Thanks for Raising My Taxes — What Else Can I Do for You?

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Fifth-grader Megan Sichterman, told WAOW, an ABC affiliate, “I was really sad because all the kids really like him. He’s really nice to everybody, and I was kind of scared at the same time that we wouldn’t see him on the corner anymore.”

Even in the middle of the battle over collective bargaining rights for government unions, just last month the snowplow operators’ union filed a grievance against Racine, Wis., to demand paid days off for snowplow operators … after a snowstorm.

After a massive storm shut down the city for two days, snowplow operators thought they deserved two paid days off on account of all the snow, like other government employees got.

The snowplowers’ union also filed a grievance against the city for hiring private plowing services to help with the snow removal. Perhaps it was that troublemaker Warren Eschenbach showing up with a snow shovel and volunteering to help clear the streets.

No government snowplow operators were laid off and plenty of them worked overtime after the blizzard — but the union thought Racine should remain immobilized by snow for a week so that government snowplow operators could get even more overtime.

In the private sector, a company that capitulated to such ludicrous union demands would go out of business — as would have happened to General Motors if the government hadn’t taken it over. Offered substandard products at exorbitant prices, the consumer would buy from a competitor.

But with government, the consumer has no choice: We have to buy from the company store. Government employees will always have more passion and commitment about increasing their own salaries and perks than will the taxpayers, who have to worry about their own jobs and salaries. The public — especially the taxpayer — will always lose.

That is simply a fact about government jobs that can’t be avoided. What doesn’t make sense is to implement a system that invites this kind of mutual back-scratching between the Democrats and public sector unions — to wit, collective bargaining where there is no “management,” but only co-conspirators against the taxpayers on both sides of the bargaining table.

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  • gidmeister

    A Wall Street Journal editorial today says that it looks like the unions have a victory in Wisconsin since they may have managed to elect a judge who favors them, and would swing court decisions 4/3 in their favor (against Scott Walker).
    People have a tendency to make a virtue out of their short-term self interest, and the public unions are no different. Like any welfare recipient, or subsidized green energy company or whatever, they are dependent on government for their salaries, and will vote their self-interest even if it harms the country as a whole. And that means financial collapse eventually, then anarchy, then revolution.

    • davarino

      Last person out of Wisconsin turn the lights out.

      Once all the tax payers are gone they will have to start taxing each other with monopoly money.

    • Karl

      Update: Wisconsin- Incumbent to receive 7000 votes from 1 county

  • tagalog

    When I look at the "Pay Your Share" on the sign the demonstrator is holding up in the photo at the head of this article, it makes me think about the 48% or so of U.S. citizens who don't pay taxes at all. I'm for them paying THEIR share.

  • Jim_C

    Could the world be returning to a degree of normalcy? As the people of Wisconsin return to their senses, Glenn Beck and Keith Olberman are both off the airwaves, and even conservatives are finally admitting Sarah Palin is a moron, could there be a semblance of sanity returning? Do I actually detect a bit of George Will in Ann Coulter?

    • Chris Nichols

      Yes, it makes perfect sense for people who work in the private sector and actually produce things to continue to fund the useless make work jobs and pensions of people who produce nothing. Someone who can't do basic math shouldn't call someone else a moron. And Glenn Beck is not off the airwaves.

      • Jim_C

        Who can't do basic math?

        And your thoughts on "production" are just oh so precious. I'm sure you're quite the "producer."

      • GKC

        Careful Chris, he's probably a union button-pusher.

  • Dennis X

    Hello, government employees PAY TAXES!!!!! They pay for their health care and contribute toward their pensions. The exceptions are police and fire fighters. A days work for a days pay is not a hand out!!!! Steal my pension and say good bye to my property and state taxes.

  • MKS

    The WS legislation favored by Gov. Walker would steal no one's pension. It would not bust any union. It would not even prohibit collective bargaining over wages and salaries.

    It would merely prohibit collective bargaining over benefits, to reduce the crony conflict-of-interest collusion that now takes place over and over again between union leaders and (mostly Democratic) politicians.

    It is good and reasonable law. Its only shortcoming is that it does not go far enough. Public sector unions should not have collective bargaining rights at all – even FDR and George Meany (AFL-CIO) stated that principle.

    • Jim_C

      It was a transparent political hit job, not an appeal to fiscal good sense and certainly not something that would improve education. Even if it was as sensible as you claim, all one had to do was turn on Fox News or talk radio to hear the uninformed contempt for teachers.

      Walker stepped in it by swinging for the fences. I thought it was a really good move at first, because the teachers caved immediately on pension contributions et al. I think Walker felt there was more support than there actually was. Even his deal with police and fire unions fell apart when his political intentions became clear.

  • Tar_n_Feathers

    Now that govt. entitlements have spanned several generations, I fear that there are an alarming number of Americans that believe that merely by virtue of being a citizen (and in some cases merely being within US borders) that the govt. owes you stuff. It's almost as if the mindset has become genetic. Bad habits are hard enough to break without having to deal with those that are hard-wired into one's DNA. We're in trouble if liberal dems have devolved into their own species. You may as well be arguing with a dog to stop being a dog.

  • Karl

    Hello from Canada,

    Here's how we pay for everything up here up here, wait for it… WE TAX EVERYONE, ON EVERYTHING. We've had 4-5 dollar a gallon gas for 10 years, and we send the U.S. 1.1 million barrels a day. So let me tell ya, our medical is NOT FREE!!! Do ya hear me Bernie Sanders, you pansy, progressive putz!