In a welcome but unexpected move Democrat strategist rips White House for obeisance to organized labor.
Longtime Democratic strategist Pat Caddell on Wednesday blasted the Obama White House for creating “a world in which there is no dissent,” following his banishment from Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff’s campaign for Senate.
Caddell said he is being ostracized for sounding alarms about the problem that public sector unions are posing for the Democratic party. He said he supports industrial unions but that government employee unions such as the SEIU — which is one of the Democratic party’s biggest campaign contributors — violate the raison d’etre of the party, which is to “stand up for ordinary average Americans, not money and special interests.”
“I think the public unions are going to take the country and the Democratic party down the tubes,” Caddell said. “They’re in the business of taking care of — of asking taxpayers, asking ordinary people, to pay for people who make twice as much as they make, with benefit packages they will never see, and they’re told, you may not cut those.”
He pointed to health-care negotiations, where the SEIU has preserved health-care benefits from cuts, and to the $787 billion stimulus, which has benefited mostly state government employees so far. He said public sector employee unions in California have contributed to the state’s fiscal crisis by demanding that taxpayers subsidize their job status and guaranteed salaries and benefits.
Caddell said he was not attacking government employees but that the system “has grown into something far beyond what it should be.”
“How are you going to tell a person who makes $40,000 that they must pay money to make sure that people keep jobs who make $80,000, roughly, and who have defined pensions that they will never see?” Caddell said. “You cannot ask ordinary Americans who have no jobs, whose pensions have been ransacked, and whose pay has been stagnant, to keep rewarding people who don’t face the same kind of conditions and risk.”
“The people who pay for it are suffering,” he said. “The taxpayers are going to explode. This is the big coming issue of our time.”
This is indeed the big issue. Cities and states are insolvent because politicians buy votes from public unions. There is no one to speak for the taxpayer who gets the shaft.
Students Support Firing Teachers
As noted in Central Falls Rhode Island Fires Every High School Teacher the superintendent fired every teacher in a pay dispute. Teachers refused to work an extra 25 minutes a day even though 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes and the graduation rate is 48%.
Here’s an update to the story: Students stand up for Central Falls school chief.
A student-run group called Young Voices rallied in front of the Rhode Island Department of Education at noontime on Wednesday to support Central Falls Supt. Frances Gallo, who plans on firing all of the city’s high school teachers as part of a state-ordered reform initiative.
Some 20 students from Providence gathered to speak on behalf of students in Central Falls, who were not invited to the rally because Young Voices was worried about the possibility of reprisals from the Central Falls’ teachers.
According to Karen Feldman, one of the co-directors of Young Voices, Central Falls youth said that teachers have been telling their students that they might lose their houses if they are fired. According to Young Voices, students have said that their teachers are using the classroom as a bully pulpit to express their outrage with Gallo’s decision.
Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-78k. That does not include benefits. Nor does it factor in 3 months off in the summer. If some teachers lose their houses over this, they only have themselves to blame.
More importantly, teachers have no right to lay their personal problems on the backs of students. Those students have enough problems as it is.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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