Weekly Truth: Billionaires, not Public Employees, are the Budget Bums

Originally blogged by Reverend Manny on Presstorm, March 10, 2011-

With Americans taking to the streets at the international bugle call of freedom, the corporate-sponsored talking point machine is spitting out anti-worker propaganda with an all-time fury. Among this corporatist propaganda is a ridiculous notion that the overabundant lifestyle of public employees (and their machine-gun toting unions) are why, to quote John Boehner, “America is broke.”

But America, really, is not broke.

Furthermore, the idea that public employees are the cause of our current public budget deficits is not just wrong– it’s dangerous. It allows politicians to cut wages, reduce public services and lower everyone’s standard of living.

The truth is, in Wisconsin, New Jersey, California, Florida and across the United States, the habitual under-taxing of the very rich dooms public budgets–not the wages of public employees. In fact, all 50 states could fix their budget gaps with just a mild tax on the uber-wealthy. So don’t worry, public employees are not why your state is broke. Despite what you may have heard their unions don’t get a penny of public tax money and can’t “force you to unionize against your will.”

If you want someone to blame for our budget crises, to Quote Ezra Klein, “Blame the banks. Blame global capital flows. Blame lax regulation of Wall Street. Blame home buyers, or home sellers. But don’t blame the unions. Not for this recession.” We’re coming around to that idea, Mr. Klein… we’re coming around.


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