"Public Unions Force Taxpayers to Fund Dems"

Michael Barone describes the motivations behind the debate over collective bargaining by government workers.

[Obama] did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state's public employee unions. Walker was staging "an assault on unions," he said, and added that "public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."
Enormous contributions, yes -- to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.
Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.
So, just as the president complained in his 2010 State of the Union address about a Supreme Court decision that he feared would increase the flow of money to Republicans, he also found time to complain about a proposed state law that could reduce the flow of money to Democrats.
And, according to The Washington Post, to get the Democratic National Committee to organize protests against the proposed Wisconsin law. Protests that showed contempt for the law, with teachers abandoning classrooms, doctors writing phony medical excuses, Democratic legislators fleeing the state and holing up in a motel. The lawmakers played hooky without losing any salary, which is protected by the state constitution.
It's true that Walker's proposals would strike hard at the power of the public employee unions. They would no longer have the right to bargain for fringe benefits, which are threatening to bankrupt the state government, and they would no longer be able to count on government withholding dues money and passing it along to them. . . .

Union members much more supportive of Obama than others.

Female voters think the president is doing a better job than male voters do. Fifty percent (50%) of government employees say Obama is doing a good or excellent job, compared to just 35% of those who work in the private sector.
A solid majority of GOP voters (65%) and a plurality of voters not affiliated with either political party (43%) rate the president’s leadership as poor, a view shared by only 13% of Democrats. Seventy percent (70%) of Democrats view his performance as good or excellent.
Most of the Political Class (91%) rates Obama’s leadership favorably, while 51% of Mainstream voters give him poor marks.
Deficit reduction was a key part of Obama’s recent State of the Union speech, but few voters expect him to hit his goal of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Most voters (55%) don’t think the president’s proposed $3.7 trillion federal budget includes enough spending cuts. . . .

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