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Will Republicans Save the Democratic Party?

Pete's very sobering post below on the difficulties of the coming war over entitlement spending prompts a thought on the comparatively minor skirmish over public employee compensation and union power.  If Republicans actually succeed in curtailing the power of public employee unions, the ultimate political beneficiary might well be--the Democratic Party!

In a long post over at Power Line this morning that discusses the whole matter at length, I include this observation:

By the way, Thatcher's breaking of union power in Britain had the ironic benefit of breaking the total union stranglehold over the Labour Party, making possible the emergence of the more moderate "New Labour" under Tony Blair. This suggests the possibility that if Republicans succeed in breaking the power of public employee unions, the ultimate beneficiary might be the Democratic Party; it would free them at last to support genuine public education reform, for example. Mickey Kaus, call your office.
Categories > Politics

Discussions - 69 Comments

I read Pete's great post over at Powerline (Love that blog). He did a great job of bringing up some real issues that conservatives must deal with in the coming elections.

However, I can't stress this point enough - the tsuanmi that is coming is that there is NO MONEY TO FUND ANYTHING. Again. There is NO MONEY TO FUND ANYTHING. California is laying off state workers, city workers and county workers in droves. There is NO MONEY. The economy is tanked for the private sector that funds the city, county, state and federal governments. Anyone with any sense (of course this excludes Scanlon) knows that if the private sector is tanked, there is no revenue being generate and no taxes being collected. Furthermore, here in California the housing values are in the crapper. Yet, the Stupid State raised everyone's property taxes - mine went up $300 a year - that is three weeks worth of gas in my cars now. People have more incentive to leave their houses which are now underwater - in my county 59.6% of the houses are underwater. More MONEY LOST.

Governor Brown is now going to have to lay off the 44,000 state workerst that were hired in the past four years - during a state hiring freeze - teachers will continue to be laid off and the next targe will be the prison guard unions. THERE IS NO MORE MONEY!

It is not working. Elections won't matter soon - survival will be on the top of everyone's list.

But Steve, what about the degree to which US unions--including especially the public-employee unions that siphon taxpayer money straight out of civil servants' paychecks--have become an "iron rice bowl" for the Democratic Party? Take away the $100 million that the NEA, AFT, and AFSCME have given to Democrats over the past 20 years, and how would Democratic candidates have fared?

Here are the figures for donations from '89 to '10, btw:
AFSCME: $43.5 mil, 98% to Demos
NEA: $32 mil, 93% to Dems
AFT: $28.7 mil, 98% to Dems

Would it really benefit the Dems electoral chances to lose this kind of cash?

S=2P

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There are always unintended consequences of "radical" action, and eliminating public union power is no different. Nonetheless, whatever the price, it's probably worth it. This collusion between politicians and public sector workers is breaking the country and it must stop.

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