The New Civil War

The “protests” by government union members in Wisconsin are a perfectly predictable reaction to the beating that Democrats took in the 2010 elections. When hard-working people of Wisconsin finally had enough of liberal tax-and-spend policies that threatened to bankrupt their state, they threw the bums out – Republicans swept the state legislature and the governor’s office.

And how did their so-called “public servants” react when it was announced that their bloated compensation packages were going to be reigned in just a little bit? Why, they threw a hissy-fit, of course. Because, just like the welfare parasites who show up every time someone tries to curb bloated social subsidies, government workers see their checks as a “right.”

The Wisconsin teachers were by far the worst – they not only called in sick (forcing many schools to actually close), many of them had the audacity to drag their students with them to “protest” at the Capital (buses courtesy of the Democrat Party, of course). So much for the phony claim that they “care about the kids.”

But the situation unfolding in Madison is not peculiar to Wisconsin. It is a microcosm of what is happening across the nation. Because the real divide in America is not between “the rich and the poor” – it is between those who get a check FROM the government and all the rest of us who send our checks TO government: the taxpayers. And it is about to get ugly.

Because this is a war – the greedy government unions have made it so. They do not care that most government union members have pay and benefit packages that are nearly double what their private sector counterparts have. They do not care that nearly one in five Americans are out of work, or that those still employed are being forced to make do with less. Because in the world of the government union worker, no matter how badly the economy is doing, no matter how much the rest of the country is suffering, THEY must never feel the pain. Ever.

Oh, sure, they’ll try to claim that they have taken “cuts” in pay and benefits. But much of the time, these “cuts” turn out to be merely temporary “freezes” that end up being paid back retroactively. And even when an actual cut does occur, when they are so over-compensated to begin with, government workers have little to complain about. And they should expect little sympathy from the average American, especially in the middle of a stagnant economy.

But no matter how you feel about the legitimacy of government workers’ pay, the harsh reality is that it is simply no longer possible to pay excessive salaries, provide “Rolls Royce” health insurance, AND pay lavish pension benefits to thousands of people who are no longer working. The money is simply not there.

And lurking in the wings like an economic assassin is that most dangerous villain of all: inflation. As already increasing prices for food, gasoline, and just about everything else begin to spike up even more steeply, tax-payers who are finding their disposable income shrinking will be less and less likely to go along with outrageous compensation packages for government workers, especially when they are accompanied by demands for higher and higher taxes on the rest of us.

Thus the stage is set for a battle that will ultimately determine, not just the fiscal health of both Federal and State governments, but the very economic survival of the nation. We can only hope that fiscal sanity prevails over the demands of government union mobs.

John Caile