Public workers unions have it backwards

Ed Lasky
Numerous articles and blog posts at American Thinker and elsewhere have begun to highlight the time bombs that are exploding state and federal budgets across our nation. These are the demands made on the public purse (and our wallets) by public employee unions who want to protect their gold-plated salaries, health benefits, and pension windfalls at all costs.

These unions are often behind secretive and shadowy efforts - such as the one in Illinois - to destroy the Tea Party because they see the people who want to restore fiscal sobriety and to protect their children from a life of penury as the enemy. The SEIU, for example, funded this anti-Tea Party website. Funds from unions, including from the public employee union Amercian Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), are pouring into political slush fund s for Democratic activists.

Oregon public employee unions spend millions of their union members' dues to pass a referendum that approved massive tax hikes in Oregon.(see "Taxpayer Ambush in Oregon: The Public Unions Win in Portland). Similar union-funded so-called grassroots groups (that is, astroturf) complaining about the dire need for tax hikes are springing up across the nation like a national outbreak of crabgrass.
Another example of such "civic virtue" among out government unions is found in the Land of Lincoln where "doomsday" is happening for some taxpayers, but not for public servants.

In order to crawl from beneath crushing debt and reach fiscal solvency, Illinois legislators must choose from a series of options that range from bad to worse, according to a prominent watchdog group.

The Civic Federation wants to launch an intervention that includes significant budget cuts and the largest tax increase package in Illinois history, all in an effort to save the state from a $12.8 billion budget deficit.

"Doomsday is here for the state of Illinois," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation President, to the Sun-Times.

The group says it would support a state income tax increase from 3 percent to 5 percent. It also recommends the state tax retirees' pension and Social Security checks be taxed for the first time at the same rate as workers' paychecks. They want another $1 increase on a pack of cigarettes and to eliminate $181 million in corporate tax breaks

In order to crawl from beneath crushing debt and reach fiscal solvency, Illinois legislators must choose from a series of options that range from bad to worse, according to a prominent watchdog group.

The Civic Federation wants to launch an intervention that includes significant budget cuts and the largest tax increase package in Illinois history, all in an effort to save the state from a $12.8 billion budget deficit.

"Doomsday is here for the state of Illinois," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation President, to the Sun-Times.

"The unions are not interested."

American politicians have been spoiling government employee unions for decades. Barack Obama and Democrats talk a great deal about the community and the need for shared sacrifice. Yet, what do we see when the microphones are turned off? More sweetheart contracts signing away our kids' futures so public employee unions can rake in the cash.

No wonder one of the first acts of the Obama presidency was to ditch the laws requiring unions to report how they spend their members' dues. They are going towards efforts to swing elections to politicians who will be in the unions' pockets.

But when asked to share the sacrifice to restore some sanity to our governments budgets and to stop doomsday, the unions are AWOL.

Public servants? No. We, the taxpayers, serve them.


Numerous articles and blog posts at American Thinker and elsewhere have begun to highlight the time bombs that are exploding state and federal budgets across our nation. These are the demands made on the public purse (and our wallets) by public employee unions who want to protect their gold-plated salaries, health benefits, and pension windfalls at all costs.

These unions are often behind secretive and shadowy efforts - such as the one in Illinois - to destroy the Tea Party because they see the people who want to restore fiscal sobriety and to protect their children from a life of penury as the enemy. The SEIU, for example, funded this anti-Tea Party website. Funds from unions, including from the public employee union Amercian Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), are pouring into political slush fund s for Democratic activists.

Oregon public employee unions spend millions of their union members' dues to pass a referendum that approved massive tax hikes in Oregon.(see "Taxpayer Ambush in Oregon: The Public Unions Win in Portland). Similar union-funded so-called grassroots groups (that is, astroturf) complaining about the dire need for tax hikes are springing up across the nation like a national outbreak of crabgrass.

Another example of such "civic virtue" among out government unions is found in the Land of Lincoln where "doomsday" is happening for some taxpayers, but not for public servants.

In order to crawl from beneath crushing debt and reach fiscal solvency, Illinois legislators must choose from a series of options that range from bad to worse, according to a prominent watchdog group.

The Civic Federation wants to launch an intervention that includes significant budget cuts and the largest tax increase package in Illinois history, all in an effort to save the state from a $12.8 billion budget deficit.

"Doomsday is here for the state of Illinois," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation President, to the Sun-Times.

The group says it would support a state income tax increase from 3 percent to 5 percent. It also recommends the state tax retirees' pension and Social Security checks be taxed for the first time at the same rate as workers' paychecks. They want another $1 increase on a pack of cigarettes and to eliminate $181 million in corporate tax breaks

In order to crawl from beneath crushing debt and reach fiscal solvency, Illinois legislators must choose from a series of options that range from bad to worse, according to a prominent watchdog group.

The Civic Federation wants to launch an intervention that includes significant budget cuts and the largest tax increase package in Illinois history, all in an effort to save the state from a $12.8 billion budget deficit.

"Doomsday is here for the state of Illinois," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation President, to the Sun-Times.

"The unions are not interested."

American politicians have been spoiling government employee unions for decades. Barack Obama and Democrats talk a great deal about the community and the need for shared sacrifice. Yet, what do we see when the microphones are turned off? More sweetheart contracts signing away our kids' futures so public employee unions can rake in the cash.

No wonder one of the first acts of the Obama presidency was to ditch the laws requiring unions to report how they spend their members' dues. They are going towards efforts to swing elections to politicians who will be in the unions' pockets.

But when asked to share the sacrifice to restore some sanity to our governments budgets and to stop doomsday, the unions are AWOL.

Public servants? No. We, the taxpayers, serve them.