Pratt refers to the public pension problem faced by cities, states, and the federal government as being the Greek problem. He is correct that the greatest burden local and state governments have right now is the public employee pensions. And the problem is getting worse. But, the Obama Administration refuses to let states reduce that problem. The latest is a bailout sent to states in order to "protect teacher jobs."
The $26.1 billion legislation that the House approved on a largely party line vote is a payoff to political cronies. It is dangerous to the health of the states.
The President says that without this $10 billion, teachers will be fired this fall. But, it is not true. If teachers unions were really concerned about saving teachers’ jobs, they could easily agree to pay-freezes or to start paying for their own health care. The unions claim that the $10 billion public-education bailout will save 100,000 teaching jobs. Woops! Doesn’t that mean taxpayers are paying $100,000 per job? And, as noted by the Heritage Foundation, using a conservative estimate of $300 in annual dues paid by each job “saved”, the NEA and AFT have a minimum of $24 million in dues at stake.
President Obama originally just asked for this and other new bailouts to be tacked onto the deficit. But the Senate balked. So instead, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) identified $11.9 billion in unspent food stamp stimulus funds. And to make up the rest, Congress levied a $10 billion tax hike on American companies that compete overseas. Doesn’t this sound eerily like Smoot Hawley?
And what makes matters worse is that any state accepting the bailout will not be able to reduce its budgeted education budget in the next two years.So the states who accept the bailout are tying their own hands and feet in their attempts to reduce budget problems.
A Protectionist is Someone Who…
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