Public-sector employees enjoy much more generous pay and benefit packages than private-sector workers, including guaranteed pensions and retiree health benefits whose long-term costs threaten to break the backs of state and local taxpayers.
In this provocative Broadside, E.J. McMahon explains how the policies of the Obama administration have shielded most state and local government employees from the worst effects of the Great Recession. President Obama’s stimulus bill helped most states and local governments continue raising average employee pay even at the depths of the downturn. In the name of promoting “economic recovery,” the president wants to spend tens of billions more to prop up government payrolls and preserve cushy employee benefits. Meanwhile, public-sector labor unions are exploiting their influence in Washington in an bid to expand and strengthen their power throughout the country. The president’s push for more federal spending to preserve the status quo in state and local government is a wasted opportunity to promote much-needed structural reform.