By John Moorlach | The U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees decision struck a strong blow for freedom, not just for public employees, but all Americans. This is especially true for Californians.
The 5-4 majority decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, reversed the high court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Abood had upheld the power of unions to mandate union dues, provided those dues were used only for collective bargaining, not direct political advocacy.
“Abood was wrongly decided and is now overruled,” thundered the Janus decision. “It was also decided when public-sector unionism was a relatively new phenomenon. Today, however, public-sector union membership has surpassed that in the private sector, and that ascendency corresponds with a parallel increase in public spending.”
That’s as concise a summary as you’ll get of how public-employee unions manipulated the system to significantly expand state spending on their pay and pensions. So much so that the state’s balance sheet – when including pensions and retiree health care for state workers – is now $250 billion in the red.
Even worse, more than half our 482 cities also are out of fiscal balance with three of our cities recently seeking bankruptcy protection. Read your local papers [or visit PensionTsunami.com each day] and you’ll find that almost every local government and school district in the state is cutting services to pay for the pension costs of decades past. No wonder the Golden State’s taxes are higher than anywhere in the country.
To read this entire commentary, please click here.