RUSH: Wisconsin was not the only place that public sector unions got hit yesterday. It also happened in California. First, from the San Diego Union-Tribune: "A ballot initiative that would replace guaranteed pensions with 401(k)-style plans for most new city hires received overwhelming support Tuesday from San Diego voters who were clearly fed up with the decade-long civic discussion about the city’s pension problems. Proposition B is viewed by supporters -- including Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Council members Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer -- as pivotal to moving the city past its fiscal woes that stem, in part, from the decision by previous city leaders to twice increase benefits for workers without identifying a way to pay for them."
So pension reform, big, big, big win in San Diego.
The New York Times writes about it this way. "As Wisconsin residents voted on Tuesday not to recall Gov. Scott Walker ... two California cities dealt blows of their own to organized labor." Of course, Wisconsin doesn't mean anything. Wisconsin, it's just an isolated election. No, nothing to see here, nothing to learn. If Tom Barrett had won, if the unions had won, you know what the news would be filled with today. Wisconsin, the way of the future. Wisconsin, microcosm of what's happening in America. The dishonest people in the mainstream media cannot be relied on any longer for a fundamental, simple constitutional requirement, and that is simply reporting news.
"In San Diego and San Jose, voters overwhelmingly approved ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers."
Now, just so I'm not misunderstood here. I'm not rubbing my hands in glee at whatever pain might result from this. What's happening is that the people who pay these pensions and health benefits in perpetuity, until death, have realized they don't have anywhere near the same deal. What happened in Wisconsin was very simple: Taxpayers were finally educated. They heard for the first time about the money-laundering scheme that union dues end up being, campaign contributions to the Democrat Party. They also realized that it was their taxes which are paying pensions and health care benefits when people retire at age 50 for the rest of their lives.
They're paying salaries and benefits to people that work for municipal governments far more than they are earning themselves. And the governments are going broke, and they said, "We can't sustain it anymore." And that's what's happening. Fiscal responsibility. Long way to go, don't misunderstand, long way to go, but the realization that there is an end to this is at hand.
RUSH: These union cuts that everybody is talking about, folks, are not Draconian at all. Wisconsin, California. They're just asking union members to pay a little of their own benefits, like 5%. That's all that's going on.
RUSH: The elections in San Diego and San Jose where public sector employees were told that they're gonna have to start contributing some to their own pensions and health care in retirement. It's not just Wisconsin.
But I want to make this point here. They're not being asked to pick up the whole thing. It's really very little. These so-called union cuts are not Draconian. They're merely being asked to pay a pittance toward their own insurance and their own pensions. In Wisconsin's case, it's 12% to the pension, 5% to health care. Maybe it's verse vice-a. Which only makes sense. Whatever happened to this notion in America, if you want it, you buy it. If you want it, you pay for it. Whatever happened to that? Why is that considered so out of touch? Where did this sense of entitlement come from? This sense of entitlement has grown so strong that they're no longer is any rationality to it. The people who feel this sense of entitlement, who think they are owed, they're union people. They are public sector union people. I'm talking about government workers, federal, state.
They don't even have any concept of where the money they have comes from. They feel entitled to other people's earnings. Those people, many of them, are out of work. They're not earning anything. Therefore they're not paying any taxes. Therefore the money to pay these pensions and health care plans in retirement is dwindling. They don't care. It's "Gimme, gimme, gimme, I'm entitled to it. I'm a member of a union. It means I've been shafted my whole life." That's what they obviously think, being a member of a union, being a minority, you get the shaft in America. "I'm owed. I am owed for taking the hit and for getting the shaft. I want my pension. I want my health care."
Oh, okay, fine. You have this sense of entitlement. Do you have any idea where it comes from? Do you have any idea what happens when that pile of money shrinks and ceases to exist, what of your entitlement then? How about paying a little bit of your own?
"No way. I have been screwed my whole life. That's what being a member of a union is. This country screws us. This country shafts us. This country takes advantage of us. We are owed."
"What if there's no money?"
"Get it. It doesn't matter. Print it. I don't care where you get it. It's ours. We want it."
It's almost childlike. All of this in Wisconsin, if you want to boil it down, all of this rigmarole, this tumult, this chaos, was really about people in unions being told, "You know what, you're gonna have to pay a little of your health care and a little of your pension," and all hell broke loose. Oh, and also the fact that collective bargaining rights were taken away. I loved reminding all these people that, you know, FDR, who was their god before Obama, FDR would not permit collective bargaining for federal union employees. You can't do it. I forget the exact quote FDR said. You cannot have the people who are paid by the taxpayer threatening to go on strike. You can't get into a collective bargaining agreement with them. It won't work.
As FDR knew, it would set the American people against each other, would set the American people up as enemies of one another. At least he knew that. None of that, of course, matters. Well, FDR got up on the wrong side of bed that day. FDR was stupid that day. FDR didn't know what he was talking about that day. Jimmy Carter took away collective bargaining from federal workers. Jimmy Carter. Scott Walker only took away some of their collective bargaining rights, not nearly all of them. That's what little it was that caused all this tumult.