In his column today, Charles Krauthammer, like George Will in his earlier this week, gets at the essence of events in the Badger State and explains the difference between a private enterprise negotiating with a union and a government agency doing the same:
In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largess in the next election. It’s the perfect cozy setup.
And those who benefit from union largesse are, by and large, Democrats. Heck, here in California, the unions (most them representing state employees) provided the phone banks for the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote efforts. No wonder Democrats have become so upset by Walker’s modest and sensible reforms:
To redress these perverse incentives that benefit both negotiating parties at the expense of the taxpayer, Walker’s bill would restrict future government-union negotiations to wages only. Excluded from negotiations would be benefits, the more easily hidden sweeteners that come due long after the politicians who negotiated them are gone. The bill would also require that unions be recertified every year and that dues be voluntary.
Recognizing this threat to union power, the Democratic Party is pouring money and fury into the fight. Fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers are unionized. The Democrats’ strength lies in government workers, who now constitute a majority of union members and provide massive support to the party. For them, Wisconsin represents a dangerous contagion.
Read the whole thing to see just why the Apollo of punditry dubs “Obama’s Democrats” as “the party of no.”
Oh, and this post about providing the The “Untold” Story of Scott Walker’s Longstanding History with Labor shows that when Scott Walker ran for governor of Wisconsin, he already had a record of taking on unions. And he still won by a comfortable margin over a candidate backed by the labor unions.