Government Spending

Revolt Against the Public Sector

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Revolt of the acorn men

Politico has a decent article up about how, 

Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

Lots of Chris Christie/Mitch Daniels quotes, but it remains striking to me how lame the public-sector union responses sound:

And he seems like such a NICE young man, too!

"It's outrageous to blame a librarian – to blame a fireman for the financial mess that we find this country it," the president of the American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, the largest national public workers union, [Gerald] McEntee, said. "We are the scapegoats in the states." […]

"The Al Shankers and the Victor Gotbaums…they're not around any more," said Norman Adler, the former political director of the New York City public workers union, referring to public sector union leaders who battled through the crises of the 1960s. "The people who have replaced them are either not as sophisticated or not as talented as the old guard was." […]

Randi is ALWAYS thinking of the kids.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, for instance, blamed "the hedge fund folks" who, she said, are "trying to use charters as a way of demonizing public school teachers."

So, don't blame the noble firefighter for the economic crisis, the movement needs greater Great Leaders, and god DAMN those hedge funds. Really?

What's missing every time this debate comes up is any actual defense of the basic and 100 percent undeniable trend line–we are paying much, much more money to deliver government services that (with few exceptions) are not performing any better, and the single biggest line item in that cost increase is employee compensation. The burden of proof is on the people pocketing our taxpayer dollars, and yet they continue to dissemble, whine, and change the subject (and sometimes even shrug), rather than robustly defending the public policy mess they have been instrumental in creating. As long as We Are Out of Money, they (and their apologists) will rightly be on the defensive.

Watch me debate with a California union honcho on the Stossel show below. And refresh your memory with our three classic cover stories: "Class War," "Failed States," and "The Next Catastrophe."

NEXT: Reason.tv's Meredith Bragg and Dan Hayes Snag "I Am Free Enterprise" Video Honors!

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  1. “It’s outrageous to blame a librarian ? to blame a fireman for the financial mess that we find this country it,” the president of the American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, the largest national public workers union, [Gerald] McEntee, said. “We are the scapegoats in the states.” […]

    Parasites seldom blame themselves for killing their host.

    1. The host was weak and stupid.

      1. I don’t usually comment on kids, but just for definition purposes, technically speaking, isn’t what that kid’s wearing called an “asshat”?

        1. I’m not sure, but the woman next to the kid certainly is one.

  2. As a former New Jerseyan, I’m loving the way Christie’s been stonewalling the teacher’s union. I hope he stays this good.

  3. “It’s outrageous to blame a librarian ? to blame a fireman for the financial mess that we find this country it,” the president of the American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, the largest national public workers union, [Gerald] McEntee, said.

    We’re not blaming them, McEntee. We’re blaming you.

    1. We’re not blaming them, McEntee. We’re blaming you.

      You should be blaming the financial sector and wall street that caused this mess.

      But you’re too busy defending their right to fuck up the world economy and fighting against rules to limit their damage.

      The public sector unions didn’t cause this mess, the economic downturn did ang with the shady deals and crappy hedge funds that Wall Street conned local municipalities into investing in.

      Yet no one on these boards wants to point the finger at private sector Wall Street.

      They are too busy blaming the teachers for wanting a salary that allows them to be middle class. HOW DARE THEY! At a time when investment bankers had to get less millions in bonuses for losing billions in investment dollars! How selfish of these public employees.

      I can’t understand why people think libertarians are uncaring corporatist assholes who try to undermine the working and middle class to benefit the few at the top. It makes no sense.

      1. link from the original post

        Consider the boom cycle preceding this latest recession. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, combined state general-fund revenue increased twice as fast as the rate of inflation, producing an excess $600 billion. If legislatures had chosen to be responsible, they could have maintained all current state services, increased spending to compensate for inflation and population growth, and still enacted a $500 billion tax cut.

        Instead, lawmakers spent the windfall. From 2002 to 2007, overall spending rose 50 percent faster than inflation. Education spending increased almost 70 percent faster than inflation, even though the relative school-age population was falling. Medicaid and salaries for state workers rose almost twice as fast as inflation.

        Yeah. Those durned Wall St bankers did it!

        Not that I consider Wall St or big business in general innocent in this mess — but they’re NOT what caused trouble for state budgets.

        1. +100. Good beatdown. It amazes me how liberals will defend the indefensible.

        2. What caused this mess was our politicians spending hundreds of billions of dollars to pay off Wall Street investors for their losses…

          And that was the first thing Barak Obama did when he got in office!

          He gave away $350 billion! To Wall Street investors.

          That isn’t Wall Street’s fault. That’s Barak Obama’s fault.

          I’m a pretty principled guy, but if Barak Obama wants to give me $350 billion? Don’t blame me for cashing the check. Blame Barak Obama for giving me the money.

          1. To be fair, it was also the last thing Bushie Jr. did in office. Thus, why most of us think that both full of festering turds (I’m going to be using that phrase a lot more).

      2. Yet no one on these boards wants to point the finger at private sector Wall Street.

        And this is horse shit. Reason’s Wagging Finger of Shame has been pointed at big business several times.

        1. I don’t know, but a common theme in here and among libertarians in general is our disgust with corporatism and the unholy alliance between large corporations and government – hindering competition, no-bid contracts for pals who are going to hire you as a consultant after your public service and on and on.

          1. Too bad your “solution” to this problem is to destroy 95% of the government, and then assume that cronyism will magically disappear from this earth.

            1. Yes Comrade Chad we will make government bigger and crush those evil capitalist pigs mwuhahahaha!

              1. Make government 95% bigger, and all problems will magically disappear from this earth.

                1. Makes sense. Governmentum is known as being the most dense material known to man, along with having a strong tendency to slow everything that comes in contact with it.

                  You almost double the amount, and I’m pretty sure the Earth will experience its own personal heat death.

            2. Well, the government cronyism will disappear and since that’s the vast majority cronyism that will help a lot.

              There’s a reason the phrase, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business exist.” Ties of loyalty, old boy networks and a general us-vs-them mentality don’t survive long in the free-market. It doesn’t matter if someone is your friend, after a point if they can’t produce you can’t do business with them.

              The free-market is the economic version of the scientific method. Every business decision is a hypothesis the market will ruthlessly test experimentally. Cronyism shatters under such pressures. Everyone in business had been forced to terminate a business relationship with someone they like or someone who did them a solid in the past.

              It’s hard personally but as far as the system is concerned it ensures long term integrity.

      3. The pension crisis is not simply caused by underperforming pension funds.

        Besides, Wall Street neither created the real estate bubble nor caused it to burst. They simply rode the wave of the bubble both up and down.

      4. They are too busy blaming the teachers for wanting a salary that allows them to be middle class.

        AH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        They can “want” salary all they want; but the thing is, I’m paying for it yet I have no say. This pisses me off. It’s the same for all government employees. And the fact that the vast majority of gov workers are lazy goldbricking pieces of shit makes it even better.

        And fuck Wall Street; you’re completely bullshitting here; no one here wanted Wall Street bailed out–we wanted them to take the headcutting they so richly deserved, yet your buddy Obama bailed them out…again.

        1. they don’t just want salary…they want big ass(relative to normal teachers) gauranteed pensions for shity soul crushing conformity training on the top 25% of their subjects. Anyone who works in public schools is like a guard at Auchwitz…sure they may be a nice guard that sneaks in extra food for the subjects…but they still work in the system.

          1. Most Auschwitz analogies are a tad overwrought. Teachers are Auschwitz guards? Epic credibility fail.

      5. You should be blaming the financial sector and wall street that caused this mess.

        The financial sector and Wall Street had what, exactly, to do with state and municipal budgets?

        Even on the issue of underwater defined benefit plans: do you even know, CT, who makes investment decisions for those plans? Either the union itself, government employees/appointees, or a mixture of the two. Why shouldn’t I hold them responsible for the investments they made?

        Jeebus. Wall Street is populated by pond scum, no doubt, but lets not forget who actually has their finger on the trigger here.

      6. Re: Chicago Tom,

        You should be blaming the financial sector and wall street that caused this mess.

        . . . Because there’s not enough loot to spread around among the [Unionized] thieves, now. That’s why.

      7. I have no problem with teachers earning a large salary, as long as I am not taxed to pay it. It is the teachers and firemen and librarians who push up the property taxes that the poor and middle class have to pay. I really don’t know who is the most useless, a fireman, a librarian, or a code inspector. All worthless drains on the productive citizens.

      8. You keep using this word “libertarian”? I do not think it means what you think it means.

      9. just got back from the new parents night at my kids 17k/year school…my son finished his two years of time in the state instition where the teacher admitted to me they ignored him for a whole month while she tried to get morons to learn to read for the big test….the public schools suck, but they will be good for your kids Chicago Tom

      10. It seems you miss the point entirely. Regardless of the relative health of the economy in general and government finances in particular, public sector employees make too damn much money, retire too early and are afforded way too generous benefits. Here in San Diego, where I live, our municipal finances were in the tank long before the overall economy was and the same can be said for the state. we have firefighters retiring at 50-55 yrs of age with $100,000 pensions to which they have had to contribute NOTHING, as well as free health care for life. Little ol’ me, Joe working stiff, has to cobble together are mere $1,750,000 dollars during my working career, which by the way will be 15-20 years longer, to even come close to having this level of retirement income.

        THIS WILL NOT STAND!! Do you READ me! We, the productive citizens of this society are righteously pissed and WE are coming after you and your ill gotten, unearned gains.

      11. So this Big Union Plan depended on there never, ever being another economic downturn. How smart was that?

        If we had somehow dodged the subprime mortgage crash, something else would have caused a downturn eventually. You can’t stop the cycles, any more than you can inhale forever without exhaling.

        CALPERS (CA’s pension fund), for example, assumed 7.7% to 8% annual returns in perpetuity. It’s funded by tax receipts. The implication here is that they believed CA would see 8% economic growth, year after year, in perpetuity. You might as well believe in Santa Claus.

        THAT’S who’s at fault: Union leaders that either skipped math in school because it was “too hard,” or believe in economic Santa Claus, and state officials and legislators that agreed to the contracts.

      12. I suppose, just to be fair, that in the many years prior to the meltdown you were extolling the virtues of the bankers and Wallstreeters whose work pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into the pension funds of public workers? I don’t suppose, just to fair, that in the many years prior to the meltdown, you critisized the public workers and their pension managers for pressuring Wallstreet to pursue increasingly risky strategies in order to increase returns just like every other near sighted greedy investor?

        Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  4. I’ve been hammering the good liberal wife on this issue. Even she is appalled, but that’s only because the budget “cuts” threaten the magnet program the she-spawn is in.

  5. we are paying much, much more money to deliver government services that (with few exceptions) are not performing any better[…]

    That’s because they’re not services. A service is something one receives as result of a voluntary transaction, not as imposition from above. The “service” aspect is just a front used by the State to justify despoiling people.

    1. Exactly. Can I at least get a reach around every once in a while to legitimize the “service” aspect of that arguement?

    2. A service is something one receives as result of a voluntary transaction, not as imposition from above.

      Weak. Let’s not imitate leftists in their proclivity for redefining words to suit their own purposes.

      1. Re: Tulpa,

        Weak. Let’s not imitate leftists in their proclivity for redefining words to suit their own purposes.

        Just where is the word service redefined here? Does it or does it not come to be out of a voluntary transaction? Do you receive unsolicited services as a matter of routine, or do you research Craig’s list first, or the Yellow Pages?

        1. Main Entry: 1ser?vice
          Pronunciation: \?s?r-v?s\
          Function: noun
          Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French servise, from Latin servitium condition of a slave, body of slaves, from servus slave
          Date: 13th century

          1 a : the occupation or function of serving b : employment as a servant
          2 a : the work performed by one that serves b : help, use, benefit c : contribution to the welfare of others d : disposal for use
          3 a : a form followed in worship or in a religious ceremony b : a meeting for worship ?often used in plural
          4 : the act of serving: as a : a helpful act b : useful labor that does not produce a tangible commodity ?usually used in plural c : serve
          5 : a set of articles for a particular use
          6 a : an administrative division (as of a government or business) b : one of a nation’s military forces (as the army or navy)
          7 a : a facility supplying some public demand b : a facility providing maintenance and repair
          8 : the materials (as spun yarn, small lines, or canvas) used for serving a rope
          9 : the act of bringing a legal writ, process, or summons to notice as prescribed by law
          10 : the act of a male animal copulating with a female animal
          11 : a branch of a hospital medical staff devoted to a particular specialty

          1. You left out the definition of service as something that bulls do to cows and governments do to citizens or taxpayers.

          2. mexican wins…1-5 all point towards voluntary transaction def or at a minimum would make us tax slaves the ones doing the service…as we supply the funds to the government.

            6 and 7 & 9 are just bs that the government wbastards wanted thrown in…

            10 – Elmer +1

            1. No, you just don’t like definitions 6, 7 and 9. That doesn’t mean that that is not what it means. Government bastards use the English language too. We would like all services to be provided as voluntary transactions; that does not mean it is so.

              1. The economy doesn’t care how you define “service.” If I trade money for a “service” that I value more than the money, value (wealth) is created and all is well. If I trade money for a “service” that I value LESS than the money, value is destroyed.

                The current multiplicity of government “services” no doubt provides *some* value to the taxpayer. We value education, etc. for example. But too many services, run inefficiently, not accountable for specific and measurable results, at higher and higher costs… Our public-sector-heavy economy is leaking value like crazy.

  6. At some point, I’m gonna guess that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
    will finally have the epiphany that having an acronym that sorta looks like “assfuck me” doesn’t inspire public confidence about what they intend to do to us.

    1. I usually go with AF-SCAM or AF-SCru-ME…

  7. Speak for yourself. I am totally inspired!

  8. Was Nick Gillespie under the desk tying the “Union Honcho’s” shoelaces together?

  9. But you’re too busy defending their right to fuck up the world economy and fighting against rules to limit their damage.

    Lessee, I’m remembering my letter to my representative in congress, Jim McDermott (D- Washington)

    Something to the effect of (sans foul language, of course)

    “I swear to christ you’d better not bail these motherfuckers out, they need to be allowed to fail instead of being rewarded for their actions…”

    I guess everything’s topsy turvey in the mind of the Democrat: We had to save them to destroy them.

  10. I just looked at my town council’s agenda for tonights meeting. They are approving the hiring of a couple of crossing guards at .67 per hour. That’s more than I make per hour with two college degrees.

    1. They’re only getting 67 cents an hour, and you get less than that?

    2. That’s more than I make per hour with two college degrees.

      Higher education is teh next bubble.

    3. Are you sure that is the pay and not the cost of adding the positions?

  11. It all came to an end when a madman named Albert Shanker got a hold of a nuclear weapon.

  12. Good job on the beat down of Chicago Tom above. My god that was some grade A stupid on his part.

    1. I’m skeptical about that being the REAL Chicago Tom. He would have known he was going to get skewered.

  13. Matt Welch! Is your lede hear a call to revolution? Or is revolt used as a noun here?

    Either way, Viva la Welch!

  14. The Stossel link is broken

  15. Here is a issue where I generally agree with libertarians. Public workers should be paid a wage and benefit package competitive with that earned by SIMILIAR workers in the private sector. In many cases, our public workers appear to be overpaid, particularly when it comes to benefits.

    However, I do see far too many right-wingers throwing around bad statistics. You have to compare apples to apples: people with similar talents, jobs, and educations. You can’t just compare averages, especially at the federal level, where half of employees have college degrees, compared to a quarter in the private sector.

    Frankly, I am not sure we can solve this problem while maintaining defined-benefit pensions. They simply make it too easy for politicians to dump costs on future taxpayers.

    1. traitor

    2. You can’t just compare averages, especially at the federal level, where half of employees have college degrees, compared to a quarter in the private sector.

      What planet can you go to where you think it’s ok that retired police officers and firemen can make $100,000 a YEAR in pension benefits for the rest of their lives?

      Do you not see anything outrageously skewed about this?

      1. Where did I ever say that any such salary is justified? These are precisely the types of government workers that are almost certainly overpaid relative to their closest private-sector peers.

        On the other hand, my point stands (though it appears to have gone over your head). You can’t compare the average salary of a truck driver, a Wal-Mart greeter, an administrative assistant and a doctor to that of a teacher, a cop, a soldier, and a congressman. It is totally meaningless. You have to look at individual jobs and compare like to like.

        1. I agree with Chad. You have to compare like to like. Congressman to, say, retarded french-fry scooper.

          1. Isn’t that an insult to the french-fry scooper?

        2. And conveniently enough for your point, there really isn’t any way to compare a soldier, fireman or policeman to a private sector equivalent.

          That’s why we use averages. And by even the most lefty skewed statistical measure, private sector pensions averages aren’t even in the same building as public sector averages.

          The closest you’ll get to statistical equivalence is private vs. public school teachers. Take a wild guess who has the higher and more costly pensions and benefits.

          1. And conveniently enough for your point, there really isn’t any way to compare a soldier, fireman or policeman to a private sector equivalent.

            You mean there is no way for the lazy. Economists study this stuff all the time. Btw, you might want to look up the data in injury rates for various professions. Those jobs you listed are more dangerous than average, but not much so, and nowhere near as dangerous as jobs in such things as forestry or fishing. The extra danger does imply a wage premium, but a pretty modest one.

            I agree that most teachers are overpaid. This can easily be inferred by the hundreds of applications that often arrive for most positions in decent schools. However, special ed, math and science teachers are probably underpaid, as evidenced by the dearth of qualified applicants for most openings. Also, we need to have some way of encouraging teachers to teach in sub-optimal schools. Some nations handle this with incentives, others simply assign teachers to schools.

            1. I (somewhat) agree with this-

              Also, we need to have some way of encouraging teachers to teach in sub-optimal schools. Some nations handle this with incentives, others simply assign teachers to schools.

              Guess who does a better job -with less money- of that right now, the unions or the private sector?

            2. Chad – lets take your comments at face value:
              – Private School teachers make significantly less than public school teachers
              – There are no state guaranteed pensions for any private sector workers
              – Retirement pay for private sector is a 401k which even after including public savings and match after 30 years of work will not provide 30 years of salary.
              – Teachers in some states get salaried benefits much earlier than 30 years.

            3. You mean there is no way for the lazy. Economists study this stuff all the time.

              And they do so ineptly with absolutely no way to know whether they got it right or wrong. IIRC, you’re a chemist. If you dug down into the methodology of the vast majority of economic “studies” you’d be horrified. Economics is at the point in its development that chemistry was before Priestly.

              Many government services have no private i.e. empirically tested analog. There isn’t any real way to compare a Firefighter or a social worker to the private sector. That means that any economic “study” of compensation will simply be a hodgepodge of untestable assumptions about which government job maps onto which public sector job. Minor changes in the assumptions will produce wildly divergent results.

              Why the hell do you think there are always multiple economic studies of the same phenomena all coming to wildly different conclusions. Why do you think economic arguments go on for decade after decade with no conclusive resolution?

              You should apply your scientific training to your study of economics and politics. It will be an eye opener.

          2. cops = mall security…the pay should be about the same plus gas money for the cops

            1. I’m not certain paying mall security wages is the way to ensure we have high quality, less likely to abuse their power police. Maybe we should have fewer police without union protections but pay them more so we attract really high quality candidates. After all, do you want a mall cop quality guy with the power to arrest/tase you?

    3. The value of their work depends on the nature and quality of their work, not whether they got 4 years of taxpayer-subsidized lefty Sunday School.

    4. Then again, Chad thinks janitors should be payed the same as doctors as long as they go through the same levels of higher education.

      1. You have a really hard time with the “apples to apples” concept, now don’t you?

        1. You have a really hard time with exaggerated sarcasm don’t you?

        2. Chad,

          I’ll consider comparing “apples to apples” if you back out of your numbers every last person with a social work degree.

          1. Many licensed MSWs work as counselors in private practice. They’re pretty interchangeable with psychology MAs who are licensed therapists. Then, there are MSWs who took a concentration in administration, don’t do counseling, and tend to work as administrators in either public agencies or non-profits, many of which are pretty much sustained by public funding.

    5. Why should we compensate a worker that has a college degree more than a worker without a college degree if they perform the same job at te same level? People should be compensated for the work they do, not the schooling they have had. The flip side to this is why is the government hiring those with a college degree if they could hire someone without a college degree for less money and still get the same work out of them? Or I suppose the apples to oranges argument could be a red herring.

      1. If someone is performing the same, they should be paid the same, and usually are. Having a degree is mostly a vetting process that proves you have a certain general level of intelligence, stability, and ability to grind things out…which is precisely what you need in almost any decent job. The government, like corporations, play the odds and prefer college graduates for this reason, not specific courses they took.

        Frankly, I find getting a government job to be highly competitive. For example, one of my closest friends originally wanted to enter the foreign service. He failed the test twice, despite having a master’s degree from an excellent school. He is now working his way up the management of a big company that you have surely heard of, which only speaks to how hard it is to get into the foreign service. Oh, and the private sector pays FAR more than he would have gotten if he had gotten the job he originally wanted…

        1. What’s your point. It is hard to get into the foreign service. But once in, it’s just another govt. sinecure. My sister is a foreign service officer, does fuck-all, complains about conditions private sector workers would give their eye-teeth for and essentially gets three months off every two years. There was a time she could have done something productive with her life. Now, after years supping at the govt. teat, she’s utterly useless.

    6. Did we really ever want to hire all of those high dollar suits in the federal government that your comparing to the private sector?

    7. A college degree is not relevant to the pay scale. The only thing of relevance is the value of the service being provided. Just because you have a college degree, doesn’t mean you should get paid more.

      Should I pay a ditch digger $40/hour because he has a Masters in geotechnical engineering?

    8. Thank you for this, all too often we look at misleading averages to compare salaries. Also, at least in the case of federal employees, they are disproportionately located in the Washington DC area, an expensive location, and need a higher raw salary than most of the rest of the country to have comparable purchasing power. That is not to say that there are not too many federal employees (of course there are) but that their pay is not necessarily that far out of whack with comparable private sector jobs.

      1. If there were far fewer of them, DC would be a much less expensive area in which to live. I see a solution with additional, unanticipated benefits. Start with the Department of Education.

        1. Totally agree, but that is a separate issue about the size of government, an issue that federal civil service employees have relatively little sway on, particularly compared to their state counterparts.

  16. Chad just admitted that the market decides something better than government bureaucrats…

    Who are you impostor?

    1. Nope. I never said that the private sector wages were correct and should remain as they are, now did I?

      1. the correct wage is the wage the market sets and will bear. The public sector is disconnected from the market so there is no mechanism for determining what the correct wage might be. The correct wage for the public sector is whatever amount they can manage to extort from taxpayers. Doesn’t it strike even the most ardent lefty as bizarre and indefensible that taxpayers, most of whom are far more poorly paid than their public servants, have their paychecks garnished in order to pay the salaries of those who make significantly more than they do?

        1. Why would you ever assume that the wages determined by our completely un-free markets even remotely reflect what should actually be?

          1. Obama,Paulson& Bush decided I needed about 120 million dollars this year..the government is good at making these types of salary decisions when there are market failures.

          2. Ah yes, I remember you telling us how much doctors should make, Chad, which conveniently was in accord with how much you make. And it’s still a load of rubbish. Sorry you don’t agree with how much people make but thankfully you don’t get to set wages and prices, though I realize that your ilk are working on it.

            1. So again, you are arguing that the wages set by an absolutely and totally uncompetitive market are correct, because….why exactly?

              1. I think “absolutely and totally uncompetitive” is taking it a bit far.

              2. an absolutely and totally uncompetitive market

                So you DO understand exaggeration…

        2. Interesting point. Here in Colorado, State public sector wages are set by an annual salary survey of similar private sector wages. Then the public wage range scale is set to 75% of the private sector. Example: If private sector accountants with similiar duties earn between 50k and 100k, then Colorado sets it’s accountants at 50k to 75k.

          More here

          http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Sat…..5870964539

  17. Government bureaucrats blaming Wall Street for the financial crisis is like the matches & gasoline blaming the flames for buring down the building.

    IF YOU MAKE IT PROFITABLE FOR PEOPLE TO ENGAGE IN A CERTAIN ACTIVITY–SURPRISE, THEY WILL ENGAGE IN THAT ACTIVITY!!

    1. Dude, you’re being very un-Dude…

      1. +1 now chill out or Walter is gonna piss on your rug

  18. City budgets increase, not because they keep adding librarians, police, and firefighters but because they keep giving themselves huge increases in salaries and benefits and jobs for their relatives. And yet, whenever a budget crisis comes around they say they will have to cut fireman and police and library staff and close rec centers if they don’t get a tax increase. Just happened here in Columbus. And yes the sheep voted for the tax increase. Convenient that most of them don’t pay any taxes. It’s a vicious cycle of lies and stupidity. The stupid keep voting in the liars, and the rest of us flip the bill.

  19. You should be blaming the financial sector and wall street that caused this mess . . . .

    I can’t understand why people think libertarians are uncaring corporatist assholes who try to undermine the working and middle class to benefit the few at the top.

    Good God of gravy, the categorical errors made between those quotes are beyond repair, as they point to one thing that is no way, shape or form relevant to the other. He is one of the smarter ones on that side and THAT is depressing.

  20. whenever I think of a public sector worker, I think of joe, selflessly spending his days on the internet community organizing for higher taxes. If we cut spending, we’ll lose this vital public service.

  21. The financial sector caused public employee pay and benefits to be 70% more than comparable private sector compensation? Give me a break.

    Even if the Dow was at 14,000 and unemployment at 4%, public employees make way too much and their gold-plated benefits are way too generous for the crappy service they provide.

    Greedy and arrogant public employee unions have only themselves to blame for their new — but well deserved — pariah status.

  22. Give the government workers a 30% cut and call it it a targeted tax hike. And hand them the jobs section of the paper, if they can do better for themselves,tell them to go for it. Enough of these people and their whining, as if they are doing the tax payers a favor with the tax payers money.

  23. A bit of you are missing the point. It’s not the public employees that are the problem. A majority of them are simply after fair compensation and have no interest is milking the system. It’s the unions that are the problem. From the laudable early days of protecting workers rights from some fairly nasty employers and working conditions they have devolved into nothing more than a legal protection racket. Without real issues to fight for, they spend their time and our money fighting for more power and more money. Their time has passed. Forcibly dissolve the unions. Its the only way.

  24. It doesn’t really matter to the worker who is at fault, they are not going to voluntarily give up one cent. It will be up to the people who vote to get the changes made through their representatives. It will be a brave politician who will run on benefit reduction for union members. Are there any heroes left?

  25. I work for the federal government. We are provided quarterly transportation vouchers intended to buy bus/train passes. We can participate in this program only if we use public transportation to work. I have 2 objections:
    1. The system is abused, and 2) why should the federal government pay me to get to work???

  26. I’d like to point out a hidden cost in all this: The brain drain of bright (or at least good test takers, which is how we define “bright”)people going into government rather than the private sector.

    Consider the Post Office: Does a competitive entrance exam insure that most postal employees are over-qualified?

  27. Susie, relevant to your question “…why should the federal government pay me to get to work???” is added the factor that the IRS does NOT recognize costs to travel to/from work as a legitimate deduction.

  28. Its not a fake, many people are trying it. cause of all these is Host

  29. Public sector unions are unconstitutional.It makes our children propaganda pawns. WE MUST BAND TOGETHER QUICK AND LOUD . ????????

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