Joseph Zeis, Dayton Development Coalition executive vice president and chief strategic officer, said Tuesday. While potential furloughs would be significant, “the ripple down effects of that are indeterminate,” he said.

The impact on defense industry workers and contractors are unknown, he said. But the loss in days on the job will hurt national security, such as fewer maintenance workers to maintain aging Air Force warplanes, Zeis said.

With that many furloughs, the ripple effect of fewer dollars in paychecks could reach an economic impact of $150 million or more in the region, said Phillip L. Parker, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.

Thomas L. Traynor, a professor and chairman of the Wright State University economics department, said sequestration could cause a ripple effect depending on how long the cuts last and how that impacts local spending. “The problem in estimating the effects of all this is that it really depends on how long the cuts last — which simply can’t be known,” he said in an email. “Needless to say, the longer the cuts last the stronger the impact on the economy.

“Remember,” he added, “these deadlines have been faced multiple times before, and last-minute agreements have been reached to prevent the cuts.

”An estimated 13,000 furloughs at Wright-Patter-son represent about 3.4 percent of the workforce in Montgomery, Miami, Greene and Preble counties, according to Richard Stock, director of the Business Research Group at the University of Dayton.

The loss in wages would be equivalent to between one-half and three-quarters of 1 percent in overall annual wages earned in the Dayton region, Stock said.


When Wall Street would have had to lay off workers, cut multi-million dollar salaries (and hence the flow of funds into lobbyists pockets and the pockets of Congress) the taxpayers bailed them out. When the military industrial complex tells us it costs trillions to go after the people who used a force of 19 people to hijack four planes and crash them- we buy everything they’re selling. And when your job hasn’t given you a raise in 5 years, your local government can’t afford to put cops on the street, and the 1% in this country are getting richer by the second as the stock market soars in another totally unjustifiable run, we’re supposed to fear the loss of a months pay to a bunch of middle class people that are tasked with building and maintaining weapons of war as we’re being promised that the war is ending?


We built roads and schools in Iraq and Afghanistan while our own crumbled. If John Boehner wants to talk about shrinking government- why not cancel the programs like the C-27J which is only loved by the people who make it and the congressmen on the take from it (the Pentagon even said they didn’t want it.)

The middle class that needed protection were the ones who were having their homes foreclosed on. The middle class that needed protection are the ones working 2 and 3 jobs to keep up. The farce of working at WalMart and still needing public assistance because the worlds largest retailer refuses to pay honest wages for honest work- yet, the company and their top employees  have plenty of money to spend on Congress.

The Dayton Development Coalition has our region believing that our economy depends on defense spending. How many times have you heard that WPAFB is the largest single site employer in the State of Ohio? Yet, if war went away, what would we be left with?

President Eisenhower warned us about the growth of the “Military Industrial Complex”–  and if we think about why our schools aren’t the best in the world, our health care system doesn’t have the best outcomes, and our middle class has been hammered-re-read this quote from Ike:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Yes, we have the best, biggest and most formidable military on the planet. But, it has been fed off of the backs of the middle class.
Either it’s time for true shared sacrifice, or the only war we’ll see is one between the classes in our country as we can’t keep supporting a military machine that has an endless appetite for our support.
Furloughs at WPAFB may hurt our region in the short run, but if we don’t stop growing the weapons of war, we’ll most definitely be fighting for our survival of a nation when we realize that we bought all guns and no security.
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