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WaPo Columnist E.J. Dionne Needs a Civics Lesson

posted at 4:02 pm on March 1, 2011 by

Would that Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne knew as much about civics as he seems to know about the history of the state of Wisconsin.

In his column yesterday, in which Dionne sides (spoiler alert) with public unions over their employers—the taxpayers—he enlightens his readers on the history of Wisconsin, which he notes has previously “been at the center of national agitation over the role of unions.”

I will spare my own readers Dionne’s history lesson and his de rigueur sanctimony over the plight of the downtrodden as the playthings of greedy corporate special interests and cut to the chase. Which for him is the declaration that Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to curtail collective bargaining by public unions is nothing more than a power grab. Writes Dionne:

What the unions are rightly resisting is a shift in the long-term balance of political power that undercutting collective bargaining would represent.

That point is debatable. One that is not comes several paragraphs later, when Dionne writes:

Last week Walker signed into law a bill that will require a two-thirds supermajority in the legislature, or a statewide referendum, to raise income, sales or corporate franchise taxes. Imagine if President Obama had insisted that a two-thirds majority be required to repeal his health-care law?

As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal points out:

In fact, Obama is insisting that a two-thirds majority is required to repeal ObamaCare. Hasn’t Dionne ever heard of the presidential veto?

The question is intended as rhetorical, but I for one would love to hear Dionne’s answer.

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Funny how those indignation cues work.

I suppose Dionne has joined the Los Angeles Times in deploring the California law that for years has required a two-thirds majority of the legislature to raise the same taxes and fees. Oh, the humanity!

J.E. Dyer on March 1, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Every time Dionne writes another gormless meandering, I can feel national intelligence drop a few points. Thank God for George Will.

GT on March 2, 2011 at 7:52 AM

that will require a two-thirds supermajority in the legislature, or a statewide referendum, to raise income, sales or corporate franchise taxes

The problem I would have with such a thing is that it would seem to make it nearly impossible to flatten an overly progressive tax system — because it would be raising taxes on people who don’t pay anything.

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