Government Unions Drive Costs for Taxpayers

Government unions have become a powerful force driving up costs for taxpayers. According to the USA Today, their power and influence has created a “pension and benefits gap” between the private sector and government jobs. In fact, the paper found that for retirees it pays to have worked for the government instead of the private sector, and taxpayers are being squeezed.

“Governments’ generosity could have serious consequences for taxpayers and pensioners. Some states — including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia — have troubled retirement systems that may require huge tax increases, spending cuts or even defaulting on promised benefits. The U.S. government has a bigger unfunded liability for military and civil servant retirement benefits ($4.7 trillion) than it does for Social Security ($4.6 trillion).”

And who is to blame?

Big Labor.

“‘Pension benefits are like a lobster trap. You can get in, but you can’t get out,’” says John Moorlach, an Orange County supervisor who has tried to reduce retirement benefits for government workers.

“He blames elected officials for awarding unsustainable retirement benefits to win support from employee unions. ‘Elected officials love to give generous retirement benefits because they don’t cost anything today and they’ll be out of office when the payments come due,’” Moorlach says. “And the public? Eyes droop with boredom when you bring up the topic.”