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Unions Take Note

As the legislative session quickly approaches, everyone in state government might want to take a look at this 60 minutes article and video. Pay particular attention to what Governor Christie of New Jersey has to say:

Asked if he wants the public employee unions to share the pain, Christie told Kroft, “You bet. I want them to share in the sacrifice. And this is what I say to public sector unions: ‘Listen you can boo me now, but I’m the first governor who has walked into this room in ten years and told you the truth. And here is the truth. If you don’t partner with me to get this done in ten years you won’t have a pension.’ And that’s the truth.”

The truth may not be pretty, but running a government on the assumption that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is going to solve all of our problems is just a couple of more months away is ridiculous. Worse, it’s potentially even more economically devastating than the decisions that led to our current predicament. We should especially be wary of those that advocate raiding the permanent fund by arguing semantics and proposing “creative” financial schemes:

That is not to suggest that assets be sold or diminished. Rather, leveraging assets to produce additional revenue, such as selling bonds against the permanent fund, needs to be fully explored.

We got here by living beyond our means through a spending addiction, and like a break from any addiction, there are going to be withdrawal pains, but ultimately, we’ll be better off.