You must be completely discouraged to see Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) pork-laden omnibus bill. His arrogance is incredible. Yet he’s wrong in assuming Americans are too busy with the holidays to see through his desperation. Everyone knows this is his best chance to pay back the unions that got him reelected.
Mr. Reid tried to sneak in another last-gasp bill to unionize all police and firemen last week. Thankfully the bill was stopped. But the true colors of the RINOs who continue to support Mr. Reid’s big government are just as disturbing. Scratch these Republican cosponsors from your Christmas list: Senators Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
How do you feel about the caving on the tax extension bill by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell? Would it shock you if House majority leader-elect John Boehner follows suit? What about the promises to the Tea Party, guys? Republicans in Washington are proving they still can’t be trusted. That’s why it has to be up to the states to stop the spending.
A lot of pieces need to fall into place for Republicans in 2012. Yet at the state level they will have the power to make real change in a matter of weeks, not years. Each state has two legislative chambers (except for Nebraska, which is unicameral). That makes 98 partisan state legislative chambers in America. Going into the midterm election, Democrats had a 60 to 36 advantage (with two chambers, the Alaska Senate and Montana House, tied). In January when they reconvene, Republicans will control 57 chambers, Democrats 39 (with two tied, the Alaska Senate and Oregon House). In fact, come January, Republicans will hold the largest majority for the party since 1928, with control of 54% of the nation’s 7,382 legislative partisan seats.
A massive tectonic shift in Republican power will occur in the 25 states where they will control the entire legislature. That’s 11 more than going into the midterm, which hasn’t happened since after the 1952 election, when they had 26. Of the 25 states, six of them are currently forced-union states.
In America, only 22 states have right-to-work laws. That means employees can be forced to join a union in 28 forced-union states or “closed-shop” states. Turning the tables on them is now within reach.
Forcing unionism hurts states’ competitiveness. Take Michigan, for example, where according to a 2009 census estimate the population has dwindled below 10 million for the first time since 2001. This is a golden opportunity for governor-elect Rick Snyder to show unions the door. Unions are why Michigan is third, behind California and New York, out of 23 states experiencing outmigration. A Cato Institute study shows that since 1970 the population of right-to-work states has more than doubled. Census data shows that 4.7 million Americans moved from closed-shop states to right-to-work states between April 1, 2000, and July 1, 2008.
Five of the six Republican governors in forced-union states that will have a new Republican legislature are Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, John Kasich of Ohio, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, and Paul LePage of Maine. The sixth governor is current governor of Indiana and 2012 presidential hopeful Mitch Daniels. There could have been a seventh had Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota decided to run for reelection. Unfortunately, Democrat Mark Drayton won.
Governor Daniels can do himself a lot of good towards winning the 2012 presidential election by acting quickly to turn Indiana into a full-fledged right-to-work state. He has what it takes. In 2005 he rescinded collective bargaining by executive order, making it easier to cut spending and restructuring government services.
Governor-elect Scott Walker of Wisconsin has proposed that unions contribute 5% of their pay to fund their pensions and increase their health-care contributions from 4% to 12%. It appears he’s going to get support fighting unions from incoming GOP finance chairman Robin Vos of Racine County, Wisconsin, who is considering a bill for next year in which employees would no longer have to pay union dues to work in union shops.
These are the six men who can stand up to Harry Reid and the unions that are trying to spend every last penny before the music stops. And it had better stop, or America will resemble Harry Reid’s union dream, not yours.