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“The Beast”

You have probably wondered why no matter which party you vote for, government spending and regulation continues to increase. The Federal budget grows, faster under some regimes than others, but always growing, never contracting. Worse, every time you turn around, there is some new “czar” or agency infringing on your private life.

The national debt has soared to around $15 TRILLION – up 50% in just the last three years.  Each and every man, woman, and child in America has $49,000 in debt hanging over their head (up from $34,000 just three years ago). Your newborn son or daughter starts out life with a massive credit card bill in their mailbox.

True, some leaders and legislators have tried to at least “slow the growth” of government. But the bottom line is that no matter who gets elected, government seems to grow. The reason is that power in America today no longer rests in the legislature, nor even the presidency. The real power in America now resides in the growing army of government workers, whether Federal, state, or local.

Look at the 10 most poorly managed cities or states in the country today, many at or near bankruptcy, and you will find that they are almost always run, sometimes for decades, by entrenched Democrat political machines. But you will also learn that the fiscal woes plaguing most state and local governments are the direct result of exploding budgets required to pay for the excessive salaries, Rolls Royce health insurance, and huge pension and retirement plans for their government workers.

Federal workers now average over $100,000 a year, and their total compensation packages are nearly double the pay plans of similar private sector workers. And thanks to the ever expanding list of government agencies, their numbers keep increasing – EPA, OSHA, FDA, EEOC, FEMA, the massive “Education” establishment. And the list goes on and on.

But the real problem is that, while legislators, governors, and even presidents can be voted out at the end of their term of office, the legions of bureaucrats stay on.

And they vote.

An even larger issue is that the majority of union members today are government workers, particularly at the state and local levels. And whenever any courageous political leader dares to attempt to either reduce the number of workers or to curtail their lavish benefit packages, the backlash is withering.

Look at what happened in Wisconsin when Governor Scott Walker merely increased the amount that state workers had to contribute to their generous health care plans, and limited collective bargaining to salaries. The government employees stormed the State Capitol, looking disturbingly like the mobs we see in news footage from Greece.

Wisconsin unions also attracted money from like-minded organizations all over the country to fund a recall of the governor. The money used to bankroll such efforts is collected as union dues, deducted from the paychecks of the union workers. But the most disturbing part is that every single one of those checks was paid out of the taxes collected from the rest of us who do NOT work for government. Thus union government workers are in the position of using OUR money to influence legislators to…

…collect more of our money to give to the union government workers.

This is unacceptable. I have no problem with private sector unions – if employees wish to (voluntarily) join a union to bargain with their employer, that’s fine with me. But NO government employees should be allowed to unionize. It was a huge mistake to ever let this happen, both at the Federal and state levels. It is a classic conflict of interest.

Democrats get the lion’s share of union campaign money – at least 90%. But many Republicans are just as timid and gutless in dealing with government union employees. Look at how George Bush and his fellow Republicans joined with Ted Kennedy to jack up funding for “education” (read: teachers unions).

Here locally, there is huge bi-partisan support for an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution that would make union membership voluntary. And yet, in spite of controlling both houses of the Minnesota legislature, Republican party leaders like Speaker Kurt Zellers have been showing weak knees, hemming and hawing when asked to bring the measure forward:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/21/us/right-to-work-bills-face-uncertain-future.html

“[Minnesota] Senator Dave Thompson said he had grown doubtful that the “right to work” amendment he hoped to put before voters this fall — a proposition requiring no approval by the governor — would survive a vote of his fellow Republican legislators, or even find its way out of Republican-controlled committees.

“I’ve been told that no hearing has been scheduled and that a lot of people are concerned, so I guess this isn’t going to move anywhere,” Senator Thompson said on Friday, days after the proposal drew hundreds of protesting union supporters to the halls of the Legislature, and after an advertising campaign critical of the idea began airing around Minnesota. “It’s not about the policy. There is a tremendous fear of the political ramifications — it boils down to that, nothing more or less,” he said.

Naturally, the big unions from around the country are  throwing massive amounts of money and support to defeat the measure. The AFL-CIO even went so far as to create a local PAC in order to rally union members:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2012/03/afl-cio_registe.shtml

“Minnesota’s unions have formed We Are Minnesota, a fund meant to raise money to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would make union membership and the payment of union dues voluntary for all workers.”

The unions are indeed a formidable force, but unless and until we eliminate, or at the very least, rein in, the power of government unions, “the Beast” will continue to grow.

And his appetite is insatiable…

 

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