Our Government Lets Us Down
Our government lets us down when they grant benefits to their own workers that they don't mandate into the private workforce. That is the undeniable essence of the argument, courtesy of our friend Ed Ring. And from the February 16th issue of the LA Times:
The state government has guaranteed health benefits for tens of thousands of its current and future retirees without a plan to pay for them, and the liability threatens to return California to fiscal crisis, the Legislature's lead fiscal analyst said Friday.
The nonpartisan legislative analyst's office reported that the bill for workers already promised lifetime health insurance by the state is $40 billion to $70 billion over the next 30 years. And that sum is rising rapidly as more state workers become eligible. The price tag could trump even the cost of the $68-billion bond measure at the center of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to build roads, bridges, levees, jails and ourthouses.
No matter your politics, we have created a completely untenable situation that must be taken care of. Even the most liberal of the liberal, at some point, must say enough is enough. Paying taxes to provide benefits far superior to the taxpayer's is not feasible.
Ed brought this issue to our attention many months ago. I tried every way to argue the other side, but he finally has gotten to me.
His latest argument follows:
My biggest problem with unions isn't what they want for their members. It's their complete indifference to whether or not what they negotiate for their members bears even a slight similarity to what the rest of us get, or don't get, and the fact they don't care if getting these benefits bankrupts our economy. Public employee unions should be illegal because they don't have the constraint of fiscal solvency that private companies face. You can't bankrupt a public entity, you just raise taxes. This is why unions don't belong in the public sphere. Our government lets us down when they grant benefits to their own workers that they don't mandate into private workforce.
This sentiment, to me, is a core value towards the formation of a political center that currently is a vacuum. A center position that believes in more government, more benefits and services for ALL workers in the economy - at the same time as the benefits for government workers are reined in, downscaled to what is economically feasible for ALL workers. That must happen. Until the unions are exposed for NOT standing for what unions, ideally, stand for, which is rights and benefits for ALL workers, not just their specific brotherhood, and until unions are reformed accordingly, they are not unions in any positive context.
When is the last time you heard a centrist claim they wanted more government benefits and services at the same time they claimed public employee unions require drastic reformation? But that is our economic reality, and the momentum of our time. Will you get on board? Public employee unions as they are currently organized are destroying California. Let's not forget the "us vs. them" rhetoric intrinsic to union organizing that has infected the mind and work ethic of every public employee. That too must be broken.
Readers - do you have an opposing view or do you agree with Ed? Please post.
The Sacramento Executive