Chicago Teachers Union efforts to forestall school closings have joined pension reform in an all-out war to make sure Illinois taxpayers drown in debt. CTU hopes it can win a July court battle to stop the closures while downstate the legislative session draws to a close with competing House and Senate pension reform bills. Real taxpayers in Illinois – those with the means to assume their share of the state’s debt load – already know how this is going to end. The question is how we allow unions and their supporters, who appear too naïve to understand where public money comes from, to get away with sucking us dry.
Teachers unions sucker taxpayers into holding the bag.
Why can’t parents backing teachers’ unions see that the unions fanning the flames are least responsible for paying the tab for the debt they create? Chicago is not the first big city to face school closings, but when it comes to making headlines its namesake teachers’ union trumps every big labor organization in the country with its displays of mindless, chanting, red-shirted puppets.
How do taxpayers who are not teachers justify supporting Illinois teachers’ unions? The only answer that makes sense is that union backers either don’t pay taxes, or pay so little that state and local debt are meaningless to them, a problem to be borne by someone else.
Pro-union beggars in Chicago want to be choosers, too.
Those with enough time on their hands to participate in the protests in Chicago probably don’t make up the higher end of the tax base. This makes finger pointing over how much will be saved by school closings disingenuous, at best. Some parents had their aha moment and figured out that they could be impacted by education funding, finally making the connection between the availability of public money and paying the tab for keeping schools open.
It boggles the mind to think that anyone who is not a teacher or who does not stand to gain financially from union actions could support the agenda of any Illinois teachers’ union, much less the CTU. Unions live off of the hard work of others, so their refusal to admit that the state’s public school system is doomed without major cutbacks is no surprise. Coming up with the money to pay for what they want is not their problem. So what do taxpayers get? We get school closings and pension debt in a state that freely admits it will soon be spending more on public pensions than education (see: Investing In Education Obama Style Is a Bad Budget Choice). The real question is how teachers who turn out for the unions, whose salaries qualify them to pay lots of taxes, and who pride themselves on cultivating the minds of the next generation don’t have the smarts to see where this is headed.