Government unions ask us to sacrifice Reply


By Tom Quiner

Here’s what I said on my recent post titled, A Tale of Two Protests:

“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.”

Here’s a response I received back:

“I agree with you on this, but it was my impression that you felt that there shouldn’t be limitations on PAC contributions, plus you agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling that there shouldn’t be limitations on what corporations or any private group can spend to influence people or politicians. Isn’t this just what the public employee unions are doing? Exerting their constitutional right to overly influence our politicians?”

My response:  Yes, that is what they’re doing, and I support their right to make PAC contributions without limit.

Having said that, it’s time for push back.

Here’s the dynamic at work:  unionized private companies can’t compete as well with their non-unionized counterparts.  For example, Honda and Toyota increased jobs as General Motors and Chrysler shed jobs.

Unions have successfully organized government workers because government has two huge advantages:  there’s no competition and they never go out of business.

They lobby for higher taxes and increased government spending to pay for their growing perks.

I reiterate:  there is some top notch talent working for government at different levels.  But the recession we’re in shows how out of whack things have gotten:

• Total union compensation grew twice as fast as the private sector’s last year (2.4 vs. 1.2 percent).

• The average state or local government employee earns $39.83 an hours in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector (according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

• More than 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions while just half of private-sector workers do.

As the Heritage Foundation shows in the chart below, unionized government employees now exceed private union members:

Union dollars pour into the coffers of the Democratic Party.  Democrats are beholden to these unions and have aggressively shifted our tax dollars into government worker’s paychecks,

If you’re okay with this, vote Democrat.

If you’re not, write a letter to the editor or get people to this blog.

If you’re not, donate a few bucks to a PAC that calls for sanity in government spending.

If you’re not, vote for someone else.  It may be a Republican.  But if you do vote for a Republican, make it clear that you demand fiscal accountability.  That includes leveling the playing the field between public and private sector employees.

Government employees work for us, not the other way around.