Multiple reports suggest Andy Stern will be leaving his job as head of the politically powerful SEIU. The union, which represents healthcare and public employees, was instrumental in passing healthcare reform. In other words, he has contributed in two ways to America’s fiscal woes. First, health reform may prove a budget fiasco since its tax hikes and spending cuts were used to expand coverage rather than cut the budget deficit. Second, fat pay and benefit packages for public sector unions are a big reason so many states like California have long-term fiscal woes. As this David Feddoso story found:
Among states whose government workers are less than 40 percent unionized, median per capita state debt is $2,238. Among states with between 40 and 60 percent of their government workers in public sector unions, the average debt is $3,609. Among states with more than 60 percent of the government workforce unionized, the average (median) per capita debt is $6,380.
Interestingly, Stern will be a member of Obama’s deficit commission. So there are at least a couple of issues that need addressing that he will be an expert on.