February 19, 2011
NOT LETTING THE CRISIS GO TO WASTE:
A Watershed Moment for Public-Sector Unions (STEVEN GREENHOUSE, 2/18/11, NY Times)
Also embedded in the Wisconsin debate — and reaching well beyond that state — is a more fundamental dispute over the role, even the legitimacy, of public-sector unions. Like Mr. Walker, Ohio’s new governor, John Kasich, and Indiana’s second-term governor, Mitch Daniels, both Republicans, see public-sector bargaining as something to be banned or severely restricted because of its effect on taxpayers and government budgets.
Some Republicans quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, who bridled at public-sector unionism and once said, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted in the public service.”
Republicans say the Democrats have embraced the government employees’ cause because weaker unions would reduce crucial political support for Democratic candidates. Republicans have often denounced what they say is a squalid deal in which public-sector unions spend generously to elect allies to office and then those allies lavish generous wages and benefits on union members.
It's the GOP's moment and they've seized it. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2011 10:05 AM