The Fire Critic Asks “Is Mitt Romney What Police, Firefighters, and Teachers Need as President?”

Before you read this, I want you to know that I vote. I have voted every chance I have had in local, State, and National elections. My vote is my choice just as yours is your choice. I have voted even when I don’t like any of the candidates. I cannot control who runs, I cannot control who the majority will vote for. However, I cannot complain if I do not vote.

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Politics have always been a hot topic around the firehouse kitchen table. I love hearing from guys who will vote for a candidate for one reason for another. One big issue is always gun control. I have always been told that the Democrats will take away my guns. Another hot topic is abortion…The Republicans don’t like it and the Democrats let anyone get one. The truth is that different politicians run on different platforms. They pick and choose their battles and run on the platform of issues they think will give them the most support. What they do in office is a whole different story. Why? Simply because the President might not have a congress that backs them or has a separate agenda.

I work in public safety. We don’t make the government a monetary profit. We are not a business, we are a necessity for the public’s safety. We are vital to the American way of life. Sure, Cops write tickets and EMS bills for transport, but that doesn’t cover the expense and sometimes goes to the general fund…not the departments. Teachers are expected to not only teach our children, but many rely on them to parent them too.  However, since we are not an income source, some politicians think we aren’t needed or can be scaled back just because of the expense. On paper, we are an expense. Politicians see us as an expensive insurance policy that they simply don’t want to pay for…Except when they need us. Then they stand next to us for the photo op.

Because we are public safety and most work for the government in some form or fashion, we don’t have a voice without public sector unions. Those very unions are the ones that Republicans have been attacking. Why? It is simple. If they take away our voice, they can cut our services easier…those vital and necessary services that cost money to operate.

Put a price on it…Put a price on a city block burning down. Put a price on a persons life because we aren’t there to render aid. Put a price on anything we do.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some Pro-Public Safety Republicans…and the Democrats aren’t exactly throwing money at us…they are just a little more eloquent. If you remember correctly, the National Collective Bargaining bill did not pass Congress when it was controlled by the Dems (if my memory serves me correct). It never made it to the Presidents desk.

When I relate to politics, I think of the issues that affect my family and my way of life. My family, my career (firefighter), my faith…pretty much in that order. I enjoy hearing what others think when it comes to candidates. I like hearing their thoughts and sometimes learn from their opinions. It might sway or strengthen my opinion on one candidate or another.

When speaking about my career (firefighter), I often find it amusing that the gun and/or abortion topics come up just to prove a point. For instance, when talking about how Republicans (in general) do not like collective bargaining for public sector unions, another firefighter might show their support for a Republican because the NRA backs them. Ok, I get that…but it is a little off topic. Give me something to chew on related to Republicans supporting public sector unions. Give me an example of Republicans supporting firefighters, or teachers. Our brothers in blue (police) are a different story. Republicans typically seek Police support and also typically give support to Police Departments…but there is always that fact that they typically do not support public sector unions.

I don’t typically offer thoughts on politics here on the blog, so I realize I am putting myself out there…Below are some more thoughts on some current issues related to the current presidential race… I would love to hear your thoughts on these issues.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were this easy:

By now you have heard the “Romney  Tape”…You know, where Romney wrote off 47% of Americans. I think it is unfortunate.  Does Romney really not care about almost half of us Americans? That is what he said. I know that if I were part of that 47% (and I probably am) I would feel screwed voting for Romney. The video is below


“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney is shown saying in a video posted online by the magazine. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

“Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax,” Romney said.

Romney said his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Romney wants to create jobs. That is a fact. Firefighters, Police, and Teachers don’t seem to be a part of this job growth. It actually seems as though the opposite is the case. There are some more videos below that support that theory.

“I disagree with the Fraternal Order of Police on this point,” Romney wrote. “I believe labor unions – including public employee unions – can be constructive forces in our communities and I would look forward to working closely with them as president.” But he then quoted FDR, of all people, as saying collective bargaining “cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

“I agree with this view, and I would not support an expansion of collective bargaining rights for public employees,” Romney wrote. Read more

Check this out (also in a video below):

Romney said of Mr. Obama that “he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.” Read more

IAFF on Romney

Romney also opposes FIRE Act grants, which provide critical funding to communities for life saving equipment and apparatus. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney repeatedly attempted to cut local aid to communities, jeopardizing public safety and safe staffing. He also attempted to strip away the collective bargaining rights of fire fighters in the state. Read more

Firefighters Smack Romney Following Colorado Campaign Swing

Following reports Mitt Romney met with fire officials in Colorado Springs yesterday, Colorado firefighters are questioning his support for them. Romney has said “we don’t need more firefighters”, opposes federal legislation that helps firefighters, and also supports the radical Ryan budget, which would gut firefighting support by 19%.  Colorado Representatives Coffman, Gardner, and Tipton all voted for the Ryan budget. Read more

What about his time as Governor? How did he do with Firefighters?

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney often ended up sparring with firefighters and their unions. He proposed stripping collective bargaining rights for firefighters and police officers in a city that needed a state bailout, and cut funding to a fire station to be built on the site where six firemen died. He also proposed tripling the state police budget to deal with homeland security concerns in the years after 9/11, but didn’t offer a dime for firefighters, angering many at the time. Read more offers fact checking on their site in relation to public safety. View it here

Check out the Obama/Romney Tax Savings/Cost Calculator

I found this neat little calculator on President Obama’s web site. You can plug in your annual salary, marital status, and number of dependents and see what the difference is in tax savings/increase will be under Obama or Romney as President. Tax Calculator here

Romney Tax Cuts:

You’ve heard Romney say this — or some variant of it –dozens of times before. What’s changed since then is that Romney has admitted that his tax cuts, if they’re not going to add to the deficit, will have to increase taxes on people he defines as middle income and cut them on people he defines as high income. Read more

Mitt Romney suggests cutting mortgage interest deduction

DENVER – Offering deficit-cutting ideas before his first debate with President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney says he might be willing to reduce income tax deductions used by millions of families for home mortgage interest and health care costs. Read more

I wonder if Mitt Romney is what we need? Police, Firefighters, Teachers…aren’t we middle class? Are we part of the 47%? Can we afford the job cuts, loss of benefits, and loss of bargaining rights? Are we not the middle class?


“I did not become a teacher to become wealthy or powerful, I became a teacher to make a difference” – Watch below

– Rhett Fleitz “The Fire Critic”