So we were riding a tram around Tomorrowland in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park the night of the recall vote in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. It also happened to be the night of one of the Miami Heat – Boston Celtic NBA playoff games. The folks in the car in front of us were checking their iPhones regularly, and at one point I saw a disgusted look on one of their faces as they announced, “Well the forces of evil just won.” Assuming they were talking about the NBA game, I leaned forward and said, “Did LeBron and the Heat win or something?” The guy said, “Oh no, I was talking about the recall vote in Wisconsin. That **** Governor Walker won.”
You’d be proud of me. Well, Jen was, at least. I held my tongue (I was on vacation, after all) and just said, “Oh, do you know about the game?” He didn’t, and that ended our conversation. But the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous the comment became to me. “Forces of evil?” Really? Is that what we’ve come to? Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that there is evil in our culture. And I think we come across it in the political realm. I think the abortion lobby is evil – they advocate the killing of kids, after all.
But Scott Walker? Think about what this man did to generate such scorn. He decided to take on the public sector unions – folks whose luxury pensions and benefits packages were being paid for by the taxpayers. The same union leaders that decry corporate executives making out like bandits at the expense of the diligent workers were defending their members making out like bandits at the expense of the diligent taxpayers.
Walker’s position was (and is) that public employees can chip in a little bit towards their own retirement and towards their own healthcare. That makes him evil? Really? Keep in mind the same people who use that label for him are the ones who simultaneously decry the state of our public dialogue. It’s silly.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Now I want to address another aspect of this. I am a public employee. As a high school teacher, my family gets healthcare benefits that are partially funded by my employer – you. I am well aware of that. Same thing with the Teacher’s Retirement Fund here in my state (granted, I have my own retirement accounts I am personally funding separate from that). What’s funny to me is when people on the left try to use that against me.
They say really dumb things like, “You talk against these public employee unions, but you’re reaping the benefits from one.” Or, “You blast government spending, but you get your healthcare benefits from government spending.” That’s the whole point! If I was in it for me and was just trying to get mine, I would totally be on board with Barack Obama, Big Labor, and the Democrat left. They are the ones promising to stick it to the private sector to keep giving people like me more and more of the benefits (obviously I run a small private sector company as well). My support of the common sense and fair reforms of people like Scott Walker are against my own personal benefit interest. That isn’t being a hypocrite. It’s saying that I think there have to be reasonable limits placed upon the salary, benefit and retirement packages offered to public employees, financed by taxpayers.
I believe very strongly in what I do as an educator, but I also don’t think that my work is so noble that hard working citizens in the private sector should have to pay for lavish benefits that are more than necessary, including the totality of my retirement fund or healthcare.
That’s why I support men like Scott Walker, despite the anger and resentment it generates amongst some who share my profession, and despite what liberals tell me is in my best interest. Because the truth is that those of us who work in the public sector are only able to do so because of the revenue generated by those in the private sector. Sorry if I don’t believe that burying the private sector is in my best interest. I don’t. In fact, I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest – which is why I’m beyond thankful that Scott Walker won...again.