Will Wisconsin become another France?

When I was in college back in the late sixties, as student riots and massive union strikes regularly crippled the French economy, I recall thinking it was great living here in the U.S., where a free-enterprise economy insulated us from such counter-productive and shameful displays of civic greed.  What a difference four decades of ever-expanding government can make.

Last year’s riots in Greece, and violent demonstrations in the U.K. – all birthed by the anger felt by students, teachers, union workers and others who have grown increasingly dependent on government subsidies and hand outs, and who now face modest cuts to those benefits – are being played out in America’s heartland.  Teachers and public-employee unions in the Badger State are angrily protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s modest austerity plan that would curtail public-sector union power in some areas, and require those workers to pay a small part of their health care benefit package and slightly increase their contribution to the very generous pension plans they enjoy.

You’d think by the response, the governor was forcing union members to surrender their first-born child to the state.

Yet, even more shameful than the vehement union reaction to these proposals – which includes publicly comparing Walker to Adolf Hitler – has been the cowardly reaction by Wisconsin’s Democratic state legislators (Walker is a Republican).  Rather than work with the new governor and Republican majorities in the legislature, the Democrats simply turned tail and ran to the neighboring state of Illinois; thereby denying the governor and their Republican colleagues the necessary majority to vote on budgetary matters.

Just how draconian are Walker’s proposed measures to help close Wisconsin’s burgeoning, $3.6 billion deficit?  In fact, not draconian at all.  The new governor’s first-ever budget proposal would require government workers to contribute a modest 5.8 percent of their pensions, and 12 percent of their health insurance benefits; both amounts below the national average. The proposal also would limit the ability of public-sector unions to collectively bargain; thereby helping to ensure taxpayers are not held hostage to unreasonable demands on their wallets in the future.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Walker is promising no layoffs or teacher furloughs in exchange for passage of these reforms. However, he has warned he will be forced to layoff some 6,000 state workers if action is not taken. The Democratic legislators who fled the state apparently would rather see public employees laid off, than support modest benefit contributions by employed state workers.

Public-employee unions, grown arrogant from decades of ever-more generous benefit packages, are fighting tooth and nail to hang onto their gains.  They exhibit no willingness to help shoulder any of the costs the taxpayers at-large have to pay in these rough economic times.

Walker is not alone in recognizing that steps must be taken to rein in such largesse.  Even California and New York are entertaining minor reforms to ease the burden that public-sector benefits have imposed on their budgets.

Whether the Wisconsin Governor and his legislative colleagues will prevail in this epic battle remains unclear; and the outcome will have significant ramifications in Ohio and other states that are heavily union-laden, as well as in the nation’s capitol.  But the battle now being waged in America’s heartland offers a focused glimpse into our country’s future.

Whether we become another France – a country long held hostage to powerful unions and debilitating social benefit programs – or begin the slow but vital climb back up the ladder from the depths of government entitlements and deficit-spending, may be determined right here, right now, in Madison, Wisconsin.

by- Bob Barr, The Barr Code

186 comments Add your comment

mike rossignol

February 23rd, 2011
5:58 am

you’re right, we should make all unions illegal. We should make people work longer hours no more overtime, abolishe payed vacations. We also can fire womens who say no.

please take few $ go to see for your self how good is the life in europe. than you can write about…

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I. Savant

February 23rd, 2011
6:01 am

You’re a biased idiot living off the back of those workers you call (via comparison) greedy. How much do you get paid and when was the last time you took a cut in anything?

Bill Orvis White

February 23rd, 2011
7:16 am

ATTENTION: @mike @I, Savant

Your cynicism is masking your ignorance. The fact is that Wisconsin cannot afford these package monstrosities. The governor has to make austerity cuts for the sake of fiscal responsibility. From the drivel that you posted, it sounds like you do not run a business. I run a business and I can tell you that if Hussein Obama imposes draconian taxes and imposes illegal health care mandates on me, I’m either not going to hire or I’m getting out.

The union thugs have called the shots for too long in states like Wisconsin whereby they force the state government to raise taxe$ on hard-working taxpayers to subsidize public workers. It’s about time a governor is standing up to the left-wing media and is saying a strong “NO!” to these socialist agitators

@I, Savant,
Representative Barr is not living off the backs of any workers. Mr. Barr believes that the country works best when big government gets out of the way of business thus making the free markets thrive. The markets cannot expand when union thugs and left-wing special interests place demands on state and federal governments to raise taxe$ to fund more big government. This philosophy is simply choking the life out of businessmen like me and we are tired of subsidizing these socialist policies which, by the way, bankrupted Greece and made France the biggest nanny state on this planet.

You critics of columns like these are complete, total bedwetters who expect folk like Hussein Obama, Nanny Pelosi, Hairy Reid and Bawney Frank to take care of you. You blame everyone but yourselves for your misfortune — just like those members of the teacher’s unions up north. If any of you freeloaders work for anyone, which I doubt, you have no idea how much of your paycheck gets confiscated by state and federal government. Wouldn’t you like to keep those funds so that you can invest in them wisely instead of Hussein Obama directing the dollars into a non-growth government fund? Hello, McFlys, you can keep all of your money and you decide if you need to put it in health care or a private, pro-growth fund — not Mediscarey, Social Insecurity and Mediraid!

God Bless,
Bill

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:28 am

Good essay,Mr. Barr.

Note to Bill Orvis White, noticed another of your essays on one of these AJC blogs yesterday, enjoyed it greatly also.

sean Yankee

February 23rd, 2011
7:31 am

If Gov Walkers big issue is the budget WHY did he push through big tax cuts for corporations creating part of this financial mess????

Same question for the republicans in congress. If you are really so worried about the deficit then repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and help out the deficit.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:39 am

Taranto’s opening note yesterday:

it seems to have escaped Krugman’s and Drum’s notice that the Wisconsin dispute has nothing to do with corporations. The unions’ antagonist is the state government. “Industrial unions are organized against the might and greed of ownership,” writes Time’s Joe Klein, a liberal who understands the crucial distinction. “Public employees unions are organized against the might and greed . . . of the public?”

The “labor movement” in America has increasingly come to consist of people who work for government, not private companies. As the BLS notes, the union-participation rate for public-sector workers in 2010 was 36.2%, vs. just 6.9% for private-sector workers.

There is a fundamental difference between private- and public-sector workers. A private-sector labor dispute is a clear clash of competing interests, with management representing shareholders and unions representing workers. In the public sector, as George Will notes, taxpayers–whose position is analogous to that of shareholders–are usually denied a seat at the table:
Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions.

Collective bargaining in the public sector thus is less a negotiation than a conspiracy to steal money from taxpayers. The notion that this is “in the economic interests of the middle class” for government employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere to get above-market wages and extremely lavish benefits is just laughable. Sure, government employees are “middle class,” but so are the vast majority of taxpayers who don’t enjoy the special privileges that come from owning the means of coercion.

What if

February 23rd, 2011
8:10 am

As I noted over in Kyle’s space, my guess is that if the many greed-driven people like Walker and his wealthy private-sector buddies (to whom he apparently gave whopping tax breaks to make them even richer) treated others like human beings rather than slaves more worthless than dirt, we wouldn’t even HAVE unions. Wouldn’t have needed them.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
8:17 am

Bob – Seriously, only one small mention of the collective bargaining issuse as though it is not the entire reason for the protests. Come on man, the unions have sent Gov. Walker a letter stating they agree with all terms EXCEPT the loss of collective bargaining.

On the financial side, the issue comes down to this. Who needs to kick in more to help get the State (and this country, though not in this article) back on track. You and yours seem to feel that the middle class, in this case teachers, need to kick in yet again while the wealthy and corporations continue to reap the benefits in more tax cuts.

A full two-thirds of companies in WI paid no taxes last year. Do they use the roads to move their goods? Do they use the fire department when a fire breaks out? Do they call the police when they have an issue with crime? If the answer to any of these is yes they need to kick in their fair share. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say their fair share is somewhere north of zero percent.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
8:33 am

@ Bill – Taxes are currently at the lowest percentage of GDP since WWII ended. Exxon (record profits last year), Home Depot (just reported a 70% increase in profits) and Bank of America (took a full share of tax payer dollars to stay in existence) are just three examples of companies that paid exactly 0% in Federal taxes last year. Do you honestly consider a 0% tax liability draconian? Do you consider that fair at a time when the poor are facing major program cuts and the middle class is disappearing?

Clearly your hard work has paid off and your future is secure. I applaud you and understand because I too have had a successful life in which my hard work has afforded me and my family financial security at a level my parents could only dream of. The difference is you and I is that I understand that being born in the US afforded my opportunities that others in the world can only dream of. I also understand the price of admission to live in such a great society is taxes that help provide for the common good. I pay my taxes with the knowledge that some of that money is being wasted but most of it provides necessary services that help my fellow Americans that have not been as fortunate as I have.

You and I have been blessed that our hard work paid off. Maybe you are not aware of this but some in our society struggle DESPITE their best efforts. You say “God bless”, I say are you not your brothers keeper?

Lance

February 23rd, 2011
8:44 am

The budget needs to balanced on the backs of those billionaire bankers and CEO’s we bailed out, not public employees and school teachers. Barr missed the point of what is happening in the World today. Wisconsin, Egypt, and Libya are examples where people right now are standing up against the war on the middle class. These teacher and public employee are Not generously overpaid. They live paycheck to paycheck like every other working class person.

EFetherman

February 23rd, 2011
8:51 am

Well, it’s been a long time coming since we’ve treated our teachers well, or paid them squat. ‘Public Sector Greed” sounds like Wall Street to me where’s your article on their greed. You don’t know anything and people think you do, and it’s a shame.

EFetherm U.S. Army Infantry Retired

DannyX

February 23rd, 2011
8:59 am

What if Wisconsin were to become another Germany???

Germany has a very good economy. Maybe we should require every single board from publicly traded companies to have union representation on it, just like Germany.

Bill Orvis White

February 23rd, 2011
9:06 am

The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Hussein Obama needs to reduce those rates to make our Bank of Americas, Home Depots competitive with India, Japan, China and Latin Americans countries who are now the world’s economic leaders. Furthermore, the U.S. has lost to these nations because of the union thugs who stifled economic growth all in the name of handouts to the workers who have been supplied with a cradle to the grave mentality.

The United States of America was once the leader in the economy and education, but since the 1960s, it has declined due to organized labor. It is a fact. It’s also a fact that we have declined in education and morality and since January 2009, we lost millions of jobs due to this failure of a president who attempted to institute the socialistic failed economic policies of Jimmah Carter and Bubba Clinton.

It’s time for this once-free nation to rise up and resurrect what made it great in the first place.

Amen,
Bill

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:20 am

The unions will lose in Wisconsin and in other states. Only 12% of the population works in unions and tax paying Americans are sick of their whining and crying about not making enough money. Wisconsin teachers make around 90 grand a year. WTH are they complaining about? I can’t wait to see some of those doctors lose their license over fraud.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:21 am

“The U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the world.’

Second highest, Bill.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:22 am

“You’re a biased idiot living off the back of those workers you call (via comparison) greedy. How much do you get paid and when was the last time you took a cut in anything?”

Poor whittle bed wetter. Mommy not change your diaper?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:23 am

Well, if a GOP governor gets killed for standing up to unions, this Democrat will be to blame.

Dem Rep to unions: Time to get ‘bloody’

A Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts is raising the stakes in the nation’s fight over the future of public employee unions, saying emails aren’t enough to show support and that it is time to “get a little bloody.”

http://nhjournal.com/2011/02/23/dem-rep-to-unions-time-to-get-%E2%80%98bloody%E2%80%99/

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

“Representative Barr is not living off the backs of any workers. Mr. Barr believes that the country works best when big government gets out of the way of business thus making the free markets thrive. ”

Bill, left wing nuts don’t live in reality.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:25 am

“If Gov Walkers big issue is the budget WHY did he push through big tax cuts for corporations creating part of this financial mess?”

Because companies are leaving the midwest and heading south. Wisconsin lost a huge corporation to Virginia because of unions. Oh, and since you are obviously living in bozoland, the majority of Americans work for private companies, not government.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:26 am

“As I noted over in Kyle’s space, my guess is that if the many greed-driven people like Walker and his wealthy private-sector buddies (to whom he apparently gave whopping tax breaks to make them even richer) treated others like human beings rather than slaves more worthless than dirt, we wouldn’t even HAVE unions. Wouldn’t have needed them.

Slaves?????? Are you that stupid?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:28 am

“If you are really so worried about the deficit then repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and help out the deficit.”

LOLOL!!!!!!! OBAMA EXTENDED THE BUSH TAX CUTS!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez dude, stupid much?

Obama Signs Bill To Extend Bush Tax Cuts

In a display of compromise rarely seen during his time in office, President Obama has signed into law a $858 billion tax cut bill despite the misgivings of members of both parties.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20026069-503544.html

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:31 am

@ Bill – That “highest tax rate in the world” talking point does not mesh with reality. Show me one, just one, Fortune 500 company that pays anywhere near the top US tax rate for corporations. I read your comment to say that you believe an effective tax rate of 0% is to high. How can we possibly lower taxes on companies that pay no taxes at all??????

You need to go back and check your facts on when the job losses began. For you to say the economy was going great and unemployment did not start rising until January of 2009 tells me you are not interested in facts, only partisan rhetoric.

Also, how can organized labor be the main cause for this countries problems when only 13% of American workers are in a union? How did the unions cause the housing bubble to burst? How did the unions force companies like AIG to bet on that housing bubble and lose big? How did unions force non-union companies to lay off millions while recording record profits and paying out record bonuses to their CEOs?

Sorry Bill, the facts just don’t line up with your rhetoric.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:37 am

@LA – WI teachers don’t make anywhere near $90K a year. That is so absurd it would be laughable if it wasn’t so scary that someone could possibly believe that. The average teacher in WI makes $46,930 per year or about half of the number you quoted.

Here is where I got that number. Care to share your source?

http://teacherportal.com/salary/Wisconsin-teacher-salary

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:40 am

“You need to go back and check your facts on when the job losses began.”

2008 housing crash.

“January of 2009′

Wrong, it began in September of 08.

“Also, how can organized labor be the main cause for this countries problems when only 13% of American workers are in a union?’

See GM.

“How did the unions cause the housing bubble to burst?’

Did Bill write that they did or are you projecting? The housing crisis happened because a bunch of people bought houses they couldn’t afford.

“How did the unions force companies like AIG to bet on that housing bubble and lose big?’

Don’t forget Fannie and Freddie, Barney and Chris.

“How did unions force non-union companies to lay off millions while recording record profits and paying out record bonuses to their CEOs?”

Do you always get your “facts” from Huffington?

“Sorry Bill, the facts just don’t line up with your rhetoric.”

So where is your proof, Blue Woman?

Fact checker

February 23rd, 2011
9:41 am

Bob Barr discusses the French situation, but he seems highly ignorant about it. He claims that unions are powerful in France; but they are not. Only 8% of French workers are members of a union, which is lower than in the United States. In addition, in nearly every company, there are several unions competing for worker membership, and the management can play one against the other.

A more appropriate description of France is that unions are powerful in a small number of highly visible branches of the economy (e.g. railways, Paris public transportation), leading to over-reporting of their power by American journalists. A strike in a manufacturing company in Wisconsin won’t make the NYTimes news; a strike in the Paris public transportation will annoy the Paris correspondant of the Times and will be reported.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:44 am

“WI teachers don’t make anywhere near $90K a year.’

I have a teacher friend who works in Wisconsin and she makes 90k/year.

“The average teacher in WI makes $46,930 per year or about half of the number you quoted.

Yeah, when they start out.

“Here is where I got that number. Care to share your source?”

* Green Bay: $55,110
* Kenosha: $68,400
* Madison: $50,770
* Milwaukee: $54,620
* Racine: $49,710

http://www.teacher-world.com/teacher-salary/wisconsin.html

Ok, so they make 70k/year. They want to make 90k/year. My bad.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:49 am

“That “highest tax rate in the world” talking point does not mesh with reality. ”

U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/22917.html

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

Delta is ready when you are. Seriously, if you hate living in a red state, by all means, move to a blue state that is about to file for bankruptcy.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

@LA – Ah yes, name calling. Nothing says I don’t have the facts to prove you wrong like calling your opponent a name. If it makes you feel better about yourself to call me Blue Woman go for it.

Now to the actual facts, GM is not solely responsible for the economy that we are currently dealing with. What proof besides one company do you have to support Bill’s assertion that unions caused the economy to collapse? Bill said the unions caused the economy to collapse, we all know the mortgage crisis was the major factor, therefore Bill is asserting the unions caused the mortgage crisis.

You are correct that people buying houses they could not afford led to the problem. Now maybe you can take that a step further and explain how Fannie and Freddie forced Wall Street and banks to make huge bets on those mortgage securities that turned out to be worthless which amplified the problem and made a bad situation much worse.

I detailed my proof above in regards to the myth of high corporate tax rates. What else are you looking for?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:02 am

“Ah yes, name calling.”

What did I call you, ma’am?

“Nothing says I don’t have the facts to prove you wrong like calling your opponent a name. ”

I posted two links, ma’am.

“If it makes you feel better about yourself to call me Blue Woman go for it.

I call em like I see em, ma’am.

“GM is not solely responsible for the economy that we are currently dealing with.”

Never said it was, ma’am. I just gave you an example of how a union can ruin a business.

“What proof besides one company do you have to support Bill’s assertion that unions caused the economy to collapse?’

I never said that unions caused the economy to collapse. You need to either re-re-take remedial English or read my comments without projecting.

“Bill said the unions caused the economy to collapse, we all know the mortgage crisis was the major factor, therefore Bill is asserting the unions caused the mortgage crisis.

Am I Bill, ma’am? No, so I’d appreciate it if you’d address me by MY comments.

“Now maybe you can take that a step further and explain how Fannie and Freddie forced Wall Street and banks to make huge bets on those mortgage securities that turned out to be worthless which amplified the problem and made a bad situation much worse.”

See: Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

“I detailed my proof above in regards to the myth of high corporate tax rates.’

No you didn’t. You didn’t post one single fact to back up your claims.

“What else are you looking for?”

Facts to back up your claims, ma’am.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:03 am

@LA – So you know somebody in WI that is a teacher and makes $90K? That is your proof that teachers in WI make “around 90 grand a year”? Even your own link doesn’t come near to supporting your $70K number. Here is the part you clearly ignored:

In May 2009, preschool teachers in Wisconsin earned an average salary of $23,460, elementary school teachers earned $51,240, and secondary school teachers earned $49,400. (2) Education and experience level also make a difference in teacher salaries: secondary school teachers in the 90th wage percentile earned $69,550, while the entry-level teacher salary is generally in the $30,000s. (3)

To clear it up for you, the average salary is exactly what I said it was, according to your link. The starting salary is in the $30Ks, according to your link. There are about 10% who make about $70K, again according to your link.

So, according to your link, you are 100% wrong.

Harry Callahan

February 23rd, 2011
10:04 am

Oh those poor school teachers…they work 180 days per year (6-hour days) in a nice air-conditioned building. Oh the horror!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

“So you know somebody in WI that is a teacher and makes $90K?”

Si.

“That is your proof that teachers in WI make “around 90 grand a year”?

Si.

“Even your own link doesn’t come near to supporting your $70K number.”

See Kenosha: $68,400

Oh, and that link was from 2009.

“In May 2009′

Like I said, that link is old and pay has risen, ma’am.

“There are about 10% who make about $70K, again according to your link. ‘

When I said teachers make 90k, I didn’t say ALL teachers, ma’am. You have this problem with assuming and projecting.

“So, according to your link, you are 100% wrong.”

Have fun watching the unions implode, ma’am.

Harry Callahan

February 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

Hey Blue Man…what does $51K equate to if extrapolated out to a 250 day work year, as oppoesed to 180 days? Let me help:

51,000 * (250/180) = $70,833

Then add in that sweetheart pension they get instead of the joke social security the rest of us get boned with.

Cry me a river dude.

the watch dog

February 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

In making contracts for employment, the parties have equal rights to obtain from each other the best terms they can by PRIVATE BARGAINING, 1936 Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court found New York State’s minimum wage act unconstitutional.

What has changed ? Unions have forced collective bargaining down the throats of public and private business. They have forced wages to unsubstainable levels. No question about it, Unions have brought fiscal irresponsiblity to Wisconsin and the U.S. It is unrealistic to pay custodians, supposedly the lowest on the pay scale to $100,000 plus dollars, so the reason being if the custodian gets that much then every one above deserves a whole lot more, it is ridiculous. Private enterprise pays wages a whole lot less than government employees and it is the private employees that pay the taxes so that public employees can make more than private, it is outageous.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

70k for 180 days of work is pretty damn good, don’t cha think?

What’s so wrong with capping salaries of overpaid WI teachers when tax payers are the ones paying for their jobs?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:09 am

Harry Callahan

Blue Woman doesn’t understand math. She thinks that teachers work a full year which explains her misconceptions.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:10 am

@LA – I’m not interested in debating with an anonymous Internet tough guy who throws insults in lieu of facts. I said what I wanted to say and don’t need to call anyone names or make up fake numbers to support my beliefs.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

“I’m not interested in debating with an anonymous Internet tough guy who throws insults in lieu of facts. ”

What insults and what facts, ma’am? I haven’t called you any names and you have not provided facts.

“I said what I wanted to say and don’t need to call anyone names or make up fake numbers to support my beliefs.’

I never called you any names, ma’am. Fake numbers?????? Ma’am, I provided links to those numbers and it’s not my problem if you have a problem with that.

Like I said, Delta is ready when you are.

the watch dog

February 23rd, 2011
10:14 am

I do not know what happened,one of my best comments disappeared. In making contracts for employment, the parties have equal rights to obtain from each other the best terms they can by PRIVATE BARGAINING, 1936 U.S. Supreme Court, they also found the NYS minimum wage unconstitutuional. Since then there has been a resurgence of public and private unions with the end result that unions have pushed wages to unsustainable levels and made the U.S. un competitive in the world market. The Wisconsin Governor has seen the light and wants unions gone. Unions through collective bargaining have systematically ruined the country, they should be gone, gone and gone.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
10:19 am

Dear Bob Barr, potential topic for tomorrow, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704071304576160763576641114.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

This could invalidate 80% of the Federal criminal code, and restore “states rights” to a respectable position in political debate.

Blue Man on a Red Island

February 23rd, 2011
10:26 am

@Harry – $51K = $51K over 365 days, period. Teachers don’t get paid for summers. They get a weekly check just like you and me and it’s based on $51K over 365 days. Do their mortgages stop coming due in summer? Does their food cost money in the summer? Does gas become free in the summer?

They get paid their yearly wage and they have to make it work for the entire year. Just because they chose a profession that gives them summers off doesn’t mean they actually make more than that $51K number. Does your money buy more on your days off than it does on work days? I didn’t think so.

jconservative

February 23rd, 2011
10:37 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld at 7:39 am

Nice post. Really nice writing with a lot of truth.

The government unions, as I call them, work on two fronts. As a negotiator with the government. But also as an interest group “bribing” the government by political contributions to members of the government and by lobbying government institutions.

If government unions want to negotiate with government, they can sit down with government and negotiate a deal. But that means they should spend zero dollars lobbying government.

The government unions need to make a choice, negotiate or lobby. Not do both.

In Wisconsin the union in question spends millions lobbying. They spend little neogiating. The problem with that, as they are finding out, is that sometimes government refuses to be lobbied.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:45 am

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

-FDR

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:46 am

F.D.R. Warned Us

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former President of the AFL-CIO — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.

The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. FDR considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/19/fdr-warmed-us/

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:47 am

Blue Man on a Red Island

Answer this simple question: Why should taxpayers pay for pensions/salaries for unions?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
10:47 am

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the LIAR Obama, BEND OVER, here comes the CHANGE!

February 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

Finally, the OLD Bob is back. We missed you.

Carlosgvv

February 23rd, 2011
10:54 am

“shameful displays of civic greed”

You’re absolutely right, Bob. Imagine Wisconsin workers actually wanting to be able to buy food for their families, pay the rent, make their car payments, pay their utilities, etc. They certainly should drop their unions and put full trust in Big Business, like the Republicans are telling them to do.

mike

February 23rd, 2011
10:56 am

Strange out how Mr Barr attended college and somehow missed those turbulent times of the sixties. From what I remember it was a time of protesting the Viet Nam war. You remember the war which a lot of your present leaders took so many deferments to avoid. The protests where the FBI infiltrated groups and planted false evidence in groups who seemed to have a difference of opinion. Lets not forget the beat down and murders of civil rights workers. Or the killing of those Kent State students. Lets not even discuss the police actions at the national political conventions just to name a few. I suppose it depends which side of the fence you were on during those times whether or not they effected you. By his present article you can see what side he was on. Sort of like the teacher telling students black folks were brought to this country to help the farmers.

SteveH

February 23rd, 2011
11:00 am

“Public-employee unions, grown arrogant from decades of ever-more generous benefit packages, are fighting tooth and nail to hang onto their gains. They exhibit no willingness to help shoulder any of the costs the taxpayers at-large have to pay in these rough economic times.”

If you have to lie to make your case, you have a bad case. Barr is lying. As the conservative newspaper the Orange County Register notes, “Union leaders said they would agree to the higher payments, which are equivalent to an 8% pay cut, to help the state close a $3.6 billion budget shortfall through 2013. The governor, however, also wants public employee unions restricted to only be able to bargain over wages and not hours or benefits.”

That’s right, the unions have already agreed to the governor’s terms on paying more. But he wants to break the unions and won’t be satisfied until he’s done that. He refuses to take the union concessions and Barr is lying about it.

Bob

February 23rd, 2011
11:00 am

No Bob, the State of Wisconsin could afford it if the union agrees to cuts and the tax cuts for businesses, primarily big businesses, go away. This is simply a ploy to kill union bargaining rights, pure and simple. Even the union has stated that they will take the cuts if their union bargaining rights and maintained.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
11:02 am

@ LA

Teachers do not start at 46k. That average is raised due to masters degrees and 10+ years of service. I have a friend who has a masters degree in education and is currently making less than 40k. I started at 34k. I currently make 36k. Not a lavish lifestyle like you are trying to portray. Not every teacher works in a large city where the average pay is bloated.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
11:04 am

“Not a lavish lifestyle like you are trying to portray. ”

Never said it was a lavish lifestyle. Your words not mine.

“Not every teacher works in a large city where the average pay is bloated.’

Since when did Kenosha, WI become a big city?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
11:05 am

“That’s right, the unions have already agreed to the governor’s terms on paying more. But he wants to break the unions and won’t be satisfied until he’s done that. He refuses to take the union concessions and Barr is lying about it.”

LOL!!!!! I really love ignorant people.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
11:07 am

“I have a friend who has a masters degree in education and is currently making less than 40k.”

And I care, why?

“I started at 34k. I currently make 36k.”

You made that choice to teach. I couldn’t care less what you make as long as my taxes aren’t paying for you to whine and cry and protest while lying about being sick.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
11:10 am

You made that choice to teach. I couldn’t care less what you make as long as my taxes aren’t paying for you to whine and cry and protest while lying about being sick.

I did not go to the protests. Quit assuming. I also have no problem paying in for pension and health care. Its the collective bargaining that this is over. I was giving you examples of pay that are nowhere near the 70k you mentioned earlier.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
11:11 am

“You made that choice to teach. I couldn’t care less what you make as long as my taxes aren’t paying for you to whine and cry and protest while lying about being sick.”

I did make the choice to teach. I love what I do. You had the choice to go into whatever field you were entering knowing far in advance what your taxes were going to.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
11:12 am

Also, most teachers work longer than 8 hour days and take classes during the summer. So the 180 days a year point is moot.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
11:14 am

Since when did Kenosha, WI become a big city?

http://www.citypopulation.de/USA-Wisconsin.html

4th largest city in Wisconsin.

DawgDad

February 23rd, 2011
11:20 am

Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be missing the main point here. Several states including Wisconsin are going bankrupt. What happens then? They will try to pass the buck to the taxpayers in other states via the Fed. The political fallout could easily rip this country apart at the seams.

The taxpaying citizens of the United States are in grave danger of completely losing control of government. When that happens, your rights and freedoms will be controlled by a “boss-class” to be doled out as it serves their interests.

joe

February 23rd, 2011
11:28 am

Did you hear the sound bite of the female teacher in WI who chimed in with this gem- ‘First, he (Hitler) got rid of the unions, then the jews…’ No wonder kids, who are being taught by idiots in public schools like this lady, don’t stand a chance.

Unions are $ucking the marrow from the bone of this country…the times of taxpayers footing the bill for unions and illegals is over. We are broke and we cannot afford to stay on this track anymore. Those union bus drivers making six figures with 6+ weeks paid leave per year should have never gotten to this point.

captguitarman

February 23rd, 2011
11:39 am

The gorilla in the corner that many don’t seem to understand is that campaign funding from the Dems’ wealthiest, most reliable, and most consistent source (labor unions) is at stake. This is an all out union effort. The head of the AFL-CIO is heavily involved, the President is heavily involved (yes – he may be behind he scenes – but he is heavily involved), and unions both public and private from all over the nation are heavily involved. Wisconsin Dems/unions have already agreed to the modest give backs in pension and health care payments. It is the collective bargaining and other provisions they are desperate to protect. They not want any precedent set anywhere that would impact their power to blackmail, coerce, and extort concessions by striking and withholding essential public services – which is exactly how the states have, over the years, gotten into this financial predicament. Public employee unions should never have been given the right to strike in the first place, but the Dems all over the nation made that possible, and now that horse is way out of the barn, and is going to be tough to ever coral it again — as we are seeing. But even more importantly, the state takes the union dues out of the paychecks of public workers, gives it to the unions, who then pass the money straight on to the Dems. Wisconsin public employees currrently have no choice in this. If you are a cop, fireman, teacher, bureaucrat, highway mainteance worker, etc. the money is withdrawn for you. It is not voluntary. The new Wisconsin law makes it voluntary, and you have to re-up for it every year. The possibility of that choice has the Dems in Wisconsin and every where else terrified. How ironic coming from the party of “choice.” But that is another whole essay. If this catches on in Wisconisn, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, California and other public union bastions, it will be a Dem disaster. Desperate measures for desperate people. The Dems have run away in Indiana, and will probably do so when the time comes in other states – who have to balance their budgets since they don’t have a printing press like the Feds have. The use typical union tactics, shouting down people, screaming, marching, demanding, being pubic nuisances. So far, and to their credit – the time tested method of union thugs beating up reporters people who disagree with them has not been used yet. They scream that “this is what democracy looks like!!” No, actually it’s not. Democracy occurred in the peaceful November elections when the voters of Wisconsin elected a majority of Republican legislators and a governor who campaigned on balancing the budget and taking these kinds of measures. By fleeing the state and hiding out, the Dem legislators are obstructing the democratic process and conducting a de facto shut down of the state government. But, in their twisted world, choice is no a universally applicable virtue, and shutting down government is fine when they do it for their own selfish reasons. The silver lining for the Pubs and Independents who created the tsunami that devastated the Dems in November of 2010 is that this spoiled brat shameful behavior is going to help create an even larger tsunami in November of 2012.

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
12:04 pm

Very good article, and very informative. It’s a shame that these union workers have gotten so use to their huge pensions, that they pitch a fit like a 2 year old when an ‘inconvenient’ change comes their way. Get use to it people. The rest of America is having to reduce their personal budgets just to live every day. You are no better than the rest of us. Your labor unions are there to help you to not be taken advantage of…NOT to help you take advantage of everyone else, which has been the habit due to the labor unions having a powerful voice and powerful influence. In my days, that’s what we called a ‘bully.’ Get real, and join us in helping our country, instead of adding to the problem.

That one guy

February 23rd, 2011
12:12 pm

@Chris

It is not about the money. Its the collective bargaining being taken away. The union has agreed to the funds being used. They want the bargaining rights.

When this passes everyone in Wisconsin should be expecting property tax raises.

JF McNamara

February 23rd, 2011
12:23 pm

Hey Bob, maybe I missed the memo. The Union actually agreed to take the pay cuts he proposed. He refused to accept it because he wanted to try to strip Unions of power by passing anti-union laws.

It’s about more than balancing the budget.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:27 pm

“I did not go to the protests. Quit assuming. I also have no problem paying in for pension and health care. Its the collective bargaining that this is over. I was giving you examples of pay that are nowhere near the 70k you mentioned earlier.”

I posted a fact from a Wisconsin teachers website, ma’am. Couldn’t care less if you have no problem paying in. You should pay in from your own money and stop wasting taxpayer dollars over it. Collective bargaining is nothing more than demanding raises year in and year out.

Bottom line: Pay for your own damn retirement.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:27 pm

“I did make the choice to teach. I love what I do. You had the choice to go into whatever field you were entering knowing far in advance what your taxes were going to.’

Then again, your taxpayer dollars don’t pay for my salary.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:29 pm

“Also, most teachers work longer than 8 hour days and take classes during the summer. So the 180 days a year point is moot.”

Please post a link to back up that claim.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:30 pm

“4th largest city in Wisconsin.”

LOL!!!!! Yeah, Kenosha is one big city!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:30 pm

Kenosha, WI = 98,187

There are more people who attend UGA football games on a single Saturday. Try again.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:31 pm

Kenosha, WI = 98,187

There are 83,222 in Rockdale, Co. Try again.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:33 pm

joe

Yep, and these morons are the ones teaching school in Wisconsin.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:34 pm

“It is not about the money. Its the collective bargaining being taken away. The union has agreed to the funds being used. They want the bargaining rights.”

If it’s not about money, then why are unions/teachers talking about how poorly funded their jobs are?

“When this passes everyone in Wisconsin should be expecting property tax raises.’

Got something to back that up?

Patriot

February 23rd, 2011
12:35 pm

There are two groups of people in this country – those who are net taxpayers and those who are net tax consumers. Who know which group you belong to. Everyone says that the struggle is between the rich and the poor, the have’s and the have-not’s. The reality is that when the real battle begins, it will be between those who have used the power of the state to take from others for their benefit, used the power of the state to exclude competition from their markets, used the power of the state to protect their monopoly on service or goods delivery, or used the power of the state to provide the funding mechanism for their employment and the rest of us.

My greatest fear is that the rest of us, thanks to the tireless efforts of the govnerment, may no longer outnumber the others. But fundamentally all governments rely on the consent of the masses. We need only withdraw our consent. It collapsed the Berlin wall and the Iron Curtain, it collapsed the government of Mubarack, and it can restore freedom and liberty to this country once again. A solid and committed withdraw of support. It is already well underway.

Patriot

February 23rd, 2011
12:43 pm

Several protesters in Wisconsin made the comment that the first thing Hitler did after taking power was to get rid of the labor unions. What this person failed to mention is that he also got rid of private schools and guns. Hitler was no fool. He knew that he needed the government-controlled education system to further his cause and to indoctrinate the children. He also knew that an armed populace was a huge threat to his plans as well.

And of course since his plans were to control the economy, he couldn’t have organized labor messing with those plane. Even FDR, another great fascist leader, once wrote to the head of a labor union that while he supported organized labor, such collective bargaining was completely unworkable in govenrment employment situations for many of the reasons we see going on in Wisconsin. Yes, even FDR was against government employee collective bargaining. Here is a link ot one of many hundreds of sites with the documentation:
http://tundratabloids.com/2011/02/us-even-fdr-was-against-collective-bargaining-for-public-workers.html

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:45 pm

“Yes, even FDR was against government employee collective bargaining. ”

I already posted his statement about unions.

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
12:52 pm

There SHOULD be restrictions placed on the labor unions, to keep them limited in their powers in demanding raises and such, at least to a specified percentage equal to the average worker’s pay in the entire State, private or public (or slightly above average for the highly educated fields). But with seemingly no restrictions, it’s no wonder with programs like this going on around the nation, that we are going bankrupt. There comes a time when responsibility should kick in, but when we elect those into office who want to be responsible and desire to do the best possible thing to help, and we stand against their decisions, then we accomplish nothing but chaos, not responsibility. This is where responsibility SHOULD kick in.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
12:54 pm

“There SHOULD be restrictions placed on the labor unions”

Yeah, but without unions, Democrats wouldn’t have any money.

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
12:59 pm

Well, first…I didn’t say get rid of them altogether…because I think if controlled properly, and honestly, they could be a good thing for all workers of America, but secondly, for your comment “Yeah, but without unions, Democrats wouldn’t have any money.”…would that necessarily be a bad thing???

Tricky

February 23rd, 2011
1:01 pm

Hey Bob, did ya hear that the President will no longer defend that horrible piece of legislation that you crafted?

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
1:04 pm

On the other hand, if the Dem’s money was reduced through this avenue, it would mean a couple of things…1. Our taxes wouldn’t be forking out so much due to the labor unions and 2. this same tax money that helps these unions, of which portions of that goes to the Dem’s, would not be indirectly helping out the Democrats too…
Just a thought…

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:06 pm

Chris

I was being sarcastic. I’m all for getting rid of unions and couldn’t be happier to see Democrats lost their money.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:07 pm

Chris

It’s great to see the Democrats lose money and run from their own states. It shows the rest of the country just how effed up unions really are.

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
1:15 pm

I agree with you LA. I’m inclined to believe that if something’s causing a problem to my budget, that I’m going to do what I can to change it, or even eliminate it altogether, to keep the problem from persisting. That, I feel, is only a natural reaction that anyone would take to their own personal budgets. Why do these people think that the government is any different?

By the way, I knew you were being sarcastic…I just wanted to say it anyway.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:20 pm

Buh bye, unions.

Providence plans to pink slip all teachers

The school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.

http://www.projo.com/news/content/providence_teacher_layoffs_02-23-11_MCML6R3_v17.1a1cc6d.html

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:22 pm

Chris

Yep, and the greedy union members seem to think that “taxing the rich” is the solution which PROVES that they don’t understand why people are pissed off and hate unions. Some WI teacher actually said on live TV, that taxing rich people would fix the problem.

I guess you can’t fix stupid.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
1:36 pm

Bob, you’re 0-2, pal. ‘civic greed’? that’s some clever language? but let’s say it does exist within the public sector unions – would you concede ‘corporate greed’ has as much influence on unbalanced state budgets? are not tax incentives, bailouts and subsidies a manifesttion of greed in the ‘free enterprise’ system? or, is wealth the result of altruism? and speaking of ‘free enterprise’ system, the right to “bargain’ (collectively, or independently) is included in the ‘free’ (FYI – the United States is a plutocracy – ‘the free market’ is a card trick – the house always wins. so, somebody needs to tell Governor Walker he needs to lay off the 6,0000 employees and be done with it.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:43 pm

“would you concede ‘corporate greed’ has as much influence on unbalanced state budgets?’

What corporate greed?

“bailouts and subsidies a manifesttion of greed”

Spell check is your friend. What bailouts has Wisconsin given out?

“somebody needs to tell Governor Walker he needs to lay off the 6,0000 employees and be done with it.’

Couldn’t agree more. There are MANY unemployed teachers that would love to fill those jobs.

Patriot

February 23rd, 2011
1:44 pm

Joe the Plutocrat – There is no FREE MARKET in america. The only thing you are blaming is corporatism/merchantilism/crony capitalism or whatever name you want to give it, but it is not FREE MARKET Capitalism.

When the governor advocates elminating government provision of services and allowing a free, competitive market to provide education, fire, security, trash, charity, then we will know that he is serious about REALLY fixing the state budget problems.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
1:45 pm

DawgDad, you obviously never took my advice an looked up PLUTOCRACY in the dictionary. what is with the “America is in danger” warning? the “boss class” (plutocrats) have been running the show for years. plutocracy in action.

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
1:45 pm

Yep. So true. I mean…at one time when I didn’t know any better, I thought that taxing the rich would be a great idea, because I thought “he’s rich, and I’m not. He can afford it.” But then a certain someone I’ve been listening to lately on talk radio put it into perspective for me. Many rich people got rich, because they worked hard to get there. Yet they are still just as American as I am. They are still my equal. So how right would it be to tax him more, and leave me out of the equation, when I’m just as much an American as he is? All men are created ‘equal’, right? And if, my own construction company in which I own, happens to do great, should I be punished with higher taxes if I ever became rich? Absolutely not! I don’t own anything large right now, and as a matter of fact, I have no employees, and work out of my home, but if I were to get into that position of being rich, it would not mean that it’s justification for getting taxed more! As it stands, I’m already taxed on so much, and as I learn more, I find that there is more added on that I didn’t know about before. And sometimes there’s so much taxing going on, that a person would think that it would be better to just work for someone else, rather than own their own business. But this mindset of taxing the rich is just crazy, because an honest person who’s rich, wouldn’t have anything left by the time the government was done, if they continue to add taxes to them. Sorry for getting off the main topic here, but I just got started, and just wanted to finish my thoughts out.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:46 pm

Patriot

Watch out. Joe the Plutocrat likes to tell us all how smart he is. He once claimed to be a psychologist yet he misspells half of his rants.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:48 pm

Chris

What’ really ironic is that people like Obama go around talking about the “evil rich” yet they themselves are rich and many of them don’t even pay taxes. Heck, several of Obama’s staff got caught evading taxes.

Gotta love the people who fall for their lies.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
1:50 pm

“you obviously never took my advice an looked up PLUTOCRACY in the dictionary.”

MANY people don’t take your advice, Gump.

jpcuvelier

February 23rd, 2011
2:00 pm

You came to France But you had understood nothing, you’re right to be returned on your campaign

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
2:02 pm

Patriot, I think we’re on the same page – see my 1:45 to DawgDad – I ‘call it’ PLUTOCRACY. what dimwits like LA fail to understand is; “bargaining” is an essential component of a “free market”. LA, yeah slick, I guess you’re right. there has never been a lobbyist in the Wisconsin capital building. the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, University of Wisconsin Athletic Department (Big 10), Miller Brewing, or any of the dairy farmers in Wisconsin never got a subsidy. tax break or incentive. this is all the work “greedy teachers”. I’ll tell you what I told somebody yesterday, my dad is a retired teacher in NJ (same issues). he never went on strike, never took a day off, and he accepted his pay and benefits. if the ghosts of Wisconsin (or NJ) negotiate a short-sighted or bad deal, then RENEGOTIATE THE DEAL. laying this all at the feet of “unions” is infantile. with whom did the union leadership “collectively bargain”? again, if you want to fantasize about democracy and free markets, have at it. a plutocracy by definition includes public (unions and politicians) and private sector (lobbyists, corporations).

Chris

February 23rd, 2011
2:02 pm

LA,
I’ve thought about that, and yet I’ve not heard anyone in the media talk about it. Wonder why that is? It doesn’t make sense for rich Democrats to push for taxing the rich, when it’s just gonna turn around and bite themselves in the rear. It not only makes no sense, but if they actually had pushed it through, then I believe we would have heard more stories of tax evasions, but from the same people who pushed it through.

It’s just hard for me to believe that people actually ARE that stupid, and/or really believe that WE are that stupid. Do they not realize that pretending to have so much ignorance is highly unprofessional? I mean really?

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:08 pm

“the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, University of Wisconsin Athletic Department (Big 10), Miller Brewing, or any of the dairy farmers in Wisconsin never got a subsidy.”

U of Wisconsin is a public school that gets taxpayer dollars. They are not a private corporation. The other “corporations” as you call them, are not bankrupting the state. Miller is owned by Coors.

“my dad is a retired teacher in NJ (same issues). he never went on strike, never took a day off, and he accepted his pay and benefits.’

Good for him. Not sure what that has to do with the greedy unions in Wisconsin.

“laying this all at the feet of “unions” is infantile. ”

If it’s “infantile” then why are the unions the only ones crying?

“again, if you want to fantasize about democracy and free markets, have at it. ‘

We’re a republic.

“a plutocracy by definition includes public (unions and politicians) and private sector (lobbyists, corporations).”

Unions make up 12% of the workforce. Not sure where you get that unions make up a large part of this country.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:09 pm

“what dimwits like LA fail to understand ”

Sucks to be you, troglodyte.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:10 pm

“I ‘call it’ PLUTOCRACY. ”

And I call you effing retarded.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:11 pm

“It’s just hard for me to believe that people actually ARE that stupid”

Oh, all you have to do is to look at the demographic of a Democrat supporter. Ex-felons, welfare recipients, baby mamas etc…

monty

February 23rd, 2011
2:13 pm

I saw one protester(iron worker, I believe) say that if the proposed budget goes into effect then the union workers would lose their ability to dictate what their wages would be”. Interesting, I always thought employers dictated what they would pay and you could take it or try finding a job elsewhere. Welcome to the real world Mr. Ironworker!

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
2:14 pm

let’s be clear folks, “the rich” are already taxed. it’s the “wealthy” (corporations) that need to be taxed (and in the world of credits and debits, when a corporation gets a tax break or incentive not available to an individual, the state buget deficit increases (on paper). what you morons fail to accept is, labor is a commodity like anything else. when Egypt gets unstable, the price of crude oil goes up. when a hard freeze hits FL, the price of OJ goes up. there is an entire industry of commodities brokers who “play the market” like hedge fund managers or mutual fund managers “play the equities market”. the labor market is no different, so if the Governor of Wisconsin or NJ, or CA, or Indiana thought $50K per year, plus x% in pension, and y% in healthcare was a “good deal” the deal was signed into law. Walker and his ilk simply want to forego he “negotiating” and they speak of “shared sacrifices” but seem to think CBAs are the reason for deficits. anyone see Chris Christie on “Today”? he made a great point; states without CBA rights are suffering as well. this is a political play being orchestrated far beyond Madison, WI.

Jimmy62

February 23rd, 2011
2:16 pm

Monty: But don’t you realize that if teachers in Wisconsin can’t make up their own salaries, then it means we (the right wing) are literally enslaving every single worker in the United States?

At least that’s what I’m gathering from the pro-union folks commenting in this thread. The hyperbole is enthralling. It’s the end of the world, the apocalypse is coming because Wisconsin teachers will be at the mercy of their employers (just like all the private sector workers in the US)!

monty

February 23rd, 2011
2:25 pm

Everyone in reality dictates what they will work for. You can choose or not choose to work for a particular wage. choice is yours. It’s really a power struggle with the unions who are worried(scared to death) that they will lose control over their members. Members will opt out of their dues and the unions won’t have the same political clout (money)they once had to support their guys. It’s just such a huge cash cow! Dang well better believe they will fight til the end. Might as well call the union bosses lobbyist.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:27 pm

“it’s the “wealthy” (corporations) that need to be taxed”

And they’ll pick up and leave like a lot of them already have. You didn’t take Econ 101 did you.

“what you morons fail to accept”

Nothing like a bed wetting left winger to call us all morons. LOL

No matter how many times you call us names, you will not change the fact that unions are going down.

“this is a political play being orchestrated far beyond Madison, WI.’

Like I said, unions are done.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:28 pm

“But don’t you realize that if teachers in Wisconsin can’t make up their own salaries, then it means we (the right wing) are literally enslaving every single worker in the United States?”

Guess that’s why Uncle Jesse Jackson is now involved.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:29 pm

“Members will opt out of their dues and the unions won’t have the same political clout (money)they once had to support their guys.”

That’s what it all comes down to. Donations. It has NOTHING to do with “equal rights/pay.” Union members make a lot of money and retire earlier than private citizens.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:30 pm

“when Egypt gets unstable, the price of crude oil goes up.”

Yeah, that’s because the people end up blowing up oil wells etc. Obozo banned off-shore drilling and here we are.

Jimmy62

February 23rd, 2011
2:32 pm

Yeah, this isn’t really about collective bargaining, it’s about collections. The unions like the fact that the way it is now, they get to use taxpayer money to collect dues from union members, straight from the paychecks. They worry that if they have to actually collect the money themselves, they won’t get nearly as much since many of those union members will realize just how much they spend in dues and how little benefit they get from it, and not volunteer to pay anymore. So in the end, this is about the union leadership getting upset that they will lose control and money. It’s got nothing to do with caring about the teachers, and especially has absolutely NOTHING to do with educating children. In fact, the actions taken by the union prove that educating children is the lowest priority they have.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:34 pm

Joe the Plutocrat

Why should non-union workers give a rats a$$ about unions?

Without taxpayer dollars, unions don’t exist.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
2:40 pm

Monty, both YOU and the ironworker are wrong – the market dictates pay (see: labor is a commodity). this is why denying ANYONE “bargaining” rights, or the government “regulating” (defining) which forms of bargaining are OK (lobbying) and which are not (collective). this scenario should scare the sh*t out of ANY ‘freedom loving American’. and LA, look it up, slick. I am not saying plutocracy is good or bad, but it is how we roll these days. please explain the difference between lobbyist who advocate on behalf of “collective” groups such as dairy farmers, manufacturers, insurance companies, or any ’special interest’. does anyone know how the Wisconsin National Guard or State Police procures weapons and ammo? how about vehicles/ does the governor just stroll onto a used car lot and buy 10 Crown Victoria’s? does he walk into a sporting goods store and say; “I’ll take 300 Glocks and 3 million rounds of 9mm ammo.”? who feeds the lawmakers when they are in session? who pays for their lunches? who pays their travel expesnese when they go on ‘fact finding’ junkets?

The one guy

February 23rd, 2011
2:46 pm

“Collective bargaining is nothing more than demanding raises year in and year out.”

More to it than that

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:47 pm

“the market dictates pay”

Yeah, and the unions have driven companies to take jobs overseas etc.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:48 pm

So long illegals.

Indiana lawmakers pass immigration curbs like Arizona

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The Indiana senate passed a sweeping immigration bill that echoes Arizona’s tougher measures on illegal immigrants and despite opposition from some of the largest employers and business groups in the state.

The measure, passed on Tuesday night by a vote of 31-18, would allow state and local police to ask a person stopped for infractions like traffic violations for proof of legal residency if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” they may be in the country illegally.

Another provision would call for, with some exceptions, the use of English only in public meetings, on Web sites and in documents.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
2:49 pm

Obama = one term president

US Crude Crosses $100 Mark; Brent Tops $110

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41726474

The one guy

February 23rd, 2011
2:55 pm

“Bottom line: Pay for your own damn retirement.”

Teachers union agreed to do so.

“Also, most teachers work longer than 8 hour days and take classes during the summer. So the 180 days a year point is moot.”

Please post a link to back up that claim.”

Not everything can be provided through a link. I am a teacher and I see staff enter at 6am and leave at 5 or 6 pm. Myself included. Classes are required in order to keep your teaching license. A professional development plan paper is required to keep your teaching license. All of these have to be shown with proof by classes. Teachers have their masters. Many take those classes in the summer.

“Kenosha, WI = 98,187

There are 83,222 in Rockdale, Co. Try again.”

You realize Kenosha is in Kenosha, Co. right?

“I posted a fact from a Wisconsin teachers website, ma’am.”

And I told you to quit using bloated facts that back up only your facts. You chose the 5 largest cities in Wisconsin. Even then the average is not 70k.

“When this passes everyone in Wisconsin should be expecting property tax raises.’

Got something to back that up?”

The bill is cutting school funding. Where do you think the schools will go to get the funding? The city. Where will the city most likely want the excess money to come from? Property taxes. This is just a guess on my part however.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:01 pm

“Teachers union agreed to do so.’

ALL of it. Not just some percentage. Every. Single. Dollar.

“Not everything can be provided through a link.”

No, but it would be nice to see where one came to the conclusion of his/her claim.

“You realize Kenosha is in Kenosha, Co. right?”

Yep, and you obviously missed my point.

“And I told you to quit using bloated facts that back up only your facts.’

LOL!!!!! I “bloated” the facts? How?

“You chose the 5 largest cities in Wisconsin. Even then the average is not 70k.”

Nope, try again. 70k was put beside Kenosha as the average pay.

“The bill is cutting school funding. ”

GOOD!!!!! Public schools are horrible.

“Where do you think the schools will go to get the funding? ”

Don’t care. My kid goes to private school and I pay for it out of my own pocket.

“Where will the city most likely want the excess money to come from? Property taxes. ”

Good luck with that.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:03 pm

“I am a teacher and I see staff enter at 6am and leave at 5 or 6 pm. Myself included. Classes are required in order to keep your teaching license. A professional development plan paper is required to keep your teaching license. All of these have to be shown with proof by classes. Teachers have their masters. Many take those classes in the summer.”

1: Teachers get the summers off and have nice breaks to go along with it. Teachers also get holidays off.

2: Welcome to the real world. In the real world, people work longer than 8 hours.

3: I know plenty of teachers who are home by 5 everyday.

Bottom line: Unions are done.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
3:11 pm

monty, thank you. union bosses most certainly are lobbyists. plutocracy in action.

monty

February 23rd, 2011
3:12 pm

70-100 grand a year(a million or 2 in retirement) running a machine, pushing buttons, it’s a good gig if you can get it. Taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for those pensions though.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:13 pm

“Taxpayers are tired of footing the bill for those pensions though.”

Yep, and we’re also tired of them giving the taxpayer dollars to democrat thugs like Obama.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:14 pm

Joe the Plutocrat

Why should non-union workers give a rats a$$ about unions?

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
3:19 pm

LA, and I know plenty of retired military officers who now have jobs as lobbyists or on the boards of defense contractors, who are home all day (except when they head to the bank to cash their ‘consulting’ fee check). I am not defending unions. they are part of the plutocracy. I am defending their right to “bargain” as any other “collective”. do you really think WI or any state’s budget woes is due to union pensions and benefits? the economy is in the tank and the government bean counters counted their revenue chickens before they hatched. georgia teachers are not “organized” and we have the lottery to fund education programs and we’re still in the red AND restructuring the Hope Scholarship (which was suppose to be sacrosanct. and georgia has been run by the GOP (governor’s mansion and statehouse) for the past two terms (and the current term). maybe we need CBAs?

monty

February 23rd, 2011
3:20 pm

Teaching is one of the few jobs you can stink at and not have to worry about losing your job. I know, my children have had several who if not for their union acquired collective bargaining rights would be out of a job. It’s almost impossible for a teacher to get fired. It’s a large part of the problem in our schools. Finding teachers who are interested in doing more than collecting their pay and counting down the days till vacation is hard to do. I know, I’m friends with a few.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:21 pm

“do you really think WI or any state’s budget woes is due to union pensions and benefits?”

Yes, as is Illinois, Indiana etc…

“georgia teachers are not “organized” and we have the lottery to fund education programs and we’re still in the red ‘

Yep, but GA isn’t in danger of going bankrupt like other states.

“I know plenty of retired military officers who now have jobs as lobbyists or on the boards of defense contractors”

Not sure what that has to do with unions.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:23 pm

“It’s almost impossible for a teacher to get fired.”

Only if you’re black. White teachers can get fired more easily.

“Finding teachers who are interested in doing more than collecting their pay and counting down the days till vacation is hard to do. ”

They mostly exist in private schools. Private schools are about only places where teachers care. That’s because they can actually teach and not have to deal with baby mama’s kids.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 23rd, 2011
3:34 pm

monty, this is a little off message, but I want you to Google two names: Scott Helveston and Pat Tilman. Helveston was a former SEAL who was killed witll working as a private contractor for Blackwater Security in Fallujah in April 2004. his estimated (taxpayer funded) salary was $200,000 – $250,000 per year. Tilman, as you may be aware was a former NFL star who walked away from a $9 million contract to enlist as a Ranger. he was KIA in Afganistan in May 2004. his salary as an enlisted Ranger was maybe $25,000. so let’s go easy on the “good gig if you can get it” stuff. again, I am not defending unions, merely the right of ANY American to bargain (or retain the services of a more experienced bargaining agent).

[...] over two years. In times like these, every family in Michigan is weighing expenses and …Will Wisconsin become another France?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Why won't Governor Walker accept unions' offer and [...]

JudyT

February 23rd, 2011
3:47 pm

The unions in Wisconsin are not refusing to pay an increase in their benefits and pension plans. They have agreed to do so. What they are refusing to do is to give up the right to bargain collectively for the good of their members. THere is a difference. If you are a union, you bargain wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. The wages part of this has been agreed to. THe Governor won’t leave the other bargaining subjects on the table.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
3:48 pm

“THe Governor won’t leave the other bargaining subjects on the table.”

Good.

Tychus Findlay

February 23rd, 2011
4:11 pm

The fact that the wealthy and big business are able to find loopholes in the tax code to reduce their liability to little or nothing is testament to the fact that we need to simplify the tax code and eliminate the IRS.

You want everyone to pay their fair share? Flat or consumption based taxes do just that.

The one guy

February 23rd, 2011
4:23 pm

“ALL of it. Not just some percentage. Every. Single. Dollar.”

They agreed to do all that was proposed in the bill. Fighting the collective bargaining.

“No, but it would be nice to see where one came to the conclusion of his/her claim.”

And I gave it to you.

“Yep, and you obviously missed my point.”

I guess so. You said Kenosha isn’t a large city. I provided you with a link that says its the 4th largest.

“LOL!!!!! I “bloated” the facts? How?”

You are using the 5 largest cities to back your claims that the average salary is 90k per yet….then you said 70k per year. Take the average salary of the state. http://teacherportal.com/salary/Wisconsin-teacher-salary $46,390

“GOOD!!!!! Public schools are horrible.”

Don’t confuse opinion with fact.

“Don’t care. My kid goes to private school and I pay for it out of my own pocket.”

I am glad you are happy with that decision and I hope your child gets a good education.

“Teachers get the summers off and have nice breaks to go along with it. Teachers also get holidays off.”

Yes, the perks of the job are nice. When you look for a job don’t you look for perks? Again, teachers do more then nothing in the summer (Classes/tutor). A lot of people get holidays off. The postal service had off for Presidents Day….damn them!

“Welcome to the real world. In the real world, people work longer than 8 hours.”

I am agreeing with you. I am also letting you know teachers work more than 4 hours. I have friends in the private sector that work only 8 hours. I also have friends that get off November-Beg. of March. Maybe we should start throwing a big stink because we pay too much towards their unemployment?

“I know plenty of teachers who are home by 5 everyday.”

I know plenty that aren’t.

“Bottom line: Unions are done.”

That might be the case.

Bottom line: Every job has its perks. Everyone had a choice when choosing a career. I do not understand all of the animosity towards teachers. I realize no one wants to be paying for pensions and health care. Understandable, but the argument that teachers don’t work hard is a bit overused. Of course there are some bad seeds. There is at every job.

By the way. My grandmother used to teach at a private school. She was an awful teacher.

Tychus Findlay

February 23rd, 2011
4:31 pm

It’s also hard to take the teacher’s unions seriously given the quality of the product produced. If the public schools were cranking out geniuses by the truckload, the Governor would probably be more concerned with potentially losing their educators.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
4:40 pm

“They agreed to do all that was proposed in the bill. ”

No they didn’t.

“And I gave it to you.”

No you didn’t.

“You are using the 5 largest cities to back your claims that the average salary is 90k per yet….then you said 70k per year.’

I already corrected the 90k claim. I used the cities provided in the link I posted.
It said that Kenosha was 70k.

“Don’t confuse opinion with fact.’

I look at the facts. Fact is, public schools are in disarray all over the country and the US isn’t in the top 20 in math and science when compared to the rest of the world.

“When you look for a job don’t you look for perks?”

Of course. But tax dollars aren’t spent on my perks.

“A lot of people get holidays off. The postal service had off for Presidents Day….damn them!”

Yep, but most private company employees only get the big holidays off.

“I do not understand all of the animosity towards teachers.”

It’s not the teachers, it’s the unions. It’s the union bosses in bed with the Democrat Party.

“My grandmother used to teach at a private school. She was an awful teacher.”

Not my problem.

Non-draft Dodger '66

February 23rd, 2011
4:43 pm

By now, everyone knows it had nothing to do with the budget. The pay and benefits cut were accepted by the state workers.

We should be thanking the WI governor, he has awakened the sleeping giant – organized labor, all working people, independent voters and most of all THE DEMOCRATS!

Thanks for motivating the base!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
4:56 pm

“We should be thanking the WI governor, he has awakened the sleeping giant – organized labor, all working people, independent voters and most of all THE DEMOCRATS!”

Independents left the Democrat Party. The unions are done.

The Original Get Real

February 23rd, 2011
5:02 pm

“We should be thanking the WI governor, he has awakened the sleeping giant – organized labor, all working people, independent voters and most of all THE DEMOCRATS!”

Not really, based on what is happening in WI public opinion is very much against the unions, the teachers that have walked out and especially the state democratic senators that left the state in the middle of the night. Unions will soon be history….Thank God

LA

February 23rd, 2011
5:11 pm

“based on what is happening in WI public opinion is very much against the unions’

Yep, likely voter poll came out and showed 48% in favor and 38% don’t favor.

See ya, unions! Good riddance.

Really??

February 23rd, 2011
5:39 pm

So the author is basing his premise that since the 60’s the size of government has grown in the US and that this is why workers are striking like those in France? hmmm. What about the Reagan Revolution in the 80’s that permanently shifted the political spectrum more towards the Right and convinced the average American that regulation was bad, unions were bad, and corporations and the free market was good?

The author thinks that there is more goverment today than in the 60s? Think again.

Tax Breaks to the rich and corporations-Yeah!

February 23rd, 2011
7:22 pm

It’s okay for the governer to come into office and give massive tax breaks to corporations and then tell everyday public employees we’re going to cut your benefits and by the way you can no longer negotiate your pay. What’s more he gives massive tax breaks to corporations and then says the State is in a budget crunch? What? If the State needs money why give massive tax breaks to corporations? Oh yeah, more fantasy driven by some crazy ideology that if you give corporations tax breaks that will equal jobs. If that were true we wouldn’t have had a recession and our economy would not be in shambles. Why don’t we use the same argument Wall Street used when it came to bonuses after the bailout money was given. We must give the bonuses or else we will lose our finest employees. Who is more important? Wall Street Executives or the teacher who’s teaching our children. We really have it backwords in this country. Years of brainwashing people that government is bad has come home to roost.

Tax Breaks to the rich and corporations-Yeah!

February 23rd, 2011
7:30 pm

These people who are against Unions know nothing about history or don’t care about history and simply believe anything a right wing pundit tells them. Don’t people think for themselves anymore? These same people don’t even have any negative encounters with Unions to justify their position. They simply rant on or spew out what they’ve been told to think. SAD very sad. Obviously our educational system needs help but instead of doing that we’ll simply throw the teachers under the bus. You pay for what you get!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
7:37 pm

“These people who are against Unions know nothing about history ”

Oh, I’d love to debate history with you, ma’am.

“Don’t people think for themselves anymore?”

Writes the gal who supports unions….. Contradict much?

“These same people don’t even have any negative encounters with Unions to justify their position. ”

GM

“They simply rant on or spew out what they’ve been told to think.”

Says the gal who supports the unions. LOL

“Obviously our educational system needs help but instead of doing that we’ll simply throw the teachers under the bus.”

There are plenty of non-union teachers who are out of work who would GLADLY take the jobs of greedy WI teachers.

“You pay for what you get!”

Pot, meet kettle.

Tax Breaks to the rich and corporations-Yeah!

February 23rd, 2011
7:40 pm

LA you didnt say anything except repeat what I said. Again our educational system is in trouble.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
7:41 pm

“Who is more important? Wall Street Executives or the teacher who’s teaching our children.

I’d take the Wall Street Exec any day over some whiny teachers union. Besides, America ranks low on the list of countries with the best education.

“It’s okay for the governer to come into office and give massive tax breaks to corporations’

Got something to back that up with?

“If the State needs money why give massive tax breaks to corporations?’

Because WI already lost a big corporation to Virginia. You didn’t take ECON 101 did you.

“Why don’t we use the same argument Wall Street used when it came to bonuses after the bailout money was given.”

Because it wasn’t taxpayer dollars that were given to them.

“Years of brainwashing people that government is bad has come home to roost.”

No, right now everyone is getting a lesson on why government is bad. SEE: B H Obama.

Hey, where are all the jobs Obozo promised in 08?

When is the stimulus money gonna create those “shovel ready jobs?”

LA

February 23rd, 2011
7:42 pm

“you didnt say anything except repeat what I said.’

Not my problem if you can’t read, ma’am.

“Again our educational system is in trouble.”

And you can thank lazy parents, lawyers and unions.

Felix

February 23rd, 2011
8:18 pm

Government jobs have never been the best paying jobs, but they have compensating benefits. Generally they offer more stability(less lay-offs), and good health coverage. And, many unions all over this country helped to get and keeps these benefits.

The “let them eat cake” attitude of those recently responsible for getting their chosen elected into office, are getting tax cuts and their opposition destroyed, in turn for their financial support of the last election.

Elections have consequences. And, the draconian hand of the newly elected will get them quickly pushed out of office.

Setting up a straw men to attack, instead of fairly negotiating with the state employees, is heavy handed, Mr. Barr. And, destroying collective bargaining, to clear the way to “run the board” is draconian.

Eric

February 23rd, 2011
9:07 pm

We’re hardly on the verge of a socialist state with the likes of Kyle Wingfield promoting school vouchers to subsidize private school tuition. Considering the low pay for teachers and most other government positions, an affiliation with a protective union and some stronger benefits is still reasonable compensation. I support the Wisconsin workers and am sorry the private sector doesn’t value leisure, job protections, and the like. To the private sector, it’s always about money, isn’t it!

one world

February 23rd, 2011
9:20 pm

To: LA and other misinformed folk. I am a recently retired high school English teacher in CA. After 15 years of teaching (at age 63), I was earning $60,000 (gross pay) per year. I have heard that CA salaries are high, but maybe I should have been teaching in the states you reference. I wonder where you got your information. And by the way, I’d estimate my actual hours of work each week of the academic year at at least 80. Since the inception of public education, public school teachers across the country have poorly paid for: the amount of hours worked. Nothing has changed, except, possibly, that we are less respected today than ever before due to the false measurement of learning garnered from standardized – multiple choice – tests. Just a bit of FYI. ry reading and watching and listening to “news” outside of your usual comfort zone, and you may find yourself actually educated on current events!

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:27 pm

one world

CA is going bankrupt.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:28 pm

“To the private sector, it’s always about money, isn’t it!”

Yeah, especially when it’s the private sectors money that pays for lazy union workers.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:29 pm

“Elections have consequences. And, the draconian hand of the newly elected will get them quickly pushed out of office. ”

Doubt that. Wisconsin put him in office because the last bozo spent too much money and drove business out of the state. Same with Ohio and Michigan.

Sucks to be you.

LA

February 23rd, 2011
9:30 pm

“And, destroying collective bargaining, to clear the way to “run the board” is draconian.’

Not when it’s the taxpayers who are getting ripped off.

Richard Katz

February 23rd, 2011
11:03 pm

Dear Bob,

This is no simple or mild ‘austerity’ program. First, the governor nor the bill can balance their budget by taking peoples rights away. But that’s what the bill and what Walker says he intends to do.

It doesn’t balance. How does it add up? How many dollars are your collective (freedom of assembly) and bargaining (freedom of speech) rights worth? Mine aren’t for sale at any price.

Second, and more importantly all this discussion about budget vs. rights hides a corrupt direction written into the bill: the bill would allow the governor to sell state property at any price, for any reason, to any one without any review by the state.

The State of Wisconsin already had a board to review these back-office cash deals and the intent of “the bill” is to defeat the any review. The governor’s intention with this bill is to undermine the financial health of the state.

Far from ‘repair’ or austerity, this is complete corruption on the part of the governor and the Wisconsin Republican party.

Thank you however for your analysis.

Regards,

Rich

[...] The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Will Wisconsin Become Another France? Public-employee unions, grown arrogant from decades of ever-more generous benefit packages, are fighting tooth and nail to hang onto their gains. They exhibit no willingness to help shoulder any of the costs the taxpayers at-large have to pay in these rough economic times. … Whether we become another France – a country long held hostage to powerful unions and debilitating social benefit programs – or begin the slow but vital climb back up the ladder from the depths of government entitlements and deficit-spending, may be determined right here, right now, in Madison, Wisconsin (Bob Barr, 2/23).  [...]

[...] Will Wisconsin become another France? | The Barr Code. This entry was posted in Economy, Finances, Opinion, Unions, United States and tagged benefit, budget proposal, Code, College, democratic state legislators, face, free enterprise economy, greed, hand, percent, public employee unions, public sector union, reaction, republican colleagues, republican majorities, riots in greece, Student, student riots, Union, violent demonstrations. Bookmark the permalink. ← 2/24 cartoon: Mike Luckovich on HOPE | Mike Luckovich [...]

DebbieDoRight

February 24th, 2011
8:13 am

Public-employee unions, grown arrogant from decades of ever-more generous benefit packages, are fighting tooth and nail to hang onto their gains. They exhibit no willingness to help shoulder any of the costs the taxpayers at-large have to pay in these rough economic times.

Aren’t “public employee” [unions], taxpayers too? Just asking…….

Thou shall not encroach

February 24th, 2011
8:18 am

“You’d think by the response, the governor was forcing union members to surrender their first-born child to the state.”

That doesn’t really work there does it? Try, “The reaction makes sense only if the teachers had noticed the hidden, no-bid, and unreviewable gubernatorial resource allocations that were sewn into bill by the fringe.”

Instead you went for an overused and obsolete cliche which stopped most readers cold. and misled the rest.

As usual.

moron (Hey, notice how every other word Dr House on the tv show “House” uses is the word “moron”. Whadupwidat?)

The show is unwatchable.

LA

February 24th, 2011
10:20 am

“Aren’t “public employee” [unions], taxpayers too? Just asking…….”

Not sure what that has to do with anything, but yes.

Prison Planeteer

February 24th, 2011
10:45 am

I’ll bet that the capitol building is starting to SMELL like France, after being occupied by the commies for two weeks.

stinky pete

February 24th, 2011
11:22 am

Barr for President!

Hmmmm

February 24th, 2011
11:47 am

The unions have agreed to the financial settlements. The real issue are the rules the governor wants which would not allow a deduction for union dues and would require an annual vote on members of the union on continuing in the union. In other words, the members of the union want to keep the organizational structures that allow them to exist.

It seems to me that individuals should be able to voluntarily organize if they wish and combine their voices to speak as an organization in order to be heard and to be more powerful. Is that not what the National Rifle Association has done? Is that not what the Elks and Rotarians do? Or the Chambers of Commerce, locally and nationally?

Why is it that only those who work should not be able to organize as a group to better represent their interests?

David

February 24th, 2011
11:59 am

I love it how the union workers like to say if you dare take away their collective bargaining rights or make any changes that we will go back to the Pre-Union days. Guess what I understand the the Value that Unions USED to have. Child labor, various protections in terms of safety, etc. However in the real world of today there are many labor laws on the books that provide these same protects, if every union were to be outlawed today, there would still be minimum wages, 40 hour work weeks, a requirement for OT pay, child labor laws, safety standards, etc, etc, etc. So can you please spare me the red herring.

Darwin

February 24th, 2011
12:11 pm

Let’s start calling it Freedom Cheese!

ohmy

February 24th, 2011
12:26 pm

wonder how many french feel like hostages…cest la vie…been to or france (or even doceur de france) lately bob?

Gary

February 24th, 2011
1:05 pm

I am one Georgian conservative who hopes Walker fails pass his bill. I hope he is forced to increase taxes on businesses and taxpayers. This will create an environment where Georgia may be able to come in a steal away some of these employeers and entice them to a union free low corporate tax state.

For those who keep saying the Big Corps are getting the tax breaks in Badger land and need to pay up. Corporations do not pay taxes… Ever. That goes into the cost of their doing business and is added to the cost of what ever product they sell. Taxing business only hurts the local economy. Businesses on the other hand produce jobs which provide the state with additional sources of income and sales tax. There employees keep other businesses going by purchasing goods and services. The employees pay property taxes and utility taxes. All because a business decided to open in that area. Go ahead, demand they pay more and they will look for a better deal in another state and all of those funding sources will dry up. Instead, these producers will need unemployment, social services, house values drop, schools loose funds as populations drop as people leave to look for work. Drive around Detroit. See the effects it can have on a city. While high taxes is not the reason for Detroits failures, one has to wonder hos BMW, Hyundia, KIA, Mercedes, and other car manufactures seem to florish in the south where they recieve huge tax incentives, no unions, and an eager employment base. Ask Austin Texas why it is so successfull stealing IT companies from California. If you are a producer I want to give you a tax break because you create opportunities for real additional state income. So all you union states, keep things the way they are. We would love to see your job move down here. We are a business friendly state.

Gary

February 24th, 2011
1:10 pm

Do them like Reagan did to the air traffic controllers. Fire them and send them home. I am pretty sure you have 6000 quallified applicants in line right now in wisc. trying to collect unemployment who would do the same work for 20% less pay and bennifits and would be happy to do so. Hire all of them and then let these folks go ask the union what it will do for them now…. Nothing.

Community Agitator

February 24th, 2011
1:15 pm

So, a wretched left wing liberal plays a “prank call” on the WI governor, pretending to be a Conservative billionaire Conservative funder and talking about putting plants in crowds and whatnot. Governor Walker stated he had thought about it but decided no way. So guess who gets all pissy over a THOUGHT comment? The liberals! Yep, the same group of people who were actually proud to say they infiltrated Tea Party rallies with Nazi and racist plants. Hypocrites. Besides, it’s not like the governor’s team actually DID that or anything.

And now we here a Saudi Arabian chemical engineering student has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges for wanting to blow up Bush’s ranch. Yeah, the Tea Party is the real threat to America according to liberals. Sure. Of course the main stream DNC liberal media is not reporting him as being a Muslim and instead euphamize him as a “radicalized foreigner.”.You sure the term “foreigner” isn’t offensive to you there, liberals?

“MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to try to find at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats who have been on the run for eight days” These cowardly RATs need to be arrested and jailed for insubordination, failing to uphold an oath of public office, and dereliction of duty. Then get a special election for each and every one of their replacements. If Republicans were cutting and running for over a week because they didn’t want to deal with Obamacare, Democrats and liberals would be calling for their heads.

The world is spinning out of control, gas prices are set to annihilate any economic recovery we *may* have been in as the liberal DNC main stream media likes to trump it up (although I find unemployment still being at 10% not any kind of economic recovery), food prices are set to skyrocket thanks to liberal feel-good corn based ethanol, and the amount of banks in trouble is at the highest rate in 18 years. But guess what Obama plans on doing today? Having a Motown party! You sure it’s not time for another vacation?

In the meantime, Chicago proves what a bunch of mindless liberal Democrat drones it still is by electing Rahm as Mayor. They’ll get what they deserve: more corruption, more failed policies, higher taxes, and more people and jobs fleeing from the city [and state]..

mike

February 24th, 2011
1:28 pm

For all of the union bashers out there – do you enjoy an 8 hour work day, do you enjoy a 40 hour work week, do you believe in workman’s compensation, workplace safety regulations, child labor laws? If your answer is yes, then thank a union worker. They fought and died to get all of these rights extended to the American worker. This isn’t a political issue – it’s a labor issue. Turning this into a republican vs. democrat argument just keep us all blind to what corporations really want. Don’t think this is about corporations? This piece of legislation in Wisconsin has the added caveat of allowing no bid contracts to buy Wisconsin energy plants attached to it. It’s a lousy bill being pushed by another in the pocket politician.

LA

February 24th, 2011
1:56 pm

“I hope he is forced to increase taxes on businesses and taxpayers. ‘

Ok, so are you prepared for your tax dollars to bail out WI?

LA

February 24th, 2011
1:57 pm

“For all of the union bashers out there – do you enjoy an 8 hour work day, do you enjoy a 40 hour work week’

I work 70+ hours/week. I haven’t worked a 40 hr workweek since I was in college.

“If your answer is yes, then thank a union worker. ‘

No, the lawyers can be thanked for that.

mike

February 24th, 2011
2:57 pm

You work 70 hours a week by choice (you’re missing life by the way, you should give it a shot). Lawyers had nothing to do with it. If you worked less, you could read more, and form an educated opinion.

LA

February 24th, 2011
3:09 pm

“You work 70 hours a week by choice”

Nope, try again.

“Lawyers had nothing to do with it.”

Yes they did.

“If you worked less, you could read more, and form an educated opinion.”

I have an opinion and I stated it. My opinion of unions is negative because they are selfish people who take taxpayer dollars at will.

I, like MANY others, are sick of our money paying for selfish people to retain their jobs.

Gman

February 24th, 2011
3:43 pm

The majority of individuals that support what the Wisconsin governor is doing don’t know squat about education or teaching (including the governor). Ignorant people with opinions are the very base of the GOP!

Thou shall not encroach

February 24th, 2011
4:26 pm

Will America become like France?

What an insult to le French! American food = garbage. American Women = Flavo-fat. American Men = Amourons

When we invent something as tasty as the croissant, then we can talk about France. Have you tasted American breakfast rolls? Please. I’ve eaten more tender erasers. and have ingested tastier pencil lead.

Castor Oil would improve the flavor of most USA restaurant fare.

VIVA LA CUISINE en FRANCAIS!!!

LA

February 24th, 2011
6:04 pm

“The majority of individuals that support what the Wisconsin governor is doing don’t know squat about education or teaching”

Got something to back that up? Nope. I love it when left wing retards make stupid claims about other people and can’t back it up.

“Ignorant people with opinions are the very base of the GOP!”

Say goodbye to unions, ma’am. The people whose money is taken by unions are sick of people like you.

Sucks to be you, gwoman.

LA

February 24th, 2011
6:07 pm

“What an insult to le French! American food = garbage.”

Delta is ready when you are, ma’am.

“American Women = Flavo-fat. American Men = Amourons”

Ah, so you like your women with bad teeth, hairy arms and full of STD’s.

“When we invent something as tasty as the croissant, then we can talk about France. ”

Croissants are $hitty. Try again, ma’am.

“Have you tasted American breakfast rolls?”

Nope, we Americans like biscuits.

“I’ve eaten more tender erasers. and have ingested tastier pencil lead. ”

No wonder your IQ is so low.

“Castor Oil would improve the flavor of most USA restaurant fare. ”

Have fun going bankrupt in France, ma’am.

“VIVA LA CUISINE en FRANCAIS!!!”

Delta is ready when you are, tard.

Thou shall not encroach

February 24th, 2011
7:45 pm

Good one, LA. I’ve got milk coming out of my nose.

Great fun.

LA

February 24th, 2011
8:17 pm

“I’ve got milk coming out of my nose. ”

Sounds like you have bigger problems.

Thou shall not encroach

February 24th, 2011
8:38 pm

No, if milk is coming out of my nose, then I have booger problems.

Lou

February 24th, 2011
10:39 pm

Deb

February 25th, 2011
11:16 am

Had Governor Walker proposed FIRST that all Wisconsin legislators would take a ten percent cut, give up some of their own benefits and such, perhaps his wanting to cut the throats of the already overburdened worker wouldn’t have been taken so vehemently. Walker earns over $140,000 as governor. That is about 4 times the amount of the average wage earner of the state and likely at least 3 times that of a decently paid teacher. Whether you wish to admit it or not, this is a class war. Those in power with money want to chip away at the rights and benefits of all laborers. Removing collective bargaining rights is in and of itself a draconian decision. I’d think Walker should be removed from office if there are any legal grounds to do so. Someone who wishes to do this does not have the best interest of his constituents. As for the Dem’s leaving, it was their only option to try to stop this from going through. I’m proud of the courage they showed to fight the only way they could against something they opposed. Go Wisconsin Workers!

Kevin Jordan

February 28th, 2011
3:31 pm

There were other protest around the country this weekend by a group call USUncut. Take a look at some of the video from their rallies and read why their message is completely misguided.

We also posted our favorite signs from the Wisconsin protesters!

http://precisiontradingsolutions.blogspot.com