Time to abolish public employee unions?

posted at 2:10 pm on February 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

How did Wisconsin and so many other states get to the point of being held hostage to public-sector unions?  Jonah Goldberg gives an instructional tour of the history of the labor-government relationship, which only goes back for most of the country to 1962.  President John Kennedy lifted the ban on public-sector unions at the federal level in that year, but not because civil-service employees faced poor working conditions or uncertain status.  Kennedy liked how the labor movement could feed his party’s needs for support and funding through unionization, Goldberg argues, which put us on an inexorable path to bankruptcy:

Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted, by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil-service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations.

The argument for public unionization wasn’t moral, economic, or intellectual. It was rankly political.

Traditional organized labor, the backbone of the Democratic party, was beginning to lose ground. As Daniel DiSalvo wrote in “The Trouble with Public Sector Unions,” in the fall issue of National Affairs, JFK saw how in states such as New York and Wisconsin, where public unions were already in place, local liberal pols benefited politically and financially. He took the idea national.

The plan worked perfectly — too perfectly. Public-union membership skyrocketed, and government-union support for the party of government skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME — the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees — gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5 percent going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections? Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government. Which is why, as the Manhattan Institute’s Steven Malanga has been chronicling for years, public unions are the country’s foremost advocates for increased taxes at all levels of government.

The problem goes beyond the financial footing of governments, although we have begun to finally appreciate just how damaging that has been.  Thanks to the political clout of public-employee unions (PEUs), the states and the federal government have acted as bill collectors from their own employees to feed union coffers through closed-shop rules.  That power has allowed unions to get outrageous pension benefits with little or no contribution from their members, as we have seen in Wisconsin, California, and many of the rest of the states burdened with defined-benefit pension plans.

The unions act, in effect, as a workaround to state legislatures on budgeting and bureaucratic management.  This process has become entirely transparent in Wisconsin, where Senate Democrats insist that Governor Scott Walker has to negotiate budget proposals not with them but with union leaders — effectively giving the unions a veto power on the business of the legislature.  Small wonder President Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned about allowing government workers to unionize, saying “the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

Walker’s proposal in Wisconsin approaches this key problem in a moderate manner.  It does not ban PEUs, as the unions claim, or even collective bargaining.  It does, however, limit the collective bargaining to wages only, and it also takes the state out of the business of collecting union dues.  Walker’s bill would end the requirement of state workers to join the unions at all, making the public sector in Wisconsin (but not the private sector) a “right to work arena,” which it should have been all along.  That’s a reasonable intermediate step to abolishing PEUs, and should address the imbalance in control of public policy.

What do you think?  Take the poll:


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Comment pages: 1 2

yep…..

t on February 23, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Goldberg, as usual, is spot on.

If only…

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Time to abolish public employee unions?

No. The time was 49 years ago.

Scrappy on February 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM

They eat the hand which feeds them and should not be allowed to unionize, nor to ever strike.

Recall the Canadian postal workers who went on strik two weeks ahead of Christmas and didn’t deliver the checks for the elderly and the Christmas cards for all.

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I predict a hostage crisis.

Akzed on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Yes please!

gator70 on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

states decide

ted c on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

We already have given states the right to decide on their own. That shouldn’t be over-ridden on a federal level. This is a state’s right to self-governance.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

For the record, expansive voter engagement on a state and local level would have diminished the actual power of organized interests such as unions, in other words pre-tea party America and the no-shows at the voting booth deserve blame as well.

rob verdi on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Unions have no place in the public sector. No one is making a profit from their labor. If they don’t like the wages and benefits, they can look for work elsewhere.

ProfessorMiao on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I predict a hostage crisis.

Akzed on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Drop the union from the bill, or junior gets it in the neck!
/teachers

ted c on February 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Federalism people, let the States make their own call.

I, of course, would vote to outlaw them here in Jersey, but it should nonetheless be up to the voters.

On that note, if anyone in Jersey wants to help us stand up for taxpayers, we’ll be rallying in Trenton at noon on Friday. Assuming our turnout is good, we’ll follow it up next week with calls on Governor Christie to pull a Scott Walker and limit CB rights here too.

Go here for more information and email us if you can make it.

russcote on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Bottom line is….these unions are in business to keep Democrats in office, using all of our tax dollars, aka dues.

I do not vote democrat, nor support them in any way.

I do not believe any tax dollars paid to support public payrolls should be used toward any political office. Period.

It’s time to end this b.s. We need teachers, cops, firemen, etc… but I do NOT want my tax dollars going toward any entity supporting one party, that I don’t support, nor for any I do support. If I want to donate, and a public worker wants to donate..so be it. But never….NEVER by force.

capejasmine on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

In a word…YES….in a few words….HELL YES!

milwife88 on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

We already have given states the right to decide on their own. That shouldn’t be over-ridden on a federal level. This is a state’s right to self-governance.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Let statres decide in the states and wash away the federal unions.

darwin-t on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

gator70 on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Ditto!

WhoU4 on February 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

I think the TSA workers just them one…

d1carter on February 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Union dues feed Democrat campaign coffers which influences those Democrats to support increased power and protections for the unions they are beholden to. Simple really. Slimey, rotten and wrong, but simple.

SKYFOX on February 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

I would strongly recommend that all states learn from the tactics Dems are using and quickly pass laws that limit the amount of time any representative can vacate a seat before the leader of the particular entity have the power to appoint a replacement.

Nip future antics such as this. I think I’m repeating, but I’m surprised the IN Dems aren’t getting more coverage. They met Daniels nice words about taking the open shop law off the table with a list of more demands, including a bill that would expand charter schools in the cities. So that tells me, anyway, that this will be their minority tactic.

Time to put a stop to being held hostage by the now minority group.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Unions have no place in the public sector. No one is making a profit from their labor. If they don’t like the wages and benefits, they can look for work elsewhere.

ProfessorMiao on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

There is no there, elsewhere. This is the best they get.
Poor beleaguered babies. We are just mean, aren’t we?

NJ Red on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

FDR approves.

Good Lt on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

by the way, this is going to get worse before it gets better, and I suspect it may not even get better. We are witnessing the nullification of an election, the consequences of which no one can actually predict as of yet.

rob verdi on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Over 50% favor the federal government banning PEUs at the state level?

Wow. So much for state’s rights and the 10th amendment…

Claudin on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Can taxpayers unionize and refuse to pay the other unions…?/

d1carter on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Anti-trust laws should have been applied to all unions.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Let statres decide in the states and wash away the federal unions.

darwin-t on February 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I am not pro-public-employee union. However, at this point in time, we don’t have the votes in the Senate.

And it definitely would break along partisan lines. No chance for compromise from the Dems.

So it’s a moot issue to me on the federal level.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I want to respect the states’ rights, so I am hesitant to call for a nationwide ban. But unions destroy everything but the union boss’s and politician’s bank accounts.

search4truth on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

We already have given states the right to decide on their own. That shouldn’t be over-ridden on a federal level. This is a state’s right to self-governance.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I can’t believe I’m typing this, but I agree with Ann(formerly in CA now in TX unless she made another widely communicated move). I voted for squashing it at the federal level and letting the states decide.

That said, no bailouts to CA, IL, et al. Let ‘em burn as the unions and Dems firewall themselves in those states. I like the states-as-laboratories notion. But if others feel that preemption is in order, I guess I’m okay.

Comments?

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Over 50% favor the federal government banning PEUs at the state level?

Wow. So much for state’s rights and the 10th amendment…

Claudin on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I know. I’m so proud of myself. I am officially more conservative than some of the conservatives on this one. *giggle*

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Time to abolish public employee unions?

Yes.

Public unions are utterly destructive to the democratic process – the evidence is overwhelming for the last 50 years to today, both on the federal level and the state level.

Rebar on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Wow. So much for state’s rights and the 10th amendment…

Claudin on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Unions are an assault on state governments — one which the federal government is justified in defending them from.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Errr…..YES!

jawkneemusic on February 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

What a shock, a Dem, rich, Taxacuhsetts politician opens the door to unions. That was probably his election promise.

Hening on February 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Seriously, the right of states to determine this and other economic policies has been the reason why many of the more Southern states finally got out of the poverty pit. They installed pro-business policies, kept unions at bay with open shop policies, and slowly, businesses responded.

The result has been far more equity than in the past across the country. There are still states with dire poverty problems, yes. But it’s helped to even things out better than any federal policy or law could have done.

Look at VA. That state is fiscally sound now. GA is growing by leaps and bounds.

We need to give states the right to duke this out for themselves.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Nothing more than an ATM machine for the Democrats. Time to go.

Mason on February 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Over 50% favor the federal government banning PEUs at the state level?

Wow. So much for state’s rights and the 10th amendment…

Claudin on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I favor a constitutional amendment at the federal level, and in all 50 state constitutions, to bar PEU’s. That would lay the “constitutionality” question to rest.

gryphon202 on February 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I am with you.

NJ Red on February 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

of course, we WOULD need the baby Democrats to show up to take a vote….if they could find time away from their taxpayer-funded vacations. Fleebaggers!

search4truth on February 23, 2011 at 2:27 PM

We need to give states the right to duke this out for themselves.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

On the state level, I absolutely agree.

gryphon202 on February 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

People have a right to peaceably assemble but the government does not have a right to organize against the interests of We the People.

FloatingRock on February 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I’d go with the Walker approach because it has a chance of being passed, it has a chance of being acceptable to the general public. Give people a choice.

If the summer protests go too far, and things get ugly, then ban all unions, not just government employees unions.

Skandia Recluse on February 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

by the way, this is going to get worse before it gets better, and I suspect it may not even get better. We are witnessing the nullification of an election, the consequences of which no one can actually predict as of yet.

rob verdi on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

This is why Walker should break up the bill and pass the collective bargaining part, which WI can do without the Dems to provide a super-quorum. Then, the Dems are left sitting in Illinois pouting over the financial matters, while Walker starts laying off state workers because Dems won’t vote on measures that all (except the Rachel Maddows of the world) agree have to be made.

Walker and the GOP won the election. Get going. As things stand, WI is at a stalemate, and it’s bondrating is set to be downgraded on Friday or Monday. Dems still think they have the upper hand by sitting in Illinois. The financial adjustments are NON-NEGOTIABLE. So pass what might be arguably negotiable while the Dems are being unreasonable, and let them look like whiners sticking up for overpaid public-sector employees.

When WI improves as a result of the CBA legislation, Wisconsinite will say, “I’m glad in the end he did it.”

So do it.

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Funny that the progs are all in a tizzy over what they suggest is excessive funding of candidates by corporations, but union funding is no problem: Union Contributions Exceed That of All Business 1989-2009

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

H377 FREAKIN’ YEAH!

CynicalOptimist on February 23, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Over 50% favor the federal government banning PEUs at the state level?

Wow. So much for state’s rights and the 10th amendment…

Claudin on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I was inclined to vote for the second option but voted for the first because I don’t want PEU’s at the federal level nor in my state. The second option seemed to leave the state issue too open ended so I chose the first.

FloatingRock on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

JFK saw how in states such as New York and Wisconsin, where public unions were already in place, local liberal pols benefited politically and financially. He took the idea national.

Scott Walker is fighting this problem from one of the two states where it started 50 years ago. No wonder he’s fighting so much resistance. If he can do it there, governors can do it anywhere.

Steve Z on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Yes.

Organizing is done against the representative government of society: this is not a corporation nor eeeeevvvvviiiillll profit making organization out to ‘exploit’ those who work there. This is the public sector where the rules are known, the hiring procedures are known, the way performance is assessed is known and all of that is created by the representative government of the people. Any organizing done to go against that is the few trying to dictate to the many, and extract more benefits out for the few. Those who join such unions feel ‘entitled’ to enhanced benefits, wages and perks. When the few feel entitled to dictate to the many you are no longer in a representative democracy, but a system heading down the path to an aristocracy overseeing serfs.

There is no ‘right’ to collective bargaining – it is a privelege and enforced by legislation so that employers can be barred from making decisions on their workforce by a collusion of government and unions. When that is applied against the public welfare by unions that support one party in an overwhelming way so it can get elected by the use of union support, then the public can and should withdraw that privelege.

When one enters into public service it is at the rules, wages, benefits and conditions set by the public. Any attempt to over-ride that is against the process of representative democracy. You enter into the contract with the public with your eyes wide open: you need no one to intercede on your behalf because all of what you are embarking on is public, not private. That is true at ALL levels of public government in a representative democracy with a republican form of government. We are guaranteed that by the Constitution and any process that goes against the republican formation of government run via a representative democracy is unconstitutional. This is not a ‘States rights’ matter but a guarantee by our Constitution to all within the Nation.

ajacksonian on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

If Republicans overreached with their budget-repair bill and unfairly restricted the rights of unions, then let Democrats go on record opposing the bill and make it the centerpiece of the next legislative election in Wisconsin. Under the circumstances, though, the Democrats who have tried to hijack democracy in order to dictate terms should be the ones who fear the next election the most.

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Unions are an assault on state governments — one which the federal government is justified in defending them from.
Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

Be careful there friend.
That is a nasty slippery slope you’re standing at the top of there.
So if the feds have to protect the states from federal unions, what else can we say the feds need to protect the states from?
How ’bout everything?
You know it’d go there.
This is a state’s right issue.
You cannot protect the states from themselves.
If they are that stupid, people will eventually leave & the state govt will have to change things to bring them back.
This is why each state is a sovereign entity.
50 little governments all in a pact together under the Const.

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Take the ban hammer to them.
Back in the 1980s one summer I got a job as a park & rec. aide I at a NY state historic site. For that job I had to join AFSCME, even though I got absolutely no benefits, not even health insurance from AFSCME. You had to move up to park & rec. aide II to get anything. Essentially, I had to give a kickback to the union for my job.

rbj on February 23, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Kennedy liked how the labor movement could feed his party’s needs for support and funding through unionization

Kennedy was, and always will be, a piece of crap.
The only reason people put him on a pedestal is bcs he got shot & died.
He would have taken us over the edge.
He & all of those Kennedy spawn, were ruthless opportunists, out for power.
Bad eggs.

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Scott Walker is fighting this problem from one of the two states where it started 50 years ago. No wonder he’s fighting so much resistance. If he can do it there, governors can do it anywhere.

Steve Z on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

I’m not sure every public employee union has garnered quite that much power or even have the benefits and pension bloat problem.

That is really why I think states should decide this one. Even in CA for ages, college professors were in a union, but it was much more like an association than a union. They never did sick-outs. And the negotiatons on a state level made better fiscal sense than doing it college by college, for example.

Each state knows how it works in their own area.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:39 PM

I have no problem if people want to join a union. I have always had the problem that you HAVE to join the union to get the job.

lwssdd on February 23, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Let the states decide for themselves, this way the states without these parasites will reap the benefits from the states which are run by these unions.

So President Kennedy lifted the ban through Executive Order? Does this mean the ban can be brought back through Executive Order?

Daemonocracy on February 23, 2011 at 2:40 PM

ajacksonian on February 23, 2011 at 2:33 PM

But we have granted specific rights to states to decide whether they wish to grant collective bargaining or not to public employees. You would undo that right?

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I waffled between total ban and Fed only/let states decide, but came down on the side of total ban. Until we get safeguards in the law preventing the myriad of ways the national politicians can dole out money to states that do have PEU’s, (which I deem an impossible task) it’s better to go with a total ban.

Dusty on February 23, 2011 at 2:42 PM

BuckeyeSam on February 23, 2011 at 2:29 PM

100%

Koa on February 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Kennedy allowed PEUs at the federal level by executive order, I believe. California’s situation is different*, because they were authorized by an act of the legislature in the late 70s, the Dills Act, which was signed by then-Governor Jerry Brown…

It may be karmic justice that he’s back and has to deal with the consequences.

irishspy on February 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I think we should ban federal PEUs and allow the states to choose for themselves. But any federal dollars the states receive have to be used for the specific purpose it is given and cannot be given to any unions.

I agree with Rush, Unions have become an elaborate money laundering scheme for Dems.

Sporty1946 on February 23, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Back in the 90′s there was a major dispute concerning the political activities of the State Bar of California. The Bar had a lobbying group that used mandatory dues to support politically divisive issues such as abortion. So, if you wanted to be a lawyer in CA, you had to financially support Democrat politicians and abortion, whether you liked it or not. The only other option was to not be a lawyer in CA. Eventually, the US Supreme Court held the use of such mandatory fees illegal. The State Bar was thrown in disarray, bad lawyers went undisciplined, etc. But eventually, the legitimate functions of the Bar were separated from the illegitimate political functions. The legitimate functions were supported by mandatory dues. The political functions were supported only by voluntary donations.

What is so hard about that? I would not have a problem with collective bargaining by PEU if they were not financing the campaigns of the politicians on the other side of the table with mandatory dues.

tommylotto on February 23, 2011 at 2:45 PM

But we have granted specific rights to states to decide whether they wish to grant collective bargaining or not to public employees. You would undo that right?

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I voted in the poll to allow states to decide, but I’m having second thoughts. Those parasites can capture a state and make the regular workers their serfs with no alternative but to move out of state, which will disrupt families, etc.

The harm done by PEU thugs may rise to the level of denying civil rights to the host taxpayer organisms.

pedestrian on February 23, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I am sensing a campaign issue for the President in 2012.

Being able to quote FDR and the AFL guy added to the actual results from the past 50 years…

There are already laws that cover the complaints that arise. So it is only a way to give money to the union bosses to give back to the politicians.

petunia on February 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I like the Walker approach because it will lead to an implosion when too many PEU members see how much they’ll have to shell out for dues and just stop paying. Then you get a tipping point where decertification is possible.
Let the destruction of the PEUs come from the bottom up.

either orr on February 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

We are witnessing the nullification of an election, the consequences of which no one can actually predict as of yet.

rob verdi on February 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Let’s hope it’s an attempt to nullify an election, an attempt that will fail.

ProfessorMiao on February 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Only on the same level that RICO or anti-trust laws or the federal prosecution of the KKK are. These are things that need to be enforced from as high as possible, because they make governance on the lower levels impossible.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:51 PM

People actually voted for:

PEUs are necessary to protect public workers

?????

Who protects the taxpayer?

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Kennedy was, and always will be, a piece of crap.
The only reason people put him on a pedestal is bcs he got shot & died.
He would have taken us over the edge.
He & all of those Kennedy spawn, were ruthless opportunists, out for power.
Bad eggs.

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Agreed; it’s been almost fifty years. I hope that by now we can speak the truth about the Kennedy Crime Family.

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

California’s situation is different*, because they were authorized by an act of the legislature in the late 70s, the Dills Act, which was signed by then-Governor Jerry Brown…

It may be karmic justice that he’s back and has to deal with the consequences.

irishspy on February 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

I did not know that.
Bitten by the sins of his previous political incarnation.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I want to respect the states’ rights, so I am hesitant to call for a nationwide ban. But unions destroy everything but the union boss’s and politician’s bank accounts.

search4truth

Think of it this way; do we allow the states to determine whether or not bribery of public officials is ok?

No, of course not. The practice of using tax money against the tax payer and harming his franchise is wrong at all levels.

chimney sweep on February 23, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I think that the unions actually negotiated their way out. The pension plans are the key problem for states right now.

They have to be able to deal with this on a go-forward basis, and the only way to do that is either really get big concession or undo the public unions.

It seems to always work out in the end.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

states decide

ted c on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Yup, it was hard not to vote to ban PEU’s altogether. But to be intellectually honest, I have to say ban it for all fed employees, then let the states decide for employees of their own.

petefrt on February 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

“Time to abolish public employee unions?”

Yes…!

… And I wouldn’t mind getting some of my money back, either.

Seven Percent Solution on February 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM

As Michael Barone so succinctly put it:

Public Unions Force Taxpayers to Fund Democrats

It has got to stop. There is an inherent conflict of interest in public sector unions spending money to elect Democrats who then increase taxes to pay public sector employees whose unions collect dues which they spend to elect Democrats.

It is corrupt, incestuous, and it needs to be made illegal everywhere.

IronDioPriest on February 23, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Yes!!

JimK on February 23, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Indiana’s Republican lawmakers have killed the “right-to-work” bill that sparked huge protests at the statehouse and caused Democrats to flee the state, the Indianapolis Star reports today.

The legislation would have barred companies and unions from requiring non-union employees to pay dues for union representation, making Indiana the nation’s 23rd “right-to-work” state.

Democrats in the Indiana Assembly emulated their Wisconsin counterparts, staging an escape to Illinois Tuesday to prevent a quorum for a vote. But unlike in Wisconsin, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels asked Republicans to drop the bill so Democrats would return to work.

“I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issues raised,” Daniels told Politico.

Democrats said Wednesday that they won’t come back to the state until Daniels and the Indiana House Speaker promise not to revive other labor and education measures. Republicans warned the truant lawmakers not to push their luck.

BusinessInsider.

Sigh.

Wethal on February 23, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Most states are enslaved by the union thugs as well, and freeing them will be next to impossible, same with the federal level.

I wish I could draw, I have a perfect idea for an editorial cartoon.

A big fat thug with a crown on his head and PEU emblazened on his chest, holding a chain that is attached to the noses of Obama, followed by a group labled Democrats, and they would be walking on a carpet of grimacing bodies labeled “Tax Payers”

A good bumper sticker slogan;

Unions aren’t royalty and taxpayers aren’t their serfs.

flyfishingdad on February 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM

The problem of letting states decide on their own, is that it is exceedingly difficult to break the unions stranglehold on state governments.

In some cases, such as MA and CA, it will be impossible until they are literally bankrupt – and maybe not even then.

Rebar on February 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Odd that we really haven’t seen many polls about this. That can only mean one thing … public opinion doesn’t favor unions.

Why would it? Unions are a relatively small portion of the job force yet the rest of us pay for them.

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 3:06 PM

As a result of these imbalances, and of the illusion that unemployment can be brought down with government spending, the Federal Reserve has been printing dollars like crazy — half of them to purchase Treasury bonds. The policy of easy money has contributed to skyrocketing commodity prices, whose ugly political, social and economic consequences we are only beginning to see around the world.

Given this context, the battle of Wisconsin — who would have thought? — has acquired planetary significance. If the forces of reason prevail, the contagion could spread like wildfire, bringing sanity to Washington and across the nation. If they don’t, the best chance in many years to reverse America’s slow decline will have been missed.

Schadenfreude on February 23, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Education has been decimated by public unions.

faraway on February 23, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Worst job I ever had was back in the 80′s working for state guvmit. My co-workers were the dullest, laziest, most overpaid louts imaginable. The Vets Pref hires were the worst.

All AFSME folks. Routinely took 2 people to do the job of 1.

Made 2- 3 bucks more an hour than private sector with 100% benes. Stayed a little over a year; had to quit because working there was making me insane.

PEU’s? Shut ‘em down.

Bruno Strozek on February 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Sigh.

Wethal on February 23, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I hear ya.

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Its time to get past the politics and ask why legalized extortion of public monies is good for the nation.

What accountability is there for public unions when the only possible result from the get go is the corrupt symbiotic relationship between colluding unions combine with colluded politicians? Is the payee going to hold the payer responsible? No, its just more double down dirty rotten to the core politics.

Wrong in government, its our responsibility to root it out and that’s the intent of the voters behind the Republican tsunami in Nov.

Speakup on February 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Bruno Strozek on February 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM

What union workers often find is that if you work your butt off and try to get ahead, some fat guy with garlic breath will want to ‘have a little talk with you’. If you make the other workers look bad, you will be set straight. This happens in both government unions and private.

Unions are plantations of mediocrity.

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Why would local government unions give so much in federal elections?

When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can count on the support of Paul.

iurockhead on February 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM

One doesn’t need to go so far as banning them — Just limit their political activity by one means or another. Some possibilities (some may be incompatible with others but achieve various goals) :

* Any pol agreeing to receive direct or indirect monetary or get out the vote union support must recuse themselves from all decisions regarding unions (laws, regulations, appointments, pay, benefits, etc, etc). You know, sort of like how non-profit leaderships are expected to operate so they don’t favor (profit) any particular person or entity.

* Unions get out the vote activities for candidates or causes must generic, not partisan in nature — they can’t target specific individuals, parties, or causes for their support.

* Require unions to poll and behave according to the spectrum of their membership, not according to the whim of their leadership. If 10% want one thing and 90% another, that’s how the union must break down it’s support for (political) causes.

drfredc on February 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Jonah Goldberg also said, on FNC last night, that we need to remember that more people watch “The Mentalist” on TV every week than belong to a labor union. The people are definitely the tail wagging the dog.

KS Rex on February 23, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Unsure/No opinion 0.12% (3 votes)

Nice to see we have 3 moderate Republicans on this site.

/s

A. Weasel on February 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Unions collective bargaining and arbitration have no place with public workers … NONE.

Whatever happened to ‘servants”.

tarpon on February 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM

There is one thing that would instantly suck all the coverage of the unions protests in Wisconsin and other states …

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Only on the same level that RICO or anti-trust laws or the federal prosecution of the KKK are. These are things that need to be enforced from as high as possible, because they make governance on the lower levels impossible.

Count to 10 on February 23, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Only do I agree in that vein.
But that particular union needs to be involved in such things to be prosecuted & not all fo them are, though Iwould wager many of them are.
I disagree with the feds banning unions.

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 3:43 PM

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Barry’s birth certificate?

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Whatever happened to ‘servants”.

tarpon on February 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Oh you know the answer to that one, taxpayer.

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM

10th amendment. Feds can ban PEU’s for Feds, states have to do it on their own. Let stupid states do stupid things, and let them burn when it goes bad.

TABoLK on February 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM

BusinessInsider.

Sigh.

Wethal on February 23, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I’ve been defending Daniels and understand where he is coming from and how important his education reform is, but he inadvertently hurt the efforts of Wisconsin and soon to be Ohio with this set back. It looks like bad behavior was rewarded and perception is always reality in politics.

Daemonocracy on February 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM

We already have given states the right to decide on their own. That shouldn’t be over-ridden on a federal level. This is a state’s right to self-governance.
AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Which end somewhere after ensuring unions are well funded and asking for a photo ID at the election polls.

BobMbx on February 23, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Barry’s birth certificate?

Badger40 on February 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM

That would work too. I was thinking if Palin announced she’s running the media would go ape and cover very little of Wisconsin.

darwin on February 23, 2011 at 3:51 PM

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