"Democrats and Republicans tried yesterday to reach a spending compromise that would keep the government running after President Barack Obama said it would be “inexcusable” for Congress to fail to avert a shutdown looming at week’s end.
House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told Democrats at a private White House meeting that he wanted to slice $40 billion from current spending, according to an administration official who sought anonymity. That is $7 billion higher than the $33 billion plan lawmakers had been working to assemble."
With a community organizer as President and union bosses visiting the White house on a very regular basis I have to wonder if the impending government shutdown isn't a strike.
If I think about it all the classic labor relations problems are there. We have an employer (the people) that is tired of losing money, basically insolvent and needs to make cuts. We have an entrenched union (all the various special interests) that demand we continue to pay them an exorbitant salary regardless of profitability. The line has been drawn in the sand by the recent budget proposal submitted by Congressman Ryan.
The union won't accept our offer and we can't afford anything else and stay in business so a strike (government shutdown) has been threatened. The union believes that the service they provide is so special that they can't be replaced. They're banking on other unions supporting their play. They think that if they cause enough pain we'll roll on their demands.
Now, if this were my business I would have plans in place to replace these workers with new ones as soon as they walked off. And yes, I know that may be illegal based on contractual obligations but too bad. If we don't make serious changes and do it right now we're going under. I'd begin slashing programs and any other extraneous costs as soon as the strike begins.
All this would take planning and leadership. Fortunately the budgetary problems aren't something that came up over night so I've had plenty of time to get my act together.
Unfortunately, the government isn't a privately run business and we have no leadership that's worth talking about on the conservative side. And because of this the unions hold all the cards. And they know it. That's why they're (the Democrats) forcing this to happen. They know the strike will be successful and the business owners will cave.
If we had leadership it would have set the stage to weather the strike that's heading our way. This could have been done by getting out ahead of the union last year when the Democrats never submitted or approved a budget. Hell, the handwriting was on the wall at that point. Republicans should have taken the facts to the people and explained what we're up against. Of course, this would have pissed off their own special interest groups but real leaders wouldn't care.
If someone would just speak the truth and tell the people exactly why we're broke and what it will take to fix it we'd get on board. Look at the TEA Party turn outs last year! We'd be ready and willing to fight the unions and their strike and win.
So how would the people circumvent the unions? By hiring new workers and crossing the line. Now, it would be damned near impossible to do this at the federal level. The way around it is to put systems in place to begin handling essential government functions at the local level to the greatest extent possible.
To do that we'd need money. So we'll kill two birds with one stone; starve the beast. A real leader would have begun helping state and local governments to begin to stop sending money to Washington and keep it locally if a strike is called. Roads, schools, health and whatever else is extorted from the people and then redistributed to them by the extortionist would just stay with them from the beginning.
This would force an instant reduction in the size and power of the federal government and undercut the bargaining power of the union. It would also force the people to look honestly at the cost of services supplied by government and then to decide which are truly essential. The fed would still keep receiving our payroll taxes so they should have enough to keep the military functioning, especially if we immediately disengage overseas.
But, since we don't have any real leaders, when the union shuts down the government they'll hold all the cards. The strike will work when things start to shut down because there won't be any way to quickly replace the essential needs with local alternatives because the ground work hasn't been laid. The strike will work because the people will cave because no one has made the case to them so they'd have the strength to resist union tyranny. The media will make it sound as though we can't get along without the union, playing up any problems they can find, exaggerating the real affects of a government shutdown and backing their buddies in the union. And of course the union will make sure that the truly essential services go off line first for maximum effect.
So get ready for a week or so of theater and hand wringing before everything goes back to normal and the death spiral resumes anew. The lack of leadership on the conservative side means the unions will win the strike. And the people will lose.
ONE MORE THING
The more I've thought about this during the day the more I've started to wonder about the timing with all the union unrest at the state level. I know that most of it has been in response to budget cutting by Republican governors but still, isn't it just a bit...convenient, that just when we may need to shift services to the state or local governments we have all the union state and local workers all twisted in knots and ready to rumble?
If we try to sidestep the federal government how hard would it be for the unions to direct their members at the state and local levels to not do the work or actually go on strike?