Should unions exist? According to Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, that answer is a solid “no”. The governor commented that unions are unfair and we’re pretty much better off without them altogether in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
Unions are poised to be a big topic in the upcoming November elections. After Dems failed to oust Wisconsin governor Scott Walker out of office in a failed recall election last week, politicians the country-over are sounding off on the “union problem”. Walker’s controversial plan to cut pensions and limit collective bargaining rights for government workers is the crux of the issue, and sets a precedent across the nation that Dems are preparing to fight.
Enter Mitch Daniels. The Indiana governor believes that the government itself will work better without being bogged down by public sector unions.
“There’s, I think, a fundamental problem with government becoming its own special interest group,” he told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “Ultimately, there is not really bargaining in those situations because government sits on both sides of the table.”
When asked whether or not he’d like to see a stake run through the heart of public sector unions, Daniels replied, “I think government works better without them, I really do,” adding, “There’s a reason that defenders of labor… always said that unionism had no place in the public sector, that it was necessary freedom, and it is, in the private sector. But that it was a bad idea in government.”
Despite his strong anti-public sector union stance, Daniels does believe that private unions serve a valuable purpose in our nation’s economy. He has held anti-government union views pretty consistently since taking office in 2005.
“Voters are seeing the fundamental unfairness of government becoming its own special interest group, sitting on both sides of the table,” Daniels said. “And they are also noticing with sadness when fundamental services education and health care and others are diminished because so much money is devoured by very high salaries and higher than those than the taxpayers are earning and more generous benefits, almost bullet-proof job protection and huge pension.”
So how does the union-debate and Walker’s Wisconsin victory play into the fall elections? Daniels hopes that it will inspire Romney to be less-flaky and more adamantly conservative.
“The American people will rightly, I think, demand to know something more than that he’s not President Obama,” Daniels said. “But secondly, he’s got to use this fall as an opportunity to build a consensus across, I hope, a big spectrum of Americans, to make the changes we need for a vibrant private sector and all of the good things that go with it.”
Do you think that the unions will play a significant role in the upcoming elections? Will they affect your vote? Sound off below.
Here’s the video from the Fox News Sunday interview: