Here's a lesson that is both ironic and sad at the same time. According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin cannot read proficiently. But assuming the kids are skilled enough to watch TV, they can now see their teachers demonstrating to keep their generous union benefits. So while things do not seem to be going well in the classroom, any thought of holding teachers somewhat responsible is cause for a protest march.
In 10 years, starting in 1998, Wisconsin doubled the amount of money spent on each public-school student to more than $10,000 per pupil per year. And test scores went down! Doing the math, the equation seems to be that money is not the key to knowledge.
In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largesse in the next election. It's the perfect cozy setup.
Obama's Democrats have become the party of no. Real cuts to the federal budget? No. Entitlement reform? No. Tax reform? No. Breaking the corrupt and fiscally unsustainable symbiosis between public-sector unions and state governments? Hell no.
We have heard everyone — from Obama's own debt commission to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — call the looming debt a mortal threat to the nation. We have watched Greece self-immolate. We can see the future. The only question has been: When will the country finally rouse itself?
Meanwhile, 14 Democratic state senators who don't belong to organized labor but who with one exception are owned by unions have run off to Illinois so the state Senate can't vote on a bill they don't like.
As those Democrats ignored their constitutional duties a state away, that bill was passed early Friday in the Assembly where a mob of adults wearing orange T-shirts and acting like spoiled children chanted "shame, shame, shame" from the floor and gallery.
If anyone should be ashamed of their behavior, it's the public-sector workers and their supporters who think they have a moral title to jobs with bloated pay and benefits provided by others. They believe it's acceptable to bully those with whom they disagree and behave like riotous rabble. They've conducted themselves in an infantile, cowardly and undignified manner
If the AWOL Democrats don't start acting like adults and return to Madison by Monday to debate and vote on the bill passed in the Assembly, they should be recalled. Should government workers, including the teachers, continue to skip work without using their legitimate time off to join the protests, they need to be fired.