October 1, 2001
On Friday, Congress approved the bailout for the airline
industry to help it recover. The bill included a provision
allowing airline executives to keep collecting their large
salaries, which angered Democrats. Democrats were infuriated
when Republicans refused to include a bill to help workers
as part of the initial bailout bill, and criticized their
own leaders for agreeing to move the legislation to the floor
without an employee assistance measure.
Now the Democrats want to provide aid to workers who recently
lost their jobs in the beleaguered airline industry. Democrats
are pushing for a bill that would help these workers by expanding
unemployment benefits, easing the continuation of health insurance
and providing job training.
The Democrats cast this as the logical follow-up to the approval
of a $15-billion bill to shore up the airline industry, which
was whisked through the House and Senate with broad bipartisan
support. "The model of thought there, and quite frankly, the
model of thought that says we need to go out and extend unemployment
benefits and health insurance benefits and so forth is not
I think one that is commensurate with the American spirit
here," said Representative Dick Armey of Texas, the majority
He said a higher priority was to pass an economic stimulus
bill. What he is really saying is the hell with the
workers, which are mostly UNION members who vote Democratic.
The Republicans took care of the stockholders from taking
a bath while the airline industry is suffering under the fallout
of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Representative Tom DeLay, the majority whip from Texas, seemed
no more enthusiastic about the Democratic plan, which was
first proposed last Friday when Congress approved the $15
billion airline industry bailout. The idea was rejected by
Republicans in a late- night negotiation session. "Sometimes
people jump out too quickly on an issue," Mr. DeLay said,
referring to Democrats. "They want to develop an issue."
Yes, Mr. Delay, the Democrats sure are playing politics with
this one. Just what sort of politics are the Democrats playing
here, Mr. DeLay? That the Democrats want to help the people
who actually work for a living. Are you worried about the
cost? You had no problem giving 15 billion Social Security
trust fund dollars to the airline industry. And I am sure
that you will have no problem giving more of our Social Security
trust fund dollars to other industries that claim to be financially
hurt by the attack and are your largest campaign contributors.
No matter how you slice it, when it comes down to brass tacks
the Republicans always show their true colors. The Republican
party is the party of the rich white man. You can say compassionate
conservatism, put minorities on display at your convention,
and have lots of photo-ops with minority children.
But when push comes to shove, the Republican party always
votes for the rich white man. We will just watch as you bring
bills to the Senate and House. They will not benefit the working
man but will line the pockets of you wealthy campaign contributors
at the expense of the working man.
Well, this Democrat says shame on you for turning your back
on the American working man while you line the pockets of