Union’s Cure for State Budget Shortfall? Raise Taxes!


By: Warner Todd Huston

Apparently, the Service Employees International Union is worried about the state of California’s budget. The SEIU, one of the nation’s biggest employee unions for state workers, would like Sacramento to know they have a cure for the millions in the red state budget.

Could it be that the union is going to offer cutbacks for its exorbitant union perks? Maybe a cut in their overly generous pension is in order? How about a cut in the pay scale that they enjoy, a scale that exceeds the private sector in nearly every way?

Well, don’t be ridiculous. The union is not offering to help the state with its budget. The union is demanding that the state raise taxes to keep them in the lifestyle to which they undeservedly have become accustomed.

And to “help” with that tax, the SEIU has offered an important message for California lawmakers.

Well, we here at the blog have another road to offer the folks at California’s state house.

Gut the unions, cut back on exorbitant pensions, cut back on overweening healthcare, and cut salaries. Then fire a whole lot of unnecessary state workers. Then you can start getting rid of programs and welfare give aways that you don’t need.

But, don’t raise taxes. After all. Your state is already one of the worst states in the union for high taxes and an anti-business atmosphere causing jobs to be literally running elsewhere.

The unions are antithetical to effective government. Listen to them and matters will only worsen.

Naturally, I assumed that the union would NOT offer any cuts for itself when I first saw this “ad” that it placed. I automatically assumed that the SEIU’s ideas of what will “solve” California’s budget woes won’t include any cutbacks in its own perks and undeserved emoluments. Looks like the Sacramento Bee is proving me right.

The unions’ dream budget

With lawmakers at an impasse over the state budget, the SEIU State Council, which represents state workers, took it upon itself to propose its own dream plan Tuesday.

And we mean dream in the politest of terms, as in it might happen in a parallel universe where Democrats don’t need any Republican votes and federal dollars pour from the sky.

First off, it includes no cuts.

It then raises taxes by $14.2 billion through June 2010. The plan proposes a targeted increase in the state’s vehicle-license fee that hits only vehicles worth more than $20,000. It also increases taxes on households making above $250,000 a year, imposes a tax on oil production, increases alcohol taxes and broadens the sales tax to include entertainment.

The SEIU budget finally raises a remaining $15 billion through a federal bailout, including a $10 billion payment in 2009-10.

Wish I could say I was surprised.

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