Friday, February 18, 2011

The Tipping Point

America is at a crossroads. Yesterdays events in Madison Wisconsin made headlines as teachers unions protested a plan by Wisconsin's governor to eliminate collective bargaining for teachers for employee benefits and to contribute 12.5% toward the cost of their health insurance and 5.6% toward the cost of thier pensions. Minority Democrats fled the state to prevent a vote.In New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie has come under fire from public sector unions for his attempts to  raise the retirement age, eliminate the cost-of-living adjustment, increasing employee pension contributions, and rolling back a 9% pay increase.

At a time when his budget is DOA on capitol hill President Obama even opined on the Wisconsin situation as an assault on unions which incidently places his view of the situation in Wisconsin as completely in line with the NY Times Editorial page. The thing is both governor Christie and Walker are speaking the truth when they state the obvious fact that their states simply do not have the funds. Governor Christie said it well;

“Here’s the deal: I understand you’re angry, and I understand you’re frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed.” And, he said, they were right: “For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn’t keep, and just hoping that they wouldn’t be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?”

So call this an intervention from an adult who fully understands the consequences for our nation if we continue to act like Greece and expect China to pay for our binge. The New York Times Editorial Board, many unions and certainly many cowardly politicians in both parties remind me of the crowd at at a Robert Earl Keen Concert. Thank God  some Governors are starting to act like designated drivers.

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