Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Governor Walker shows the way
- Get elected with a majority in the State legislature.
- Grant a generous tax reduction to wealthy taxpayers, with small reductions to those with less income.
- Show that there now is a deficit in the State's budget. There isn't enough income to pay for all the services.
- Go after the public employee unions. Tell them they'll have to give up their recent salary increases and accept reduced pensions to reduce the State deficit. Tell them they'll also have to give up collective bargaining, the right to strike, and the deduction for union dues from their paychecks.
Some Republicans (e.g., Karl Rove) like this approach to electoral politics. The unions are mostly strong supporters of the Democratic Party. Weaken or destroy the unions and the Democrats will lack an important resource.
Non-partisan supporters of Governor Walker's ploy may argue that public employees shouldn't be allowed to strike anyway. Government has a monopoly on the services it provides. If the services are stopped because of a strike, the public can't choose another provider. Public employees have [or should have] benefits not enjoyed by workers in private industry, such as better pay, better working conditions, and job security. This non-partisan argument ignores the point that one reason public employees have these benefits is the effectiveness of their union in negotiating with government agencies.
Governor Walker has shown the way. Republican Governors in other States are prepared to follow his lead. I hope that the public recognizes this abominable scheme for what it is and rise up in support of the rights of public employees.