Even “Saturday Night Live” is on to government unions

The above title is taken from a piece by Steven Greenhut, who is the director of the Pacific

Research Institute’s journalism center. He writes:

“I was stunned – pleasantly so – by a recent ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch lampooning public employees. In the ‘2010 Public Employee of the Year Award’ skit…”

Now that the comedians are on the case, might our political leaders finally wake up to this unfunny joke? I’ve been pleased with the coverage of this issue nationally in the past few months and have noted it on several occasions.

Here are a few lines from that SNL skit:

“In these times of anti-tax hysteria and threats of government budget cuts, it’s important to remember that people with government jobs are just like workers everywhere. Except for the lifetime job security, guaranteed annual raises, early retirement on generous pensions, and full medical coverage of no deductibles, office visit fees or co-payments.”

Ha ha ha ha. It’s especially funny for all those who have lost jobs, lost businesses, seen property taxes increase and the burden of government grow.

John Steele Gordon writes in Commentary magazine that public employee compensation is a major issue –

– “shaping up in this year’s election, and if Republicans will only take this issue and run with it, it will pay big dividends in November…

There has been a steady drum beat of examples of government workers making out like bandits at the expense of the taxpayers…

Across the country, public employees earned, on average, $39.66 an hour. The private sector? The average was $27.42. In other words, public employees earn 44 percent more. A cornucopia of information on public employee compensation can be found at Sunshine Review…”

Gordon adds this:

“The Democrats are deeply beholden to public employee unions. The SEIU gave Democrats over $60 million in 2008 and they have been getting their money’s worth in return. One-third of the so-called stimulus money went to state and local governments to avoid layoffs of public employees. Republicans, however, owe them no favors, to put it mildly…

…Republican candidates at all levels can earn votes by demanding a freeze on public-employee compensation until they are once more in line with private-sector pay scales and benefit packages.”

Read his entire post here.

As this campaign year continues – you might want to look for an opportunity to discuss this issue with your GOP candidates. They’ll fail to listen at their own peril.