Monday, May 16, 2011

One of the reason so many states have financial woes

For decades governments at all levels have made promises for pensions, money due later, on the hope that taxes would continue to rise. 

Unfortunately this dream has collapsed and now tax payers are stuck with a bill that may be impossible to pay fully.

Debt the Teachers' Unions Cause Us details how this continues to happen in California:

California’s chronic fiscal crisis should prompt a substantive debate about the limits of government and the folly of an expansive welfare state. Instead, leaders of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association are using the struggle to close the Golden State’s $15.4 billion budget deficit as an opportunity for some political street theater. The powerful National Education Association state affiliate is spending this week highlighting California’s “state of emergency,” with large rallies planned in Sacramento and around the state Friday to agitate for billions of dollars in higher taxes.

The union’s timing is not by chance. Governor Jerry Brown will unveil his revised budget on May 16, and deep cuts to the K-12 education budget could mean widespread teacher layoffs as early as next month. Californians can expect heavy doses of union demagoguery this week and in the coming months, as Brown works to forge a deal with Republicans who unequivocally oppose any income- or sales-tax hikes, “temporary” or otherwise.

For the teachers’ union, kids are the best props. Already we’re hearing the familiar nostrums: “Cuts hurt children,” “What’s good for the teachers is good for the students,” and “Don’t sacrifice our kids’ futures.” What the CTA really means is, “Tax the rich,” “Give us more money,” and, above all, “Save our jobs.” At first, the union considered more drastic action to make its point. Among the tactics union organizers contemplated: Attempting to close a major freeway route; having students and parents picket and occupy schools overnight; and protesting in front of recalcitrant legislators’ homes and businesses. CTA planners also suggested some downright silly schemes, such as turning fire or earthquake drills into “budget-crisis-response drills”; staging dancing contests to showcase the positive impact of teachers and the arts on students; and working with a suitably progressive company like Ben & Jerry’s to make a labor-themed ice cream to sell at demonstrations and in stores.

No comments: