The Chicago Tribune reported on an interesting, er, “protest” that took place in Springfield, IL at the Capitol house Wenesday which saw approximately 15,000 unionites – many of them bused in – demanding that the state legislature raise taxes instead of cutting spending in the budget (via ST reader BP):
SPRINGFIELD — Thousands of protesters bused down by labor unions and social service advocates rallied at the Capitol today in an attempt to pressure state lawmakers into raising the income tax to avoid more budget cuts.
A spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White estimated the rally crowd at 15,000, with more than 12,000 marching around the building. That would appear to make it the largest Capitol protest since the Equal Rights Amendment crowds a quarter-century ago.
Bus after bus pulled up on streets surrounding the Capitol complex and dumped sign-waving protesters clad in purple, green, red and blue shirts that represented a show of strength from a variety of public employee unions and dozens of groups that formed what they named the “Responsible Budget Coalition.” (You can see a photo gallery by clicking here.)
“Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes!” they chanted, lined up shoulder to shoulder for a few hundred yards stretching a street in front of the Capitol.
“These 177 people who have a job don’t want to do their job,” said Henry Bayer, head of the Illinois chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, referring to the number of lawmakers in the House and Senate. “Yes people are hurting, that’s why we need a tax increase….If you try to leave town without doing your job we’re going to chase you.”
Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing a 33 percent increase in the state income tax rate — taking it from 3 percent to 4 percent — to prevent cuts in state spending. Quinn has suggested that education will bear the brunt of the cuts, although that would have to be negotiated with the General Assembly.
Lawmakers, however, are leery about voting to raise taxes during a sluggish economy with an election less than seven months away. At the Capitol, it’s thought that the earliest a tax increase vote will come is after the November election.
So organized labor showed up in force at the Capitol today to pressure lawmakers to change their minds.
Among the protesters is Terrie Monaghan, who took a hit last year when her choice was to have no fourth-grade teaching job in Grayslake or share the position with another teacher. She chose the latter, and also works as a substitute teacher and tutors students after school “to make ends meet.
“Half the salary, half the benefits … half of everything,” said Monaghan, 39.
Uh, so she wants her taxes raised so she can … oh hell, she doesn’t even make any sense. What they want the state legislature to really do is not to raise their (union members’) taxes; they want them to raise YOUR taxes. They don’t want them to even bother to consider cutting wasteful spending and privatizing certain services. Because they have a “right” to your money. It’s all about mo’ money mo’ money – under the guise of “saving the cheeeldren” of course.
And didn’t you love the one guy who said they’d “chase” any legislator who “left town” without “doing their jobs”? So typical.
The blogprof sums up:
The private sector produces while the public sector takes. Nothing inherently wrong with that since government must fulfill its basic functions. Outside of those basic functions, however, every additional dollar taken out for the public sector is taken out of the economy. Because of the recession, there are fewer private sector dollars to be had. The public sector unions response isn’t one of shared sacrifice, but rather of hiking taxes. And since the public sector continues to thrive on taxpayer dollars while those taxpayers are losing their jobs, they have amassed the power to buy politicians with, ironically, our taxpayer dollars.
The Democrat Governor is pushing a 33% increase in the state income tax to cover unsustainable union benefits that include outrageous pension obligations that cannot possibly be met. How outrageous you might ask? Get this: the top 100 public employees will cost the state of Illinois…
wait for it…
$887,925,790! That’s right -more than $887 million. That’s just the top 100. Someone tell me that’s even a possible number to be met. Doug Ross has the details: Did you think the California teachers’ pensions were out of control? Wait ’til you check out Illinois. I laughed, I cried, this changed my life.
This is the same thing that has happened in NJ, where Gov. Christie tried to work with the unions on getting them to take a pay freeze and start making employer contributions to healthcare benefits – and they have consistently refused. As a result, there has been an ongoing campaign to smear and slur him to the max, with petulant prominent union members and “educators” praying for his death, calling him “fat,” etc. In fact, on the eve of the school budget elections, here’s what NJ “educators” were having their students do as “homework assignments”:
TRENTON — A day ahead of school budget elections statewide, Gov. Chris Christie today escalated his war of words with the state teachers’ union, accusing union representatives of “using the students like drug mules” to carry information about whether their parents planned to vote.
Christie cited what he called a “mandatory” homework assignment instructing children in the Monroe Township School District to interview their parents about whether and why they would vote on Tuesday.
“These are the typical kind of scare tactics that they involve themselves in,” Christie said about the 200,000-member New Jersey Education Association, which has been critical of his proposed $820 million cut in school aid. “Scaring students in the classroom, scaring parents with the notes home in the bookbags, and the mandatory ‘Project Democracy Homework’ asking your parents about what they’re going to do in the school board election, and reporting back to your teachers union representatives, using the students like drug mules to carry information back to the classroom, is reprehensible.”
Steve Wollmer, a spokesman for the NJEA, said a third-grade teacher in Monroe distributed the homework as part of a civics lesson on voter participation, and it had nothing to do with how parents would vote.
“It’s just astounding that a governor who just spent a week telling people how to vote would be upset at a teacher for just wondering if people are going to vote,” Wollmer said.
Unreal, but this is how it works when it comes to unions and “their own.” Everyone else is expected to sacrifice … but not them. It’s the selfish nature inherent in the liberal mindset. And yet they accuse Republicans of being “selfish.”
BTW, the unions – and the budget thieves in the state legislature in NJ – woke up to a huge disappointment the day after those school budget elections were held: 58% of proposed school budgets were rejected by the voters:
The vote marks a striking political victory for the governor, who had urged voters in school districts where teachers had not agreed to reopen union contracts and accept salary freezes to reject school budgets.
Christie has proposed cutting state aid to schools for the fiscal year that begins July 1 by $820 million, an amount he said would be almost completely replaced if teachers agreed to wage freezes.
Of the school districts where teachers accepted salary freezes, 79 percent of budgets passed, the governor said. In districts where teachers did not accept salary freezes, only 41 percent passed.
School budgets that were rejected move next to municipal governments, which will decide whether they should be revised. Christie said he expects local officials have heard the message sent by voters Tuesday. Elected officials, he said, don’t ignore election results, they absorb them.
Voters in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties mirrored the state, rejecting most school budgets. Read more at [here].
Republican Senator Scott Brown did the unthinkable and won “liberal lion Ted Kennedy’s seat” in a reliably liberal state back in January. Republican Governor Chris Christie so far is surprisingly winning quite handily in the budget battle against liberal teacher’s unions in NJ. Polls all across America are indicating a shift in the way people feel about both Barack Obama, the entrenched Democrats in the US Congress, nationalized healthcare, cap and tax, capitalism vs. socialism – none of which is good news for the left. There is finally hope that people even in traditionally blue states are waking up and seeing that big government liberalism is bad for them both personally and professionally (unless you work for the govt, of course) – and bad for this country, too.
Let’s hope November bears this out so things can be turned around in this country before it’s too late.