That’s why matters in Wisconsin came to a head. In an effort to balance his state’s budget, Gov. Scott Walker proposed a plan that said 1) workers would no longer be forced to pay union dues, 2) voters would have to approve any wage increases that exceed inflation, and 3) public employees had to contribute more toward their health care and pension plans.
No wonder it passed the legislature; these are hardly radical changes. Workers can still negotiate wages -- voters just have the final say. Dues are no longer compulsory, but workers can continue to pay them. (And if what the unions do is so valuable, they should have nothing to worry about, right?) Millions of private-sector workers contribute to their own pensions and health care plans. Why should public-sector workers be any different?
But anyone who listened to the hysterical protesters in Wisconsin saw people operating on an entirely different plane of reality. To hear them tell it, Walker is the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, and powerful government unions are not a public policy choice but a human right. “It is shameful to play politics with American workers and their families,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told Gov. Walker when he testified before Congress.
What irony. There’s a group playing politics with American workers and their families, all right. They’re the ones demanding that you and I cough up still more money to fatten their paychecks -- or else. Talk about “intolerable.”
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