Sometimes the truth really hurts. It can hurt more than a smack in the mouth or a remark made during a campaign debate, like Chris Christie’s comment about a prominent teachers union deserving a punch in the face. For a lot of us who live in union-friendly cities and states, a punch in the face would be infinitely more pleasurable than having another bite taken from our incomes.
As the Illinois legislature is summoned back to Springfield to deal with the pension debt that lawmakers failed to fix last year, failed to fix last week, and will undoubtedly fail to fix again, why isn’t John Boehner hollering about the dangers of Illinois debt? States like Illinois are a liability for every taxpayer in the country and there is no federal protection against state bailouts (see: Say No to Illinois Debt and Politics: Leave While You Can).
Was it a coincidence that our Vice President awarded medals to public safety employees¹ while the president threatened us with the consequences of losing public sector jobs because of sequester cuts? Mr. Obama is good at the propaganda game (see: Tricks From the Obama Disinformation and Propaganda Mill), but his condemnation of a “meat-cleaver approach”² to budget cuts has nothing to do with the jobs that will move the country forward and that most unemployed Americans are seeking.
Should North Dakota and Nebraska residents be lying awake at night, worrying about whether the federal budget crisis will mean less money flowing to states with crushing debt loads? States are just as concerned about the annual yuletide federal budget battle as you are, because in the Obama economy we share and share alike. That means when one state screws up, we all get screwed, even if our state is fiscally responsible.
No matter what happens, politicians will always have our children’s future to fall back on. Kids are a time-honored secret weapon when budget reform battles resort to shaming the opposition into action, even though the strategy tends to fall apart when both sides rely on children to support their demands.
Once again, our fiscal irresponsibility journey begins in Springfield, Illinois where children are the newest symbol being used to coerce state pension reform.