The Right Opinion

Remember PATCO!

By Michael Reagan · Feb. 24, 2011

The turmoil and shocking thuggery we are now witnessing in Madison, Wis. is at a level seldom seen in America in this era. School teachers, of all people, are setting bad examples for their students. Some engage in outright fraud, aided by medical doctors giving them phony diagnoses of nonexistent illnesses to give them an excuse for near rioting instead of doing their job of teaching.

There is a name for that kind of thing – it’s called a crime. You know, the kind of offense that can get you tossed in the slammer. In the process they show students how to commit fraud – on their taxpaying parents.

Faced with the sorry fact that his state is flat-broke a la Greece, Gov. Walker – who has sought to reduce the deficit threatening to drown Wisconsin in debt the citizens will never be able to repay – is asking the state’s teachers to contribute to their own retirement funds, which they now enjoy virtually free of charge. To listen to the outraged union you’d think he was trying to put chains on their ankles and enslave the teachers.

Aside from the fact that unionizing government employees removes them from the status of being public servants – instead, making them into just another category of allegedly exploited workers – it also empowers them to hold the public hostage to whatever demands they care to make, no matter how unjustified.

That’s the real issue here, being studiously avoided by the dominant left wing of the media which grovels at the feet of the labor bosses and the Democrat party bosses who rely on the obedient media to help keep their political campaign coffers full of union members' dues money by slanting their reporting or simply refusing to cover the facts about dangerous union activities.

To put it bluntly, no government employee – local, state or federal – should be allowed to join a union. To repeat: They are not your ordinary workers – they are servants of the public, a status they accept when they seek government employment. It goes with the job. In return, they can look forward to a pension or an early retirement – benefits not readily available in a lot of civilian jobs.

Early in his administration my father, President Ronald Reagan, faced a walkout by air-traffic controllers which threatened to completely shut down air travel. Their union, known as the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), went on strike – at the time a totally illegal action.

He ordered them back to work, and when the PATCO members refused, he simply fired them and replaced them.

The unions have broken Wisconsin, New York, Ohio, New Jersey and California, to name a few. It is time to rein in the unions and save our states. The Reagan you are looking for is sitting in Republican governorships, not in Washington.

Why do Democrats always side with unions when they defy the public’s interests? As Jonah Goldberg cites statistics from the Center for Responsive Politics, “From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME – the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – gave nearly $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 98.5 percent going to Democrats.”

Goldberg answers the question of why an organization of local union workers contributes so generously to federal campaigns: “Because government workers have an inherent interest in boosting the amount of federal tax dollars their local governments get. Put simply, people in the government business support the party of government.”

The war cry against unions holding taxpayers hostage should be: “Remember PATCO!”

©2011 Mike Reagan.

9 Comments

David Ross said:

Michael, Hopefully columnist such as yourself will keep hammering home the facts in your article. I have a theory, I beleive that democrats, liberals or whatever they are called are descended from the loyalist of the 1700's. These people also believed that all good things come from the monarchy. The loyalist, democrat, liberals of today, don't have the desire to be free, Liberty is a term that doesn't exist. This is the only explanation for why they want government to support their existence, they want to be ruled. "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary saftey, deserve neither liberty or safety" Ben Franklin

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

BrianK in Northwest Arkansas said:

Perhaps if Gov. Walker and the Wisconsin state legislature enacted legislation making WI once again a right to work state and outlawing forced unionism, the teachers and other public sector employees would have extra money in their paychecks to help pay for their own healthcare and pensions. The forced unionism has got to be the most heinous act ever perpetrated on any employee, whether in the public or private sectors.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

karl anglin said:

Government employees were allowedto join unions under PresidentKennedy.There is no right to strike againstthe public safety, anywhere, anytime.---Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Dave LaPorte said:

Michael, I did not understand what and why your Dad fired those workers, since I was fresh out of high school and uneducated about such things. I then went to work on a union job for several years and found out first hand what the deal is with unions. I support his decision in retrospect, and it needs to happen again, NOW!Since we're quoting Founding Fathers, here's one I am fond of..... "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." Thomas Jefferson November 13, 1787

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Dave LaPorte said:

Michael, I did not understand what and why your Dad fired those workers, since I was fresh out of high school and uneducated about such things. I then went to work on a union job for several years and found out first hand what the deal is with unions. I support his decision in retrospect, and it needs to happen again, NOW!Since we're quoting Founding Fathers, here's one I am fond of..... "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants." Thomas Jefferson November 13, 1787

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Richard Ryan said:

Unfortunately Michael there are all too few men of the stature of your dad.Ronald Reagan was one of the three greatest American Presidents.Hopefully there may be another in a Christie or Walker.Time will tell.Richard RyanLamar,Missouri (Birthplace of Harry S Truman)

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 7:28 PM

George Rogers Clark said:

I do remember PATCO. One of my proudest moments as an American was when MY President, Ronald Reagan, stood firm and did the right thing. It was not a popular decision and President Reagan was unfairly labeled a "union buster" by the lefties, though the strike was illegal and put national security at risk. Let's hope, Michael, that the governors currently under fire can stand firm on the "principles" so bravely represented in your father. Thank YOU, Michael, for the new book that will help me remember America's proudest moments and our greatest leader, Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Friday, February 25, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Jeff Cody said:

Michael, what about the time your father spent so much of the peoples money that he broke the all-time deficit spending record over all presidents before him - Republican and/or Democrat? Oh man...those were the days. God Bless your father, Ronald Reagan. Oh well, thanks for your very accurate and balanced editorial. JCody

Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Paul Wolfowitz said:

People should not be forced by their gubmint to join a special interest group.And nobody can tell someone else what is "good" for them. It's called liberty and freedom.Wisconsins public schools cant graduate 1/2 the black males it claims to care for. The teachers are more interested in workplace nirvana than teaching.

Monday, November 28, 2011 at 7:04 PM