It’s deja vu all over again. Sorta. UPDATE: Video added

As I watched Fox News Sunday this past weekend, I almost fell off my chair during the “Is labor losing its clout?” segment, wherein Chris Wallace interviewed two representatives of public workers unions, Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association, and Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFL-CIO.

If you listen to the linked segment (be sure to seat yourself), after a comparison of public vs. private worker benefit access, showing the huge advantage the public sector enjoys, Ms. Lee says the following:


Wallace: “Why should people in the private sector be paying their taxes so that government workers get more than they do?”

Lee: “Well I think we have to turn the question around.  It’s not so much why do some people have a pension and others do not, but how do we take away the pensions of those that have it?  That’s unAmerican.  I think we need to figure out how everyone can have a decent pension.  This is a wealthy country.” (emphasis mine)

Pardon me?  So, according to proud union apparatchik Lee, to take away from those who have is “unAmerican”?  Change the word pension for personal wealth or inheritance, and isn’t this precisely the argument that the conservatives have been making against the left’s war on the rich for, well, forever??  For the record, it should be noted that at about the 10:15 mark, Lee hypocritically (but not unexpectedly) goes back to the “tax the wealthy” meme, and Van Roekel piled on after that.

Given the demonstrable disparity in benefits, should we now include the well compensated public worker as one of the “1%ers”, i.e. those purported to be taking more than their fair share, and from whom more should be extracted/confiscated/taxed?  Or just not given in the first place?

Further along in the clip, Van Roekel states that “public sector workers have paid into their pensions, but, like in California, where they want to take away from people that are already retired,  the government didn’t live up to their end.  Poor management on the part of government for managing their pension funds and now denying the benefits.”  Wallace pointed out that it was Democrats, not conservatives, including the Democrat mayor of San Jose and other cities, who voted to cut the public sector pensions.

Say what?  Isn’t California the liberal utopia of America, the bluest of the blue states?  Hasn’t it been run (into the ground) by Democrat majorities for decades?  And don’t forget how Connecticut has not been able to fund their public employee pension fund and are about $50 BILLION dollars in the red.  In a deep blue state.

They can’t stop attacking the “rich” for their salaries etc. though, while completely ignoring the fact that to the private sector worker, the public sector workers (with benefits the private sector workers can only dream about) are, in fact, “the rich” in their view.  Apparently, they want to eat their cake and have it too.

Class warfare is a sword that cuts both ways.  Play that card, and you have to worry what the other player has in his/her hand…


A TEA party partisan, guerrilla fighting in the trenches of liberal Massachusetts.


  1. Eric on June 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    You will never see a liberal to concede to the obvious and dismal track record of so many blue-state democrat administrations whose gross mismanagement is turning city after city into bankruptcy court. ?It’s only a matter of time before CA will be forced to do the same thing, and they’ve been underfunding these public pension funds for decades. ?Public sector unions have had a stranglehold on governments all over the country, and it’s simply wrong! These unions have sold their rank and file on the notion that the benefits they’re enjoying are a right, instead of the privilege it actually is. ?Unfortunately these privileges are no longer practical. ?The American taxpayer has been footing the bill for this mismanagement cancer that’s finally going to be excised… and it’s about time.?

    • Dimsdale on June 16, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Lately, you may have seen “The Worst Cities To Rent In” segments on the news.? Note that ALL the cities in the “winners” have been run by Democrats.
      So much for the “party of the working guy”…

  2. dairyair on June 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    love the woman’s sign on the front page:
    “Unions OUR my cup of tea!”
    Pray this isn’t a teacher!

    • phil on June 13, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Lynn on June 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      I’m praying it’s not a voter!

  3. ricbee on June 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Reality bites & will be biting them soon.

  4. Gary J on June 13, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Great article thanks so much 🙂

  5. JBS on June 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Succinct article. Excellent.
    You will never hear or read the union elites say or agree to anything bad about unionism. It’s their bread and butter. Their inflated-income retirement.
    It is proving a decidedly bad move negotiating away so many advantages to the unions. Public sector employees have become the new royalty in America.?
    We can only hope that Wisconsin was the Waterloo for the unions. Pray they don’t learn from that and rebound.

  6. Benjamin Less on June 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Where can I sign up?
    This is the most exciting time for the United States of America.? Unions, from what I’ve read will give freedom to all workers.? I’m so happy.
    On a lighter note, I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

    • JBS on June 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Want to be really ecstatic? Go to Russia or Cuba and enjoy the Workers’ Paradise personally. Cuba is warmer.

  7. Shared Sacrifice on June 15, 2012 at 4:18 am

    Private sector workers are the canaries in the coal mine while public sector workers are hothouse orchids! I think public sector benefits are the last to see cuts and the first to see raises.? Union salaries in CA are almost 2X that of private sector equivalents in CT, and the union folks in CA are striking because they want more!? Moderate that!

    • JBS on June 16, 2012 at 7:55 am

      The tide is turning, but not soon enough. The unions have set themselves up with top wages, superior benefits and retirements only longed-for in the private sector.
      I fear that even with a new conservative, hopefully libertarian, philosophy and resultant policies, allowing the private sector to recover will take time. How long will that take? With no interference from corrupt politicians? That will be determined by the initiative of the American business person. With the removal of onerous taxes and regulations, prosperity for the private sector working person should proceed nicely. This is all predicated on dumping and retracting the current Socialist — get everyone on the dole — philosophy, rescinding years of policies friendly to the Progressives, their favored elitists and their union allies. And, continuing to elect and support Conservative politicians. It’s a hope for the future! A dream . . .
      “The evil that men do lives after them; . . . ” Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Act 3, Scene 2 (It is worth a read, <a href="http://en

thea lee, union, afl-cio

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