A Tale of Two Protests Reply


Riots broke out in Greece as their lawmakers approved austerity cuts for their profligate government.

Who are their rioters?  Tens of thousands of civil servants.  They turned violent in the face of cuts that will affect their pocket books.  These government workers live well.  After 35 years of government service, they can retire at 80 percent of their highest salary.  They enjoy Cadillac health plans, vacations, and other perks that their private sector counterparts, who foot the bill, don’t.

Greece was forced to make cuts in order to receive a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.  Greek was on the verge economic collapse as their government debt had climbed to 150 percent of its GDP.

Greek rioters are upset that their gravy train is coming to an end.  Can you blame them?

In the U.S., protests have broken out in the past year or so over profligate government spending.

Who are the protesters?  Regular folks.  Business owners.  Housewives.  Veterans.  They gather peacefully in cities across the country in a movement known as the “Tea Party Protests.”

Unlike the violent protesters in Greece who don’t care about their government’s debt, the Tea Party protesters care very much.  They look at how it has climbed since President Reagan left office.  In 1989, U.S. federal debt was about 52 percent of GDP.  By the end of next year, President Obama’s cumulative budget deficit will rise to an estimated level of 94 percent of GDP and climbing.

The Tea Party movement is worried about how the government spends their money.  When the recession hit, private employers shed jobs to stay afloat while state and local governments hired 110,000 new workers.

Under Obama’s budget, the federal government will increase the size of the federal workforce by 14.5 percent.

More than half of union members in the U.S. are now public employees.  They are well paid.  Federal employees earn about double what their private sector counterparts earn when you factor in salaries and benefits.

This is a serious gap between public and private employees in light of the fact that private employees are footing most of the bills.  We have some great employees working for us at the local, state, and federal levels.  But something’s wrong when private workers are losing jobs and wages and public ones aren’t.

Something’s wrong when federal employees make so much more than the working class families who pay their salaries.

Something’s wrong when public employee unions donate lavishly to one political party, the one that keeps the perks and jobs flowing for these unions, while the rest of America sacrifices and suffers.

If only Greece had their own Tea Party Movement five or ten years ago, who knows, maybe things would have turned out differently for them.

In America, the Tea Party Movement may be the only thing that saves us from a federal debt that hits 150 percent of GDP.

Who can blame the Tea Party movement for their conscientious support of fiscal sanity?  They deserve our support.

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