I was at the Republican booth at the County Fair when a man and woman dressed in County emergency medical technician uniforms walked up to our table. The man stabbed a finger at one of the brochures on the table and said loudly “I’m not voting for him because he wants to take my retirement away!” That’s lesson Number 1 apparently at the union hall – use apocalyptic language.
It was an amazing conversation. Our County is faced with the same problem that the Federal, State, and local governments are facing all over the country. Public salaries, benefits, and particularly retirement packages have exploded such that they are breaking the back of budgets everywhere. Modest reforms have lead in part to the disgraceful response by union members in
and other locales. It is ironic to stand in front of someone who might charge into my home to restart my heart (or not) but would strangle my family’s financial security for his future security in retirement. Wisconsin
No one has made any move to “take his retirement away” yet he will probably knuckle under and vote for a candidate who promises something that our County simply can’t deliver. He was standing in front of people who are being forced to figure out how they will augment or even replace government benefits in the future. Yet he was adamant that no one could alter the way his benefits were determined. He also wouldn’t back off the severe language. His partner quipped that she was to retire in three years (no doubt decades ahead of her peers in private business) and she was going to defend her “rights.”
These people are a veritable fifth column within our local government who are paid by the residents but are resisting all efforts to create fiscal solvency in our County. It wasn’t hard to envision these two selfish and well paid employees (who theoretically work for me) occupying our County Courthouse, waving signs, yelling at our conservative County Board of Supervisors, and bankrupting the County. This is typical of liberal (Democrat, socialist, progressive, whatever) rhetoric – “we” all have to sacrifice, you first.