Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The States Didn't Win

The editorial board of the Arizona Republic would have you believe that the legislation signed into law in Wisconsin stripping public employees of their right to collective bargaining is a good thing for states.  The board claims that by removing the ability of public employees to be represented by a union to negotiate salary, benefits and working conditions, that it will miraculously allow Wisconsin to solve all of its budget issues.

If the legislation was truly about balancing the budget, then why did a Wisconsin Republican State Senator make statements that the legislation would make it tougher for President Obama to win Wisconsin in 2012.  If the legislation was about Wisconsin’s budget, then why was it rammed through the legislature outside of the budget process?

The public employees didn’t cause the budget issues in Wisconsin or the other states.  The blame rests squarely on politicians who year after year doled out tax cut after tax cut while also giving corporations more and more corporate welfare.  Public employees around the nation went year after year without raises and often saw their pay cut through forced work furloughs.  They each contributed to their retirement plans while states and other governments delayed their contributions.

The various states could easily fix their budget problems, but they don’t want to, since it involves rescinding their various tax cuts they passed in the last few years.  Tax cuts are never popular but pointing out that someone at this point in time has it just a little better than someone else normally is.  Instead of taking responsibility for the budget issues, the Republicans in Wisconsin pointed to the public employees and their unions as the problem.

No, the union busting law in Wisconsin does nothing to help it or other states deal with their budget issues, all it does was give a win to the state’s Republicans.  A win that just might be very short lived.

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