Buses and automobiles from all parts of Pennsylvania converged on the State Capitol in Harrisburg on Wednesday, June 4 — a perfect day to confront the political class in their lair. As people exited their vehicles, they were greeted by yellow-shirted volunteers from Americans for Prosperity Pennsylvania and directed to the Capitol Rotunda. There, they were given their own yellow T-shirts which proudly displayed the words “Paycheck Protection Now!” Within minutes, the entire area was a sea of yellow shirts. The Rotunda is an architectural marvel topped by a 51-million-ton dome and modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Under it lies a magnificent marble staircase that ascends from the floor, splitting to the left and right until it opens to a high balcony overlooking and circling the Rotunda. The staircases make perfect bleachers and the balcony offers an unimpeded view of the events on ground floor below. The yellow-clad rally-goers were directed to take seats on the staircase, which quickly filled from the bottom to the top and spilled out to fill the balcony.
The speaker’s podium was surrounded by members of the Senate and the House who had introduced and supported so-called paycheck protection bills which, if passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, would right a long-standing wrong. The principal speaker was Michelle Malkin, a popular conservative activist commentator and writer often heard on popular news and opinion programs nationwide. Most of the attendees had come to listen to, and be inspired by, her stirring rhetoric. Malkin did indeed inspire with her great energy and enthusiasm.
What is “paycheck protection”? It’s all about the state of Pennsylvania shedding the responsibility of deducting union dues from the paychecks of state workers and turning those funds over to the union bosses — so they can pursue their mostly left-wing political agenda. The workers never see the money, so it doesn’t hurt when it automatically goes into the union coffers to be used as the big wigs see fit, whether the rank and file like it or not. No other private organizations are allowed to use taxpayer dollars and public employees’ time to perform their bill collecting, accounting, banking, and administration. If a legislator offered the same deal to any other non-government group, he or she would be facing felony charges. Let the union collect its own dues. Make it necessary for the union members to have to write a check every month before the bosses have that money in hand to make their political deals. The members will probably look more closely at who it is their union is supporting and what positions the union big shots hold. The members will quickly see that what the bosses want may not what they want. When it’s their money they are forking out, and not cash they have never had in their pockets, they might pay more attention to where it ultimately winds up.
The Left is forever crying about fairness. It’s not fair that you have more money than I do, even though you have a job and I’d rather not work. It’s not fair that you can drive around in a nice car that you worked long and hard to afford when I have to use public transportation paid in large part by taxpayers. It’s not fair that you have more of everything; you should be made to share some of it with me. It is a much-used mantra we have heard repeated over and over. Well, it’s not fair that my hard-earned tax dollars should be used to assist a private organization to collect funds that will ultimately be used to support issues I find offensive and politicians whose policies I strongly oppose.
In this writer’s opinion, this change is long overdue. The unions cry that it is an attack on union workers. But kindly consider the facts. The workers do not lose a penny of income; not a single point of their contractually agreed upon working rules and regulations is altered. All that changes is that the taxpayers no longer pay to transfer the union dues from union members’ paychecks to the union coffers. The workers do it themselves in the same way the rest of us pay our obligations.
So, call your legislators and Governor Tom Corbett to ensure that the Paycheck Protection bills (HB1507 in the House and SB1034 in the Senate) do not die in committee.[Editor’s note: As of June 23, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee had reported HB1507 onto the House Floor where is was re-committed to the Rules Committee.]