CA budget: State’s unions tell poor they’re on their own

employeeunionsMay 17, 2013

By Chris Reed

Nothing brings clarity to the absurdity of unions’ claims that they defend the poor and champion social justice than the annual fights over the state budget. Advocates of social services for the poor and needy are up in arms that Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised 2013-2014 budget doesn’t restore cuts. But state unions, most of which are in salary negotiations with Brown, aren’t backing them up. This San Jose Mercury-News story lays out the complaints:

“Democratic legislators and liberal advocacy groups signaled Wednesday they are ready to fight to restore safety net programs devastated by years of cuts, a day after Gov. Jerry Brown emphasized a sober economic outlook in a revised budget that leaves little room for improving the lot of the poor.

“Brown vowed to spend within the state’s means, proclaiming he is the ‘backstop’ to the ‘big spending machine’ of interest groups and liberal legislators sure to bang on his door for help.

“Brown scaled down hopes with a $96.4 billion budget that was $1.3 billion smaller than he’d proposed in January, saying that federal ‘sequestration’ cuts, lower wages and a hike in Social Security taxes had quelled economic growth.

“But advocates for the poor and disabled argue that a $1.1 billion rainy-day reserve and Brown’s plan to repay certain state debts may not be appropriate during a time when many people are still suffering the effects of the Great Recession.”

The CTA, CFT and AFSCME? All MIA

Nowhere in the Merc-News story or in any similar coverage do you see the CTA or CFT or AFSCME speak up for the poor. It’s not their priority.

And this is true in every economic circumstance. This is from what I wrote last year:

“When times are bad, unions pressure Democrats to always make social services for the poor be the first target of budget cutting, preserving public employee compensation by any means possible.

“When times are good, they pressure Democrats to save extra revenue for them. In the revenue boom that lasted from 2003-2007, social services spending went up by barely the rate of inflation, while spending on schools (teacher unions) and prisons (guard unions) went up at least four times as fast.”

Union power: It’s 24/7/365, whether in recessions or booms, and it’s always about union members’ compensation and job protections and little else. Dems may believe in social justice, but for their most powerful faction, such rhetoric amounts to a convenient smokescreen.

6 comments

Write a comment
  1. Jim Mundy
    Jim Mundy 17 May, 2013, 09:52

    Just saw an article on the local (Salinas) news last night about farm workers protesting — the UFW! They were basically saying that the UFW takes 3% of their wages and doesn’t do anything for them.

    Reply this comment
  2. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 17 May, 2013, 10:52

    “Democratic legislators and liberal advocacy groups signaled Wednesday they are ready to fight to restore safety net programs devastated by years of cuts…”

    You can be assured that Reed and his buds at the UT and the ‘dog will oppose restoring these programs every step of the way. But he has the gall to accuse unions of abandoning the poor. If the poor have to rely on the likes of Chris Reed to defend them, they are in even worse trouble than I imagined.

    Reed reminds me of the gentleman who killed his mother and father and then threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 17 May, 2013, 11:19

    If the poor have to rely on the likes of Chris Reed to defend them, they are in even worse trouble than I imagined.

    Not sure that this article can be construed in any way to be considered defense of the poor. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the unions at the expense of the poor as well as California taxpayers is completely legitimate.

    Reply this comment
  4. Regor
    Regor 17 May, 2013, 12:33

    Hey Melhman, do you have a point to dispute or just the typical drivel from the union dunces.

    Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 May, 2013, 18:48

    3 % sounds cheap to rip land barons, globalists, spouses of congress, former major political figures turned lobbyists….what’s the beef?

    Reply this comment
  6. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 19 May, 2013, 10:43

    There you go,Regor. Don’t argue the facts, shoot the messenger. Your Tea Party buds would be proud.

    And, BTW, please learn to spell before you jump in the big boys pool.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply



Related Articles

Issues split CA GOP delegation in Congress

Typically, congressional delegations can be divided into two camps, Republicans and Democrats. Some smaller states — such as Massachusetts or

Parks Dept. corruption not isolated

July 27, 2012 By Katy Grimes The recent scandal inside of the State Parks and Recreation Department is no surprise

CA fiscal health ranks 44th in country

In fiscal year 2013-14, California saw a slight uptick in the condition of its fiscal health, based on fiscal solvency