Protect the poor, not collective bargaining

Interesting that in criticizing the Republican governors who seek to restrict collective bargaining powers, Father Richard McBrien neglected to criticize a few others.

President Carter and a Democratic Congress passed similar legislation that restricted the bargaining power of federal employees in 1978. Perhaps this information did not fit the partisan theme he was developing.

 Father, you have not seen anything yet. Making middle-class government employees chip in for health care and pensions (like the rest of the working world) is mild compared to the austerity measures heading our way. The federal government and many states are deeply in debt. We are not going to tax our way, or grow our way, out of this hole.

 Rather than focus on collective bargaining — which is not a God-given right by any stretch — the bishops should emphasize protecting the poor and vulnerable from the spending cuts which are inevitably in our future. There is not a poor person within 10 miles of the issues surrounding government unions.

Mike Streb

Iowa City

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