Monday, September 10, 2012
The Real Reason The Chicago Teacher's Strike Is Bad News For Obama
Chris Cillizza in his WaPo politics column the Fix looks at the Chicago teachers strike and writers that the primary reason it's bad for President Obama's campaign is the associations with the president's adopted hometown and his ex-chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and Emanuel being distracted from fundraising for the chief pro-Obama PAC, Priorities USA.
He misses the main reason entirely.
What's going on with the Chicago teacher's union is a story that's occurred nation-wide for years. What people see is a greedy and unprincipled public employee union holding up the tax payers once again with the help of the Democrat they elected to office. And this is happening right after they saw a convention that featured a number of public employee functionaries speaking loudly and in some cases arrogantly about their 'rights' , with those sentiments being echoed by a number of Democrat politicians, including the president.
They see an entitled class of whom teacher's union president Karen Lewis is almost a caricature of, a far left harridan holding children and their education hostage. Note color of those tee shirts. It's not accidental.
In Los Angeles, for instance, the teacher's unions have the same kind of hold over th ecity's Democrat politicians they do in Chicago. In spite of the fact that the LA Unified School District's drop out rate is almost 40% and test scores are in the cellar while California is number 3 in the country in the amount spent per pupil, the union has successfully fought any attempts to institute teacher evaluation based on test scores while continuing to rack up raises and increased benefits. In fact, the teacher's unions have contributed millions and are the main financial backers of Governor Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, which would raise the already high state taxes on incomes over $250,000 while increasing the state sales tax to 7.75%, which in Los Angeles because of local city sales taxes translates to an increase from 9.75% to 10%. The increase on Los Angeles' already highly taxed gas prices, currently averaging about $4.15 per gallon on food and manufactured goods for people at all economic levels can only be imagined.
And one of the primary reason for the hikes is to allow the teachers and the other public employee unions to preserve the raises and benefits they've already been granted by the Democrats they paid to put into office.
The fact that this time it's Chicago and Rahm Emanuel is entirely secondary.
By this time, anyone who's paying attention identifies this president and his party with the greed of the public employee unions, and this strike, which even Rahm Emanuel called unnecessary and a strike of choice may make a lot of them start putting 2 and 2 together and thinking about whether they want to reward the enablers of this kind of behavior come November.