Via Breitbart, I can’t shake the crazy hunch that when they say “my taxes,” they don’t really mean their taxes. Steven Malanga, writing in City Journal, offers a possibly relevant thought about California’s magic fiscal elixir of a heavily unionized work force and the left-wing cronies in state government that do their bidding:
The unions’ political triumphs have molded a California in which government workers thrive at the expense of a struggling private sector. The state’s public school teachers are the highest-paid in the nation. Its prison guards can easily earn six-figure salaries. State workers routinely retire at 55 with pensions higher than their base pay for most of their working life. Meanwhile, what was once the most prosperous state now suffers from an unemployment rate far steeper than the nation’s and a flood of firms and jobs escaping high taxes and stifling regulations. This toxic combination—high public-sector employee costs and sagging economic fortunes—has produced recurring budget crises in Sacramento and in virtually every municipality in the state…
With anger rising, taxpayer advocates now plan to revive older initiatives to cut the power of public-sector unions. Mark Bucher, head of the Citizens Power Campaign, is pushing for an initiative that’s similar to propositions that failed in 1998 and in 2005—but their prospects may be brighter today, he argues, because the woes of municipalities like Vallejo have made citizens more aware of union power and more supportive of reform. “The mood has clearly shifted in California,” Bucher says. “You can see that in the rise of local Tea Party antitax groups around the state. People are fed up.”
Illinois, I’m sure, is completely different. Oh, that reminds me: Our president, who hails from Illinois and can boast of being the SEIU crony-in-chief, recently praised the California spirit at a fundraiser for fellow union puppet Barbara Boxer. We’re in very, very good hands.