During last night’s presidential debate, Governor Mitt Romney was quick to say that he cared about putting “America back to work.” Many state employees however, see his promises to cut government spending as just the opposite. In a series of interviews, government employees who work directly to maintain Romney’s luxurious neighborhood are speaking out about their frustration to be working to better the life of a man who couldn’t care less about them.
The series, created by the American Federation for State, County and Municipal Employees, aims to point to the hypocrisies of Romney’s platform.
The first interview features Richard Hayes, a garbage collector who picks up the garbage from Mitt Romney’s $12 million house in San Diego, California.
“We’re kind of like the invisible people,” Hayes said. “He doesn’t realize the service we provide. If it wasn’t for us, it would be a big health issue, us not picking up trash.”
Hayes explains how his job is physically difficult, and he worries that by the time he’s 55 or 60 years old his “body will break down.”
“Mitt Romney doesn’t care about that,” Hayes said, as the video splices to the part of Romney’s now infamous 47 percent speech when he says that his job “is not to worry about those people.”
Another interview features Temo Fuentes, who repairs trucks for the San Diego fire department. Romney has said publicly that it’s time to cut back on government spending, even for such services like fire and police departments.
“Since I was 17 years old, I have never been unemployed,” said Fuentes. “If the city lays me off, that will be the first time I will have ever been unemployed.... I know that if I lose my check for at least a month, I’ll lose my house.
Romney simultaneously promises to create jobs, and to cut many of stable middle class jobs that are left in the wake of the Great Recession.
Joan Raymond, a sanitation driver who has also picked up the trash on Romney’s street, voices this contradiction explicitly.
“It is because of reliable jobs like these--middle class jobs--that allow a family and a worker to be a contributing factor to the community and not be a drain on the community, so why would you want to attack them and cut-cut-cut them even more than they’ve already been cut,” she said.