Unions Stand In Way of Calif. Budget Reform

Governor Schwarzenegger said it exactly right. Unions and lap-dog, Democrat legislators in Sacramento are doing their best to make sure that everyone but they have to sacrifice to save California’s budget. The governor told reporters that unions and Democrats are telling Californians, “We want you to make the sacrifices but we in Sacramento don’t want to make any sacrifices or any changes.”

Unions are pointing fingers at everyone but themselves and refusing to budge on cuts in their overweening benefits, lush pay scale and perks but are insisting everyone else make the sacrifices to save union jobs. And, let’s face it, jobs is all the unions care about. They have no interest in what is good for the state or the taxpayers.

I’d suggest a little fix that might help. Instead of furloughing state workers, how about firing some of the most unnecessary jobs and getting rid of them altogether?

According to recent calculations, California has one of the highest levels of state workers per capita of all the states of the union.

California is the third highest in the country in state employees with 105 government workers per 10,000 residents (with Arizona at 108 and Florida at 104). It is the number one in the amount of state and local government workers combined with 486 per 10,000 residents (Mich. is second with 482, followed by Florida with 479). And in K-12 education, California is in second place with 188 workers per 10,000 residents (Texas is first with 273 and Florida is third with 179).

With numbers this high, an obvious solution is to get rid of thousands of state and local government workers. It is plain that many are unnecessary, repetitive, and wasteful.

Of course, the unions don’t care about bad government, waste, political patronage, abuse of the system, and fraud. They want dues money and more workers means more dues money. For unions, the question is not “is it good for the people?” For unions the question is only “how much can we bleed from the taxpayers?”

Don’t furlough union workers, Governor Schwarzenegger. FIRE THEM. Then you’ll start saving money and reforming government spending at the same time.