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What Romney Economics meant for Massachusetts firefighters, cops, and teachers

President Obama’s jobs plan would put teachers back in classrooms and first responders back on our streets— it’s part of his plan to create up to a million new jobs that Congress left on the table last year. But under Romney Economics, the priorities are clear: When it comes to firefighters, cops, and teachers, Romney says “it’s time for us to cut back.”

Take a look at how Romney Economics didn’t work for these men and women in Massachusetts, and how it won’t work now. Romney recently criticized President Obama, saying he “wants to hire … more firemen, more policemen, more teachers”—but Romney thinks we should “cut back” on those jobs. Romney won’t support firefighters, cops, and teachers as President, and his record in Massachusetts proves it.

POLICE

The idea of “guaranteeing the government will keep its fire, police, and teachers intact … is not an effective way to get the economy going.”—Mitt Romney, 12/29/11

  • Slashed local aid, forcing communities to lay off 14,500 local government workers, including police officers

  • Increased fees for police training by $200

  • While the crime reports remained steady under Romney, arrest rates dropped along with officer employment due to Romney’s cuts.

FIREFIGHTERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS

To a retired firefighter, “You knew what you were getting into ... I wish you well, but I’m not going to promise you more bucks.”—Mitt Romney, 12/30/11

  • Vetoed $2.5 million for fire safety equipment and $1 million for fire education for students, but both vetoes were overridden unanimously

  • Vetoed funding to rebuild a fire station as a living memorial to honor six local firefighters, and was criticized by a local legislator for “callously” pouring salt on the wounds of the community

  • Tried to strip union membership from thousands of government employees, a move that would have left the MA firefighters union without a third of their membership

  • Told a retired firefighter that he wasn’t interested in giving out “free stuff” when the firefighter inquired about his state pension and Social Security benefits

TEACHERS

“I was not pleased with what I read about a plan to save 240,000 teachers.”—Mitt Romney, 9/9/11

  • Slashed local aid, forcing communities to lay off 14,500 local government workers, including teachers

  • Enforced budget cuts that left some school officials with no choice but “to issue pink slips to teachers,” many of whom were new teachers. School officials said they worried the cuts would demoralize teachers and cause them to leave the profession.