January 28, 2011
In recent days, The Wall Street Journal — defender of the millionaire bankers who brought our economy to the brink of collapse — has published a number of attacks on public service workers and their unions. The most recent, by pollster Doug Schoen, blames us for state fiscal imbalances. Responding in Thursday's edition of the Journal, Pres. Gerald W. McEntee pointed out the real cause of our continuing economic difficulties:
"That brings us to the real driver of the fiscal challenges facing the states—it's a revenue problem, not a spending problem. Because of the recession, a substantial majority of state and local governments have lost between 10% and 20% of their revenues during the past two to three years."
Pres. McEntee's response was followed by a thoughtful defense of public service workers by four former governors: Chet Culver (IA), Jim Doyle (WI), Bill Richardson (NM) and Ted Strickland (OH). They say, in part:
"In each of our states, the sudden and precipitous decline in economic activity caused by the Great Recession led to a sharp decline in revenues. We struggled with the difficult and often agonizing decisions that were necessary to balance our budgets. Yet balance them we did, without depriving our workers and their unions of a voice."