Public service employees are finally making reasonable contributions to their pension and health benefits. Government employee unions no longer dictate work rules. Local school districts and governments with new latitude to renegotiate contracts have saved Wisconsin taxpayers $1 billion, according to the governor’s office.
Collective bargaining for government employees can never survive much scrutiny. Their unions are by their nature in conflict with the interests of taxpayer. Unions use their numbers, their voting booth clout and their members’ dues to elect politicians who then return the favor in contract negotiations. Liberal good government types constantly advocate bans against government contracts for businesses that make significant campaign contributions to politicians. But they fall silent on the inherent conflict of interest in labor contracts negotiated by public employee unions and the politicians they help elect. Talk about a corrupt bargain — that’s the very definition of one.
Taxpayers have grown weary of financing generous benefits that most of them never see in their lives. President Barack Obama must recognize that voter attitudes on this are changing. Despite the appeals of Wisconsin Democrats for a big show of support, the closest Obama came to Wisconsin was flying over the state recently on his way to a fund-raising dinner in Minneapolis.