Wisconsin labor troubles a sign of looming fiscal crisis

February 23, 2011

The Effort by the governor of Wisconsin to restrict collective bargaining by labor unions is an unacceptable infringement on the rights of its citizens ("Wisconsin's governor to senators: Come home" Feb. 22).

But the sad truth is that it demonstrates a rare sober effort by any government official in the U.S. to act seriously to diminish gross budgetary problems.

It is sad that our federal government buckled to political pressures to extend Bush's tax reductions for our wealthiest citizens and that we are now asking middle class union members in Wisconsin and other citizens to pay the price for irresponsible spending.

It is often said, and almost universally accepted, that our federal and state governments are suffering a severe financial crisis. But the truth is that while this crisis looms we continue to defer it. In general, our elected officials are talking a good game and doing nothing to avert and alleviate the coming crisis. No matter the political cost, we cannot seriously reduce our federal deficit without attacking Medicare, social security costs and defense spending. I fear we will act too late and our collective standard of living will be severely diminished.

Daniel J. Pearl, Owings Mills

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