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Taxpayers have no say in how public employees spend their paychecks

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Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2012 12:00 am

In reference to Jeff Johnston's excellent letter regarding Proposition 32, "Proposition 32 will silence middle-class Californians," published Sept. 19, in reply to Phyllis Roche's letter "California is owned by the CTA and other unions" published Sept. 12:

It is interesting to note that one online commenter — a member of the local TEA Party, whom I will refer to as "Ms. TEA Party" — commented, "It is OK for the Teachers Unions to give $16 million (four times as much) using MY TAX DOLLARS."

When I asked Ms. TEA Party why she thought the teachers' union was using her "tax dollars," she replied, "My tax dollars pay public employees, public employee dues are extracted from that pay to fund the unions. Without my tax dollars there would be no salaries to pay the union dues — it is actually rather simple, but many people who have always been on the public sector payroll see their salaries as manna from Heaven, or it just comes off the government money tree."

Let's say this is a valid opinion rather than an arrogant one. Using Ms. TEA Party's "logic," how far do we go to justify her reasoning? Do we allow Ms. TEA Party, since she is "financing" the public payroll, to consent to all of the choices public employees make, i.e., how they spend the money SHE has given them? Should public employees get her OK when purchasing a home? Should she look into their pantries to be sure they are selecting the proper foods? Do we allow her to look into their bedrooms to be sure they are using the right birth control or not using any depending on HER preference? Should police, firefighters, and teachers consult Ms. TEA Party on their choice of underwear? Boxers or briefs — bikinis or granny panties?

As taxpayers we are given latitude, mostly by our votes, to consent or not to public spending. Demanding a say in how people spend their paychecks is wrong. With this type of thinking, ALL employers should be able to control their employees' spending.

Vote NO on Proposition 32 to ensure that the people, not corporations, speak for you.

Joanne Bobin


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