Bill O’Reilly: “Class Warfare is About to Break Out in America”
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, observing the massive protests by public employees in Wisconsin, believes that “class warfare” is imminent in the United States.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, facing a $137 million budget deficit, wants to severely limit the collective bargaining rights of the state’s public employee unions and reduce their benefits. Under Walker’s proposed changes, union members would no longer be able to negotiate benefits, hours or working conditions. They would also have to pay more towards their own pensions and health insurance plans. State patrol, police and firefighters’ unions which supported Walker’s Republican gubernatorial campaign are notably exempt from the proposed changes. Governor Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard to act as his own personal goon squad to smash resistance to his drastic plan or to respond to any walk-outs.
US representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, has likened the ongoing protests against the proposed plan to Egypt’s revolution, saying it looks as if “Cairo has moved to Madison [the capital of Wisconsin] these days.”
Speaking today on his show, The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly opined: “If state workers will not give back some of their benefits, there is no solution to the fiscal crisis. You can’t raise taxes anymore, the folks are tapped out. The solution in bankrupt states is for workers to agree to some kind of giveback, perhaps over a few years.” He went on to say that “class warfare is about to break out in America” and that “blowback” from public employees forced to give up hard-won benefits will be “nasty.”
While it is remarkable that a reactionary blowhard like O’Reilly, host of the most watched program on Fox News, would admit to the deep class differences that threaten to boil over into civil unrest in this country, there is no doubt whatsoever what side of the class divide O’Reilly favors. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s draconian proposals, and his threat to use military force to enforce them, are nothing short of a declaration of war against organized labor. While it is highly doubtful that this is the beginning of the class warfare O’Reilly predicts, when and if such a “war” does break out, you can count on O’Reilly to stand firmly behind the corporate interests and the plutocrats who own the country.
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