-By Warner Todd Huston
In the late morning hours of April 21 dozens of rented buses streamed into Springfield, the Illinois capitol, and began spewing out hundreds of tax-gorged union thugs. It was as if the Illinois Hog Producers association had pulled up to the capitol and thrown wide the doors to their livestock carriers.
Some estimates say the unionists mounted some 15,000 participants all there to wave their professionally printed signs and wear their gang colors... er, I mean wearing their T-Shirts bearing their union's signature colors.
And what did they want? They wanted the Illinois legislature to raise taxes on everyone in the state so that those few union members could get even more undeserved bennies, richer pay scales and even higher pensions than anyone in the private sector could ever expect -- all things they already enjoy.
But, a protest is all American, right? These guys are just like the tea partiers, aren't they?
Not so much.
There is a major difference between the tea party protests against wild government spending that have sprung up all across the state and this protest by union thugs in Springfield. The thousands that have gathered all across the Land of Lincoln to protest government engorgement all went to their tea party protests because they were passionate and deeply concerned. On the other hand the union thugs that went to Springfield this week went there because they were paid to go.
Another big difference is that the tea party folks all went on their own while the union thugs were all bussed to the capitol, paid by union cash, and likely forced to attend by union overlords. The tea party movement is motivated by passion, respect for the system, and an obeisance to that American virtue of plucky individuality. The union thugs, though, were not motivated by any such American values, but more by European values.
Many of these whiners were Illinois teachers, folks who are already paid some of the highest teacher salaries in the country. The teachers sported pink and blue gang colors. Others were the purple shirted mobsters of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and green-shirted members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), two groups that donate millions and millions of dollars every year to Obama and his Democrats.
And in a typical Orwellian move, they've named their drunken-sailor-spending coalition the "Responsible Budget Coalition." Yeah, riiight. More like the "Fox Watching the Hen House" coalition!
Of course, what they were protesting is that Illinois governments from big to small are finding that they must get rid of dead weight to balance wildly over stretched budgets because the money simply isn't there any more to fund these unionist's lavish, over paid lifestyles. And since these unions have given millions and millions of dollars in political donations -- donations that have by legislative fiat gotten them to some of the highest paid and compensated jobs in history -- they are a bit miffed that they are being expected to feel the same pinch economically that all us little people, those of us who are unfortunate enough to have to pay the bloated salaries of these public employees through our taxes, are forced to live through.
Imagine the gall of the taxpayers and their elected officials expecting unions to scale back their overly generous pay scales, too! Imagine anyone expecting those paid by tax dollars to have to feel the same economic hard times as the actually productive segment of society feels! Why it's criminal, I tell you!
But, at some level, I guess I can't blame the unions for getting mad. I mean, after all, they've paid millions of dollars to Illinois politicians in protection money and now they are being told that all their millions can't buy them the political favors that it used to. It must be an awfully rude awakening! I mean, if you can't pay off a politician to get unearned raises, higher bennies and bigger more lavish pensions than anyone in the private sector, what is the world coming to?
So, these union automatons and their thug overlords descended upon the state capitol to demand that all the rest of us pay higher taxes to keep them in the style they've become accustomed.
Nice work if you can get it.