Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Some Opinions Better Not Shared

Delaware's News Journal Opinion Page got it wrong again. Today's spread of love came from a piece called "Calif. governor offers lesson to Delaware, D.C. politicians". What follows is a confusing piece that somehow tries to tie Governor Brown to the News Journal's own anti-union, anti-tax agenda.

The start of the NJ article puts some blame for California's mess on the movement against property taxes. However, in NJ form it quickly moves on to blame Brown's support for collective bargaining, powerful teacher unions, and income taxes. The News Journal implies that Brown will now correct these "mistakes" in his second chance as Governor of California.

Before going any further we should point out that Brown has not renounced unions. This is a NJ fantasy. Brown has been pro-worker rights throughout his career including his recent tenure as California Attorney General.

While waxing philosophical on California's economic woes, the NJ might stop and consider that 48 of 50 states are in bad economic shape right now. It's called a severe recession. States are driven to bankruptcies in recessions because revenues drop due to mass job loss and falling business profits; at the same time the need for services such as unemployment insurance and health care rises because of the same job loss. How can anyone have a serious conversation about the economic condition of any state without first acknowledging that the PRIMARY cause of their problem is the current recession? It is a revenue problem, not a spending problem.

Public employee unions, including those in California have given workers rights and FAIR pay and benefits. The emphasis is on "fair" because in spite of irresponsible reporting, public employees are not over-paid and they have health care and pensions, but those are not "Cadillac" or "extravagant" or any other exaggeration. State workers start at around $17,000 a year. If one is lucky and sticks around for 30 years, then they might make as much a first year junior executive.

Income taxes that ask more of those who have greatly benefited from society do not cause mass migrations of the affluent or businesses as suggested in the NJ opinion. There is absolutely no data that shows the wealthy fleeing any state if they are asked to pay 1% more tax on the top bracket. This is myth and it is harmful myth.

Shame on the NJ for once again slamming working people.

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