RUSH: There’s a great piece on a lot of this. It’s long. I’m gonna excerpt some of it. It is a great piece. Best of the Web today from James Taranto, the Wall Street Journal.
‘To make sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin, it helps to understand that the left in America lives in an ideological fantasy world.’ Let me give you a pull quote here before getting into the whole piece, ’cause it is great. ‘Here is the contradiction of progressivism. Progressives tell us they want the government to do more. But they can’t win elections without public-sector unions. Because they are beholden to those unions, their main priority when in power is to increase the cost, not the scope, of government. Because resources are finite, the result is the worst of both worlds: a government that taxes more without doing more. This is unsustainable economically. Fortunately, as Wisconsin voters showed last November, it’s unsustainable politically as well.’
So this illustrates again how phony Obama is. ‘We all have to live within our means. We all have to tighten the belt. We all have to do with less.’ Wrong! Because they are beholden to union paymasters, their main priority when in power is to increase the cost of government — i.e., when you pay these people. By increasing the cost of government, you launder money through the unions and get the dues returned to you. So the Democrats, for all the ideological reasons they want to expand government, also have an economic reason to expand government. Expanding government, increasing the cost of government enhances their power because the unions are essentially money launderers of taxpayer money.
Because where are the public sector unions getting their money? They’re not producing anything. They’re not making widgets. People are not buying anything. Ends up in the annual household budget of a public sector union worker is taxpayer revenue, pure and simple. It’s tax dollars — and when there isn’t enough of that we borrow it; and when we can’t borrow any more, we print it. But none of it results from production. It’s pure redistribution of wealth. So not only are private sector people being taxed and having their standards of living affected negatively, those dollars they pay the government, more and more end up, at the end their circuitous route, in the Democrat Party. Because the Democrat Party’s paymasters are the unions.
Is it any wonder that since Obama was immaculated, the federal workforce has increased by 200,000 people? There are 200,000 brand-new public sector union people paying dues, a portion of which end up with the Democrat Party and with Barack Obama. Now, back to James Taranto: ‘The dispute between the state government and the unions representing its employees is ‘about power,’ Paul Krugman of the New York Times observes accurately, before going off the rails: What [Gov. Scott] Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.’ (chuckles)
That is pure idiocy. It’s the exact opposite of that. ‘Kevin Drum of Mother Jones elaborates: ‘Unions are … the only large-scale movement left in America that persistently acts as a countervailing power against corporate power. They’re the only large-scale movement left that persistently acts in the economic interests of the middle class. … The decline of unions over the past few decades has left corporations and the rich with essentially no powerful opposition. No matter what doubts you might have about unions and their role in the economy, never forget that destroying them destroys the only real organized check on the power of the business community in America. If the last 30 years haven’t made that clear, I don’t know what will.’
‘Here are several problems with this line of thinking. First, to talk of America in terms of ‘class’ is to speak a foreign language. Outside of university faculties and Marxist fringe groups (but we repeat our self), Americans do not divide ourselves up by class; rather, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .” When Americans describe themselves as ‘middle class,” the term is a synonym for ‘ordinary’ or ‘respectable,’ not part of a taxonomy of division. Actual middle-class Americans don’t feel put upon by ‘corporate power’ or ‘the business community,’ because by and large, they own the means of production: They run businesses; they hold shares in corporations through their investment and retirement accounts.
‘Some belong to unions, but the vast majority do not: ‘In 2010, the union membership rate — the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union — was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier,’ according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. … The ‘labor movement’ in America has increasingly come to consist of people who work for government, not private companies. As the BLS notes, the union-participation rate for public-sector workers in 2010 was 36.2%, vs. just 6.9% for private-sector workers. … In any case, it seems to have escaped Krugman’s and Drum’s notice that the Wisconsin dispute has nothing to do with corporations.
‘The unions’ antagonist is the state government,’ which is the people of Wisconsin, not some evil corporate fat cat! That’s my point all along. These people are not negotiating against some fat, filthy rich, cigar-chomping executive who spends all day on the golf course. They are negotiating Wisconsin citizens who are not members of unions. ”Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership,’ writes Time’s Joe Klein, a liberal who understands the crucial distinction. ‘Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed . . . of the public?” That’s true. Public employees, public employee unions are organized against the public.
That’s who pays them.
RUSH: Collective bargaining in the public sector — I cannot emphasize this enough — collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. I am so happy this is all coming to light. I’m glad that has happened to Wisconsin. I’m glad finally people are figuring out what collective bargaining with public sector unions means. The negotiations with public sector unions against people who pay them are negotiations between the unions and the citizens of the state of Wisconsin in this case. And it’s not a negotiation. It is a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. That’s where the union workers in the federal and state governments get their money. Corporations are not involved. Evil, bad Walmart, McDonald’s, I don’t care, name one, they’re not involved. This is strictly unionized workers in the state holding hostage the people of the state, and the people of Wisconsin are being held hostage. Their schools are closed because the senators fled the state to avoid democracy, and the teachers walked off the job.
The teachers are union workers. They’re holding out for whatever. From who? Their neighbors. Obama says, ‘They’re just your neighbors and people at church.’ Yeah, what are they trying to do here? They’re holding ’em up. It’s not a negotiation, as Mr. Taranto says. It’s a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. The notion that this is in the economic interests of the middle class for government employees of Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above market wages is laughable. Above market wages means wages higher than the people who are paying the wages earn. Where’s the justice in that? You earn $50,000 a year. People that work in your state government earn a hundred thousand dollars a year. You are paying it. Where’s the justice there? The idea that this is in the economic interests of the middle class for government employees to get above market wages and lavish benefits is laughable. The government employees are middle class but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who are paying them who do not enjoy these special privileges.
Tom in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. You’re up. Great to have you on the EIB Network today, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Great to talk to you.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: As a conservative Republican here in Pennsylvania, this has really been fun to watch for me. You know, the D’s have really painted themselves into a corner here, and are really in uncharted waters. They’ve been fighting for decades this class warfare, you know, the haves versus the have-nots, the working families versus the rich, for decades. Now the shoe is on the other foot here and the liberals really don’t know how to handle the argument, and consequently they just leave the states.
RUSH: Right. And look who is it that now hates government. Look who is it that hates government. Liberal Democrats. They hate government. When it comes to a choice between the unions and government, who do they hate? They hate government. Who’s knocking government? All these union workers, all these Democrats are knocking government, criticizing, ripping the government. That’s not very civil.
CALLER: No. They don’t know how to handle the argument. The bottom line is they don’t argue. They can’t win. They don’t debate. In some cases they try to impugn and destroy the credibility of their opponents or in this case they flee as cowards. They just leave the states. They just run away. And somehow they want to tell us that they’re doing this for our benefit against some evil corporation trying to screw them.
RUSH: La Crosse, Wisconsin. Hi, John, great to have you on the program. Welcome.
CALLER: Oh, what a supreme honor, Mr. Limbaugh.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
CALLER: You know, I was just wondering if you had the opportunity to speak to every Wisconsinite, including the WPR listeners, what would you say to them? Why would you say that collective bargaining rights are so important to include in those other than just givebacks for the pension and the health care? And why that’s critical to do that?
RUSH: What would I say the collective bargaining rights are so important to include?
CALLER: To include in Scott Walker’s bill that they must be taken away for public workers. I mean, my understanding is that the contributions, the additional contributions for health care and pensions only applies to state workers and that this is the best tool that the local governments have to get a handle on their budgets. I mean especially since they’re not gonna get as much money from the state.
RUSH: Well, it is critical. The state is out of money.
CALLER: We’re broke, yeah.
RUSH: Wisconsin can’t afford to pay for union members’ Viagra.
RUSH: Here’s the thing about collective bargaining rights for public union employees. I agree with James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal. Let me read to you how he has categorized it. Collective bargaining in the public sector is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. You know, there’s no evil corporate interest here that you’re collectively bargaining with. Public sector unions are collectively bargaining against taxpayers, the taxpayers of the state. In essence it becomes, okay, how much can we score, how much can we steal from these people who are paying us? And they end up paying us more than they make themselves.
CALLER: Yeah, I feel like a peasant that’s paying for these new aristocrats that have excellent job security, and it never ends. I mean the nine months, the job security, the benefits that no one else gets.
RUSH: Well, in the case of state public employees, you’re right. But it’s not that no one else gets them. It’s that who’s paying it. Absent here is some evil corporate entity. Traditionally the way unions have succeeded is to create sympathy. ‘Well, yeah, they’re up against these rich guys, these fat cats in the boardroom who want them in poverty, who don’t want to pay them any money,’ while they are getting rich as sin! They are the members of the country club. They’re the ones that fly around in the corporate jets. They’re the ones that have the lives of Riley. But in this case, collective bargaining — the taxpayers are not flying around in private jets, they’re not the members of country clubs, they’re not living the lives of Riley. A lot of them are out of work, a lot of them have lost their homes, and the union is ungiving. It is unwilling to compromise at all on some of this. ‘I don’t care if the state goes bankrupt. I’m keeping what I’ve got.’ So in this case, the whole notion of the traditional contract negotiation is thrown out the window.
You’re asking John Q. Citizen, you’re asking Joe Six-Pack to pay you twice what he makes and you want a collective bargaining process which allows you the right to strike, to walk away from your job, which is to teach his kids? Do you expect him to agree with this? He doesn’t see himself as a CEO of some giant company running around playing golf half the year, drinking fine adult beverages, smoking cigars, cognac from the corporate jet at 51,000 feet. He sees himself barely able to make ends meet in this economy. And yet his neighbors, who for some reason have no compunction, they’ll either leave the state to avoid voting or they’ll walk off the job teaching the kids or they’ll walk off the job of whatever else it is. John Q. Public’s said, ‘To hell with this. I’m already paying these guys twice what I earn and they’re coming in and treating me this way?’ So that’s the difference. It’s money laundering. I don’t know how else to say this. It is just a highly sophisticated money laundering operation. Add to it, John, what people are now figuring out is, these John Q. Citizens in Wisconsin are figuring out that at the end of all of this, at the end of this timeline, a portion of their state taxes is ending up in the Democrat Party campaign coffers via the unions because all these state employees are unionized, they pay dues, the dues go to elect and reelect and buy ads for Democrats.