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Wisconsin Microcosm

Recorded on February 22, 2011

It's time for common sense; I'm Ernest Istook.

The huge crowd of demonstrators at Wisconsin's state capitol includes people from all over America. President Obama's national organization sent in people and the Tea Party movement countered with its own.

Wisconsin is a logical place for this issue. It was the first state to allow collective bargaining by public workers in 1959. That spread to most states, but certainly not all. Now government workers are the majority of union members in America. But with the emergence of the Tea Party has come a national awareness that public workers have higher pay, benefits, and retirement than the private sector. And their unions are the heart of the effort to make government bigger and more expensive, at the expense of everyone else.

The real issue in Wisconsin isn't worker benefits, it's bringing the size of government back under control.

For common sense, from The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.