What the Collective Bargaining Vote Means for the Country

Last night, Ohioans voted 2-1 in order to overturn Republican Governor John Kasich’s collective bargaining law passed by the Ohio legislature earlier this year. Like Wisconsin, labor unions in Ohio came out against the reforms in full force, spending millions of dollars in order to get votes.

First, a bit of history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote a letter to the National Federation of Federal Employees in 1937, opposing government unions:

“Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable.”

If President Roosevelt could only see our country now, where government unions exist and thrive, often times to the detriment of those they are supposed to support. Government unions are good at winning modern day PR battles. Why? Because they are comprised of sympathetic folks: teachers, policemen, firefighters. If their demands aren’t met, they go to the voters, claiming anyone who opposes their position is anti-teachers, anti-policemen, anti-firefighters, etc. Then, taxes go up to pay for the new benefits and the cycle continues.

Governors like Mr. Kasich and Scott Walker identified this problem and took on the challenge of trying to change the status quo. They limited government union’s ability to collectively bargain so that they could balance their states’ budgets without raising taxes. By doing so, government unions couldn’t be allowed to obstruct the government and force more spending.

But last night, Ohioans voted to repeal the Ohio law, allowing government unions to continue to demand more spending and increase their pensions which threaten to bankrupt the state.

In the union-generated hysteria, common sense reforms are being whisked away, like requiring government employees to pay more towards their healthcare – just as those in the private sector do. Unfortunately, far too many Americans still believe that all of our problems can be solved simply by taxing the productive, successful, job creators.  But as we’ve pointed out, the federal government could take every single penny from those who make more than $1 million and it would barely cover one year of President Obama’s deficits. That, of course, would do nothing for state deficits and it would absolutely destroy America’s economy. The truth is that higher taxes won’t allow our country to continue on the path it’s on. But that’s not what the government unions would have you believe.

While government unions in Ohio, and Wisconsin rioted and protested, other states passed the same reforms without a fight. New Jersey passed reforms, and while there was protesting, it did not reach the level of outrage in Wisconsin or Ohio. Meanwhile, Idaho passed reforms that end teacher tenure and seniority without the attention of the national media. And Governor Kasich hinted that he may pursue some more modest reform during the next legislative session.

There will be the temptation by some on the right – the more Establishment minded folks – to view this as a signal to proceed with caution.  But as we are seeing with Europe, delaying necessary reforms can lead to extremely painful choices being forced upon citizens by outside forces.

For those that understand that all aspects of government need to be reformed, it’s now time for you to educate your friends. Tell them that we can’t continue down this path. Raising taxes and continuing the spending won’t solve anything.

Conservatives cannot allow this to deter them from doing what is absolutely necessary: reforming our entitlement programs, ending Davis-Bacon, cutting discretionary spending, etc.  So go out, educate your friends, family, co-workers, everyone you can find that our country needs to change. We don’t need to punish success, we need to build a thriving economy in which people can start taking care of themselves and their families, just like our Founding Fathers wanted. Americans need to become self-sufficient again, and until more do, the Nanny State will continue.

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