Democrats and unions abandon the children of Wisconsin
Image via WikipediaChicago Tribune Editorial:
America's labor movement can claim historic victories that have served the common good. Safer workplaces. Laws to protect children from workplace exploitation. The eight-hour workday. Those who are in unions can justifiably be proud of those and other accomplishments.Actually they are battling the taxpayers and they are ignoring their jobs. There should be consequences for this bad behavior. Those who walk off their jobs with phony sickness should be fired. That will also help reduce the budget shortfalls.
But how proud are they that the children of Madison, Wis., have missed school the last two days because so many of their teachers abandoned their classrooms and joined a mass demonstration? Joined a mass demonstration to intimidate the members of the Wisconsin Legislature, who are trying to close a $3 billion deficit they face over the next two years?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has demanded that state workers contribute roughly 5.8 percent of their wages toward their retirement. He wants them to pay for 12 percent of their health-care premiums. Those modest employee contributions would be the envy of many workers in the private sector.
Walker wants government officials to have authority to reshape public-employee benefits without collective bargaining. Walker wouldn't remove the right of unions to bargain for wages.
No, he is not seeking to eliminate unions, though you might get that impression from the heated rhetoric of the employees and even from President Barack Obama, who called this an "assault on unions."
Walker is trying to give Wisconsin a reality check. In response, public workers have interrupted the Legislature. Madison and many neighboring public schools have closed because so many teachers called in sick and left to join the protest. Democratic lawmakers disappeared on Thursday to stall a vote on the budget measures. Apparently some of them fled to … Illinois.
Public sentiment is changing. There is a growing sense that public-sector unions are not battling for better, safer workplaces. They're not battling unscrupulous employers. They're battling … the common good.
Democrats see Wisconsin as a place to rally their forces. I think this will backfire on them. The Tea Party video below of the Wisconsin senators on the run is one good example of that.