By Bill Wilson
This could the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Yesterday the Senate passed a $26.1 billion bailout for bankrupt states like New York and California, which includes $10 billion for public teachers spending and $16.1 billion for state Medicaid spending. Now, the Politico is reporting that Nancy Pelosi will speedily bring the House of Representatives back from its August recess to pass it and have it on Barack Obama’s desk next week.
The American people rightly are outraged at the prospect of balancing the budgets for states that refuse to cut their own spending. Last year’s $862 billion “stimulus” already included some $145 billion to balance state budgets, and this year’s $26.1 billion bailout will only forestall necessary cuts to those budgets.
While Americans struggle to balance their family budgets during this weak economic recovery, they expect elected officials to muster the political will to do the same. Instead, all 59 Senate Democrats and Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have caved to pressure from the public teachers unions — all to help fill their campaign coffers.
Out of the estimated 3.3 million public school teachers nationwide, teachers unions were expecting about 160,000 layoffs this year — just 4.8 percent of all teachers. 38.1 percent of those layoffs are centered in just three states: 9,000 in New Jersey, 16,000 in New York and 36,000 in California.
About 57 percent of those 160,000 teachers are unionized as noted by the Heritage Foundation, with contributions to state and local unions averaging $300 per teacher. Add another $162 per teacher to the National Education Association and $190 per teacher to the American Federation of Teachers, as reported by Education Next, and the Senate easily has voted to give a minimum $40 million to the public teachers unions’ political coffers. That money will be mobilized into campaign ads, direct mail, phone banks, you name it, all to help elect Democrats.
Democrats want to ensure that their reelection campaigns well-funded, and so now the House is rushing back to the nation’s capital to secure the political slush money.