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April 21, 2010

"Raise My Taxes! Raise My Taxes! Raise My Taxes!"

So chanted thousands of bused-in ACFSME union "grassroots" agitators to Illinois state congressmen, urging them to "raise [our] taxes!" so that their salaries and benefits wouldn't be cut.

But that sort of indicates right there that their taxes aren't really being raised, doesn't it? Their employer is the government. If the government raises their taxes a bit but continues hiking their salaries, they are net-ahead as far as the government. They're paid out of taxes, of course. They are in the unique position of actually seeing their net income go up whenever taxes are raised.

The rest of the public is finally starting to notice that, and that the public -- 20% of whom are out of a job or working part-time when they want a full-time job -- is basically paying their employees more than they themselves receive in salary, and with far better benefits and job-security, too.

I think the public is finally starting to wake up to that. People have this asinine "let's not be mean" thing going with public-employees unions. They don't like being a cheap boss who won't give a big raise every year.

But they're finally starting to understand that they are, ultimately, the boss, and all these 4%-per-year raises and ridiculously huge pension plans are coming out of their own hide.

I don't think the unions understand this. They are getting more aggressive and obnoxious about their undeservedly high salaries and pension plans rather than being conciliatory about it. They are continuing to demand salaries and benefits that most of the rest of the country could only dram of without even offering even the slightest apologies to the strapped taxpayers whose incomes they are reducing in order to increase their own.

Ever since I was a kid, I've heard it said twenty times at every singe Democratic National Convention that it was absolutely imperative we pay our teachers as if they're doctors or lawyers (!), and everyone dutifully applauds, because it's just the sort of sentiment that you're supposed to agree with.

I don't think that's going to play well in 2012. I don't think these guys are understanding that things have changed, and that the public is no longer willing to uncritically bless 4%-a-year-regular-as-clockwork raises when their salaries have been more or less flat for a good long time.

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posted by Ace at 07:14 PM

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