Lead and They Will Follow: Governor Walker Shows Courage and Leadership in Battleground State

Bravo to Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) for standing up for all of the citizens of the Badger State, as a minority of public sector union workers, teachers, correctional officers and other civil servants foment demagoguery and fail to do their jobs.

With a $3.6 billion budget gap as a backdrop, the Wisconsin governor must confront reality and re-tool the state’s fiscal problem before it weighs down future growth and crowds out investment. And, unlike the federal government, states are obligated by law to balance their budget. Thus, Gov. Walker is acting like the grown-up in the room.

Wisconsin’s newly-elected Governor, in a press conference speech given late Friday in the rotunda of the State capitol, explained to the press and the audience that “We are broke.” He went on to say that the majority of workers and citizens alike in the state support his bill. He wants state workers to pay one-half of their pension costs and 12.6 percent of their health benefits. Currently, most state employees pay nothing for their pensions and very little for their health insurance.

Governor Walker reminded everyone that a lot of untruths are being spun about his plan, and even responded to a reporter’s question about how the president interjected himself into the fray. “I know the president has enough to worry about regarding the federal budget, he should let our state take care of our own issues,” said Walker. Obama told a Milwaukee television reporter,

“Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions."

This interjection reminds me a lot of the Louis ‘Skip’ Gates’ debacle in the summer of 2009 where Obama gave his opinion on an incident where a Massachusetts police lieutenant attempted to arrest a former friend and Harvard colleague of the president’s.

Mr. Walker also gave a brief history lesson about unions and the state. He said that Wisconsin civil service laws date back over one-hundred years and are considered to be the best of any state. Thus, any collective bargaining rights that the public sector unions think they’ll lose is moot. Simultaneously as he made the aforementioned remark, and what seemed like a well-orchestrated play, the distinct murmurs and noise from thousands of labor supporters chanting outside the building, could be heard.

Walker even acknowledged the crowd protesting outside while explaining how it’s their right to peacefully assemble. But it is not o.k. for politically-elected state senators to flee their responsibility and hide in places like Rockford, Illinois. Instead, these recalcitrant public officials should do their job.

Another unique twist to this story that has the nation watching is how the Obama administration seems to be colluding with politicians and union leaders in Madison. Former Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, now the chairman of the DNC, is gathering behind-the-scenes help from the White House’s political operation, Organizing for Obama, who got involved quietly Monday authorizing chapters to try to strategize other pro-union rallies in states like nearby Ohio.

Even former progressive president Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew the implications of public sector union overreach when he wrote at the height of the New Deal:

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management.

To be sure, public sector workers, whether they are unionized or not, are a very important part of our society. They support all citizens. In municipalities, towns and cities alike, they can be counted on to teach our children, to protect our streets and homes, to ensure families receive the necessary care and help that they need; they even collect our trash.

However, the bare truth is, the inordinate amount of unfunded liabilities associated with public sector unions like in Wisconsin and elswhere, cannot be sustained without necessary reforms.

Larry Kudlow explains:

Nationwide, state and local government unions have a 45 percent total-compensation advantage over their private-sector counterpart. With high-pay compensation and virtually no benefits co-pay, the politically arrogant unions are bankrupting America -- which by some estimates is suffering from $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Unions are not unlike a cartel. They eschew competition and subjugate the taxpayer's to unnecessary demands. A vicious circle follows. Public officials who generously compensate workers often receive votes, contributions and campaign assistance from those same employees and their union leaders. The taxpayer does not get such preferential treatment.

Posted by Kevin L. Lagola at February 18, 2011 9:28 PM
Comments
Comment #318821

The left loves to talk about Reagan busting the Air Traffic Controller’s union, but their strike was illegal. The strike taking place in WI, by any other name, is still a strike and it is an illegal strike. The Governor would be within the law to fire all who fail to show up for work. The teachers should also suffer the same fate. The democrat senators should be arrested and charges brought against them. The out-of-state union thugs and protesters should be placed on buses and sent back to their respective states. And the parents of the students who have no classes should bring their children home and not let them be used as pawns.

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 10:08 PM
Comment #318823

Kevin, not sure where you get your 3.6 billion budget gap but it seems the Guv is making stuff up, so perhaps that is the source?

“In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.
To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes — or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues — the “crisis” would not exist.”

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_61064e9a-27b0-5f28-b6d1-a57c8b2aaaf6.html

It seems Walker blew the balance by cutting taxes for special interests on the backs of the state workers. Seems he is using this excuse to bust up the teachers union.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2011 10:13 PM
Comment #318825

1776 such an authoritarian. Would you expect them out of state teabaggers coming in for Saturday to be on the same bus out of town or is that just for the other “thugs”.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2011 10:17 PM
Comment #318827

j2t2, thank you for the link from the Cap Times. I’m sure you consider it an unbiased link to fair and balanced material. You do know it is a progressive publication, don’t you?

By the way, 80% of the comments made by citizens on this posted article are in favor of busting the unions, and do not accept the article’s results. Meaning, your annalysis, based on this article is bull shit.

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 10:27 PM
Comment #318829

j2t2, yes I would, but I am sure they would not have to be their if the SEIU union thugs had not invaded first. I am a firm believer that this is WI’s business. Meaning, the voters of WI booted a democratic governor and a sitting US senator and gave the republicans control of the state government for a reason. This is surprising, since WI is a democratic stronghold, much like WV. If they voted for change, it is their business, and these republican politicians would not be worth their victory, if they failed to do what the voters wanted. If the voters don’t like them, they will suffer in 2012. But, what would the republicans be worth if they allowed a minority to persuade them from their goals?

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 10:36 PM
Comment #318830

The Senate Democrats of the State of Wis. are IMO a disgrace as well as the teachers who left their class rooms. If the private sector workers can share in the burden of pensions and H.C. so should the State and Federal workers. You cannot have collective bargaining if the employer is broke. The tax payers in every state cannot keep funding pensions and cadilac H.C. plans of state and federal workers. I applaud the Mich. Gov. who is only being paid $1.00, maybe some of our other well to do politicians should follow suit.

Posted by: KAP at February 18, 2011 10:39 PM
Comment #318831

Funny that Republicans screamed when Democrats wanted to change the contracts on Wall Street, but lead the way in changing the contravts of those who had nothing to do with creating the budget mess. No, Governor Walker should start by reducing his pay by 50%, paying for his own benefits, and stop living off the taxpayer dollar.

Yet, instead we see the Conservtive Media and Pundits want to blame the Public Worker for their Elected Officials failures. For I fail to see the difference between a contract made on Wall Street or Main Street except for the fact the contracts made on Wall Street paid for those losing money while Main Street required their people to be productive.

However, Walker did remind me of Mubarak in Egypt by trying to keep the State Police on his side. And with his father in charge I wonder when the Governor will call in those riding horses to break up the protest. For with the State Army on his side I am surprised we haven’t seen tanks rolling into the square of Madison.

And what makes matters worse is that Walker wants to give tax cuts to the Wealthy at the same time he takes away the number of viable customers they have in order to make a profit and pay more taxes. A real bright move in my opinion. For I’ll give you a dollar today, but prevent you from making $100.00 tomorrow. A point which Advertisers and Contribruters are still Ignorant about. For how many Public Workers will no longer be purchasing their products and services in this time where the market depends on the Consumer. All while Walker keeps making millions from both sides.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 18, 2011 10:46 PM
Comment #318833

So 1776, The issue is nothing more than are the statements made in the article whether it be progressive or not correct. Prove them wrong. In fact if you read the actual report from the fiscal bureau it confirms the facts in the article.
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf

“By the way, 80% of the comments made by citizens on this posted article are in favor of busting the unions, and do not accept the article’s results. Meaning, your annalysis, based on this article is bull shit.”

I am not sure what you are trying to convey 1776. Are you actually saying that the posted comments in the Cap Times are 80% in favor of union busting therefore the facts of the article are wrong? Please tell me you are not trying to say they can’t be factual because 80%, by your count, are against them, please tell me your not, because it makes your BS comment BS.

BTW, why is it you are against constitutionally protected freedoms such as redress of grievances and the right to peacefully assemble and protest as well as freedom of speech? Sounds kind of authoritarian to me.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2011 10:56 PM
Comment #318836

j2t2, the 80% who agree with what governor Walker is doing, shows us that 20% of the American voters are liberal, which polls also state.

These are not peaceful assemblies; they are chaotic, and have the potential to become violent.

I agree with KAP, the teachers are acting irresponsibly, by denying the students classroom time.

Henry, you do realize there is a difference between conservatives and republicans, don’t you? First, as a conservative, I have no problem with limiting the bonuses of WS CEO’s. Secondly, none of the CEO’s or WS types lost any bonuses and they continue to get their payments. This was nothing more than window dressing for obama. He never meant to restrict what WS earned. And facts will prove this to be true.

Posted by: 1776 at February 18, 2011 11:14 PM
Comment #318837

j2t2, if these people were to hang teabags from their hats, all would be right with the neocon world. And these groups aren’t even displaying weaponry.
Walker is nothing but an unseasoned little hard-nose, out to make a name for himself, thereby securing his boot-licking place among the other green office holders.
Union busting has not ever been taken kindly to by those rank and file employees who are members.

Posted by: jane doe at February 18, 2011 11:18 PM
Comment #318838
These are not peaceful assemblies; they are chaotic, and have the potential to become violent.
You’ve got to be kidding! Are you watching a special feed straight edited by Faux? Posted by: jane doe at February 18, 2011 11:21 PM
Comment #318839

“yes I would, but I am sure they would not have to be their if the SEIU union thugs had not invaded first.”

What difference does it make where these people are from, the money to bankroll the repubs election came from out of state as well. If the Governor is using falsehoods to break the unions it effects the unions in other states as well as this is a Koch bros funded attempt in several states to break the unions.

” I am a firm believer that this is WI’s business. Meaning, the voters of WI booted a democratic governor and a sitting US senator and gave the republicans control of the state government for a reason. This is surprising, since WI is a democratic stronghold, much like WV.”

No it goes back and forth look at the facts not your misconceptions 1776. The 98th legislature was split the 99th was majority democrat and the 100th is majority republican.

” If they voted for change, it is their business, and these republican politicians would not be worth their victory, if they failed to do what the voters wanted. If the voters don’t like them, they will suffer in 2012. But, what would the republicans be worth if they allowed a minority to persuade them from their goals?”

This is still a representative democracy just
because the repubs are in control now does not mean the entire 100 years of collective bargaining is all of a sudden moot. Did these newly elected majorities run on the promise of taking away collective bargaining rights from the teachers? I think not.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2011 11:21 PM
Comment #318844

They ran on the ticket of fixing the state economy, and in answer to your question: yes, they do have the right.

Obama and the democrats pushed card check, and the unions have spent their members dues on dem elections, so between the two, they have sealed the fate of unions in america. And the voters don’t care.

Posted by: 1776 at February 19, 2011 12:06 AM
Comment #318847

j2t2 wrote: “Kevin, not sure where you get your 3.6 billion budget gap but it seems the Guv is making stuff up, so perhaps that is the source?”

The $121.4 million dollar surplus at the beginning of Walker’s term, which btw, only just started a little over a month ago, is nothing but a Red Herring.

The budget gap is based on projections for 2013. But by any stretch of the imagination, one cannot reconcile a $121 million surplus with a $3.6 billion budget gap - the math does not work.

The $3.6 billion figure has been reported in the Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, Politico and nearly every other major news outlet.

The poitical meme that you reference is simply a diversionary tactic to change the tone of the argument…to delegitimize it. If the Governor’s numbers were that far off, he’d be run out of town on a rail, as old Mr. Potter would say.

At any rate, Obama has officially condoned lawbreaking by taking sides in a matter best left for the sovereign state of Wisconsin. Furthermore, the teachers who have taken part in a 3-day sickout are effectively striking which is illegal for public sector workers.

Indeed, there are literally millions of people who are well-qualified and are currently unemployed who would love to do that work. And they would love to have a piece of the pay and benefits package that Wisconsin public sector workers enjoy.


Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 19, 2011 1:15 AM
Comment #318848

Here’s a better summary of the budget story for Wisconsin than I could explain:

http://www.salon.com/news/budget_showdown/index.html?story=/tech/htww/2011/02/18/wisconsins_budget_woes_are_real

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 19, 2011 1:30 AM
Comment #318849

“the 80% who agree with what governor Walker is doing, shows us that 20% of the American voters are liberal, which polls also state”

which proves nothing 1776 except a profound lack of critical thinking skills on your part for thinking the facts are not the facts because 80% of those that responded, according to you, agreed with the Governor.

“These are not peaceful assemblies; they are chaotic, and have the potential to become violent.”

Oh please 1776 how do you expect to be taken seriously when after 3 days there has been no reported acts of violence. Perhaps you are referring to the tea baggers showing up on Saturday.

“I agree with KAP, the teachers are acting irresponsibly, by denying the students classroom time.”

What exactly would you and KAP do were you in the same boat guys? Say a government official decided to take away your ability to negotiate your salary for no apparent reason, and then cut your salaries and benefits after taking away your rights. I suppose you would meekly stay in the classroom or…. Say you approved of the feds cutting the big banks executives salaries right?

“With a $3.6 billion budget gap as a backdrop…”
It seems many have reported that number based upon Walker’s say so. The current deficit is $120mil. The next year deficit is based upon request from the different departments.

http://www.thegovmonitor.com/world_news/united_states/wisconsin-faces-136-7-million-budget-deficit-for-fy-2011-46037.html

Kevin still no reason to drop collective bargaining rights for the unions that did not support him in the election and leave these rights for the unions that did support him is it. Tax breaks are hardly logical if they anticipate a deficit of $3b after his first year in office.

“At any rate, Obama has officially condoned lawbreaking by taking sides in a matter best left for the sovereign state of Wisconsin.”

Good for him, it shows backbone.

“Indeed, there are literally millions of people who are well-qualified and are currently unemployed who would love to do that work.”

Well good why not hire’em to teach your kids if they are so qualified. Let them see what it is like.

“And they would love to have a piece of the pay and benefits package that Wisconsin public sector workers enjoy.”

Well they had better jump on it quick as it appears the Governor is taking it away.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 2:15 AM
Comment #318850

“It seems Walker blew the balance by cutting taxes for special interests on the backs of the state workers. Seems he is using this excuse to bust up the teachers union.”

Good. Excellent strategy. Tax breaks are people keeping the money they earned. Why would anyone want to pour their paycheck into Union thuggery and nonsense?

Posted by: rick g at February 19, 2011 4:35 AM
Comment #318851

Kevin,

According to the article you posted from Salon, the true fiscal problems of Wisconsin are attributable to the unfunded liabilities of Medicaid going forward. That is an entirely different issue than state and local employee benefits negotiated under collective bargaining agreements. The article further pointed out that any budgetary benefit to the state from reducing employee benefits would be miniscule relative to the unfunded liablilities of Medicaid. Union benefits are a red herring.

There will be a reckoning but it will not be because of union negotiatied benefits. It will be because of the extraordinary price pressures put on the US economy by skyrocketing health care costs.

Posted by: Rich at February 19, 2011 6:49 AM
Comment #318855

You give us weak tea. I give you the the true patriots of this country the working class.

Posted by: Jeff at February 19, 2011 9:37 AM
Comment #318856

J2T2, What would I do if I were in the same boat as the teachers are? Take the consessions and keep my job seeing how more then just Wis. is going broke. BTW, I don’t care for unions they were good once upon a time but not any more.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 10:51 AM
Comment #318859

1776,
Although you personally have no problem limiting Wall Street pay, it seems that the Conservative Media Pundits and Republicans do. For it wasn’t President Obama, but the Democratic Taxpayer who called for the bonus and pay to ne cut while we heard nothing from the Media about how not owning up to contracts made sent the wrong message.

Yet, today we hear these same pundits saying how bad it is for the Public Worker to stand up for their contracts. What makes the difference? Could it be the Media Pundits are being told what to say or risk losing their benefits and pay?

Nevertheless, the result of Walker and other Governers getting their way will be limiting the profits made by Corporations and Stockholders in State and on Wall Street. For by forcing the Publiv Workers to take pay cuts instead of tax cuts, increase payments to health insurance instead of investing into Personal Medical Savings Accounts, and limiting future contracts, the result will be the Public Worker will have less monet to spend on the products and services sold by all corporations. In fact, one could say Walker is looking to take $3.6 billion out of the state private economy since the Public Worker will no longer be seen purchasing homes, cars, and even the States Cheese. Not including the lost revenue in State Sales Tax.

Yes, why I would never say the people of Wisconsin should recall Walker and the General Assembly on grounds of causing a State Wide Protest; however, openly knowing that Gov Walker and the General Assembly can’t prove passing the bill will lead to a Better World for the Citizenry. I wonder how many Voters would sign a petition for recall now they see they are not getting what they voted for last November. Care to give odds?

Posted by: Henry Scglatman at February 19, 2011 11:15 AM
Comment #318861

If there’s one thing Republicans are good at doing these days, it’s congratulating themselves and taking a dump on everybody else.

The budget shortfall is strictly Walker’s fault. There is no heroism in forcing a budget crisis in order to put somebody else at a political disadvantage. This has echoes of what Enron did with California, and the consequences thereof, including the Recall of the previous governor and the fiscal crisis that came after billions in unneeded tax cuts.

Republicans pursue an ideological agenda, rather than building consensus for smaller government and less spending at the same time.

And there can only be one reason for that: they don’t think they can get people to agree to a shrunk government without forcing the issue by shrinking revenues.

Unfortunately, people still have constituencies to please, and consequences if they cut too deeply.

So what happens? Republicans run excessive deficits.

This behavior of deliberately forcing fiscal crises should put any doubt of their level of truly responsible behavior to rest. Republicans care more about achieving their agenda than governing and taking care of the nation they’ve been given stewardship of.

Don’t like that I’ve said that? Tough. The Republicans who whined about Rahm Emmanuel and his advice to never let a crisis go to waste are using America’s dire straits to try and stuff their agenda down everybody’s throats.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2011 12:28 PM
Comment #318863

“What would I do if I were in the same boat as the teachers are? Take the consessions and keep my job seeing how more then just Wis. is going broke.”

What Walker is doing is not only demanded concessions but taking away collective bargaining rights for the teachers and municipal workers of the state. How much does that save the state ?

I find it amazing that conservatives as a group defend the rights of CEO’s to exorbitant salaries yet begrudge the middle class worry folks who are the backbone of the country their due.

Have you heard the Governor insisting upon salary cuts for himself and the representatives in the Wisconsin legislature that equate to the loss to be born only by a select few in the state? Why are they not paying their own health care benefits? Seems this is more a political means to de-fund the opposition than it is to balance any budget.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 12:57 PM
Comment #318866

More states then just Wis. is going through problems. If the Govenors on down are not willing to take a hit on pay and benefits as everyone else is then IMO they should be booted out of office. Stephen, as far as your statement that the buget short fall is Walker’s fault, How long has he been in office? I don’t think quite enough time to create a shortfall. As far as collective bargaining goes How can you bargain if you don’t have the resources to bargain with?

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 1:26 PM
Comment #318868

Kevin

Waiting for my next radio contact and will respond later. But had a friendly jab. You said the dems went to Rockville, IL and it is in fact Rockford, IL. lol

Posted by: tom humes at February 19, 2011 1:51 PM
Comment #318870

“As far as collective bargaining goes How can you bargain if you don’t have the resources to bargain with?”

In much the same way the have been for years KAP. Many have been giving up raises, many have been taking pay cuts and many have been taking cuts in hours to keep more people working. The problem is the Governors of these state shave taken quite a bit of campaign money from Koch Brothers front groups and now have to pay it back politically by breaking the unions. Even though it doesn’t solve the financial problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 2:43 PM
Comment #318871

As should be in rough times J2T2. As far as Unions I have no love lost for them they did absolutely nothing for me when I was in them, I would rather work for a non union shop anytime. Incompetent people get in unions then employers can’t get rid of them as in some of the incompetent teachers.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 2:56 PM
Comment #318872

KAP, more on why Walker is going after the collective bargaining rights of the teachers union.

“According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign’s second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin. The Koch’s PAC also helped Walker via a familiar and much-used politicial maneuver designed to allow donors to skirt campaign finance limits. The PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker’s opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.”

Walker’s plan to eviscerate collective bargaining rights for public employees is right out of the Koch brothers’ playbook. Koch-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity,….

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

Saturday’s line-up included a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots, the movement’s largest umbrella group, and Americans for Prosperity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20110219/us-wisconsin-budget-unions/

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 3:00 PM
Comment #318873

J2T2, Personnally I don’t really give a rats behind who he got campaign contributions from if I were in his shoes I would try to bust the union to. Like I said I have no love for unions. As as the teachers and Dem. senators that skiped town I’d have 2 words for them “YOUR FIRED.”

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 3:18 PM
Comment #318874

“As far as Unions I have no love lost for them they did absolutely nothing for me when I was in them, I would rather work for a non union shop anytime.”

I was in a union many years ago for a short period of time. However as PM on many projects over the years I subcontracted union contractors and non union contractors as well as being subcontracted to both union and non union contractors. I have also been in situations where the other electrical contractor was non union and our sub was union, and vice versa. I am well acquainted with the ups and downs of both. However that doesn’t mean I want the government telling the union they can’t exist, they can’t have collective bargaining rights, because the government is having financial problems unrelated to the union. IMHO when you break the unions you break the middle class.

” Incompetent people get in unions then employers can’t get rid of them as in some of the incompetent teachers.”

Still no reason to allow government to arbitrarily deny collective bargaining rights. We live with incompetent leadership in both the public and private sectors.

Here is more on the Koch bros and why they are buying the governors office.

http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 3:22 PM
Comment #318875

Personnally I don’t really give a rats behind who he got campaign contributions from if I were in his shoes I would try to bust the union to. Like I said I have no love for unions. As as the teachers and Dem. senators that skiped town I’d have 2 words for them “YOUR FIRED.”

personal hatred towards them showing just a bit KAP? I find it hard to believe that you don’t have a problem with our elected representatives being bought. If it were Soros would that be a different story?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 3:26 PM
Comment #318877

J2T2, I’m sure Soro’s has a few politicians in his back pocket. Obama his self is a bought politician, just look at the exemptions he has given for the H.C. law and to guess who UNIONS.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #318879

Tom H. wrote: “the dems went to Rockville, IL and it is in fact Rockford, IL. lol”

Thanks for the correction. I fixed it.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 19, 2011 4:12 PM
Comment #318880

“just look at the exemptions he has given for the H.C. law and to guess who UNIONS.”

Such exaggerations KAP. Some unions and some companies have requested and received what was it 2 year exemptions yet to hear you one would think it was just unions and the exemptions were forever.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 19, 2011 4:44 PM
Comment #318882


The Republicans are making themselves perfectly clear. This in not about fiscal responsibility or deficits, this is about destroying unions. This is about castrating social spending if they can find the gonads to do it because there is quite a bit of risk involved. We just saw what $80 billion for Mubarak, billions more for the cronies, military leaders, the middle class and coke; and two dollars a day for the workers can get you.

This can all be laid at the feet of the Democratic Party. They have compromised the American workers for the corporate new world order third worldism and the Republicans are just trying to finish the job.

None of this, deregulation of the financial markets, the Bush tax cuts, the outsourcing of jobs and the insourcing of workers (increasing profits and adding to the debt), huge unfunded mandates, military and otherwise, huge deficits and debt, and an economic meltdown, Without the nearly full support and cooperation of the Democratic politicians.

So yes, in reality the Democrats are to blame.

The Republicans should let the minimum wage workers do the confronting. They should know who their enemies are considering the amounts the right has spent propagandizing them. I think it is essential to take out the unions before ending the government assistance for the minimum wage workers and the minimum wage; to avoid the possibility of them being confused by the socialists.

Posted by: jlw at February 19, 2011 6:01 PM
Comment #318884

I don’t understand the anti-union sentiment here. Are all the folks who hate unions on this site not employees or are you all employers? Are there bad unions and individuals who take advantage? Of course, but that goes for all things. Why not focus on just those people and have them removed or dock their pay/benefits?

All wage earners regardless of whether or not you belong to a union, are liberal or conservative, work in the public or private sector, benefit from unions.

Union negotiators set foundations for lowest possible wage and benefits they will accept as a group. This trickles into the private sector as well. If you are an employee in the private sector you probably enjoy at least two days off a week, have unemployment benefits in case your company downsizes, and would not be willing to accept a lowball wage offer from your employer. Do you really think your employer gives these to you because she or he is simply a nice person?

Let’s say that those who hate unions are successful at dissolving them all, how does that help anyone but the employers of this nation. I mean the end result of dissolving the unions will be that there will simply be fewer jobs with decent pay and benefits. This will reduce the leverage that any one employee has in the marketplace, regardless of whether they work in the public or private sector. It’s pretty hard to negotiate with a boss about salary/ benefits when he/she knows that there are few if any other jobs that offer anything better. This simply puts all the power in the hands of the employers and the race to the bottom can begin. Unions prevent any one individual from undercutting one another which is really a good thing for all employees. For those of you on this thread that think that unions should go, how would you feel if another one of your lower level coworkers, assuming they are competent individuals, decided to do your job for half of what you are currently being paid. Or they decided to work a seven day work week because they will do anything to gain favor with the boss. Do you think your boss wouldn’t think twice about asking whether or not you are willing to take a big paycut or sacrifice your weekend because he knows he has someone who will do it? If you think this can’t happen it already is. I mean many companies are sending a ton of jobs overseas simply for cheap labor.

Destroying the few remaining unions in this country will simply accelerate this process and lower the wage and benefits for all employees.

Posted by: John at February 19, 2011 6:03 PM
Comment #318886

KAP-
What? If you deliberately grant tax breaks then say you’re out of money, then it’s your fault. What is it about me asking you to hold Republicans accountable that always has you reaching for an equivalence or an equivocation?

As for collective bargaining, when labor is a commodity, when a person cannot make their employer acknowledge them as an individual asset, when one worker is as good as another, collective bargaining makes perfect sense. If you are a collective resource in the eyes of your employer, not an individually valuable worker, unions are necessary to properly set the market price for labor. Otherwise, manufacturers and other managers can set wages and benefits far too low for people to make it worth their while.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #318888

If it takes destroying unions to get the end result of being fiscally responsible so be it. I’ve worked both sides Union and Non Union and to be Honest I prefer the Non Union. Granted Unions were good in their time but most employers know now that if they want good skilled people wages and benefits are going to be their selling point and retention point. The place I retired from was a Non Union shop which had branches world wide they paid a decent wage and had decent benefits and raises were performance based unlike Union shops. Why should a substandard worker get the same raise as an above average worker? You all can praise Unions all you want, me I want no part of them.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 7:01 PM
Comment #318889

Stephen, How long do you think it will take the jobs from Ill. to migrate to Wis. where they just got a tax break? How many of those people from Ill. will move with the job to Wis.? I wouldn’t doubt if Gov. Walkers isn’t trying to intice those manufacturing jobs into Wis.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 7:23 PM
Comment #318892

“Democrats offered again Saturday to agree to the parts of Walker’s proposal that would double workers’ health insurance contributions and require them to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pensions, so long as workers retained their rights to negotiate with the state as a union.” The offer was rejected. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41664858/ns/us_news-life

This is nothing about fiscal issues, it is about taking away the right of an employee to organize and to negotiate the conditions of employment. The unions have made fiscal cut concessions. I thought that was the issue. It was negotiated.

Some have said that non-union shops have equivalent wages and benefits, so what’s the big deal. Well, in the absence of the threat of employee organization and negotiating rights, does anyone think that employers would not exploit that fact to the detriment of the general fungible employee, particularly in a high unemployment recessionary environment?

Posted by: Rich at February 19, 2011 7:49 PM
Comment #318893

Rich, Not if they are interrested in making quality products. Most want people who will help the co. grow and prosper that’s why they get rid of the slugs who just want tocollect a pay check.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 8:04 PM
Comment #318894

The end of Western civilization does not depend on one bill that the Wisconsin legislature is proposing. The monetary concessions are more than fair, and by any stretch of the imagination, the proposed changes are still far less than most public sector unions, as well as those of workers in the private sector are burdened with.

What about workers in the South? They generally are all ‘right-to-work’ states. Their world has not ended, nor did their society crumble.

The hyperbole is getting old. There is no such “assault on unions,” as Obama has suggested, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has screamed and Jesse Jackson has intoned. The budget repair bill is a way to ensure future structural deficits are kept in balance. Projected pension and health costs are currently prohibitive without tweaking them - that’s just a fact. Nearly Every state is facing similar problems; it’s a microcosm of the Federal Deficit and debt problem.

This is an overpoliticization of a battleground state in which Obama carried in 2008. And now, after the mid term elections of 2010, the Democratic stronghold that was once Wisconsin has all but vanished.

Obama and the unions must hold the Mid West (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri).

As once a member for 14 years of a major union, an elected union official (short stint) and then a salaried member working along with that same union, I can only offer my own humble opinion. Collective bargaining takes eons, and in the short-term, employers, or in this case, taxpayers, lose out because of unnecessary feet-dragging, archaic and inflexible work rules and plain ‘ole bullying with the ever-present threat of a strike if demands are not met.

Finally, the public sector unions in Wisconsin will not ‘go away.’ They will still exist; however, the ability of the government to ensure the people’s business is being done in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner, will be allowed without cartel-like tactics being imposed on the customer (taxpayers).

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 19, 2011 8:22 PM
Comment #318895

Kap states:

Stephen, How long do you think it will take the jobs from Ill. to migrate to Wis. where they just got a tax break?

I live in Illinois in a suburb outside Chicago. I can tell you that most businesses are not going to leave the city of Chicago to go to Sheboygan or Green Bay. Just saying.

For the sake of argument however, let’s say that manufacturing jobs do migrate to Wisconsin from Illinois. Well, the governor is on the precipice of getting rid of the unions in Wisconsin, so all the people working in these manufacturing plants will no longer have as good of a salary and will have reduced benefits. In response these workers will tend to save as much money as they can and not spend any extra cash at some of the cool businessess in downtown Madison. The businesses in downtown Madison will no longer be able to stay afloat because its residents can no longer afford to shop at their stores and voila, Gov. Walker just turned the great city of Madison into the new Gary, Indiana. Way to go governor!

Posted by: John at February 19, 2011 8:39 PM
Comment #318896

John, That’s what people thought here in the rust belt when a lot of manufacturing jobs left. Now people can’t afford to shop here. Cleveland went from a population of almost 1 million in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s to now a population of 400,000. People go where the work is and the economy of that area adjusts. So don’t be surprised if one day you see a manufacturing co. pack up and give their employees 2 wks notice of moving. It happened to me.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 8:52 PM
Comment #318897

Besides John most Co.’s when they move to a different area pay the average hourly wage for what ever skilled or unskilled labor is for that area. Then again they still have to pay min. wage.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 9:01 PM
Comment #318898

KAP, I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. I find it sad and it makes me even more angry.

The solution cannot be that the population has to give into whatever big businesses and corporations want, however. For example, I propose that any corporation that employs more than 10% of it’s workforce from overseas cannot sell any products in this country. Period. If they want the benefit of cheap labor than they can only sell to the population in which they hire. Too tough for them, too bad. It’s the cost you pay when you want to do business with, and live in, the greatest country on earth. I have a feeling that when they figure out that no one in these countries can afford what they’re selling, they will be begging to come back in and hire American workers. When they do their profits will explode because more people will be able to afford their product and everybody’s happy.

I’m sorry, but it’s time the American worker stands up and takes charge for awhile. The corporations have been behind the wheel for quite some time now, and I’m sorry to say, have left many of the citizens of this great nation in sad shape.

Posted by: John at February 19, 2011 9:17 PM
Comment #318900

John, The reason why Co.s left was corporate taxes were ridiculous and employee wages were going through the roof. Most of the co’s went down to the southern states where they weren’t taxed to death and people worked for reasonable wages. I believe everyone should pay their fair share and not lay the burden of taxes on one certain class even though that class could afford to pay more. If we want job growth politicians need to start looking at the tax structure especially in states like mine, yours and a few others. Also we have to start looking at how we pay local, state and federal employees and what benefits they recieve and if they are contributing to their H.C. and retirement funds. They cannot be all laid upon the tax payers in the private sector.

Posted by: KAP at February 19, 2011 9:55 PM
Comment #318905


Then they moved to China and other places where workers work for even more reasonable wages, like two dollars a day. What is the tax rate in China?

Think of all those southern textile workers who lost their jobs because of high taxes and unreasonable wages.

What will happen when all the workers in the world demand unreasonable wages?

I guess the Republicans and tea party people will be doing all the work then since they will be the only ones willing to work for a reasonable wage and aren’t to lazy to work hard for that reasonable wage.

Posted by: jlw at February 20, 2011 1:51 AM
Comment #318906

jlw states:

guess the Republicans and tea party people will be doing all the work then since they will be the only ones willing to work for a reasonable wage and aren’t to lazy to work hard for that reasonable wage.

OK. Well many employers and I simply consider a reasonable wage to be $5 per hour. Disagree with us? Go get your union buds to negotiate something better. Oh, I forgot, you gave that up. Let me change my reasonable wage to $3.00 an hour then. Oh, and did I mention that you can have 1.5 sick days a year? I’ll also even throw in $100 per year towards your health insurance AND will give you another $100 per year towards your retirement. C’mon you can’t beat that deal. If you can’t afford it, I have a few people that can. Now please stop complaining and get back to work. You only got ten hours left to go. BTW you need to come in this Saturday and Sunday cause we’re backed up.

Posted by: Johm at February 20, 2011 4:54 AM
Comment #318907

Sorry, jlw, if you were being sarcastic in previous post. My response was geared more to the fact that if you give up workers rights to negotiate, then you also, as a worker, give up your right to define what “reasonable” means.

Posted by: John at February 20, 2011 5:25 AM
Comment #318908

KAP states:
Also we have to start looking at how we pay local, state and federal employees and what benefits they recieve and if they are contributing to their H.C. and retirement funds. They cannot be all laid upon the tax payers in the private sector.

KAP I can assure you that as a public school teacher H.C and retirement funds are not ALL laid at the the feet of the taxpayer. If you would ever like to see my check you will see that a significant portion is taken out to pay for my retirement and health care. BTW, as a teacher, I am also a taxpayer.

Additionally, on a daily basis, I see really smart people who are extremely hard working, doing their jobs because they want to make a difference. These people could easily get jobs in the private sector and make more money. Every one of my colleagues has at least a Masters degree and many are earning certification and hours beyond that. Again, they choose to work in the public sector and work in schools because they are dedicated professionals. They are not asking for a ton of money or make out of this world requests. They simply want a basic life in which they can teach, raise their own children right, and have a livable retirement.

With that being said, do these tea party activists/republicans even realize what a great deal they are getting with public education? I mean, a relatively inexpensive education, conducted by professionals who are really caring people and who don’t ask for that much. I don’t know if you have ever checked how much private education costs, but where I live a private elementary school costs $8,000 a year. Also, all public teachers are required to have certification in all grade levels and subjects they teach. This is not required by private schools, so when you send a child to a public school you will at least know the teachers at that school have been certified to teach that grade level/class. Are there some bad teachers? Of course! But to be honest, there just are a lot fewer of them than in the past. This is simply due to the amount of education and certifications that are now required. People who are lazy are not going to go through all of the courses and hard work that is now required. They especially wouldn’t make it though the student teaching phase of their undergraduate degree, which can be rigorous experience and is unpaid. This is a good thing! Teachers do not want any lazy people representing them either. Just like in any other profession. It makes me sad every now and then when I hear a fellow teacher say that all they want is to have a society show them just a modicum of respect. What saddens me the most is that some of the best teachers I worked with became disillusioned after a few years and left simply because they felt that the profession was no longer respected. I tend to disagree with this, and belief that when push comes to shove most people respect the profession, but sometimes tend to take their frustration and anger out on people who really had nothing to do with the current woes of this country.

I guess I just don’t understand how tea partiers/republicans really think that the problem with this country are teachers and public employees. I mean is this really the new republican party, or have they been hijacked by a few wealthy donors to say things that would not make sense to most reasonable republicans?

Posted by: John at February 20, 2011 6:49 AM
Comment #318911

John-
Forget moving them to Illinois. If the commentor at this link is right, Walker is willing to pay millions to a company that will essentially create jobs in India rather than Wisconsin at greater expense.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 20, 2011 11:40 AM
Comment #318914

Weather permitting, myself and a few friends will be heading up to Madison tomorrow to join the protesters. I am only a few hours south. This was never a true fiscal matter. It is exactly as others have stated, an excuse to break the backs of unions. This governor has declared war on the rights of individuals to have a voice for their right to parity within the work place. This is part of a larger effort to remove the voice of the working classes from the legislative process. Without the unions none of us would have the means to collectively lobby congress. I am befuddled as to why it is alright for corporate entities to have organized access, but not for the working man to enjoy that same convenience. Are the concerns of the working man not as valuable a commodity as those of more influential status? As far as I am concerned this event is the best thing that has happened to unions in decades. It will bring to light exactly why we need them and who the real enemy is.

Posted by: RickIl at February 20, 2011 12:16 PM
Comment #318919

Thanks for the link Stephen. Unbelievable.

Rick, I couldn’t agree more that this protest is a good thing for unions. It really shows the difference between the middle class and the corporate elite. They finally went too far and exposed themselves for who they really are. I thought the collapse of wall street, the bailout in which some still took multimillion bonuses, and the fact that they held thousands of Americans hostage with the threat that they would not agree to distribute unemployment benefits until they got their tax cuts would have done it earlier but, oh well. Good luck in Madison!

Posted by: Joihn at February 20, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #318923

If you like what Gov. Scott Walker is doing, support him with this petition here.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 20, 2011 3:02 PM
Comment #318924

As a former union member, supervisor and manager, I can tell you unequivocally that this sort of behavior is egregious, unethical, and in many instances, illegal, although it would be very difficult to prove.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at February 20, 2011 3:09 PM
Comment #318925

Rick Il, thanks for joining in support!
As a former State employee and union representative, this idiot governor has found the boiling level of my blood. We represented eight different classifications of employees including law enforcement and prison guards. But it was usually the lowest ranking employee who was targeted with demands for cuts. The clerks who barely made ends meet each month, single moms with never enough sick time to care for sick babies. D.M.V. was the most targeted agency because of its’ revenue-generating status. Rolling strikes were most effective back then, and not that hard to get going.
I hope this dumb-ass thinks about a few things in case his wife or child becomes ill and needs the care of one of those givers, or has a house fire and looks for a fireman to show up fast….or needs a trained tech. who also works the jaws of life. All you critics might want to remember about the “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” thing……………

Posted by: jane doe at February 20, 2011 3:32 PM
Comment #318926

Janedoe, It is the least I can do. I am retired state now, but was also a union steward for many years. I sat in on many negotiation teams. It is tedious, complicated and often frustrating work. One thing that really bothers me about all this is that people act as though public employee unions show up, make a few demands and all is done. The other side in our instance had $500.00 an hour contract lawyers who never made it easy. It took us a few decades to finally get within reach of the equivalent private sector wages and benny packages. What is really sad is that the creeps who are responsible for bankrupting this country are also the ones who have somehow managed to turn working class brother against brother. They have managed to remove focus off themselves by building the notion that we should be working against each other to insure that we are all equally poor. Imo, all in the interest of perpetuating a dominant class that can effectively oppress those below by disallowing them any say in the process. If this trend continues and is effective we will have regressed decades from a working mans standpoint. I will do my part to make my voice heard in the interest of insuring that it always has the right to speak and demand that someone is listening.

Posted by: RickIl at February 20, 2011 4:33 PM
Comment #318927

John, Thanks for the good wishes. Isn’t it just so sad that a particular class of people has been granted exclusive rights to bear no accountability in our economic quandary. We get to cover the cost of their inadequacies while they enjoy the good life and the rest of us get to fight against each other for whatever morsels they choose to throw our way. They have reduced us to little more than feeding pigeons at the park.

Posted by: RickIl at February 20, 2011 4:51 PM
Comment #318928

Rick,

You could not have said it better. The goal is to turn working middle class people against each other so that it removes focus from the real problem. Which is why some of the posts on this thread drive me crazy. It is time to stand together-republicans and democrats against these people who at the current time are hijacking the republicans economic platform. I mean democrats are also being used by these people as well, just not in as big of numbers YET!

One example-Privatize social security. I even hear middle class republicans saying how great that would be. Do they not realize that the idea is brought to the table by small numbers of millionaires and billionaires who really don’t even have to think about retirement security. Also, they can weather any economic storm that may arrive when they are about to “retire”. The average republican and democrat simply cannot risk putting all of their retirement saving in the stock market because one big hit and it’s gone. Both middle class republicans and democrats benefit from SS. However you have many people who really believe that if it is good for the extremely wealthy than it must be good for them. The sad part is, is that nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by: John at February 20, 2011 5:09 PM
Comment #318930

John, I hear ya. The fact that the markets are doing so well again so fast gives me pause. It makes me wonder just how gullible people really are to place all their trust in an entity that only a short few years ago played such a huge role in bankrupting millions, many just on the verge of retirement. Yet those who pull the strings in the money world would like us to believe that our money is safe with them. All the while their right wing puppets are calling for further deregulation of financial policies. It is a strange and rapidly changing world we live in. The only solace I can find is that if we go down, then surely it will have some negative effect on those who would gladly let us free fall for their personal gain. I doubt it though, as you say they have positioned themselves well withing the world markets. If one fails they are hedged by another.

Posted by: RickIl at February 20, 2011 5:24 PM
Comment #318940

As a 36 year member of the IAM/AFL-CIO and a current inactive member, I find union leadership a disgusting bunch of crooks. The leadership certainly don’t have to worry about loosing their own benefits. They are locked in for life. I wouldn’t mind seeing all the unions busted; their leadership is as crooked as any politician. I HATED my dues going to support political parties who were in complete disagreement with my own views. I support Governor Walker completely.

Posted by: Beretta9 at February 20, 2011 9:35 PM
Comment #318942

It seems some of our representatives have it in perspective.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/20/diane-russel-maine-wisconsin-protests_n_825763.html

Diane Russel has set up a site to contribute to those on the front lines of Walkers assault on the working class.

http://solidaritywisconsin.wordpress.com/

Posted by: j2t2 at February 20, 2011 10:41 PM
Comment #318946

If the protesters, instead of occupying squares, occupied roads with their cars and bodies, then they could shut down the entire city of Madison, perhaps a co-ordinated effort could be made to block all major arteries into and out of town, snarl business as usual. The government may not listen to people shutting down the town square or town hall anymore, but if you shut down the veins of commerce, well, someone might listen.

Posted by: Atlanta Roofing at February 21, 2011 12:40 AM
Comment #318948

This guy’s a real sweetheart……NOT
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/02/19/wisconsin-governor-scott-walkers-tale-of-a-suckers-choice/

Posted by: jane doe at February 21, 2011 2:00 AM
Comment #318951

An interesting and little reported twist on Walker’s proposal to eliminate collective organizing and bargaining rights for public employees is the exemption in his bill for some of the most powerful public employee unions: fire, police and other public safety unions.

The fiscal necessity argument of Walker is belied by the fact that police, fire and other public safety employees have some of the highest benefit packages in Wisconsin. Why were they exempted?

Posted by: Rich at February 21, 2011 8:13 AM
Comment #318952

As a 20 year member of AFL-CIO-CLC I seen people like beretta. They thought buy being anti-union they could curry favor with the company but it seldom worked because they look at it as if they would sell out the union to advance in the company then as an employee they would do the same to they company. The result was a pariah shunned by the union unwanted by the company.

Posted by: Jeff at February 21, 2011 10:54 AM
Comment #318957

“Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

FDR, 8/16/37

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 12:04 PM
Comment #318959

Collective bargaining between public unions and politicians/bureaucrats inherently favors the unions, because the politicians are not spending their own money, and depend on unions for votes. I think a reasonable compromise would be to allow the collective bargaining to remain, but with the caveat that the proposed agreement has to go to the voters for approval. You would then get the true public opinion as to whether the general public thought the salary and benefit package was reasonable.

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at February 21, 2011 12:42 PM
Comment #318962

Not a bad suggestion Mike, but I’m not sure just how reasonably it could be presented to the voting public for consideration. Also, that voting public would be only a small bloc of the units being represented, some of which have distinctive needs. General education could/would be both costly and time restricted. Kind of goes to that old adage….”walk a mile in my shoes.” Our 12 units we represented were greatly diverse….from prison guards to chemists to vocational instructors, and many in between.

Posted by: jane doe at February 21, 2011 1:25 PM
Comment #318963

The progressives are alive and well in Madison. This is a political maneuver to get votes by the progressives. Those state senators who walked off the job should be fired by the people of WI immediately. If you walked off the job like they have you would be looking for someplace else to make a fool of yourself.

Here is a sample of what a Milwaukee teacher is faced with. At a March 2, 2010 meeting of the Milwaukee School Board, Deb Wegner, Manager of Financial Planning in that city, revealed that the 2011 average annual salary for a teacher there would be maintained at the 2010 level—of $56,500. When benefits are factored in? Teachers total compensation was projected to rise—from $95,316 to $100,005.

What hardship. Terrible. Watta we gonna do.

Average median income in Milwaukee from 2006-2008, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau? Just over $19,000.

Let me add that I truly believe that we are seeing only a small fraction of teachers.

What we saw were leeches of the public trough. The people of WI are paying their salaries and all they can do is moan. What a bunch of greedy cry babies.

The unions have outlived their usefulness. When the Reuther brothers and their socialist friends ran the unions there were thugs beating up non-union people. Today it has not changed.

Posted by: tom humes at February 21, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #318965

Beretta states:

I HATED my dues going to support political parties who were in complete disagreement with my own views.


Beretta: Please make sure I understand this correctly. You said that you were a union member for thirty six years. During all that you were angry but you must have had some benefits from being in the union, otherwise you would have quit. I mean just the fact that you were employed for that many years kinda hints at the idea that the union had its advantages. Also, did you not take any weekends at all, or did you work for 13,104 consecutive days? I mean having a couple days off every now and then is kind of a union idea.

So basically during all this time you enjoyed benefits from the union, but wanted the union to support candidates that would have gladly stripped you of these very same benefits. And this makes sense in what universe?


I mean this really has nothing to do with social views. You and I may disagree on every social issue, but we should clearly be on the same team when it comes to economic issues. I mean has the right wing convinced you that other working people, just like yourself, are your enemy? If the right wing has convinced you of that than this country is in real trouble. I mean the very people who probably would have gotten rid of you and all your union co-workers thirty-five years ago because you cost too much money, and asked for too many benefits, will now be in charge. And this makes you happy?? I just hope that you are not collecting a pension because that would be just too bizarre for anyone to comprehend.

Posted by: John at February 21, 2011 1:57 PM
Comment #318966

I watched a news clip on NBC a few days ago which featured a husband and wife who were both Wisconsin teachers. The wife lamented the fact that the proposed increases in health care and pension participation would cost each of them $600 per month. That would indicate a salary package of around $90+ thousand per year for each of them.

What surprised me was that this teacher said with such drastic cuts to take home pay she would have to quit and find another job. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

A few years ago the dems in the Texas Legislature walked out and holed up in Oklahoma. These “killer bees” vowed not to return until they got their way. Governor Perry simply cancelled their state credit cards which were being used to pay for their vacation. They quickly returned and got back to doing state business.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 1:59 PM
Comment #318967

My brother-in-law has lived in Wisconsin all his life. In his 20’s he joined the Electrical Workers Union and paid into his pension fund for about 20 years before quitting to work for the state. When he retired, he was refused any pension benefits by the union because he worked for the state.

In the past five years he has had his state pension reduced three times. First he got screwed by the union and now he is being screwed by the state. He had a defined pension benefit but that meant nothing to the dems when they controlled the Wisconsin state legislature.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 2:10 PM
Comment #318968

Good point Mike in Tampa, I’ll go one more IMO all pay raises to public officials from the POTUS on down to the local town hall should be put to the public for a vote, they are in fact working for the public.

Posted by: KAP at February 21, 2011 2:10 PM
Comment #318972

I watched a news clip on NBC a few days ago which featured a husband and wife who were both Wisconsin teachers. The wife lamented the fact that the proposed increases in health care and pension participation would cost each of them $600 per month. That would indicate a salary package of around $90+ thousand per year for each of them.

That’s great news, Royal. Good for them! I hope more and more people make this kind of money, public or private. That means that I have more leverage in my own job to possibly ask for a wage increase, or increased benefits. If they say no way, than at least I know there is a possibility of a job being out there that might pay a pretty good wage. I was getting scared because I don’t think my negotiation tactic of threatening to leave to become a greeter at Wal-Mart was going to have much of an effect on my employer.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 2:42 PM
Comment #318974

You’re very welcome T. I appreciate your humor.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 2:48 PM
Comment #318977

Thanks for your comment as well. There has to be some levity every now and then.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 3:06 PM
Comment #318981

A bit more levity Royal:

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan— that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to babysit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET’S SEE….
That’s $585 X 180= $105,300
per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the teachers with Master’s degrees?

Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is! The average teacher’s salary(nationwide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days= $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student—a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) What a deal!

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 3:35 PM
Comment #318982

T, my wife is a retired educational diagnostician with a Masters degree here in Texas. For $90 grand a year she would come out of retirement and work just as hard as before she retired. It has been nine years since retired Texas teachers have had an increase in their retirement annuity.

Certainly, it would be nice if retired Texas teachers could receive even a cost of living increase. And, we know that sacrifice must be made and we’ll do our part.

I’m quite confident that the taxpayers in Wisconsin would love to have the chance to vote on the plan you outlined above.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 3:51 PM
Comment #318985

Royal,

It’s good to hear from someone who really knows what it’s like in the education field. I just wish more people like you were the voice I heard coming from the leaders of the republican party.

It is a shame that your wife has not had a cost of living increase in nine years. It almost feels like educators are being attacked for something they had nothing to do with.

It is also good to hear that your wife would come out of retirement and work just as hard as she always has. Anyone who knows an educator personally, knows that most of them would give the shirt off their back to help kids.

I guess that is why I support the teachers in Madison who are trying hard to make sure that people, like your wife, and others will not be thought of as a burden on society when nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 4:05 PM
Comment #318987

Jane Doe: I think you misunderstand my intent. I doubt the general public would be so kind. Example: the police in Tampa are some of the best paid in the state. A couple of years ago, the mayor and police came to an impasse in salary/benefit negotiations, so the contract went to city council. The council caved, because they depend on union endorsements for re-election. I doubt that the voters would have had as much sympathy. I know I didn’t. I think the police here do a great job, but there is a limit as to what the service is worth. As one of the higher paid forces in the state, I don’t think that we would have much problem filling the positions. My personal belief is that unions should not be available to employees in public positions. The only way I think that this should be allowed is if the voting public gets and up/down vote on the salaries and benefits. And I don’t think that polititions serve as a reasonable proxy for public approval, because they are boght and sold (by unions, as well as business).

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at February 21, 2011 4:16 PM
Comment #318988

T: My (private) school teacher wife will appreciate your math! (Of course her base salary is more at the upper end of $30k, not $50k, and 401 K, not defined benefit pension, so her babysitting duties are quite competitive. Thats propbably why she’s always so busy.)

Posted by: Mike in Tampa at February 21, 2011 4:21 PM
Comment #318993

Mike from Tampa,

Sorry to jump in, but it is an interesting proposition.

I don’t know if the general public would not be kind to the salaries of police officers. I guess it depends on when the vote happens. For example, if two young police officers who have two young children of their own, are gunned down trying to help stop a carjacking or bank robbery in a community days before the vote, it could easily remind people of why they pay them the salary they do, and could potentially increase their salaries even beyond what they could have negotiated with a union contract.

On the other hand, if there is very little crime weeks before the vote, than people might forget how vital a good police force can be and begin thinking about rejecting any wage increase and reduce their benefits. This may limit the amount of skilled, professional people who would want to submit an application for the force. I mean as a candidate, my choices would be lower salaries when things are slow or possibly a higher salary, but end up in the morgue. It is difficult to determine what would happen, but it is definitely interesting.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 4:50 PM
Comment #318994

I guess that is why I support the teachers in Madison who are trying hard to make sure that people, like your wife, and others will not be thought of as a burden on society when nothing could be further from the truth.
Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 04:05 PM

I support teachers all over the nation along with all the other public service employees. And, I recognize who pays their salaries and benefits…the taxpayer. In my wife’s case, their annuity fund is the largest (I believe) in the nation and we have worked hard to keep the politicians, from both parties in Texas, from breaking into that tempting piggy-bank. The hundreds of billions of funds are invested, of course, and it lost a lot of money when Enron failed. It has since recovered significantly, thru wiser management, but not enough to satisfy the legal requirements of the fund to increase the annuity benefit.

Texas retired teachers understand that the funds in the annuity can not be over spent or it will not be there for teachers retiring in the future. This is reasonable and responsible. Unlike some state legislatures or our national government, we understand living within your means. It makes no sense to kill the goose to get the golden eggs today, rather than keeping the goose alive to keep laying those eggs forever.

The only way at the present to get a benefit increase is for the legislature to allocate more taxpayer funds and that just isn’t in the cards. I don’t expect Texas taxpayers (ourselves included) to sacrifice more than she is. So, when times are better the TRTA (Texas Retired Teachers Association) will ask for an increase that may or may not be met.

We recognize, as must those in Wisconsin, that it is the taxpayers of the state who pay those salaries and benefits. I have never met a teacher yet who said they went into education for the money. Yet, they expect and deserve to be well paid when it can be afforded. Right now, there are many things states can not afford. We must just live with it. That Wisconsin teachers have jobs is a step up over many of their fellow citizens who are making even more sacrifices to pay the taxes needed to pay the salaries and benefits.


Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 5:04 PM
Comment #318995

Mike-

I’m sure as a teacher your wife is busy. Especially now. It’s too bad that her pay has to be that competitive, I mean she has a college education and I’m sure she works very hard.

This is why I really do support the teachers unions in Madison who are trying to, at least, hold on to collective bargaining agreements.

Teaching in a private school can be challenging just due to basic financial pressures. There are also some benefits, however, like more parent involvement and less unruly students. (I bet your wife would probably roll her eyes at that one:)) However, I think the public unions that are fighting for wages are a good thing. Your wife may never leave private education, but it’s nice to know that if things ever got too difficult financially, that there may be a teaching position in a public school that can pay a bit more and provide a bit more security. At the very least a choice could be made that best suits your family’s needs. But if the unions get rolled than the choice will cease to exist.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 5:16 PM
Comment #318996

In the past 8 or 10 years, my county and city have floated bonds for a new jail, new courthouse and new schools. Bonds require voter approval and some were approved while others were not. The vote usually centered around need and cost. In some cases the voters were not convinced of need and rejected the bond. In other cases, voters acknowledged the need but demanded lower cost and the bond was approved with revised plans at lower cost.

This is the way it should work. Those who foot the bills should decide the need and cost.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 5:21 PM
Comment #318999

Royal,

I agree with you 100%. The taxpayers pay the teachers salaries. When you state: The only way at the present to get a benefit increase is for the legislature to allocate more taxpayer funds and that just isn’t in the cards. This saddens me.

What I don’t understand is the republicans and democrats complete and utter refusal to raise taxes on the wealthiest among us. I mean if your wife and the others in the annuity got an increase, where would you guys spend it? I’m assuming at least some of it would get spent directly into your community. However, when we give tax breaks to the wealthiest among us where do they tend to put it? Swis Bank Accounts. I mean if I was wealthy that is exactly what I would do until the recession eased a bit. I’m definitely not going to hire more employees at this time. I know the argument is that those are the people that create jobs and we do not want to propose an unfair burden on them. However, we have consistently given them everything they have wanted for the past 25 years (Tax cuts, less regulation) Well, it seems that they have returned our favor by shipping many jobs overseas and have had their tax savings invested in European banks.

At the same time, some republicans and again a few democrats, argue that SS needs to be privatized (more risk for the average investor) and unemployment benefits are a waste. I just don’t understand the thinking. Most of the elderly people in my community take their SS checks and spend it right here in our community, which helps our businesses. Thanks to unemployment benefits those who may have lost their jobs did not also lose their homes. This helped our community because there were fewer foreclosure signs up which help our community’s real estate value and businesses. Yet almost every republican voted against unemployment extensions unless tax cuts were again given to the wealthiest among us. I guess I just don’t understand the reasoning.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 5:51 PM
Comment #319001

One very important thing that is not considered. My daughter in law is a teacher in the summer she has to attend school to keep her accreditation at her own expense. And after leaving school her student loans are close to 100k.

Posted by: Jeff at February 21, 2011 6:10 PM
Comment #319006

T, Texas doesn’t have a state income tax and I applaud that. So, it’s not so simple to “soak” the rich here, not that I would if we could. One of the reasons Texas attracts so many employers is that they don’t punish them with unnecessary regulations and high taxation.

I have lived in states with both a state income tax and high sales tax. And, I paid more in property taxes in those states. Frankly, life in Texas, under our government, is good compared to those other states I lived in.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 6:40 PM
Comment #319008

RF I have family in texas they don’t paint the rosy picture that you do.

Posted by: Jeff at February 21, 2011 7:09 PM
Comment #319010

Jeff, sorry to hear about your family. I have no idea in what other states they may have lived to be able to compare or what their complaint is. For me, Texas is best. It is not a state that competes to have the best welfare benefits. It is adequate, but not generous.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 7:40 PM
Comment #319011

Royal,

I don’t want to soak the rich either, but when the rubber meets the road and I have to make a choice as to wheter or not to ask the wealthy to pay slightly more in taxes. I will. I mean all of us our sacrificing during this recession but somehow they are immune?

Anyway,I really don’t think asking them to pay a slight increase in taxes is such a sacrifice, considering that most of the men and women who have died fighting for this country were middle and lower income citizens. I guess if the wealthy want to, they could volunteer to go in their place, but I highly doubt that would happen. Actually that’s not a bad idea. Seeing that the ultra wealthy benefit the most from the things this country has to offer, shouldn’t they be the first ones to go and protect it? I mean, after all, they have much more to lose than me or you.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 7:49 PM
Comment #319012


I never thought I would live to see the day, conservatives calling for democracy.

Should we let the taxpayers decide on corporate personhood, corporate lobbyists and corporate contributions to politicians?

How about the Iraq War? Should that have been put to the vote of the taxpayers.

I’ll take my chances with democracy. How about it conservatives, you willing to chance it with your 80% to 20% advantage?

When the workers turn on the workers, all workers will end up in the same bottomless boat doggy paddling our way to the third world.

Do conservative workers think they will be safe when the voice of labor is silenced?

Tom humes said: “Average median income in Milwaukee from 2006-2008, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau? Just over $19,000.

Yea, everyone in Milwaukee except the teachers makes the minimum wage.

Per capita income is $19,900.

Household median income is $45,902.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2011 7:51 PM
Comment #319013

Royal,

It’s been nice discussing all of these issues with you, but my wife is going send ME off to war if I don’t get off this computer ASAP.

Have a good one!

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 7:57 PM
Comment #319014

T writes; “I don’t want to soak the rich either, but when the rubber meets the road and I have to make a choice as to wheter or not to ask the wealthy to pay slightly more in taxes.”

Let’s suppose that happened T. What do you suppose government would do with the extra tax revenue?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 21, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #319018

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but the latest Rasmussen polls show Obama’s approval index dropping to -18% ever since he supported the unions, over working Americans. Over the past week, this has been a continual drop. Secondly; polls now show 48% of voters supporting Gov. Walker and 38% supporting the unions, with 14% undecided. Are we seeing a trend?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at February 21, 2011 9:25 PM
Comment #319019

Royal,

Well, first off I suppose we should put it towards our national debt. I mean the republicans are practically saying that we can no longer allow average citizens to retire with some dignity, because it would be fiscally irresponsible. So maybe the revenue from the tax on the wealthy might calm them down a bit.

.
In the 1950’s we decided to use taxes to fund the interstate highway system which benefited many individuals and businesses alike. However, the taxes came from gasoline, but I guess it costs more to fill up a Rolls Royce than a Pinto. Maybe we could improve our rail system with similar benefits. Possibly spend the money to modernize our VA hospitals around the country so our veterans get the best care available? I guess I don’t know how I would spend it. What would you do with it?

I understand that you are trying to say that the govt. is incompetent, corrupt, and would take it for themselves. Of course, I cannot completely disagree with you. But I really do think that the government can do really big and good things for people. We sent a man to the moon, we rescued the world from a tyrant during WW 2, and we make sure we take of all our citizens with programs like SS and Medicare. We also wouldn’t even be able to communicate via the internet right now if it weren’t for contributions from our govt.

I understand that everyone always complains about govt. and all it’s problems. Hell, I do. But the republicans seem to complain about it incessantly. This constant barrage of verbal attacks on our govt. from the republicans really got me thinking. Why would a political party constantly, and I mean constantly, rip it’s own govt. even when they control all three branches of it? (Bush II years.)I mean during those years they had the power to almost do anything they wanted. The answer came to me one night and it was scary. I could only conclude that they hate democracy. The very underpinning of our society. It really was the only answer. Where can an ordinary (little power, average income) citizen actually have a voice on how things are done or at least have an effect through voting. Through government. The government itself literally is the American people. I really think this scares high ranking big donor republicans, so the only way to make sure that the average person does not have much power is to have them distrust their government so much, that they lose faith in it and resign. The government for all its failings is still the only place where people like me and you have any say. I mean George Bush himself said that things would simply be easier if he was just king. They also run candidates for office who, the second they get in power, rip the very institution in which they were entrusted to run. Also, republicans are notoriously happy when voter turnout is low. Why would that be? If you believed in what you were doing and had a strong trust in democracy you would want as many people to vote as possible. Think back, when is the last time you have heard any high ranking republican say anything positive about our government?

I really would like to turn on the TV just once and see a republican say three positive thing about our govt. I don’t even care if it is when they are in power. If they can do that, than maybe I will believe that they really don’t hate democracy and most of the American people.

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 9:37 PM
Comment #319020

T said:

“I really would like to turn on the TV just once and see a republican say three positive thing about our govt. I don’t even care if it is when they are in power. If they can do that, than maybe I will believe that they really don’t hate democracy and most of the American people.”

I would like to see the President of the United States go before foreign leaders without apologizing for America. I would like to see any democrat politician who doesn’t try to create class warfare in America. I would like to see democrats announce their pride in America. I would like to see democrats who believe it is corporations who create jobs n America. I would like to see politicians who realized taxpayers worked hard for the money paid in taxes and not look at these taxes as a personal slush fund for their pet projects. And lastly, I would like to see a news media who actually tried to do investigative reporting, instead of telling us about the “tingly” feeling they get running up their legs when Obama speaks. JMHO…

Posted by: 1776 at February 21, 2011 9:59 PM
Comment #319021


Well, that certainly shows that the gov is right. The SS polls sure have convinced the right that SS shouldn’t be privatized.

“You make to much money.” “I wouldn’t do what you do for all the money in the world, but you make to much money.”

That’s the kind of stuff my minimum wage friends used to say to me as they gobbled up the number 2 their employer fed them.

I wonder what would have happened if the polls would have decided the 2000 election?

If you want to live by the polls, eventually you will die by them.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2011 10:11 PM
Comment #319022

All politicians live by the polls…

Posted by: Conservativethinker at February 21, 2011 10:16 PM
Comment #319023

1776 said:
I would like to see democrats announce their pride in America. I would like to see democrats who believe it is corporations who create jobs n America. I would like to see politicians who realized taxpayers worked hard for the money paid in taxes and not look at these taxes as a personal slush fund for their pet projects.

Did you happen to watch the state of the union address? That damn guy repeatedly used some term, what was it? Oh yeah, American exceptionlism. He also mentioned us as the greatest country on earth. He also approved yet another tax cut to corporate America. That Barack Obama, he must be a secret republican!

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 10:22 PM
Comment #319025


Beretta 9, are you going to reemburse your employer? How many negotiated contracts did you vote for? It is a real shame that your union didn’t give political contributions to union busters and the UBP.

Posted by: jlw at February 21, 2011 10:25 PM
Comment #319027

Actually Obama better not be a republican, they might ask to see his birth certificate, then uh, oh!

Posted by: T at February 21, 2011 10:47 PM
Comment #319029

T, I’ll just answer one point, but I am sure you, like Stephen, will be able to justify Obama’s statements:

“Charles Krauthammer Slams Obama on his ‘American Arrogance’ Comment

By
Charles Krauthammer was so good tonight on Special Report I decided to transcribe the video myself.

BRET BAIER: Charles, what are your thoughts on the day?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, where does one begin? Obama says “In America there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.” Well, maybe that’s because when there was a civil war in Europe’s doorstep in the Balkans, and genocide, it didn’t lift a finger until the Americans led. Maybe it’s because when there was an invasion of Kuwait it didn’t lift a finger until America led. Maybe it’s because with America spending over half a trillion a year, keeping open the ceilings in defending the world, Europe is spending pennies on defense. It’s hard to appreciate an entity’s leading role in the world when it’s been sucking on your tit for sixty years as Europe has [with] regard to the United States, parasitically.

BAIER: Was that a Charles Grassley reference or a Charles Krauthammer reference.

KRAUTHAMMER: It was a turn of phrase which I’m sure I will regret. Look – and then he goes on and he calls America arrogant, dismissive and derisive regarding Europe. Um…the London Telegraph correspondent in Strasbourg said that this was the most critical remark he’d ever seen a president give on foreign soil and I think he’s right. When Kennedy arrived in Paris he did not attack Eisenhauer and the United States. When Obama’s elected president he’s president of all of the United States including Americans who opposed him and he owes American history, including the past he may not have wanted to engage in. I think what he did in order to gain the admiration of the crowds, he denigrated his country in a way that I think is disgraceful.”

http://lonelyconservative.com/2009/04/charles-krauthammer-slams-obama-on-his-american-arrogance-comment/

http://www.politicalpolicy.net/2010/05/obama-admin-attacks-on-america-early.html

Posted by: 1776 at February 21, 2011 11:12 PM
Comment #319031

“Are we seeing a trend?”

Yep, the wording of the ratsmussen polls are biased as usual.

“I would like to see any democrat politician who doesn’t try to create class warfare in America.”

1776 help me to understand the logic you use to create this fallacy, is it the dems are intentionally creating “class warfare” while the corporations that fund the elections and sway the votes to their favor are the ones fighting for the middle class? If so why has things not worked out for the middle class this past 30 years? These talk radio conservative talking points have very little basis in reality.

“I would like to see democrats who believe it is corporations who create jobs n America.”

And how has that worked ‘76, this past 30 years? The multinationals have shedded jobs in this country, not created them. Face it Con it is demand that creates jobs not corporations. Without enough money to buy, Americans cannot create jobs for those that supply the goods and services. We are seeing this right now. Despite the rhetoric the corporations are sitting upon billions of dollars yet will not create jobs. They defend this with gibberish such as “the future is uncertain” yet the money is there but the demand is not. Why do raise them to deity status when they are working constantly to decrease the numbers of workers they employee via technology, outsourcing and such?

“I would like to see politicians who realized taxpayers worked hard for the money paid in taxes”

Well how is this for starters.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/28/barack-obama/tax-cut-95-percent-stimulus-made-it-so/

” and not look at these taxes as a personal slush fund for their pet projects.”

So 1776 do these pet projects go overseas? Do they benefit people in this country? Face it these pet projects cause workers to be hired in the private sector, they contribute to the local economy and they finance, for the most part, things corporate Americas does not want to pay for. It is part of what made America great.

“And lastly, I would like to see a news media who actually tried to do investigative reporting,”
Quit watching Faux news for one. You need to remember that since the news has been taken over by corporations they have chase the money and have went with what the people wanted to see. The only exception is PBS which it seems most conservatives want to get rid of.

” instead of telling us about the “tingly” feeling they get running up their legs when Obama speaks. JMHO…”

Of course everybody has an opinion but show some proof to back it up. Even the most pro Obama news outlets don’t praise him, in fact some like CNN go out of their way to be fair and balanced. But if you only watch Faux how would you know that?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 21, 2011 11:55 PM
Comment #319035

1776 why would you condone Krauthammer’s whining? Are we such a sissified nation that any constructive criticism causes us to break out in tears? Have conservatives lost all backbone? We were extremely arrogant at the start of this century. The Bush administration was arrogant, Corporate America was arrogant and as we rode the bubble to ruin, we the people of this country were arrogant. That is just a plain and simply truth. The thing to be proud of is we realized this and have the courage, displayed by Obama, to admit we were arrogant and that we have decided to change our ways. That is why the American people overwhelmingly voted Obama into office, the lack of arrogance exhibited by Obama and the return to confidence.

This foolish belief that if someone offers constructive criticism of this country they lack pride in this country shows the lack of confidence conservatives such as Krauthammer has in the people of this country. Don’t fall victim to the type of pride that cannot face the facts ‘76. We as a nation can learn and grow and continue to love the country despite it’s mistakes in leadership and vision the previous administration fostered.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 12:34 AM
Comment #319040

j2t2, I don’t even know where to start:

“1776 why would you condone Krauthammer’s whining? Are we such a sissified nation that any constructive criticism causes us to break out in tears?”

Evidently you didn’t watch the congress debate the budget last week on CSPAN. You would have a better understanding of the word “whinning”, because they could have served cheese with the democrats side of the debate.

“Yep, the wording of the ratsmussen polls are biased as usual.”

Why do the left always condemn polsters who don’t agree with the left?

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 7:22 AM
Comment #319041

“But in Europe,” he continued, “there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what’s bad.”

He said these two attitudes “are not wise,” and leave both more isolated. “They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth, that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone. But that Europe cannot confront them without America,”

Krauthammer failed to acknowledge the rest of the speech which chided Europe for its anti-Americanism and called for mutual cooperation in confronting world problems.

Krauthammer also failed to recognize the Bush administration’s arrogant, derisive comments on “Old Europe” for its refusal to support the Iraq invasion and their refusal to support the unilateral US foreign policy initiatives. Conservative Congressmen mocked France by attempting to ban the term “French fries.” Rumsfeld in his recent book said that one of the things he most regretted was his “Old Europe” comments. Belatedly, he recognized that little good comes from pissing off your traditional allies.

Posted by: Rich at February 22, 2011 7:42 AM
Comment #319042

I guess I just don’t understand the process going on in Wisconsin. In listening to the union guy on T.V. this morning the Governor is a dictator (his word) who has the sole authority to negotiate with a table of union leaders on a deal.

The governor, moments earlier, said that the negotiations take place at the local level and that there is no single state wide negotiation taking place. In fact, he says that no one is even talking to him directly. Meanwhile the legislators are ducking and running.

Ed Shultz is on his radio program saying that the public workers are giving up 20% of their paycheck and keeps saying it even though he says Politifact says he’s wrong. But as I understand it they are being asked to pay 6% of their healthcare premium and 13% of their pension contribution. I pay about 10% of my premium and have to contribute 7% to get all of the company match on retirement. Those two don’t come near 20% of my check.

Since I don’t live in a state that negotiates contracts with its civil employees I’m not sure what to think here. South Carolina has made a living off of retirees from the Northeast (we like to keep them contained in Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach if we can) as well as the migration of jobs from the higher taxed economies. So from a self interest point of view the status quo is much more attractive then what this Governor is trying to do. But something doesn’t sound right if a union can help elect a Governor and then that Governor is the one responsible for unilaterally negotiating with the union. And why civil employees would need union protection of rights from politicians (not business owners) is beyond me- I don’t remember many politicians saying no to constituents (or donors).

Help me out here

Posted by: George at February 22, 2011 9:11 AM
Comment #319043

George,

The governor is being disingenuous. The negotiations referenced have to to with the bill in the legislature, not specific union contracts. The Democratic legislators and the unions have proposed a compromise in which they would agree to the additional pension and health insurance requirements in exchange for the governor dropping the provisions outlawing collective bargaining for most public employees with the exception of fire, police and other public safety unions. The Republican legislators have refused the offer.

Posted by: Rich at February 22, 2011 11:13 AM
Comment #319053

This little tidbit is also in the bill. Why don’t we just sell the entire country to highest bidding corporation? Great example of modern conservatism: Privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and cronyism.

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), THE DEPARTMENT MAY SELL ANY STATE-OWNED heating, cooling, and power plant OR MAY CONTRACT WITH A PRIVATE ENTITY FOR THE OPERATION OF ANY SUCH PLANT, WITH OR WITHOUT SOLICITATION OF BIDS, FOR ANY AMOUNT THAT THE DEPARTMENT DETERMINES to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).


I

Posted by: John at February 22, 2011 7:01 PM
Comment #319054

Mitch Daniel, the well respected Republican governor of Indiana had this advice to the Republican legislature considering a similar anti-union bill in his state: drop it. His reasoning is simple and appropriate. This is a fundamental change in rights and should be afforded a full process of review and public debate.

I think that his reasoning is spot on. Whatever you think about unions, they represent a fundamental right of workers to organize and to collectively bargain. Rescinding that right is not a trivial matter. Unions did not create the fiscal crisis, it was the collapse of the general economy.

Posted by: Rich at February 22, 2011 7:34 PM
Comment #319055

Rich writes; “Whatever you think about unions, they represent a fundamental right of workers to organize and to collectively bargain.”

FDR didn’t agree with you when it comes to public employees.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 22, 2011 8:00 PM
Comment #319057

“Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.

All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

FDR, 8/16/37

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 22, 2011 8:08 PM
Comment #319061

Lots of things were very different 74 years ago! Of course, when suppression and control is the demanding factor, then RF, you’re spot on.
You guys just don’t like anything having to do with not being able to boss and dictate everything. You really do need to get over yourselves.

Posted by: jane doe at February 22, 2011 8:57 PM
Comment #319062

If you have not heard or read anything about the Koch brothers please look them up on Wikipedia. It is impossible to understand the events in Wisconsin without reading about two of the major players. Just read about these guys, it really is unbelievable.

Posted by: John at February 22, 2011 9:03 PM
Comment #319063

Sorry. Make that Koch Industries on Wikipedia.

Posted by: John at February 22, 2011 9:04 PM
Comment #319064

The point that FDR was making jane is that unions and collective bargaining in the private sector are a whole lot different then negotiating with a politician that you contributed cash to get him or her elected.

Posted by: KAP at February 22, 2011 9:08 PM
Comment #319066

John,

So Walker is going to sell Koch aging coal plants that are about to be fined by the EPA as a payback for campaign contributions. Man, with political friends like the Koch’s don’t need all the extra hate here.

“The state knows darn well that it has got compliance issues with these aging coal plants, and so the violations are going to have to be corrected,” said Jennifer Feyerherm of the Sierra Club in Madison. “How the governor thinks he can put lipstick on that pig and sell huge financial and environmental liabilities to someone else, good luck. Bottom line, those plants need to be cleaned up.”

Brothers so hated by the left would have to be crazy to take on these plants. And this idea is older than when the Koch’s bought GP back in 2005. Mel Gibson could connect the dots though.

Journal Sentinel

Posted by: George at February 22, 2011 10:04 PM
Comment #319067

George said:

“I guess I just don’t understand the process going on in Wisconsin…Help me out here”

Well George, it’s not hard. It’s all about power, or the loss of power by the union bosses and the loss of union money for democrat re-elections.

Rich answered you:

“George,

The governor is being disingenuous. The negotiations referenced have to to with the bill in the legislature, not specific union contracts. The Democratic legislators and the unions have proposed a compromise in which they would agree to the additional pension and health insurance requirements in exchange for the governor dropping the provisions outlawing collective bargaining for most public employees with the exception of fire, police and other public safety unions. The Republican legislators have refused the offer.”

Posted by: Rich at February 22, 2011 11:13 AM
Comment #319053

Rich is being disingenuous with you. The State employee’s and teacher’s unions are breaking the states budgets. All Americans have to pay a price to get our economy up and running, but union bosses believe everyone except union employees have to pay the price. Jobs in the private sector are being cut and Americans are getting furloughed or fired, but union bosses believe union employees should be exempt. You will notice the liberals are quick to report that the unions are ready to pay their fair share to pensions and healthcare (after a week of crying foul), which everyone else already does. But they fear the loss of current negotiating rights when it comes to contracts. The democrats figure they will gain control somewhere down the road and if the way contracts are negotiated is not changed, then the democrats will go back to the same ol/same ol.

Here is the problem in a nut shell:

1. The democrats infuriated the American people for the past 2 years by ramming programs and bills down our throats, so the American people rebelled and booted the Democrats out of office. The gain of the US House of Representatives is only one part of the victory; Republicans also gained State legislators and governorships.

2. Even though the Democrats control the Senate (with a small majority) and the presidency; the state legislators and Governors control most of the states. Which means the states can change a lot of the rules.

3. Lastly, the democrats are trying to speak with a loud voice for damage control. They are trying to get public opinion to back the unions, but public opinion does not support the unions. These newly elected State and Federal legislators and Governors where elected to do a job and the conservative and moderate voters fully support what they are doing. The events taking place in WI will spread to all conservative controlled States, and then will spread to liberal States (like CA), because these States will either change or fail. The Congress will never allow Obama to get tax dollars to bail out the States. So most likely, the liberal democrats controlling liberal states will probably opt to declare bankruptcy, and allow the courts to decide the contracts and pension plans. They talk a good talk, but like their leader (obama), they will not make a decision for fear of making someone angry.

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 10:11 PM
Comment #319068

I might also add; union membership has been dropping for decades. Except for State and Federal employees. This is why the democrats are in favor of increasing the size of government. This is also why “Card Check” was a major goal of obama and the liberals. It was a payback to the unions for supporting him during the 2008 election. It would allow the unions to force the American working to join unions through threat and intimidation. But that failed. It is interesting that the American voters pay the salaries of State and Federal employees and teachers, who in turn pay union dues to the union bosses, who in turn use the money to pay for liberal democrat elections, who in turn grow governments for the purpose of paying more dues, and so on, and so on, and so on. If te rules are changed and the employees have the option to join a union or not, and put a $1,000.00 a year in their own pocket; what do you think they will do?

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 10:25 PM
Comment #319069

One more time: why has obama given out thousands of free passes on obamacare to his union friends? Are we seeing a picture yet?

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 10:28 PM
Comment #319070

Royal, Quoting FDR, I am impressed. If your leaders on the far right were not trying to remove everything he put into place I would have considered it more than just another cheap trick by whoever you got this partial quote from. Unfortunately your source quoted one little part, how typical of conservatives.

Here is the letter in it’s entirety. Read it and weep conservatives.

“Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15445

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 10:45 PM
Comment #319071

“One more time: why has obama given out thousands of free passes on obamacare to his union friends? Are we seeing a picture yet?”
Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 10:28 PM

Yes 17 we are. We are seeing lies and damned lies by whoever your source is. As of late January their were a total of 770 some waivers, of which +/- 40% were unions.
Do you guys ever get any facts right? It seems to me if it wasn’e for misinformation, half truths and outright lies conservatives wouldn’t have anything to say.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread657678/pg1

http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/approved_applications_for_waiver.html

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 10:58 PM
Comment #319072

“Why do the left always condemn polsters who don’t agree with the left?”
Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 07:22 AM

The left does it because the right seems to like to manipulate the facts so often it becomes hard to accept anything they post as anything other than propaganda. Of course 17. that is JMHO.

“Amid the ongoing protests and legislative standoff in Wisconsin, a new automated Rasmussen Reports survey purports to show more Americans backing Republican Gov. Scott Walker than the public employee unions. Additional national survey data is not yet available on this issue, but there are good reasons to be skeptical of the Rasmussen poll, which in this case appears to lead respondents to a desired result.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/wisconsin-standoff-rasmussen_n_826242.html

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 11:20 PM
Comment #319073

j2t2, this is late Feb. Care to comment on anything else?

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 11:24 PM
Comment #319074

j2t2, let me get this straight:, we shouldn’t trust Rasmussen but we should trust the left huffington post? Go Figure.

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 11:30 PM
Comment #319075

Seriously 17 that is the response to this information? Why not prove your “thousands” 1776. It is that simple, prove your comment to be true. Prove that 1,000’s of unions are the only entities receiving the waivers. Prove Obama is favoring unions or do the right thing and call the comment what it is, Conservative propaganda.

If you bother to look at the links I provided you will find of the 770 some waivers granted many are to companies not unions. You will find the reasoning for the waivers and how they are given.

I say this because I think you must be more interested in the truth of the matter, not made up stories by extremist. I would like to hope that you base your decisions on facts not fiction made up of misinformation,half truths and outright lies. I am right aren’t I?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 11:35 PM
Comment #319076

“Why do the left>/strike> conservatives always condemn polsters who don’t agree with the left movement leaders?”
Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 07:22 AM

Really not much of a response 17, why not read the link and point out the logical flaws? It would seem to me the answer would be the logical source. Rasmussen is kinda like Faux in that it leans heavily to the right at times.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 11:42 PM
Comment #319077

Oops sorry 1776 didn’t do my strikes right.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 11:44 PM
Comment #319079

17, here is another poll that asks questions on the same subject in a different manner, what do you think? Is it biased?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/22/wiscon-polls-oppose-walker_n_826359.html

Posted by: j2t2 at February 22, 2011 11:50 PM
Comment #319080

j2t2, it would probably be impossible to find out how many thousands of union employees recieved waivers from obama. You disd see that I wrote “union friends”, and not unions. I can’t help it if you can’t read.

The Huffington Post said there is “good reason” to be skeptical of the Rasmussen poll, it did not say Rasmussen was not correct. Like most liberals, the Huff left themselves an out, just in case more polls support Rasmussen.

Posted by: 1776 at February 22, 2011 11:59 PM
Comment #319083

“it would probably be impossible to find out how many thousands of union employees recieved waivers from obama. You disd see that I wrote “union friends”, and not unions. I can’t help it if you can’t read.”

Very deceptive use of misinformation 17. Unfortunately waivers are not granted to individuals in the company or union and as I have pointed out just one month ago the total figure of waivers was 730 something certainly not thousands. Of these 730 some the grand total of 189 were given to collective bargaining entities. So it seems either way the source of this misinformation should be taken to task. To say thousand of “union friends” and leave out the 350+ companies is misleading as well.
Do we agree your statement is conservative propaganda 17 and it is without merit. Political hacks that propagate this kind of nonsense to people like yourself do so in order to sway your opinion on important matters, please don’t allow them to fool you into thinking they report the truth. IMHO you should be infuriated with the source of this misinformation and post on their site just what kind of liars they are.
Certainly you don’t want this kind of propaganda infecting others do you? Shouldn’t the bar be raised to reflect facts not fiction and illogical propaganda? I mean isn’t truth and accuracy a conservative principle as it is a progressive, liberal and independent principle? Can’t conservative arguments stand on the merits and truthfulness of …. oh, well what do you think?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2011 12:47 AM
Comment #319087

rham deadfish emanuel elected chicago mayor. stupid is as stupid does. LOL!!! maybe he and governor moonbeam of calif. can get together i figure out how to spend us all out of debt. some people will never learn.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2011 5:48 AM
Comment #319088

dbs-
You make snide remarks about Democrats spending our way out of debt, but do you realize that tax cuts when you don’t have offsets to soak up the damage are the functional equivalent?

At least as far as the budget numbers go. Arnold led California on a nice wild goose chase of tax cuts, and that didn’t help the fiscal situation much. Moonbeam, just like other Democrats, reduced the shortfall of his state, the last time he was in office.

But I guess for your purposes, what a person actually achieves is secondary to what dogmas and talking points they subscribe to. The right wing in America has become unable to let go of bad ideas for fear of losing debates and power to us.

The reality about going into debt to finance government, is that we’ll be doing that, even if Republicans succeed in getting everything they want. In fact, much of what they want, like tax cuts, will make it worse. Worse yet, your tax cuts, as demonstrated by actual history, don’t actually give the economic boost promised. Our spending’s out performed your revenue cuts. We invested where growth was to be found. You invest, instead, where money stagnates and sits in somebody’s pockets.

You can taunt us about the politicians you’ve been taught to despise, but that will never change the difference in actual performance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 7:31 AM
Comment #319090

J2t2, I was not the one who misunderstood, it was you who jumped to conclusions. I had many things to say in answer to George’s query, and you decided to pick one of the last sentences to make into an argument. I back down from nothing and I change nothing; I said obama gave free passes to thousands of his union friends. You are the one who said Unions, not me. And again I say, thousands of union members received passes on obamacare. The point was that obama gave passes to those who supported him and his cronies. Unless you want to disprove the other things I said to George, this conversation is finished.

Stephen Daugherty said,

“Moonbeam, just like other Democrats, reduced the shortfall of his state, the last time he was in office.”

Stephen, according to Jerry Brown, in an interview in 1992, after his term as Gov. of CA, he stated he had no plan and things just happen. You give Jerry Brown too much credit.

“Interviewer: You said something a moment ago that I have to follow up on and I have to draw you out on. You said you don’t have to lie anymore now that you’re not a politician. What did you lie about when you were governor?

Jerry Brown: It’s all a lie. You’re pretending there’s a plan…

Interviewer: What did you lie about?

Jerry Brown: You run for office and the assumption is “Oh, I know what to do”. You don’t. I didn’t have a plan for California.”

http://libertarianadvocate.blogspot.com/2010/10/jerry-brown-documented-self-admitted.html

Posted by: 1776 at February 23, 2011 10:14 AM
Comment #319094

SD

“You can taunt us about the politicians you’ve been taught to despise, but that will never change the difference in actual performance”

Is that like democracy in Egypt you were touting that is not happening?

Kinda like SOS Clinton in her statement about Libya. Does she know how to be sincere? Not

Posted by: tom humes at February 23, 2011 11:33 AM
Comment #319098

j2t2 writes, regarding the FDR quote; “Here is the letter in it’s entirety. Read it and weep conservatives.”

I read it and didn’t weep…sorry. I could have quoted many prominent Republicans, but choose FDR as even a beloved dem understands the difference between public and private unions. Even FDR would be too conservative for the libs today.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 23, 2011 11:59 AM
Comment #319099

1776-
Well, there’s always a plan. Then there’s reality, which tends to take the plans that people come up with, based on their preconceived notions of things, and dropkick it out the window. That’s what Brown really was saying.

It’s not about planning right, it’s about being able to alter your policy when your ideas don’t work, as they often don’t in politics.

Republicans are unwilling to do that, so it’s no coincidence that they’ve been party to some of the worst policy disasters in the last few decades. They’re so convinced they are right, that they’ll plunge headlong into trouble trying to force their ideas to work.

Judgment is more important than checklists of agenda items. It’s easier to change your mind, rewrite your talking points, your agenda, than it is to undo the consequences of getting policy wrong, and then keeping it wrong to protect your rhetoric and your political position.

tom humes-
I don’t expect straight Democracy from Egypt, to be honest. What I expect, though, is that self-determination for Egyptian citizens is going to become an addiction. The balance of power has shifted further towards responsive and responsible government.

I know Glenn Beck and his friends have you scared about that, but then, they can’t let any policy position from Obama go without making you think that it’s the end of the world. They don’t think they can keep you interesed or fervent telling you the truth, or keeping calm when events warrant it. They have to keep you charged up on paranoia, or else lose their political momentum.

Royal Flush-
Spare us. FDR’s new deal took everything you hated about Obama’s Stimulus Package, and cranked it up to 11. If Obama got you angry, FDR would have you foaming at the mouth on the floor in an conniption.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 12:20 PM
Comment #319101

“I was not the one who misunderstood, it was you who jumped to conclusions. I had many things to say in answer to George’s query, and you decided to pick one of the last sentences to make into an argument.”

I didn’t misunderstand anything 17, your comment was deliberately misleading as well as wrong.

So your logic is this last sentence must be right because I didn’t take exception to the rest of your comment? I pointed out the inaccuracies in the last sentence because it was brazenly wrong headed logic. Not that the rest of the comment was much better. But some of your other inaccuracies have already been shown to be wrong in this thread.

“And again I say, thousands of union members received passes on obamacare. The point was that obama gave passes to those who supported him and his cronies. Unless you want to disprove the other things I said to George, this conversation is finished.”

And again 17 you are applying misinformation, half truths and outright lies. Their was a total of 730 waivers issued not thousands. Most went to companies not unions, 350+ to 189 waivers for the unions across the country. It seems you would rather perpetrate the falsehoods that stand up for truth and accuracy. The waivers were given to those that qualified regardless of “friends” status.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #319102

“I read it and didn’t weep…sorry. I could have quoted many prominent Republicans, but choose FDR as even a beloved dem understands the difference between public and private unions. Even FDR would be too conservative for the libs today.”

But Royal your original response to Rich was “FDR didn’t agree with you when it comes to public employees.”

Yet when the whole letter is read it becomes clear the “desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry.”

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=15445

So the point is the out of context portion of the FDR letter you posted was misleading. When read in it’s entirety we find that FDR was in agreement with public unions, he did not want them to strike, and in their constitution was a no strike provision.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2011 1:30 PM
Comment #319103

From the “You can’t make this crap up” files, brave, brave sir Walker get’s punk’d into some pretty revealing admissions by a journalist posing as one of the Koch Brothers.

Among the gems:

“An interesting idea that was brought up to me by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democratic leader. I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders — talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn — but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them will come back and sit down in the state assembly. They can recess it… the reason for that, we’re verifying it this afternoon, legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have quorum because it’s turned out that way. So we’re double checking that. If you heard I was going to talk to them that’s the only reason why.”

Glad he’s got that tea party integrity going for him. ;-)

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 1:38 PM
Comment #319106

Stephen these O’Keefe style tactics by this reporter show the right wing talking points to be pretty much nothing but lies.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-berney/walker-koch_b_827129.html\


I wonder if the corruption we are hearing regarding Walkers scheduled trip to Cali, for a good time on Koch’s dime, will meet with the indignation of those bussed in last week to protest the protesters. Is a recall in order tea party types or is it not oligarchy when your side does it?


Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2011 3:45 PM
Comment #319109

stephen

california has never had a revenue problem. it has a spending problem. when gov. wilson left office the state was running a surplus. when gray davis was elected he began raising state spending with the foolish belief that the good times would never end. that’s why he was shown the door in the recall election. i lived there my entire life up to 2008, so i’m very familiar with calif. budget problems.

you said

“At least as far as the budget numbers go. Arnold led California on a nice wild goose chase of tax cuts, and that didn’t help the fiscal situation much.”

really ? what tax cuts were those ? do tell. arnie never had the intestinal fortitude to fight back, and when attacked he was more worried about being popular then doing what he was elected to do. he turned out to be a rino with no testicles. calif. never made the tough decisions, and instead continued to borrow in order to continue increased spending each year. my guess is brown will run more business out of the state, and continue to choke the general populace with more and more regulation, and fees associated with that regulation. with out the ability to get a cash infusion from the feds, thier continued mishandling of the state economy will soon bankrupt them.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2011 4:52 PM
Comment #319110

dbs-

california has never had a revenue problem. it has a spending problem.

No, it has both. Schwarzenegger started off with an immediate repeal of the car tax, and raising taxes is very difficult in California, thanks to a referendum passed in 1978.

But California has also been generous with its spending. Way too generous.

So, it goes both ways. People very willing to get government programs, and people very unwilling to pay for it. That’s not the best combination.

It’s about matching the two quantities in a way that the economy can sustain. If you cut too much spending, it takes too much money from the economy, and it suffers. If you tax too much, you end up squeezing the economic growth that is required to lift employment and economic growth, which helps improve things by increasing revenues, and decreasing the need for public services.

California’s problem is that it doesn’t have enough of a moderate middle ground, politically speaking, to allow compromise. It’s Right Wing is hard right, it’s left wing is far more liberal than average.

The problem of unwinding this situation is that if folks act too drastically, the economy will falter, and it will hardly matter that folks tried to be responsible. The other problem is, folks have let ideology complicate a problem that would be better served with pragmatic negotiation and less in the way of rigid thinking. It’s easy for cowardly politicians to settle in a political position and refuse to budget, hoping that satisfying their base will preserve their rear ends, but if things go wrong, well then like Bush and Schwarzennegger’s numbers illustrate at the end, nothing much can save you.

We need folks in charge in Washington and California alike who have that flexibility. Unfortunately, Republican seem intent on pronouncing any budget problem a spending problem, and thus avoiding the thorny ideological and political issue of the consequences of their tax cuts for the budget deficit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 5:56 PM
Comment #319111

SD

“The balance of power has shifted further towards responsive and responsible government.”

I will revisit those words later when it is shown that what you just said is “hope and change” and not anything good for the region.

There is nothing going to happen that results in responsible government.

Even now as Saudi Arabia is joining the parade the region bbecomes even more unstable. It does not take any special knowledge or attention to show that. You can do with Glenn Beck what you will. I do not watch television except for a sporting event that appears about once a month.

Hope they recall 14 WI senators who walked off the job. What kind of integrity do you call walking off the job and running to the state next door?

Government employees should not receive benefits and pay in excess of the private sector. That is a simple concept and since the private sector is the one paying the bill they should be the ones who decide those factors.

Posted by: tom humes at February 23, 2011 6:04 PM
Comment #319115

“Government employees should not receive benefits and pay in excess of the private sector.”

They don’t. That is conservative mythology.

“The demonizing of public employees is not only based on the lie that they’ve caused these budget crises, but it’s also premised on a second lie: that public employees earn more than private-sector workers. They don’t, when you take account of their education. In fact over the last fifteen years the pay of public-sector workers, including teachers, has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education — even including health and retirement benefits. Moreover, most public employees don’t have generous pensions. After a career with annual pay averaging less than $45,000, the typical newly-retired public employee receives a pension of $19,000 a year.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-republican-strategy_b_825206.html


Tom says ” That is a simple concept and since the private sector is the one paying the bill they should be the ones who decide those factors.”

Tom these people are just like you and me, they pay taxes and support the economy. They are also the private sector they just work for the government. They have houses and cars and kids and well just like us Tom why demonize them?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 23, 2011 6:25 PM
Comment #319120

stephen

you said

“No, it has both. Schwarzenegger started off with an immediate repeal of the car tax,”

actually the car tax wasn’t repealed. it was reduced by 75% while wilson was in office. the state was running a surplus, and wilson demanded the taxpayers get some of it back. the democrats wanted to spend it. the compromise was a reduction in the VLF of 75%.


you said.


“and raising taxes is very difficult in California, thanks to a referendum passed in 1978.”


you are talking about prop. 13. it was passed to limit the increase in property taxes. if you owned your home before 1977 you were gandfathered in and your rate was locked in permanently at that amount. anything after that increases are capped at @ 2% over the previous year. tax increases other than that require a 2/3 vote in both houses. they have gotten around this in many cases by calling certain taxes, fees, and thereby getting around that. there are legal requirements though before something can be called a fee and not a tax.

you said

“If you cut too much spending, it takes too much money from the economy, and it suffers.”


the private sector produces the economy. govt. siphons part of that as taxes to operate, and provide certain functions. cutting gov’t. spending does not hurt the economy. gov’t. siphoning to much saps the life blood out of the economy. that’s what has happened in calif.


Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2011 6:57 PM
Comment #319129


An article from Associated Press says that an estimated $20.8 billion in bonuses were paid to New York City securities industry employees in 2010.

Many private sector employees have to work for very low pay and no benefits. Compared to them, many private sector employees are over paid.

Many private sector workers are so underpaid that they pay little or no income taxes and are even eligible for Earned Income Tax Credits and other government subsidies.

Millions of those private sector employees are illegal immigrants, many of whom are also eligible for government subsidies.

Latest Gallop poll—- 61% favor collective bargaining—- 33% oppose.

How can conservatives have an 80% to 20% edge when more than 20% of the people are traitors?

Posted by: jlw at February 23, 2011 7:31 PM
Comment #319157

dbs-
California wanted low taxes and generous public spending, and set its policies to do just that.

You see any spending as wasteful, any spending as lacking purpose. Sorry, not everybody shares your opinion, and it’s the reality of what a majority of people want, and are not willing to give up that dictates what spending remains and what can be cut with relative impunity.

Once we’ve set that standard, then it’s a question of raising the revenue necessary to pay for it. If we’re not willing to do without a thing, we must do our best to pay for it.

And really, that requirement is a good thing. What is it that keeps government from growing too fast? I would say, it would be the specter of out of pocket cost.

You talk of siphoned lifeblood. Jeez, could you be more melodramatic? If it’s being spent in the community, it’s coming right back into the economy, helping people keep jobs and pay others for private goods and services. You would write a political screed against veins for taking lifeblood away from the flesh.

If you cut too much spending at once, there’s a ripple effect of spending that’s not done, paychecks that are not paid, jobs that are not created. Now if the private sector would or could step in to create those jobs, then the austerity wouldn’t be that bad.

But right now, the private sector isn’t creating as many jobs as it could, nor is its stepping in to fill in the gaps left by the public sector, where state workers have been laid off. Such layoffs have been part of the economic pressures that soaked up the energy of the stimulus package.

California’s problem is that since it became such a center for rabid anti-tax sentiment, it’s been running structural deficits and trying to have it both ways, with the result that it’s finances are ****. You can’t have low taxes and high spending. One must balance against the other.

The balance is essential. If you keep the budget balanced, then somebody has to push for higher taxes to spend more. There’s obvious resistance to that, so that would inhibit the growth of spending. At the same time, the specter of losing what people really want keeps spending from dropping below a certain level. A balance is struck between government spending and taxation, balancing dislike of taxes and other expenses with the enjoyment and fulfillment of needs by the government.

tom humes-
If you want to be pessimistic, fine by me, but I see that as letting fear run your foreign policy, not rational self-interest.

The 14 WI senators will be judged by their own people. Would you assume that they were all in contested districts, though, or might you realize that they’d tend to be in districts that favored Democrats, not to mention unions.

You keep repeating the canard about their pay and benefits, but you’re comparing apples and oranges. Public employees tend to be college educated, and their jobs tend to be jobs for college-educated folks. Make that comparison and that difference shrinks substantially. The higher you go in terms of the advanced nature of the education, in fact, the more the pay gap runs the other way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 10:50 PM
Comment #319158

Oh, and while we’re at it, how about the fact that the restructuring Wisconsin’s debt will actually easily take care of the shortfall without having to deprive government union workers of their right to collectively bargain with their bosses.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2011 10:52 PM
Comment #319171

stephen

money taken in the form of taxes does not cause the economy to grow. it only takes from the productive, and gives to a dependant. the mere fact that the dependant spends the funds in the community does not offset the damage done by that taking, and it sure doesn’t create growth. if that were the case then we would be better off if everyone one was dependant on the gov’t for thier livelyhood.

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2011 5:40 AM
Comment #319172

You dumb ass people that are aganist the unions you are just writing you fate. without the unions with the collective bargaring power, the big corporations like the coke brothers will have people working for low wages, no benefits just like the people in china and india and many more. so retards go on a commit work place suicide, just don’t take the rest of us with you.

Posted by: sister tuck at February 24, 2011 7:28 AM
Comment #319174

why is a small part of us citizens so retarded. It the governor walker once to balance the budget, them tell his dumb ass to take a pay cut to $ 8.00 per hour and health benefit company pay 80% and he pays 20% and no retirement until age 66. then it will be a different story. Who in the hell does he think he if fooling. Not all of us is stupid people ok. He needs to be investigated into what did the big corportations promise him if he gets this through. We already seem the prank on him, but what is sad the news people on morning joe just don’t get it. This governor was promise by the coke brother if it is a done deal they will fly him and party like no other party, let the good times roll. That is a damn shame that corportate america can buy politicains to fu—-k americans. As little as told we the people, by the people are still in control of our government. And any politicans they sell us out for money, need to go to jail without a get out of jail free card. These politicans are nothing but crimmials. We have elected them to protect the best interest of the country and the people, not their greedy pockets. You all call other countries that screw the people dictators. well now what do we have when the people in U. S have to pay high health care or many don’t have health care, pay high raising prices for grociers, high gas prices, high auto ins. that was supposed to be affordable, but is not and then property taxes out of control, the counties just drive by maybe or maybe not and say that your property is worth and certain amount and nothing has not been improved on your property, that is just a crimmial act, a scam to suck money out of hard working americans. What we the people need to do, when we put politicans in these seats and they don’t work for us petition for a special election and vote their sorry asses out immediately. Up Up for the people not corportaions. Sick of Special interest, start putting the working americans in these seats that know what it is like working hard and not being able to get anywhere, cause of the greed, if they keep stealing from the hard working people, politians will have a big ass problem with their own people of the United States of America. you think all the people are retarded, oh but no so by far.

Posted by: sister tuck at February 24, 2011 8:33 AM
Comment #319175

we hard working americans pay taxes. So what makes the Republicians think that big business and the wealthy doesn’t have to pay their fare share? They pay nothing and plus they get money back. the sorry ass republicians would let the working poor have a tax cut without the option of the rich and wealthy get their tax cut. Republicians are not the real republician, like back in the day. these are gangsters, thug and just plain crimminals that need to be jailed and the key thrown away. People don’t be fooled by these non-republicians, they would be the real republicians turning over in their graves. Wall street boys and girl, no interest in main street at all. up up with the people and up root these son of bees from their seats. Oh don’t forget the Dems and Tea potties that are not for the working people of america. I don’t mind paying taxes and more, but i got a prolbem when wall street don’t have to pay their fare share.

Posted by: sister tuck at February 24, 2011 9:05 AM
Comment #319176

fov. walker does not show courage or leadership. Now what he does show is a hell a set of big balls to try and screw the people of wis., so he can get his big pay from those like the coke brothers and other wall street interest. And I finally praise the Dems that said enoung is enough and got gone, this is what happen when you don’t want to debate with other members of the senate. And this is the the dumb asses that didn’t go vote on that big day. We working people have to suffer because of your ignorance. It’s time for people to listen to what politians are saying and not just voting for a certain party. We know tea potties are not among the living, they are just brain dead no hope need to be ran of the country. They don’t even love america, because they don’t like government, so why do they have a job in government? exactly, the power, pay from special interest go in poor and within a year rich as hell, and let not forget the fringe benefits like health care 100% paid for without guestions and length of time in hospital and last one for the road the retirement benefit no limitation on when they can collect. If they only do one full term in congress or senate they collect full retirement right away, not haven’t to wait until they turn 66 of age. So why would they give a shit about the working people? But is we the people hold them accountable for their actions as a public servernt to pay the consequences do to illegal dealings while in service. You must not forget we the people pay their checks and benefits. Oh wait a munute wall street pays them better, so why are we the people paying them too? Just come clean and tell the real truth why they wanted those seats so bad and make the devil ashame. MONEY from wall street and that’s the truth ruth!!!!!

Posted by: sister tuck at February 24, 2011 9:55 AM
Comment #319195

sister tuck, I actually read all three of your posts, and if you speak for the left side - I’d like to offer the other side.

Publik Unions dey ga sum big balls, take all taxpayer money and den spend dey millions to get Democrats elected who make sho dey keep getting all dat money, and regla folks like me, we pickin up da tab! Enufs enuf! Gov’ment ain’t no holy land, you ain’t spose to get mo money, free evuhthang, while regla folks we gotta buy ow shit owself. Damn right dem unions need to go down. Amen!

Posted by: Russel at February 24, 2011 5:04 PM
Comment #319233

Gov Walker is just jumping on the anti-public workers bandwagon, trying to one-up Gov Christie of NJ - so he added the no-negotiate clause. Many teachers have worked under promises for of benefits, such as pensions. In NJ public workers paid a special 5.5 % pension tax for at least 25 yrs. Now the state says - sorry we didn’t contribute like we said we would so we don’t have money for your pensions, but at least we have money to cut taxes. Is the same happening in WI, probably something similiar. There is plenty of money out there - it’s in the hands of the upper middle class & rich people in this country who have seen themselves pull away from the rest of the pack so they differenial between the well off and the rest is greater than at any time since the gilded age of the 1890’s. It all started with the huge tax cuts for the rich that Kennedy stated and that were cont’d by all President’s since then. I know because I’m one of the beneficiaries though not one of the supporters.

Posted by: Dr. Tom at February 25, 2011 12:04 PM
Comment #378246

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