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Attention public sector unions: you are not the middle class

A few days ago, while highlighting the union hyperbole over Senate Bill 5, we questioned this statement from a prominent left-wing blog:

“This is Republicans waging a class war against the middle class.”

“So the entire middle class is public-sector union members? And having them be back on an equal footing with their private-sector neighbors is “waging war”?”

Since then, we’re seeing it even more. It seems every time we hear from the anti-SB5 crowd, they liken this issue as determining the fate of the “middle class in Ohio”.

Last week, Ohio Democrat Chairman Chris Redfern sent out an email claiming “If Senate Bill 5 passes, it would turn back the clock on 28 years of progress for our middle class.”

Sore loser
Ted Strickland says “The fate of Ohio’s middle class is on the line at the Ohio Statehouse.”

Let’s get something straight here. Public-sector unions do NOT comprise or even represent the middle class in America. Echoing our sentiment from a few days ago, the Columbus Dispatch had this to say,

“The idea that the bill is an attack on Ohio’s middle class is one being repeated not only by Strickland but by other Democratic leaders and officials of the state’s public-sector unions.

The assertion is a flat contradiction of reality.

Not only are the public-sector workers affected by Senate Bill 5 not representative of the majority of Ohio’s middle class, but the comfortable wages, automatic raises, benefits, pensions, job protections, sick-day payouts and negotiating power enjoyed by many of these public-sector workers comes at the expense of the vast majority of Ohio’s middle-class taxpayers. Most of these taxpayers have nothing remotely like these benefits nor the economic security that the public sector takes for granted and regards as a right.”

Public sector workers make up 6.5% of Ohio’s workforce. That’s fewer than the number of people unemployed in the state right now. Yet the unions and Democrats continue to insult us with this inflammatory language about “attacking the middle class.”

Remember how we characterized this issue in a nutshell here at 3BP last night?

Senate Bill 5 will put government workers back on the same playing field as most of us in the private sector. It really is that simple.

“They don’t want to be on the same playing field as you and I. They want to keep their protected status. That’s why they’re going crazy.”

Yeah, the Dispatch agreed with that, too.

“There is no question that Senate Bill 5 is about the middle class. But it is not an attack, it is an attempt to restore to Ohio’s middle class the control of the government it pays for and elects.

“The few thousand public-sector workers who turned out to protest Senate Bill 5 yesterday were not looking out for Ohio’s middle class. They were looking out for their own privileged status, one that is out of reach for most Ohio taxpayers.”

So please, unions, continue to protest all you want. It’s your right. But know this. The “middle class” rhetoric you’re using to try to scare people? We know better. And it isn’t working.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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