This may be the most important political battle of 2011 – from JS Online:
Governor-elect Scott Walker raised the possibility of essentially abolishing state employee unions on Tuesday as one option to control rising employee benefits costs and eliminate the state’s budget deficit.
Walker, a Republican, said he’s looking at a range of options that would weaken unions, including eliminating their ability to negotiate with the state.
“Anything from the decertify all the way through modifications of the current laws in place,” Walker said at a luncheon sponsored by the Milwaukee Press Club at the Newsroom Pub.
“The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers and the people who care about services.”…
The States are, in lesser or greater degree, bankrupt and what is really blowing the budgets are the public sector union contracts. While the pay for public sector employees tends to outpace private sector (and that is bad, in and of itself – no one who is supported by taxpayers should, on average, make more than taxpayers), it is their pension benefits which really break the bank. For little or no worker contribution, public sector unions enjoy lavish retirement and health care benefits – and can often obtain these benefits when they are still quite young (no waiting around until 65 like the rest of us).
Unless States can reign in the costs of union employees, they can’t balance their budgets. This battle in Wisconsin may prove crucial. Governor Christie has led the way, but Governor-elect Walker proposes to take it to the next level – breaking the power of the unions to drain the people’s money in to union pay and benefits. Government has many vital functions to perform and such functions are harmed by having bloated personnel budgets – it is a matter of choosing between a fat pension for a government employee and good schools for the kids.
If Walker can win this fight, he’ll blaze a trail for the rest of the States and localities to follow, and from there we can get our State finances in order and start to revive our national economy as the burden of government is reduced. Watch for a hard and nasty battle here – the unions will not go down without a fight, and the MSM will be right there with the unions, saying that we Republicans are trying to kill granny and beat puppies to death with tire irons with these proposals. But if we hunker down and win this fight, we’ll have broken through to real reform; reform which won’t be reversible at the next election and which will set America firmly on a center-right course for the future.
Certainly, a fight well worth having…