Glenn Harlan Reynolds, the fabulous Instapundit blogger and law professor, made a great point this week – we’ve been divided into two Americas right now: Those who are getting paychecks and those who aren’t. An awful lot of people who are still getting paychecks – snooty government employees, for example – aren’t showing any empathy at all for the Americans who have lost their businesses or livelihoods because of these whimsically fascist shutdowns.
But now the shutdowns are about to hit the public sector labor unions squarely in the Schiff. It’s not going to be pretty, but just watch to see how many of these liberal government employees switch to wanting to reopen the economy all of a sudden.
A ton of tax revenues for cities, counties and states are just gone due to the virus shutdowns. From sales taxes to parking tickets and the usual April tax revenues, all that money has drastically dried up. Government labor union pensions and pet projects that relied on massive debts have suddenly become anchors that are dragging non-federal governments into a giant pit. They’re about to realize that Trump was absolutely correct when he said we should have reopened by Easter.
Cops, firefighters, teachers and bureaucratic paper-pushers are about to have their jobs on the chopping block because the “shutdowns are fun” fascists didn’t think this whole thing through. Cincinnati, Ohio – population 2.1 million – suddenly finds itself with a $200 million shortfall for the next two years as its budget commitments catch up with the reality of shutting down an economy.
The state of Illinois is suddenly begging the federal government for a $41.6 billion bailout to rescue its corrupt government union pension funds. Illinois has spent decades bloating the retirement benefits of government employees, knowing full well that it would never be able to pay them off without a bailout. Corrupt Democrats running the show agreed to the unions’ demands, and the unions in return dumped millions of dollars in forced union dues straight back into the Democrat Party’s coffers.
Who could have guessed that school principals and clerks in the water department retiring at age 50 with $1.2 million in retirement benefits would be unsustainable! Illinois is suddenly shouting “We’re all in this together!” with much more urgency as its chickens come home to roost. I’m with Mitch McConnell on this one. You dug your own hole, Illinois. Taxpayers in Florida, Maine, Alaska and Nevada shouldn’t have to help pull you out.
A lot of mid-sized cities are suddenly having to put union employees on unpaid leave, because their mid-April revenues didn’t come in. Oops. Maybe you geniuses should have listened to the millions of small business owners who couldn’t make payroll or pay the rent three weeks ago. Shutdowns are a great idea right up until the money stops. On the bright side, now that government employees are going to start feeling the same pain as the rest of us, the cries to reopen everything will soon become deafening.
Another 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment this week, bringing the coronavirus total to a staggering, Great Depression-era 26 million. The situation is so terrible for American workers that we have suddenly been teleported back to Barack Obama’s eighth year in the White House!
Remember those halcyon days under Saint Obama? By 2012, the workforce participation rate had fallen from 65.7% to 63%. That means an additional 5 million Americans left the work force in despair during Obama’s first term, because there were absolutely no jobs for them to find. With the 15 million already unemployed Americans that the Obama administration was counting, plus those additional 5 million who fled the workforce, we were at 20 million unemployed at the end of Obama’s first term. Keep in mind the fact that Obama built those losses on top of the 2008 financial crash.
How easily we forget. With 26 million Americans out of work (and counting) today, we are right back at the end of Obama’s second term. This abnormal misery that we are feeling right now as a nation… was just daily life under a Democrat president.
A solution presents itself! Imagine electing a president with the business sense to turn around the disastrous Obama economy in a short amount of time. Perhaps if he had a magic wand or something, I don’t know. If we could find someone like that and elect him as president in November of 2020, I’ll bet he could get us out of this mess in short order! But where will we ever find such a very stable genius?