If you view our governmental system as nothing more than a long protracted partisan war, I think the actions of Republicans make a lot of sense. Budgets need to be balanced, so why not make your political enemies foot the bill while letting allies off the hook? Teachers traditionally vote Democratic and their unions are a huge boon to Dem politics, so the GOP has come after them. I worry about this sort of 'trade warfare' as an American and as a future physician. I could be wrong, but my suspicion is that physicians as a group generally vote Republican. What if some hypothetical future extreme Democratic Party comes to power, looks at explosive health costs and deficits, notices that physicians support Republicans, and decide to punish us for it? They could simply block the medicare doc fix, or worse.
I resent the idea that one group should be faced with a disproportionate share of a social burden because they are on the losing side of politics. It is not unreasonable to expect sacrifice from public employees - and it looks like they were prepared to sacrifice in Wisconsin. At the same time, is gutting education spending the best way to secure our nation's long term prosperity? (If it was up to me, we'd cut teacher unions and tenure, but expand benefits and pay such as to make teaching jobs more competitive). There are more millionaires in New Jersey than teachers. There are other forms of public spending, including inefficient subsidies to various industries. There are of course costly entitlements, and the military. These dwarf our education spending in scale.
If Republicans are serious about improving our deficit situation, they need to do more than pay lip service to the notion of shared sacrifice. Focused partisan assaults on a few groups will never be accepted as fair. Any gains will be only temporary, and will simply be undone in the next electoral cycle. To make sustainable changes, changes that are accepted as fair by both political parties and thus not likely to be reversed, Republicans will need to cut government spending in all areas. They may have to injure some political allies in the process. That is the nature of compromise. Without mature leaders who were willing to compromise, our nation wouldn't exist; without them going forward, our nation won't exist.