Winners in this recession; public employee unions

Rick Moran
As many states struggle to close big deficits, they are also expanding the power of public employee and other unions. I guess the thinking is, "in crisis, there is opportunity."

Where have we heard that before?

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal Political Diary takes a look at Wisconsin's efforts to elevate the public sector unions while trying to close a huge budget gap:

The big winners are -- surprise, surprise -- the public sector unions, a fourth branch of government in Madison. The new budget would increase use of the "prevailing wage law" -- the state version of the federal Davis-Bacon Act -- to discourage competition by non-union firms for public works projects. The law would also make it easier for labor to sign up workers on state contracts. Spending on health insurance and retirement benefits for public employees would be hiked by expanding eligibility to domestic partners, costing at least $15 million a year. The budget also makes it easier for home health-care workers to become eligible for collective bargaining. "Here we are up to our eyeballs in debt, and we're hiking the budget in nearly every agency," complains Mark Block, head of the Wisconsin Americans for Prosperity.

Then there's a smorgasbord of new taxes to pay for it all. Gov. Doyle and legislative Democrats propose raising the income tax to 7.75% on "rich" people, expanding the sales tax to cover more services, and raising the state cap-gains tax. Some of the proposed taxes are simply bizarre or laughable: a doubling of the garbage tax, higher elk-hunting fees, new vehicle license fees, higher charges for euthanizing dogs and cats in animal shelters, and even a $2,5000 fine on pharmacists who object to dispensing birth control. A new tax on oil companies magically forbids them from passing along the cost to consumers at the pump.

Why can't liberal politicians resist rewarding their friends even though a passel of new taxes have to be raised to pay for it?

Because they don't care about how your money is spent. They don't see taxes as money coming from you - your property expropriated to pay for services - but rather they see taxes as something they deserve because they know how to spend your money better than you do. In their warped construct, all of your money is theirs. They determine how much of it you can keep - rather than the other way around.

This is how Obama is able to rationalize giving hundreds of billions to his friends in the stim bill and why they not only belittle the tea party movement but really don't understand it. They think you are greedy for wanting to keep more of their money.

Public employee unions, labor unions - they have a similar outlook toward your money. In Madison, as elsewhere, it's share and share alike - even if fiscal catastrophe is staring them in the face.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky



As many states struggle to close big deficits, they are also expanding the power of public employee and other unions. I guess the thinking is, "in crisis, there is opportunity."

Where have we heard that before?

Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal Political Diary takes a look at Wisconsin's efforts to elevate the public sector unions while trying to close a huge budget gap:

The big winners are -- surprise, surprise -- the public sector unions, a fourth branch of government in Madison. The new budget would increase use of the "prevailing wage law" -- the state version of the federal Davis-Bacon Act -- to discourage competition by non-union firms for public works projects. The law would also make it easier for labor to sign up workers on state contracts. Spending on health insurance and retirement benefits for public employees would be hiked by expanding eligibility to domestic partners, costing at least $15 million a year. The budget also makes it easier for home health-care workers to become eligible for collective bargaining. "Here we are up to our eyeballs in debt, and we're hiking the budget in nearly every agency," complains Mark Block, head of the Wisconsin Americans for Prosperity.

Then there's a smorgasbord of new taxes to pay for it all. Gov. Doyle and legislative Democrats propose raising the income tax to 7.75% on "rich" people, expanding the sales tax to cover more services, and raising the state cap-gains tax. Some of the proposed taxes are simply bizarre or laughable: a doubling of the garbage tax, higher elk-hunting fees, new vehicle license fees, higher charges for euthanizing dogs and cats in animal shelters, and even a $2,5000 fine on pharmacists who object to dispensing birth control. A new tax on oil companies magically forbids them from passing along the cost to consumers at the pump.

Why can't liberal politicians resist rewarding their friends even though a passel of new taxes have to be raised to pay for it?

Because they don't care about how your money is spent. They don't see taxes as money coming from you - your property expropriated to pay for services - but rather they see taxes as something they deserve because they know how to spend your money better than you do. In their warped construct, all of your money is theirs. They determine how much of it you can keep - rather than the other way around.

This is how Obama is able to rationalize giving hundreds of billions to his friends in the stim bill and why they not only belittle the tea party movement but really don't understand it. They think you are greedy for wanting to keep more of their money.

Public employee unions, labor unions - they have a similar outlook toward your money. In Madison, as elsewhere, it's share and share alike - even if fiscal catastrophe is staring them in the face.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky