Krauthammer: The Wisconsin Way Or Bankruptcy Are The Only Ways Out Of Corrupt Union Contracts
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Look, the word used in describing what is going on here is 'legacy cost.' It's a nice, innocent word. It sounds almost respectable. Legacy cost means they are saddled with agreements that were made with the public sector unions years ago, some of them actually more recently. And it was a corrupt relationship between politicians, mostly Democrats who gave sweetheart deals for pensions to the government unions, pensions and healthcare, largely because the cost would only show up years later. And now we are in the years later.
As a result and as a quid pro quo the unions would support the corrupted politician in elections. And the politicians would give them new sweeter deals in a kind of ongoing circle. That circle is over now. And the fact is there are only two ways to get out of it. The Wisconsin way where you have the political will; meaning, Republican in power willing to break the cycle and change the way business is done. Or bankruptcy. The key innovation here is bankruptcy.
You reported that these are largest cities in decades, perhaps in American history, to go bankrupt. The only other way out is have a judge declare the contracts null and then start all over.