Among the ravings of the delusional left is the assertion that the Wisconsin protesters are standing up to “the plutocracy.” These are “working people” fighting for the interests of “working families” against special interests and “the rich,” we’re told. In reality, the average salary of a Wisconsin teacher alone—weighing in at $52,644 per year—is enough to place these union protesters in the top 22% of personal income earners, and the top 43% by household income. Based on their annualized salary, these teachers fall in the top 7% and top 16% respectively. Note that these numbers are for salary only, and exclude the teachers’ other compensation. If annual benefits are included, then these teachers fall in the top 14% and top 30%. Annualized, this places them in the top 6-7% in both categories.
As for special interests, that the unions have convinced 14 senators—apparently, one of them has finally returned, today—to abdicate their responsibilities and shut down the democratic process in Wisconsin should be sufficient evidence of their influence. Among the 14, union dollars account for at least 20% of campaign donations; for some Senators, the number is much higher. But apparently special interest meddling is perfectly acceptable—even encouraged—when it’s conducted by those who live at the taxpayers’ expense.
But what about the Democrat party in general? After all, democrats and liberals claim to oppose the influence of the wealthy. Surely their representatives reflect this position. Based on RollCall’s 2009 analysis, of the top 10 richest members of Congress, 8 were Democrats. Democrat Senator Kerry has topped this list for more than a decade. Among the top 20 in 2009, 65% were Democrats. Despite heavy losses in the midterm elections, Democrats retained 7 of the top ten spots in 2010, and hold 60% of the top 20 spaces. Of the “50 richest” in Congress, 56% are Democrats.
Maybe the protesters are only upset about the “super-rich.” Perhaps it’s just the billionaires they’re upset about. Although they’ve railed against private wealth in general, the protesters have taken a particular focus on contributions to Conservatives and Conservative causes made by the Koch brothers and their foundation. The far-left even went so far as to subject the Americans for Prosperity website to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. But if billionaires are the perceived problem, why does George Soros get a pass? Without Soros, a number of leftist organizations would likely not exist, and many more would be smaller in scope with less influence. Soros has distributed billions to his pet causes without a peep, but if a Republican even thinks about speaking with Koch, liberals will be pounding at the gate.
The only ones obstructing “democracy” in Wisconsin are the teachers’ unions and their Democrat allies. At the heart of the matter, they’re upset because union dues could become optional. People who don’t support the union would no longer be compelled to pay dues (currently $800 per year). None of their rhetoric about “the plutocracy” or the fabricated “right” to garnish other workers’ wages can change that fact.