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Blue Civil War Heats Up

Via Meadia has talked about Illinois Governor Pat Quinn before as one of the blue-state democrats forced by fiscal reality to take on blue orthodoxy. Last month, Quinn announced new proposals that would increase state employee contributions to benefit plans, lower increases in pension payouts, and raise the age at which workers become eligible for pensions. Unions, unsurprisingly, opposed the proposal, but thus far they have been relatively muted in their attacks, which have been limited to press statements.

Now the unions are changing their tack, releasing a series of television ads attacking the governor’s plans as an unfair attempt to plunder their life savings. State unions, they claim, offered numerous proposals of their own to adjust pensions and help balance the budget, but the governor ignored them. (The union plans, it should be noted, were considerably less harsh on workers, plugging budget holes mostly through a tax increase that the State Journal-Register described as “dead on arrival.”)

This will hardly be the first time that unions have campaigned against a sitting Democratic governor, especially one seen as hostile to unions. What is new, however, is the level of animosity between two erstwhile coalition partners. This blue civil war is one of the most significant political changes of this generation. If recent news is any guide, the war will only get hotter.

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  • Kenny

    Mr. Mead,

    The parasite class will not be tamed easily.

    Among other reason, they have no where else to go given the relative low skill level and work ethic of those who tended to gravitate to public sector. This is not the cream of the crop.

  • Jim.

    Interesting. So the GOP, revitalized by the TEA Party and united behind spending cuts, could find itself facing a Democratic Party split between those who understand arithmetic and those who don’t?

    This decade in American politics is going to end so differently than it began, it’s going to make people’s heads spin.

  • Mrs. Davis

    Unions: dumb enough to bite the hand that feeds them.

  • Kestrel

    Quinn has also repeatedly signed generous union contracts and no-layoff deals that have tied his own hands in dealing with Illinois’ debt. This recent move is a good one, but he is an incredibly erratic governor.

  • Kris

    Doesn’t Quinn understand that public employee benefits are a one-way ratchet?

  • Corlyss

    “a Democratic Party split between those who understand arithmetic and those who don’t?”

    Well, let’s face it. For the last 30-40 years they’ve been teaching to the “standards” of outcome based education in math classes. Instead of asking “what’s the product of 7+4?” they ask “how do you think 4 feels about being combined with 7?” No doubt 4 is a cringing minority and 7 is the overbearing intolerant majority. How can one expect from such a population math proficiency, or even such basic reasoned concepts as, “Annual income 20 pounds; annual expenditure 19 pounds 6 pence; result happiness. Annual income 20 pounds; annual expenditure 20 pounds ought and six pence; result misery?”

  • alex scipio

    “If recent news is any guide, the war will only get hotter.”

    if American voters actually begin to put the future of their children before the demands of unionistas today, the war will get REALLY hot – and then the Left, as it should, will lose. And our kids – and future – will win.

    About time.

  • vanderleun

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. That which cannot be sustained will go away. Always. Every time. Not an “if,” only a “when.”

  • Otiose

    The line dividing public unions and mafioso is blurry. They both deliver public services/protection and neither has the self restraint to stop short of becoming malignant life sucking parasites.

  • Kris

    vanderleun@8: That’s another way of interpreting Keynes’ “In the long run, we are all dead”. 🙂

  • Lorenz Gude

    I think this state level struggle with arithmetic is a much more important process than the theatrics in DC. Scott Walker has pushed confrontation about as far as it can-maybe further if he is recalled. At the other end of the spectrum Jerry Brown has acknowledged the problem and faeel far short of effectively dealing with it. Christie and Cuomo apparentlynfall somewhere in the middle along with governor Quinn. I’d like to see Via Meadia look at this process across states and parities to better understand how various governors are approaching the problem and what is working and where.I think the people who make the most progress on this problem will become important nationally.

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