Governor Tom Wolf negotiated a sweetheart deal with the four largest state labor unions. That is to say, it is good for them but expensive for taxpayers.
Over the next four years, taxpayers will be shelling out an additional $1.1 billion to some of the largest donors to Governor Wolf’s re-election campaign. These same unions donated millions to get Wolf re-elected, and that raises the question: Who was looking out for taxpayers at the negotiating table?
The answer is clearly no one, and that is one of the reasons that historical figures like Franklin D. Roosevelt opposed government unions. FDR stated, “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” Keeping in mind that the government unions negotiating for more tax dollars are also some of the largest spenders on political campaigns, it is no wonder why government at every level is in financial shambles.
The new contracts are the most recent example of a broken system, and it is something that goes beyond any one governor or even any one political party. Pennsylvania’s financial mismanagement is bipartisan:
Governor Ridge gave government employees a 25 percent increase to their pensions, and members of the legislature, at the time, received a 50 percent bump.
Governor Rendell sold the public on a transportation plan that is bankrupting the Turnpike.
And, Governor Corbett gave Pennsylvania the highest gas taxes in the country.
Pennsylvania doesn’t have a Republican or Democrat problem. Politicians from both parties have been driving the Commonwealth toward a cliff. One party’s policies will just get us there faster.