The Daily Breeze editorial (June 27, 2012) on Democratic stone-walling on pension reform dropped just in time. No matter what the political leanings of the media establishment in the South Bay, or throughout Los Angeles, the growing unrest over public employee pensions and benefits has contributed a growing voter turnout and lobbying effort from business interests and labor collectives.
$189 billion pension liability hangs over the state of California, like a Sword of Damocles, slathered in hydrochloric acid, meat-shredders, all dripping nothing but certain doom. Governor Jerry Brown has irritated his partisan colleagues, pushing them to consider taking some steps toward limiting the state's overwhelming burden to the fund the extensive and extending retirement of the state's labor force. Republicans, at one point fearing their irrelevance in the face of growing Democratic hegemony and independent indifference,
The Democratic is developing a widening rift over the prominence of labor unions versus their claim to education reform. Select contests throughout the Southland which pit two Democrats against each other in the general election are now distinguishing themselves based on their affliation with reform or with the liberal-special interest establishment (labor unions) in this state. T
Indeed, Democratic-controlled states as a rule are struggling with growing pension liabilities compared to Republican-governed states, like Wisconsin, where party leadership and voter outrage has turned up state-wide populist motivations to bring down the costs of governing and taming the entrenched control of labor unions. Even New Jersey, two-to-one Democratic with a Republican governor, is pushing through tax reductions and pension reform that is saving state workers and taxpayers.
Public workers' collective bargaining power has short-stopped many legislators from doing the right thing for taxpayers, especially in California, where the prison guard lobby has accelerated the growth of prisons and incarrcerations and where teachers' unions have blocked reasonable attempts to hold teachers accountable and rein in educational costs with well-planned reforms. Some stand-out Sacramento politicians are turning against the labor-union arm of their party, in some cases with fractious results, yet they -- unlike the rest of the Democratic establishment -- are divining the signs of the times and want to have a state as well as a seat to govern!
2012 has already witnessed two major cities passing major penions reforms by voter initiative, including San Jose, one of the most liberal cities in the state. The rise of public employee costs has galvanized voters on the left and right to undo the stranglehold of public employee power and anti-business policies.
The Democrats -- in their heedless insistence on the statist status quo of more government, higher taxes, and expanding regulations, will only hand to the diminished Republicans the very political realignment that they are looking for to reinstate their relevance and resurgence in the Golden State.