Poster from Labor is Not A Commodity blog
Many have heard of the quotation of Ike on the military-industrial complex, but my friend Mark Barbour brought my attention via his facebook post to a less known Eisenhower quotation about those who would
abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor lawsSomething to think about as the Governor of Wisconsin would end collective bargaining for public workers and Democrats in Indiana have refused to contribute to a quorum, to evade a similar law there.
As Snope notes
One favorite tactic in political debate is to put words in the mouth of a respected elder statemen [sic] to make it appear he presciently anticipated some modern issue.Except, the site continues, the Eisenhower quotation, as used in 2005--when George Bush wanted to privatize Social Security--was not a fabrication and can be found in his 11/8/1954 letter to his brother Ed.
Here's the whole paragraph from the letter:
Mark noted in quoting Eisenhower that the splinter group today is the Tea Party. But, consider that the wealthy backers of the Tea Party, such as the Koch brothers in their opposition to Obama and now their role in Wisconsin, appear a lot more savvy than Howard Hunt. They are getting ordinary folks to embrace actions that advance their agenda.
Now it is true that I believe this country is following a dangerous trend when it permits too great a degree of centralization of governmental functions. I oppose this--in some instances the fight is a rather desperate one. But to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it. The political processes of our country are such that if a rule of reason is not applied in this effort, we will lose everything--even to a possible and drastic change in the Constitution. This is what I mean by my constant insistence upon "moderation" in government. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.
As Ike said, " to attain any success it is quite clear that the Federal government cannot avoid or escape responsibilities which the mass of the people firmly believe should be undertaken by it."
The Koch brothers, et. al., would have you believe that the "mass of people" no longer think government is responsible for the common good. And media advances this, quoting folks who say that unions were once necessary, but no longer.
Actually, according to the Gallop Poll reported today in USA Today, 61% of folks oppose laws taking away collective bargaining rights for public employees versus 33% who support them.