Pawlenty calls on lawmakers to fight ‘silent coup’ from government unions

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty called Monday for Congress and local governments across the country to join him in stopping the “silent coup” from government-employee unions, arguing that their benefits packages are sucking up vital taxpayer dollars and must be changed.

The Republican governor, who leaves office next month and has been cited as a potential contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination., cited as a triumph his state’s work in cutting future public pension obligations by $2 billion and taking on mass transit employees over their benefits. He suggested other lawmakers follow or face a combined $3 trillion in unfunded benefit liabilities.

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