In the 1970's, as students were burning bras and flags, and disrupting campuses across America, in opposition to the war in Vietnam, the Nixon administration began suggesting that these protesters were in the minority and that the "silent majority" was in favor of administration policies. Without going into a very stale argument about the "rightness" of the war, the government did offer a valid point at that period in time.
We now face another "Silent Majority" of taxpayers who are struggling to make a living and balking at the fraud and abuse in government programs. Those excesses capturing the most attention these days are the very visible effects of overly generous city, county, state and federal government salaries and benefits. Every financial study shows public workers receive over twice as much in salary and benefits of the average private sector worker.
If it is true that greed and self-interest is the prime motivator in all financial decisions, and that this same greed and self interest will overpower every other decision factor, then we can better understand why public workers in Wisconsin will form huge mobs and resort to any means to protect their largess. Thus, we see 80,000 of them parading around the capitol while the taxpayer, too busy with making a living, must rely on a small band of patriots from the Tea Party to counter the excesses of the "taker" crowd.
In the last few weeks the headlines and photos out of Madison, Wisconsin depict mobs of protesters breaking windows and overpowering security officers to invade that state's capitol to protest the state legislature's vote on ending collective bargaining for public workers. Even as late as this weekend the news reports that as many as 80,000 teachers and other public workers were marching around the capitol and displaying their anger that they might be asked to contribute 12 percent to their extremely generous retirement fund and five percent to their medical benefits.
The mob also hailed, as heroes, those 14 Democratic lawmakers who fled to Illinois because they didn't agree with majority rule vote inspired by last November's elections when the taxpayers of Wisconsin voted in a Republican majority. Contrast that with the nasty business in our nation's capital last summer as Republicans fought tooth and nail to stop Obama care from becoming law. The Democrats, with a huge majority (and primed with congressional ear-mark bribes) drew up a pork-laden health care bill, then rammed it down the people's throat, despite 70 percent of the American people being opposed to it! It seems liberals only agree to abide by the democratic process when it is in their best interest to do so!
In an on the spot interview one retired teacher bemoaned this brazen attack on his fellow teachers. He related that he had worked as a teacher for twenty-four years and wished to protect his $75,000 dollar per year pension. I found that particularly interesting; I am a military retiree who served 22 years, spent five years on remote tours away from my family, to include three combat tours, and I receive $24,000 per year in pension and I pay premiums for my retiree health insurance. I couldn't help but wonder how his service was worth three times more than mine.
Wisconsin has been the focus of attention lately as the battle between the taxpayer and runaway state employee costs has broken the financial back of 43 of the 50 states. Ohio and Indiana are but two of the many states trying to get a grip on the problem. California has all but surrendered to the public employee unions as they have decided that ever-higher taxes are the answer and Governor Brown owes his election victory to the unions and will not demand reform from them.
Now, the labor unions have vowed to make Wisconsin the battleground for union rights, with all the fraud and excess that goes with it. National Union leaders, their purses bulging with billions of dollars in worker union dues, are vowing to fund recall elections for any Republican who voted against the union cause. Unions are scared to death that other states will follow Wisconsin's lead and reform public union excesses.
If reform is to come it is now time for the "Silent Majority" to speak up! Stop relying on a small band of Tea Party patriots to do your bidding! Join them, or some other group advocating sensible budgets and let your voices be heard! You can be damn sure in the coming weeks the Unions will be rowdy and loud! The choice is clear; be silent...or be prepared to pay higher taxes to support the "privileged public worker!"