A Conservative Guide to Governing

The public employees' unions are behind the fiscal disaster in California. Unionized public employees earn thirty-one percent more in pay and sixty-eight percent more in benefits. You can’t talk about fiscal responsibility and do nothing about unions. In the private sector, unions have been company-killers in recent years. The recent bankruptcies of companies like Chrysler, GM, and United Airlines had union fingerprints on all of them, such as the auto industry Jobs Bank, which paid workers to sit in rubber rooms doing nothing after their manufacturing jobs were eliminated.

From a political standpoint, there has never been a better time to push back against the unions. Gallup found public support for unions to be at an all-time low. It’ll also be politically advantageous for conservatives because with less forced contributions to the unions, the unions will have less money and organizational power to spend electing Democrats.

3) Bring market forces to education

Democrats traditionally run strong in the polls on education. Conservatives allowed the debate to be defined as purely a discussion of dollars and cents. When voters are skeptical about all levels of government, this might not be a problem. However, in normal years, parents are rightly concerned about whether their children will get a good education, and equate less money with a poorer education.

Conservatives have to change the debate to a discussion of how we can best educate kids in the 21st century in an efficient way. Conservatives have a wide range of policy options: school vouchers and tax credits, expansion of charter schools, reforming tenure laws to make it easier to fire bad teachers, and offering merit pay.

While teachers' unions oppose educational reform, many individual teachers oppose the agenda of the unions but feel they have no choice but to support it. In states where teachers legally can choose not to belong to the union, conservatives should promote organizations such as the Association of American Educators. They provide teachers necessary benefits, such as liability insurance, at a lower cost than unions and without forcing teachers to subsidize the union agenda.

For the rest of the country, this is another reason to pass right-to-work laws. Hard-working teachers need a way out of the unions that take their union dues and spend them on supporting a myriad of left-wing causes they wouldn’t willingly give a nickel to.

4) Defund the left

The left is subsidized by involuntary contributions -- not only from dissenting union members, but from taxpayers. For example, Planned Parenthood gets 1/3 of its money from taxpayers. Conservatives reduce the number of abortions by stopping state and local tax dollars from going to America’s #1 abortion provider.

Conservatives should push a Mexico City policy in every state and county in America. No taxpayer family planning dollars should go to any organization that performs abortions. The undercover investigations by Live Action, showing Planned Parenthood employees willing to advise underage clients on how to cover for adult boyfriends, should provide plenty of ammo for a move against Planned Parenthood. So far, only Orange County has taken the plunge.

Planned Parenthood is only one of many parasitic left-wing organizations living off taxpayers. Conservatives should search budgets to find out what appropriations are going to organizations and agencies that advance a left-wing agenda and defund as many of these as they can. Left-wing groups have a right to pursue their agenda, but not on the taxpayers' dime.

The left will fight back against any conservative agenda, but if conservatives pass a practical agenda that will make their states better while hampering the left’s ability to game the system, the fight will be worth it.