From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Throughout the country, public sector unions are campaigning for higher taxes as a means to prevent government cutbacks. From Oregon to New York and states in between, unions are waging ferocious fights to prevent states from balancing budgets by cutting expenses.
Unions, such as SEIU and AFSCME, are spending extraordinary sums to promote higher taxes as a means to prevent cutbacks that they feel will result in fewer members, lower amounts from union dues, and less money to spend on political campaigns.
In Oregon, the Oregon Education Association and the SEIU spent millions of dollars to pass ballot initiatives that ultimately raised business and income taxes by approximately $727 million.
In Arizona, unions were behind an effort that increased sales taxes from 5.6% to 6.6%, thus helping to raise one billion dollars.
In New York, the United Teachers union spent $750,000 to prevent the state from capping some of the highest real estate taxes in the nation. In fact, real estate taxes in New York State are so high that many middle class families and small businesses have left the state.
And so it goes from state to state, but it doesn’t stop there. It exists nationally as well. Unions give more money than do any other entities to the national Democratic party. And the purpose of their giving is no different from their state-by-state donations: generous donations to congressional, senatorial, and presidential campaigns require a payback, And that payback is legislation that will increase wages and benefits for public sector workers by raising taxes. Public sector unions benefit; public sector workers benefit. And the American people, their states and corporations foot the bill. The American people, who are not members of public sector unions, are the victims of a vicious cycle of union-government-union actions that are increasingly injurious to the health of the American economy.