Any Republican effort to cut back the size of government will run straight into a battle with the unions - not the traditional industrial unions that have long formed the backbone of the Democratic Party, but government unions. According to data released last week, for the first time in history, more than 50 percent of union members work for the federal, state or local government.This is one potential threat to democracy that has, for the most part, been flying under the radar. The idea of large blocs of unionized government workers that – let’s face it – would represent an unofficial arm of the increasingly left-wing Democratic Party, and would be able to influence government policies in such a way as to favor the growth of its membership and power, even in the face of the public’s dissatisfaction with the extent and pace of government expansion, is inimical to the concept of self-government. The last thing we need is a permanent fifth-column of statists embedded throughout the executive branch of the federal government (and, perhaps even more importantly, in state and local governments)working hand-in-glove with the Democrats – which is another reason why it is so important to capitalize on the building momentum of the Tea-Party activists to check the spread of government power and turn transparency into a reality.
This unprecedented event raises the question: How can a public that wants smaller government achieve that goal when every dollar that goes into that government is paying to build an interest group intent on growing the government?
Monday, January 25, 2010
Government: Look for the Union Label
Brian Johnson points out in the Washington Times this morning that there’s a growing obstacle to implementing permanent cuts in the size of the federal government: