It looks like Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, is not the only politician trying to rein in the power of the public employee unions. Even Democrats are starting to realize that some limits have to be placed on the pay and benefits government workers can get. The fight is going to be bloody, because there is absolutely no limit to the amount of treasure the unions are willing to demand.
In California, Democrats like Chuck Reed of San Jose have no choice but to go to war with the bureaucrats’ unions to keep their cities from insolvency.
In President Obama’s political home, ex-Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is doing the same thing.
The reason is simple. Our cities, states, and counties all have the same problem the federal government has. “Civil servants,” as they used to be called, have been dictating fatter and fatter increases in their pay and benefits to the point where they earn more, retire earlier, and live better than the private sector workers who pay them.
The group State Budget Solutions has penned a good explanation of the problem of exorbitant pension programs at the state level. Even the states that claim to have balanced budgets are really running deficits, after you account for the pension liabilities they take on each year. The same thing is happening at every level of government
In addition to the other fault lines that have been deviding the country, we may soon see an us-vs-them mentality separating private sector workers from government workers. If that happens, the government workers will have brought it on themselves with their greed.