Noel Sheppard used a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post to go on an anti-union rant in response to a Washington Post column by Eugene Robinson. After noting Robinson's statement that the contracts Wisconsin public union workers are currently working under "were negotiated, which means that state and local officials agreed to the contract provisions now deemed so excessive," Sheppard howled in response:
Indeed. They were negotiated with collective bargaining, which when it comes to public employee contracts means the union put a gun to the government's head denying much-needed services to the citizenry thereby making what Don Corleone and Luca Brasi would call an offer you can't refuse.
Wisconsin is in financial trouble specifically due to such one-sided negotiations in the past, and the only way to permanently solve the state's long-term budget woes is to prevent this from happening in the future.
Accepting labor's concessions now without preventing subsequent collective bargaining on benefits would be like putting a band-aid on a severed artery: you might temporarily eradicate the symptom while totally ignoring the sure to be fatal cause.
Despite his ranting, Sheppard shows no evidence of actually knowing the circumstances under which the current union contracts were negotiated, which makes his claim that "the union put a gun to the government's head denying much-needed services to the citizenry" in a Mafia-esque fashion dubious at best.
Sheppard is also apparently ignorant of the fact that Wisconsin state employees have not had a raise in two years and were forced to take furlough days last year, when the governor was a Democrat.
It seems that state workers are more than willing to work with state officials to help Wisconsin fix its financial situation. Too bad Sheppard is so blinded by his hatred of unions to see that.