It seems that Pennsylvania is progressing toward what Wisconsin has done and continues to do, as American Spectator reported about a new group that is seeking out corruption and other shady things happening, who call themselves Citizen’s Alliance for Pennsylvania (CAP):
What CAP calls the “FBI-partisan collusion of career politicians, labor unions and trial lawyers that has mired the Commonwealth in corruption and economic stagnation.”” The labor unions in question are, but of course, precisely the same as they were in the Wisconsin showdown. Public employee unions. All of which were given collective bargaining rights in Pennsylvania in the way back of 1968 — under a Republican governor. What really fries the shorts of CAP members is the aforementioned “collusion” they see between both parties, the kind of thing that can end up with two Speakers of the House — one from each party — sharing a cell in the Big House.
The article refers to Democrat Bill DeWeese and Republican John Perzel who are presently on their way to become incarcerated – both being former Speakers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The former Senate Democratic Leader was getting a $330,000 annual pension.
For years I have cried foul about elected public officials receiving any kind of pension in regards to their duties and terms in government office. They are elected officials, not employees of the state and federal governments; therefore they are not authorized to receive retirement benefits other than what they can get for paying into the Social Security system or within a private pension plan of their own. And, friends, taxpayers – YOU – are paying for this and getting far more than you would ever dreamed of getting as retirement checks. Maybe the legislators would be more apt to fix the social security system (and quit raising the retirement age for full benefits) if they had to use the system along with the rest of us.
As Benjamin Franklin put it:
Place before the eyes of men a position of POWER that shall the same time be a place of PROFIT, and they will move heaven and earth to RETAIN it.
Benjamin Franklin, 1787
The CAP folks are tired of corrupt dealings between lobbyists, unions, and politicians; and are following the lead that became popular with the people: Governor Chris Christie, New Jersey; Mitch Daniels, Indiana’ Bobby Jindal, Louisiana; and Governor Scott Walker. They saw how unions commandeer the government employees, like they do in the private sector, including intimidation to vote the way they want union employees to vote – and the high and rising cost that taxpayers must pay out of their earned income for people who make more than they do and receive better benefits. So, they are saying: “What’s wrong with that picture” and “We’ve had enough”.
It all began when the Pennsylvania legislature decided to vote a salary increase for themselves that depended upon the length of service (remember why term limits are pushed) from 16% to 34% increase. No hearings, No debates. No committees. It was 2am in the morning of July 5th 2005. I guess they were celebrating Independence Day in their own way. And how ironic when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was the first seat of government for our nation. Clearly it was against the Pennsylvania Constitution, any constitution in the United States for that matter. So, CAP moved to repeal the pay raise. The repeal succeeded and wrath came down upon both political parties. In the following year elections, 17 legislators lost their seats.
Two years later another incident occurred: “Bonusgate”. This time it involved legislative caucuses who had been caught, as CAP described:
using millions of dollars in taxpayer money to get lawmakers re-elected. Five legislators and over twelve staffers were sent to jail – and that is how two Speakers of the House ended up as cell mates in prison, I am sure in total bipartisan cell sharing.
PACs (Political Action Committees) formed between twenty labor and trial bars who accumulated $30 million; while lobbyists for small businesses only collected $2 million. Pennsylvania as so many other state governments – and the federal government – are run by public employee unions and trial lawyers. Remember I pointed out that the worst presidents were lawyers in an overall look at presidents?
Benjamin Franklin was a capitalist and a successful entrepreneur, long before he entered the business as statesman. And, yes, indeed, he was a statesman, not a politician. The difference between them is that a politician continuously seeks to remain in office as long as possible and while doing so is paying more attention to special interest groups and those who will make his/her life better through cooperation. The statesman is there to represent the People and safeguard the Constitution on behalf of the People and ensure that legislation passed does not transgress from either one. In other words, statesman actually earn those high-dollar salaries. But they still, as elected officials and not employees, are not authorized (or shouldn’t be) to receive taxpayer funded retirement checks. Now you know why it is so hard for the US Congress and state legislators to pass legislation that limits terms served consecutively. They tend to get to comfortable and don’t want to leave, and yet do not do what they are paid to do. Well, at least by the taxpayers.
Unions, and not just in Wisconsin, spent millions of dollars to try to put a stop to Scott Walker’s make sense governorship — and despite all of that funding, failed. Reason is because citizens are finally waking up or just speaking out and saying – We are not taking it anymore!. Why too many waited this long is beyond me. It seems people wait until the conditions are unbearable, but at the same time longer time to fix.
But the point is that trade unions are finally getting what they put out, and it is not going to be pretty. Trade unions are just as much an organized crime entity as any mafia/mobster group could be – just not as violent. They are parasites that eventually kills the host.
Let’s hope enough Americans see the light and join the cause in putting a stop to it — beginning with kicking trade unions out of government employee business. It’s unconstitutional anyway – a job for Congress and designated government departments – not a private entity who thinks nothing of using the union dues of its members to pay their way to political power.