Public-Sector Unions Choke Taxpayers

by John Stossel

“I thought unions were great — until at Chrysler, the union steward started screaming at me. Working at an unhurried pace, I’d exceeded ‘production’ for that job.”

That comment, left on my blog by a viewer who watched my Fox Business Network show about unions, matches my experience. No one ordered me to slow down, but union rules and union culture at ABC and CBS slowed the work. Sometimes a camera crew took five minutes just to get out of the car.

Now unions conspire with politicians to rip off taxpayers.

Steve Melanga of the Manhattan Institute complains that politicians get union political support by granting government workers generous pensions and health benefits. After those politicians leave office, taxpayers are liable for trillions in unfunded promises.

“It’s squeezing out all other spending,” Melanga says. “Where are we going to get this $3 trillion dollars? … When they’re (government workers) allowed to retire at 58 and the rest of us are retiring at 60 and 67 — and by the way we’re living to 80 — it’s crazy. The public sector is the version of the European welfare state which, by the way, in Europe, they’re actually rolling back.”

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