New Midwestern Governors Set Sights on Taming Public Employee Unions

January 13, 2011 07:44

With federal stimulus money drying up and accounting gimmicks exhausted, several cash-strapped states are setting their sights on taming the most voracious budget animals: public employee unions.

By Ashton Ellis at Center for Individual Freedom


“We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots,” Walker told supporters.  “The bottom line is that we are going to look at every legal means we have to try to put that balance more on the side of taxpayers.”  That includes challenging public employee unions to make concessions or risk losing their legal right to bargain collectively.

Ohio’s new Republican Governor John Kasich is issuing similar warnings.  Exasperated by unions’ insatiable appetite for more benefits Kasich wants to ban public employees from striking. During his transition to the governor’s office Kasich said, “I really don’t favor the right to strike by any public employee.  They’ve got good jobs, they’ve got high pay, they get good benefits, a great retirement.  What are they striking for?”  Driving his point home he declared, “If they want to strike they should be fired.”

Kasich argues that final arbitration awards requiring increases in spending amount to raising taxes without voter consent.  Moreover, legal requirements to pay tie local budget writers’ hands, forcing them either to raise taxes, or borrow from the state to pay the award.

In an age of reckless government spending and regulation that threaten the viability of American prosperity the most economically depressed region of the country is positioned for a comeback.  All that’s standing in the way is a bullying lion that needs to be defanged.


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