"For the kids!" teachers union members chanted in Wisconsin while protesting Governor Scott Walker's modest proposal to make public sector union employees contribute 5% toward their pensions and kick in roughly one-tenth of their health care costs. These are benefits most private sector employees would jump at - assuming they still have jobs in Obama's economy. But the Left is hot for teachers unions so they have declared such measures the stuff of authoritarian regimes, with many protest signs comparing Governor Walker to Mubarak or worse, Hitler.
Leave it to the misplaced priorities of the Left to make a hero out of John Walker Lindh and a villain out of Scott Walker. So much for the new civility.
Lost in all the hubbub is the fact that a protest for more government goodies at the expense of taxpayers is anything but good for the kids. These kids are future taxpayers after all, and nothing could be more liberating than a vote to remove the massive shadow of big government that will be limiting their opportunities and strangling their future paychecks.
No, if anyone is for the kids in this case, it's the voters of Wisconsin who elected Scott Walker just months ago to address the cozy and crippling relationship between union special interests and government. In limiting the damage public sector unions can do to the state budget and bringing government costs in line, Walker is shoring up the state's fiscal health and ensuring future generations won't face an insurmountable tax burden. Scott Walker is creating more opportunities for these kids while the unions, concerned only with enriching themselves, steal from Dick and Jane.
Has anyone seen the unemployment rate for teens recently? It's almost 25%, a record high since they started keeping track of such statistics in 1948. The greedy teachers unions are basically demanding generous benefits (for only nine months of work) at the expense of the kids by insisting budget gaps be closed with tax increases in the middle of a recession on the very companies who give so many teens their first job. Meanwhile, they expect the rest of us to keep working overtime to pay for more than 95% of their retirement.
Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas illustrated the Left's temper tantrum in Wisconsin perfectly when he tweeted, "Sorry Teabaggers, it's our turn now." Our turn? How about the kids turn?
The Tea Party, for those who were paying attention, has been about stopping the massive deficits that so many have rightfully described as generational theft. The union protest in Wisconsin, put together by the president's own Organizing for America, is the rallying cry of government thieves who refuse to be held accountable to the taxpayers who pay their salaries. Big difference.
Meanwhile, 14 Democratic lawmakers fled the battlefield and crossed state lines in order to prevent a vote from taking place. Say what you will about the Republicans being the Party of No when opposing President Obama's radical agenda, but at least they showed up and voted. It appears the Democrat Party of Wisconsin represents far worse, a Party of No Shows for No Democracy.
Nothing like running away from the problem, shirking responsibility, and refusing to participate in the process of democracy when you don't think the vote will go your way. That's a lesson that should serve our kids well.