Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I am cheering on the legislators in Wisconsin who are proposing to make public employees pay more for benefits. I know there is an uproar because the move would mean teachers, too, would be subject to the legislation, if it is approved.
I truly believe education is important and often agree teachers are under-appreciated. But many unions that represent public employees have bargained for benefits that pale in comparison to the benefits allocated employees in the private sector.
I believe in fiscal responsibility. The private sector prays they will tomorrow still have a job and can only watch as the cost of benefits go up. Those in the public sector seem to believe it is their right (not a privilege) to continue with the status quo.
It is well-documented that benefits for public sector jobs are far better than most private sector jobs. Those paid with tax dollars continue to see increases in their paychecks, while the private sector watches the money in their wallets dwindle.
The pay for comparable jobs in the public and private sectors is not equitable.
Joe and Josephine Taxpayer have little say, if any, over the disproportionate wages servants of the public receive. Any recourse must be made through a referendum or initiative.
Meanwhile, the taxpayers continue to see their own wallets grow thinner by the day and the government, when an initiative is passed, challenges the will of the people.
The government, too, finds loopholes in approved initiatives that limit taxes. Those loopholes wouldn't be necessary if the public sector was truly looking out for the "little guy."
Public employees, meanwhile, reap the benefits of additional taxes, seeing there is still money to be had. The unions, seeing this, find a way to bargain for more from the government and Joe and Josephine are on the hook for those dollars.
It's a vicious cycle that is hurting the country.
I believe the actions of the Wisconsin legislature is just one step on a long road to recovery. I think public employees should look at their private counterparts and discover for themselves that not everything is handed to you on a silver platter.
We, as a country, should ban together in an effort to improve the nation's financial situation.
The state of Wisconsin is only telling its employees they should be treated like those whom they serve. That means shouldering a bigger burden when it comes to paying for their benefits.
Another step I would propose (and this is a small one) is for the 200,000 federal government jobs added in the past two years to be eliminated.
I know this might mean higher unemployment, but the government needs to cut the fat and those federal employees should not have had jobs in the public sector to begin with.
Fingers are being pointed in every direction, but ownership of this country's problems should be squarely placed on everyone's shoulders. Everyone should be willing to tighten their belts and do whatever it takes to improve the financial standing of their state and country.