“Unions exist to protect workers and ensure that our children receive a quality education and that those who work for the state and educate your children live healthy, decent lives. I am opposed to CIR reform. The CIR is not the source of the problem. CEO salaries are the source of the problem."
The above is a comment received on our site on the article "Budget Buster Fix: Prohibit Collective Bargaining By Public Employees", one of our earlier articles on CIR reform.
I believe the comment was worth highlighting because it is illustrative of what our system is generating. Class warfare, erroneous notions about what so many think is a wonderful education system, and the need to "protect" public employees are winning the day in too many hearts and minds and in government.
If the people who work to pay for this system and who are not beneficiaries of government (an unfortunately dwindling number) do not wake up to the attitude exhibited in the comment we received, and to the actions of the legislators, the Governor, and bureaucrats we can expect not only to see more of the same from people, we can expect much worse. We simply cannot continue spending like we are. Once the wake up call occurs, monitoring the actions of government at the State, county, and local level, and making persistent contacts with the elected officials involved is essential.
If you want to see a lot of facts to support the level of concern I'm expressing, see our article with the testimony presentation materials we put together for Monday's hearings, here.
Here is my response:
"Thank you for stopping by the GiN website and taking the time to comment.
I will agree with you that unions exist to protect workers but I will not agree that they assist in ensuring that children receive a quality education. Studies and statistics have been showing for some time that other means of educating children, including Catholic schools and homeschooling, provide a superior education for children. The common factor is that there are no unions involved in these processes. Unions DO ensure those who work for the state are protected, and as you say, and live “healthy decent lives”. They receive superior benefits and in a number of cases, higher salaries or wages than the people who are taxed to pay for it.
CIR is only part of the source problem. Collective bargaining by public employees is really the problem here.
“CEO salaries are the source of the problem”? I don’t even understand WHAT that has to do with anything. If you make more than $27,000 in this state, you are kicked into the highest tax rate of 6.84% incrementally. [Those filing single making $27,001 or more. 6.84% begins at higher earnings levels for married couples.]
See a 2010 Nebraska Income Tax Rate Schedule (below).
While I would definitely have to do some further research, from what I do know right now, there are not enough CEOs of private companies. Those we we do have are heavily taxed – Nebraska has a progressive income tax structure. We’re heavily redistributing the wealth already. It’s one of the reasons we do not have a very business friendly tax climate and why we have so many of our citizens dependent upon government, whether it be through employment or welfare.
We have an economy that is far too reliant on government in one form or another. You’ll have to look for the next article we’re about to publish, which includes a lot of data you can verify. In part, it shows that 17% of Nebraska’s workforce is employed by State or Local government. Taking into account this factor and the reliance on a farm economy, which receives at least three layers of subsidies through the USDA, the State, and NRDs, how much private industry do we have?
You can say that CIR is not the source of “the problem”, that CEOs are, all you like. I guess it depends upon what you see as “the problem”. For taxpayers who do not look to government for their living or sustenance, “the problem” is growing budget shortfalls, increasing taxes, inflating prices, and legitimate concerns about ultimate government bankruptcy."