This past week, we have witnessed, in Wisconsin, protests organized by Unions and participated in by many of their members.  The effect of the protests has been to shut down many government operations.  Schools have been closed.  Government offices have been closed.  The government employees who have not been working will still be paid, so, in effect, many of the protesters are paid by tax dollars to protest.  Even the Union officials who organize these things are paid with tax dollars.  When a teacher or other government employee must join the union and pay dues, those dues then pay the salaries of the union officials.  The dues come from the wages and salaries of government employees paid by our taxes.

The end result of this battle between tax payers and the special interests of unions, especially government employee unions, will give us a real good understanding of whether we can get budgets under control; if we can reduce the size of our government; if we can lower the tax burden on our people.  In fact, the Wisconsin case is our canary in our mine shaft.  If Wisconsin can limit the power of government employee unions to continue to drive up the cost of government, we have hope.  It will indicate that people really are fed up and ready to make the difficult decisions to limit the cost and scope of our government.

Over the years since our constitution was written, our country has gone from one with the people depending on government for precious few things and paying very little in taxes, to a country where many of our citizens demand that government provide most of our needs.  There are large portions of our citizenry who actually think our government should pay for things like sex change operations for government employees.  We now have a government that is spending a Trillion dollars a year more than it is bringing in.  Today’s big debate in Washington is about cutting the cost of government, cutting our deficit, and cutting taxes.  Their are two sides to the debate.  One side I call the smaller government/lower tax group.  The other favors bigger government and higher taxes – the big government/higher tax group.

Forget Republicans vs. Democrats, rich vs. poor.  This is this is the majority of Wisconsin taxpayers vs. a small group who wants to control Wisconsin’s government.  This is everyman (who pays taxes and hopes to benefit from government activity) vs. a small group (union leaders and members – mostly teachers and other government employees) that feels entitled to control Wisconsin’s government.  Every American citizen should be watching this.  Every American citizen should know this is a must-win battle.  The unions and their members are part of the big government/higher tax group.  It appears that most of the rest of Wisconsin is in the smaller government/lower tax group.  We will soon know which group is bigger/more powerful.