March 2, 2011

How Unions Dis Taxpayers

Investor's Business Daily
written by Herman Cain
Wednesday March 2, 2011 6:11pm ET

The mayhem in Madison, Wis., over the last two weeks has highlighted the determination of organized labor unions to continue to restrict workers' rights, and to try to intimidate Gov. Scott Walker and the taxpayers into some more unsustainable demands.


Choosing to join a union vs. being forced to do so as a condition of employment is a restriction on a worker's rights. Joining a union or any other organization should be an individual's choice.

And the desire of the unions to continue to make unsustainable demands on local, state and federal government irrespective of the devastating financial impacts is totally illogical, not to mention being a collective disregard for the nearly 90% of the workers and taxpayers who pay them.

For years in some states, the unions have consistently helped elect Democratic governors and legislatures who have said "thank you" by passing union-favored legislation for the benefit of the unions and the re-election of their Democratic friends.

The Democrats would then find ways to pass these favors and demands on to the taxpayers in the form of higher taxes. And when the Democrats could not raise taxes high enough and fast enough, they would create deficits and future commitments to force future tax increases.

Little by little, this political favoritism has made the disparity between total compensation for public-sector employees and private-sector employees bigger and bigger — and unsustainable.

Then in Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a Republican state legislature got elected after eight years of Democratic control in the governor's office and the state legislature. Gov. Walker announced to the public that Wisconsin is broke!

Instead of letting the state's credit card continue to go past its spending limit, he proposed a solution, which does not include raising taxes as the unions have forced the Democrats to do for many years.

The unions went ballistic and then launched a protest at the state capital. Their protests are intended to gain public support for their claims of destroying their collective bargaining rights, but there are no chants of how the unions have also confiscated the rights of their members, or how their demands will bankrupt the state.

Read the bill! Collective bargaining for wages is in the bill. The unsustainable benefits that would create a $3.6 billion deficit for the state of Wisconsin over the next two years, and tie the hands of local governments to balance their budgets, are changed. The proposed changes would still have public-sector workers paying about half what their private-sector counterparts pay in contributions to their benefits packages.

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