September 7, 2015

WHERE THE WAR ON WAGES IS THE WAR ON TAXES:

Time to Rein in Public Sector Unions (JAMES SHERK, 9/07/15, American Interest)

Government unions primarily want a bigger government. More government employees mean more government union members. Higher taxes mean more money they can bargain over. So government unions have campaigned for almost every major tax increase in recent history.

For example, unions provided much of the financing for the successful 2012 California sales and income tax hike ballot initiative. Two years earlier, government union members rallied for higher taxes in Springfield, Illinois. With chants of "Raise my taxes!" and "Give up the bucks!" they helped persuade then-Governor Pat Quinn and the legislature to raise the Illinois income tax by two-thirds. Almost all that money went to fund government employee pensions.

Samuel Gompers, the first president of the American Federation of Labor, was once asked what his members wanted. He memorably answered "More." Today's government unions give the same answer when asked how much Americans should pay in taxes.

Conversely, anything that shrinks the size (or increases the efficiency) of government means fewer government union members and fewer union dues. So government unions fiercely oppose government spending cuts. They resist any outsourcing to the private sector, no matter how much it may save taxpayers. And they certainly don't want to let parents send their children to non-union charter or private schools.

Indeed, unions now see themselves as a left-wing political movement. At its most recent convention, the AFL-CIO resolved that it "has as a founding ideal the assembling of a broad progressive coalition for social and economic justice."

Posted by at September 7, 2015 8:08 AM
  

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