Chgo Trib: Who Will Smack Down the Unions?

Dennis Byrne, a columnist with the Chicago Tribune, has a great piece asking the seminal question: what politician will take on the public employees unions?

This is, of course, the question we’ve been asking here for years! Who will stop these union thugs that have bought for themselves a bevy of compliant politicians at the state and federal level who will do their bidding against the best interests of the voters? What politician will step up and cut these thug’s illicit power down for the good of the people?

Seeing as how he is an Illinois columnist, Byrne centers his discussion on the $80 billion shortfall that Illinois’ public pensions are saddled with, but he can just as easily be talking about California, Oregon, Wisconsin, New York or any other state in the Union.

To quantify the $80 billion, Byrne tries to put it in context:

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That $80 billion is roughly enough to build 168 Millennium Parks, meet the CTA’s capital needs 16 times over or rebuild O’Hare International Airport almost half a dozen times.

Yep, it’s a lot of dough!

Byrne goes on to discuss some of the solutions that have been bandied about but his central point is that the main problem is the unions and their pals in the halls of government.

Overly generous public pensions are to blame for much of the state’s financial difficulty. The problem remains unsolved not for a lack of good ideas, but for lack of political will – and because politicians are playing footsies with the unions.

No truer words have been spoken. Sadly, there aren’t too many politicians willing to take Mr. Byrne’s challenge. With union money jingling so happily in their pockets, these politicians aren’t about to bite the hand that bribes them any time soon.

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