This Week on Main Street – March 2, 2012

As the Republican Presidential Primary raged across Michigan and onto our televisions, you may have gotten the impression that there was nothing else going on. We’re here to dissuade you of that notion. Between rank hypocrisy, big money backroom deals, and pieces of legislation that make you want to bang your head against the wall, working families continued to call attention to the real issues: jobs, healthcare, and tipping your servers.

In Michigan, of course, candidate Mitt Romney spent a great deal of time and money in an attempt to give voters amnesia. In 2008, Romney strongly recommended that the government “let Detroit go bankrupt,” so they could “shed excess labor,” and predicted that if the auto industry received government assistance, we could all “kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” Fortunately for the rest of us, but unfortunately for Mitt, the complete opposite happened. Doug wrote that we have the auto workers themselves to thank – huge concessions and givebacks made by the UAW members in Michigan allowed the industry to restructure and make it through the hard times. Seth sampled President Obama’s speech to the UAW and poked enormous holes in Romney’s imagined alternate history of the auto rescue.

But enough about Romney – we’ll let Jon Stewart and the other late night comedians handle him. We’re more worried about Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, who is on a budget cut rampage in the Keystone State. Jihad Seifullah brought the perspective from the field, and talked to three Working America members about how Corbett’s cuts to schools, roads, and basic services hurt Pennsylvania families. We compared Corbett’s campaign rhetoric about “limited government” and “accountability” to his policy of using taxpayer money to suppress protests. Get it? He’s doing the opposite of what he promised! In other words, he likes small government when it comes to schools and roads, but he loves huge government when it helps keep you quiet.

In other news, Occupy protestors took Leap Day to leap into action against the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council. We sang “happy birthday” to Scott Walker’s “budget repair bill,” which neither repaired anything nor dealt with the budget. Facebook teamed up with the IBEW, Olympia Snowe called it quits, Stephen Colbert defended Florida’s tipped workers, Tim Greimel won an under-the-radar election in Michigan, and Ed DeMarco continued to do nothing. (Click here if you don’t know who Ed DeMarco is).

Meanwhile, Seth heard a joke from wealthy longtime Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) that he didn’t find particularly funny. Mike Hall celebrated the ratification of a new contract for locked-out workers at Cooper Tire, and Susan highlighted how teacher layoffs are a drag on the economy, which reminded Doug to re-post this video.

Tip your server, thank a worker, and don’t piss off a teacher – have a great weekend!