Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When will the Occupiers take over classrooms?

If there is one overarching meme of the leftist Occupy movement, it is that wealthy people (the One Percent) and huge corporations pour money into our political system, buy undue influence and get back tax breaks and other benefits unavailable to the ordinary people. Certainly, there is some factual basis for that belief.

However, the inconvenient truth for the leftist Occupation is that it is not just the rich and multinational companies which pour money into our political system, buy undue influence and get benefits unavailable to the ordinary people. In the Democratic Party the real One Percenters are the public employee unions. They own most Democratic politicians. They pour in millions and get billions in return. They have systematically bankrupted many government services with unaffordable benefits and luxurious pensions.

Yet I don't seem to recall any of the leftist Occupiers chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, the corrupt public employees have got to go!"

Today the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the big spender, per usual, in lobbying the California legislature, is the California Teachers Association:
Amid the state's lingering economic slump and Sacramento's persistent budget crisis, a record 2,768 entities hired lobbyists last year, many of them to fight for a slice of the shrinking public pie. ... The California Teachers Assn. spent the most, as it does periodically: $6.5 million. Among its many successes, it persuaded lawmakers to pass a last-minute bill restricting school districts' ability to lay off more teachers if future funding cuts occur. ... In addition to paying a team of seven in-house lobbyists, the CTA wined and dined elected officials and their staffs and helped cover travel and lodging costs as hundreds of teachers converged on Sacramento for a "week of action" on the budget crisis last May.

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