The battle has gotten louder. Some Republican Governors have finally said “no” to government workers’ unions. The unions protest, saying the governors have waged war against American “labor.”
But unions don’t really represent American labor. The vast majority of workers belong to no union. Some of us resent funding government workers who often make more money than private sector workers, but can still retire early, and treat us badly at the Motor Vehicles Department.
So we libertarians say the governors are on to something. I wish they’d cut much more. The Federal government alone now spends $10,000 per American. TOTAL government spending eats up 40% of the economy. But progressives, who rule elite colleges, like Columbia professor Marc Lamont Hill, teach that government spending solves problems. “We have to make sure that the most vulnerable people are always protected,” says Hill.
Today public sector unions are so “protected” they may bankrupt America.
I will confront NYC’s transit workers’ union boss John Samuelsen about the benefits his members get. “People say you union thugs are sucking the life out of America...A fourth of your workers took more than 15 sick days.”
Samuelsen answers, “About 25% of our workforce are women. Women have babies.”
But there is some good news. America may be at a tipping point. American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks says that today, there’s a battle between the MAKERS and the TAKERS. “Americans are in open rebellion … because the government is threatening to take us from a maker nation into taker nation status.”
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) tells me, “more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that this thing is coming unglued.”
Can politicians spend less and still win votes? Yes. When Gary Johnson was Governor of New Mexico, he vetoed most of the bills passed. He was re-elected by a wide margin.
Economist Art Laffer says we “can bring the fiscal situation back under control pretty quickly” by privatizing Fannie, Freddie, AIG and GM, cutting back on entitlements and instituting a flat tax. If we do that, says Laffer, we’ll have “huge economic growth.”
The battle continues, and Fox News airs it Sunday at 10 p.m. EST.