The other major difference is that if the hypothetical Teamster CEO gives into the union to the detriment of the company, the company goes bankrupt and everyone loses their job. The private sector unions have an incentive to compromise in order to guarantee the health of the company (GM, their union, and government bailouts being the exception). Politicians have no such incentive to generally oppose public union demands - they get re-election support and boot the real financial problems of such lousy contracts down the line to their eventual successors. That way they can lie and promise the world because they are never going to be truly held accountable when the whole ponzi scheme falls apart. This is no different that what Bernie Madoff did, yet the public, and especially the progressives, liberals, and union lackeys lap it up and sanctimoniously justify it.
Gov. Christie of New Jersey said it best the other day while addressing the New Jersey state firefighters convention. "Here's the deal: I understand you're angry, and I understand you're frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed." He continued, "For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn't keep, and just hoping that they wouldn't be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here's what I don't understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?"
"The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they're thinking about politics still in Washington" incorporates "the old playbook [which] says, ‘lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election.” After seeing a report noting that New Jersey’s pensions will be insolvent by 2020, he was told not to worry about it because he won’t be governor anymore. "That's the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long. . . . So I said to those firefighters, 'You may hate me now, but 15 years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you'll be looking for my address on the Internet so you can send me a thank-you note.”
It puzzles me to no end that the left (and, unfortunately, several on the right) cannot recognize that their agendas and ideas for foolishly spending taxpayers’ money is jeopardizing this country's future, plunging us into debt and attaching the strings that make us puppets to foreign masters. Public employee unions and their lavish, guaranteed benefits are a major cause of the coming collapse, yet too many would rather focus on what they perceive as their due today rather than assure they and their fellow Americans have something to share tomorrow.