Friday, February 25, 2011

Caesar? I Think Not

The Hammer waxes eloquent about the nation's debt crisis, and lauds Repubs for facing the danger while Dems run and hide.

So far, so good.

But I've got some rhetorical nits to pick.

Is Scott Walker "progressive?"  Well, small 'p,' maybe. But big 'P' Progressiv[ism] is too huge a problem to play with the word, in my opinion.

And "crossing the Rubicon?"

Excuse me, CK, but this ain't Caesarism. We're ringing the freedom bell, we are.

Krauthammer (the nuts and bolts part):

"The unions quickly understood that the more than 85 percent of Wisconsin not part of this privileged special-interest group would not take kindly to 'public servants' resisting adjustments that still leave them paying less for benefits than private-sector workers. They immediately capitulated and claimed they were only protesting the other part of the bill, the part about collective-bargaining rights.

"Indeed. Walker understands that a one-time giveback means little. The state's financial straits - a $3.6 billion budget shortfall over the next two years - did not come out of nowhere. They came largely from a half-century-long power imbalance between the unions and the politicians with whom they collectively bargain.

"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.

"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."