Voters don’t like Wisconsin governor’s union-busting

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-union antics are spreading to other Republican governors, who have chosen to portray public employees as largely responsible for gaping budget shortfalls. (Wisconsin doesn’t have a huge shortfall, by the way. It has a deficit, but it’s hardly gaping.) From the WaPo:

The budget fights initiated by Republican governors represent a multi-state effort by like-minded politicians to solve budgetary problems in part by weakening public employee unions and demanding significant concessions from workers. After the November elections, Republicans now control many more state legislatures and governorships.

Although the particulars may differ – some governors are seeking to end collective bargaining rights, others are not – the state executives share both a political philosophy and a conviction that the public is prepared to support these measures if they help fix long-term budgetary problems.

That approach has won raves from union-hating conservatives, who have flocked to Wisconsin in droves to support Walker. Tea party activists, rallied in part by Americans for Prosperity (funded by the Koch brothers), have descended on the state capitol for counter-protests.

But Walker’s union busting is not so popular with the public, according to a new poll. From USA Today:

Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

As others have observed, Walker is not trying to balance a budget. He’s engaged in a power-grab, trying to destroy collective bargaining. Like many politicians, he would probably say he doesn’t care what the polls show.

But even if he doesn’t, many Republicans in the state legislature will. They many not be willing to pursue Walker’s scorched-earth, don’t-negotiate campaign much longer.

— Cynthia Tucker

273 comments Add your comment

resno2

February 23rd, 2011
7:10 am

“They many not be willing to pursue Walker’s scorched-earth”, but I’d bet they won’t hide in another state to avoid the issue.

dougmo2

February 23rd, 2011
7:20 am

I’m calling BS on this Cynthia. America is MORE tired of public service unions that have given anything they want under democratic governors, not willing to return a penny or give back some power when everybody else has to sacrafice. BTW, I noticed a (union) teacher in Wisconsin compare Walker to Hitler. When in doubt about which side uses “hate speech”, I personally go with whomever whips out the Nazi card. Democrats are the clear winner every time.

Del,

February 23rd, 2011
7:20 am

Other polls say differently. I’ll go with the one that counts and that’s when the voters voted Walker into office after he had stated what he would if elected.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:22 am

Voters don’t like ObamaCare. Voters don’t like the Stimulus. Voters don’t like cap and trade. Does all of that mean leftists will change?

Voters don’t like state bankruptcy, and that was why they voted the conservative bloc into office. And while they may not like to see an old friend like the union disemboweled, they almost certainly understand that they can no longer afford it.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

February 23rd, 2011
7:24 am

Walker is doing what he campaigned on..I personally hope the democrats do stay out, and he gets to lay off 15,000 public sector workers :)

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
7:28 am

No use in being the Queens of Denial….

Most folks think this really stinks.

Media is also starting to pick up on Walkers proposed fire sale of the states energy assest – no bid no less – and that ain’t pretty.

Oh and dougmo2

While I think “nazi” comparisions are cheesy, it is true Hitler and Stalin banned unions and outlawed collective bargaining….I don’t think that’s a path we need to follow. Do You?

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
7:32 am

gator24

February 23rd, 2011
7:33 am

It would be interesting to know what percentage of the so called Public employees voted for this guy in the 2010 elections. If this is the guy they vote for than as usual the Know Nothing voters are getting what they didn’t know they were asking for, then so be it. This what happens when people vote without knowing the facts of what a candidate stands for. This Governor said he been trying to do this for years, yet the people of Wisconsin still voted for him, so once again we have voters making decisions without being informed of the facts. They are getting what they voted for and deserve.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:36 am

Taranto’s opening essay yesterday explained why “public sector unions” are not really unions in the traditional sense:

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.

Mary Elizabeth

February 23rd, 2011
7:37 am

Ms. Tucker,
Thank you for these words this morning. Truth is emerging.
Taking away the voice of public employees, in my opinion, will eventually take away the voice of middle and working class citizens – public or private – to more monied corporate interests, which contribute significantly to political campaigns.

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
7:40 am

kayaker 71

February 23rd, 2011
7:43 am

” A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money”

G. Gorden Liddy

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2011
7:44 am

Yes Yes let’s defend the unions and teachers in Wisconsin. What an example they are setting for those kids by getting fake doctors notes!!! Such great role models!!! I hope those teachers ARE NOT getting paid for the days they are out protesting!!!

smooveb

February 23rd, 2011
7:45 am

With the demonstrations in Wisconsin, the country is getting a sneak preview of what life will be like for everyone if the left prevails. May God have mercy on us.

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
7:46 am

G Gordon Liddy

Sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting supervising the Watergate Break in from across the street…..he served 4 + years…

jt

February 23rd, 2011
7:49 am

“it is true Hitler and Stalin banned unions and outlawed collective bargaining….”

And then turned around and turned their ENTIRE respective countries into evil collective unions.
And for the citizens,……….there was no bargaining.

willie lynch

February 23rd, 2011
7:51 am

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 23rd, 2011
7:22 am
Voters don’t like ObamaCare. Voters don’t like the Stimulus. Voters don’t like cap and trade. Does all of that mean leftists will change?
—————————————————

Remember the German economic boom of 2010?

Germany’s economic growth surged in the middle of last year, causing commentators both there and here to proclaim that American stimulus had failed and German austerity had worked. Germany’s announced budget cuts, the commentators said, had given private companies enough confidence in the government to begin spending their own money again.

Well, it turns out the German boom didn’t last long. With its modest stimulus winding down, Germany’s growth slowed sharply late last year, and its economic output still has not recovered to its prerecession peak. Output in the United States — where the stimulus program has been bigger and longer lasting — has recovered. This country would now need to suffer through a double-dip recession for its gross domestic product to be in the same condition as Germany’s.
New York Times 2/22/2011

It seems that our spending (stimulus) has worked better than the other country’s with lower business tax rates (Ireland)and those who have not put the money into the system to make sure they could weather the storm.

Cry as you must but our President has done a great job keeping America going. Of course you’ll have to wind spending down in time but we haven’t fully recovered yet.

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:51 am

kayaker: Then a conservative is someone who will negotiate as long as they get their way!

‘morning Granny! But watch out with those facts. You know how conserves head spin when they are confronted with facts. And that doesn’t include the “facts” on FOX.

kayaker 71

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

Granny,

From the mouths of babes……..

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

willie: There you go again with history and facts! Watch it!

dougmo2

February 23rd, 2011
7:54 am

Granny @ 7:28

Walker is not trying to “ban” unions. He is trying to restrict collective bargining rights. Big difference.
Stalin and Hitler also killed 60 million people between them. That is the comparison I truly
dislike. How do you compare a governor of a state to a mass murderer and a truly evil man.

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
7:56 am

Kayaker 71

a babe? why thanks….

dougmo2

it was not meant as a comparision, simply a statement of fact.

i’m terribly sorry if i offended your sensibilities with a fact.

willie lynch

February 23rd, 2011
7:58 am

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

As you should see a portion of the post was from the NY Times. Where is your dispute?

Union vs Non-union

February 23rd, 2011
7:59 am

I don’t like the concept. Unions keep corporations, governments and other employers from cutting wages and benefits. Without unions everyone would get minimum wage with no benefits. We use unions to back us up as employees and get treated fairly. Remember this; there are more people fighting to take away your rights then there are fighting for your rights!

willie lynch

February 23rd, 2011
8:00 am

Road Scholar

February 23rd, 2011
7:52 am

Sorry, I misunderstood.

mike

February 23rd, 2011
8:01 am

Yet another shameless sold out journalist.speaking of Wisconsin not having a huge gap?red ink is red ink ,call your mortgage company and tell them your gonna pay some of your mortgage and see how that works for you.The hard working tax payers that have felt the brunt of this recession have had keep there finances in the black while taking taking pay and benefit cuts and shouldn’t be burdened with higher taxes to pay these folks. It would be great if wisconsin could pay them what they wanted but in the REAL world the money is not there I applaud the much needed honest govt in wisconsin and wish it would spread to DC.As for the politicians in Wisconsin who slap democracy in the face by only wanting to participate when it goes there way should be removed for there deriliction.Bottom line in this I believe is this is Wisconsins business so if you don’t live there stay out of it.

kayaker 71

February 23rd, 2011
8:02 am

Granny,

If you are a bit disenchanted with Mr. Liddy, perhaps the following will sound more reasonable…..

“A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul”.

George Bernard Shaw

What If

February 23rd, 2011
8:04 am

This is interesting. Your detractors are over here misquoting data to prove their beliefs (not to be confused with bringing evidence to bear), while your supporters are over there in Kyle’s blog ranting about his wild interpretations. Do we all see things the way we want to see them? Yup, but on balance you’re a LOT straighter than the right wing (not to be confused with ‘conservative’) types most of the time.

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
8:05 am

kayaker 71

always enjoyed Shaw….

problem is the only robbery going on is in the minds of conservatives who want to repair the damage they did to our economy with failed trickle down economic theory by breaking the backs of the American working class.

it didn’t work for King George either…..

Bob

February 23rd, 2011
8:13 am

If the voters did not like the idea of Walker doing what he said he would do, why did they vote for him ?

The Butter

February 23rd, 2011
8:13 am

“Remember this; there are more people fighting to take away your rights then there are fighting for your rights!”

There’s just one problem with this…you have no right to a job. Last time I looked in the Bill of Rights, it didn’t say anything about having a right to have a job, and that’s a FACT.

FACT: Wisconsin has some of the poorest educated children. What about their right to not just an education but a GOOD education?

Bob

February 23rd, 2011
8:14 am

Granny, if trickle down was a conservative idea, what is the dem theory for creating jobs, trickle up does not seem to cut it.

Upon Further Review

February 23rd, 2011
8:17 am

Granny Godzilla wrote:
While I think “nazi” comparisions are cheesy, it is true Hitler and Stalin banned unions and outlawed collective bargaining….I don’t think that’s a path we need to follow. Do You?
______________________

*** Hitler also promised health care for everyone. Does that mean you oppose ObamaCare on the same grounds?

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
8:18 am

Bob

“trickle up does not seem to cut it.”

The facts beg to differ

Bob

February 23rd, 2011
8:18 am

Not much bang for the buck in Milwaulkee, and teachers are telling us how well they are teaching.

Milwaukee Public Schools was one of 17 urban districts listed with a graduation rate below 50% in a report released Tuesday by America’s Promise Alliance, an organization aimed at promoting solutions to problems affecting America’s youth.

MPS was listed as having a graduation rate of 46.1%, based on data from the 2003-’04 school year. That put MPS in 38th place among the 50 largest districts in the nation. Detroit was at the bottom of the list with a graduation rate of 24.9%, with Indianapolis, Cleveland and Baltimore coming in between 30% and 40%.

Peadawg

February 23rd, 2011
8:19 am

“While I think “nazi” comparisions are cheesy, it is true Hitler and Stalin banned unions and outlawed collective bargaining” – And also murdered millions of people.

Upon Further Review

February 23rd, 2011
8:20 am

Speaking of “trickle down” … if tax cuts are such a Republican idea, how come JFK said this in 1963:

“”Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”

Sue Davis

February 23rd, 2011
8:21 am

Has everyone forgotten what really caused the budget shortfalls/deficits? We are a country that has been suckered into a greedy lifestyle based on the lie that more is always better and that it’s not how much money we make that matters but how much money we can borrow. The finscally irresponsible monetary institutions that have lead us down the road of debt, debt, and more debt, that have robbed the public coffers and the pockets of the working class, are making out like bandits while the Tea Party and the labor party beat each other up over the scraps left behind. EVERYONE wants a good paying job, benefits, security for their kids. Why don’t we go after the REAL bad guys.

John Galt

February 23rd, 2011
8:21 am

No amount of facts will detract CT and grandma from their delusions.

Stating that the “Voters don’t like Wisconsin governor’s union-busting” is either denial or dishonesty; the only outstanding question is whether they believe this themselves when they say it.

Our governments are bankrupt from trying to be the answer to all of society’s ills, and the spending MUST stop. We will all pay a price, but the piper must be paid. The HOPE changes will hurt my family (5 children, 4 college students) significantly, the union busting may force Wisconson teachers to cut back, etc., but all must absorb part of the cost.

It seems that the only people who don’t want to share in the cost of regaining sanity are those who are NOT contributing, or their advocates.

America can no longer afford to fund the fantasies of the leftist utopians. If they want to push their vision on the rest of us, they will have to spend their own money instead of everyone else’s. I suspect that their zeal will wane with that prospect.

meinpvb

February 23rd, 2011
8:22 am

I would have to say that American’s are tired of unions and their selfish, money grabbing ways. As Wisconsin’s governor pointed out, for too long politicians have spent carelessly and punted the problem for another day. That day is finally upon us. We are SICK of being taxed to death for this union or that government entitlement program. Enough Already!! As for the runaway Democrats, shame, shame, shame.

JKL2

February 23rd, 2011
8:23 am

Bob- what is the dem theory for creating jobs

They are honing their laser-like focus on job creation at the Holiday Inn at Burr Ridge.

John Galt

February 23rd, 2011
8:24 am

@The Butter-

Collective bargaining is not a right, either. Some of these people need to look at the economy and be grateful for work, but instead they want the last drop of blood from the public turnip.

Owl

February 23rd, 2011
8:25 am

Cynthia- can you write me out a doctor’s excuse for the rest of this week?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 23rd, 2011
8:25 am

The good news is that Walker has stirred up the labor movement, the middle class and the workers……which will likely mean a much higher turnout in 2012 and state by state fights in each state on issues that might have slipped by. The anti-middle class and anti-worker party is in big trouble and has demonstrated clearly that this is class warfare — the Kochs and the astroturfers may have won some battles but long term they are in trouble.

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
8:25 am

Upon Further Review

oh he did? care to back that up?

if you remember your history…Hitler denied life-saving care to people who were not deemed useful enough to broader society, ordered Nazi officials to secretly register, select, and murder handicapped people such as schizophrenics, epileptics, disabled babies and other long-stay hospital patients, ….

From Politifact

Upon Further Review

February 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

JKL2 wrote:
Bob- what is the dem theory for creating jobs

They are honing their laser-like focus on job creation at the Holiday Inn at Burr Ridge.
_____________________________

*** Don’t underestimate how much those tips to hotel bartenders, maids and pool boys are stimulating the Illinois economy!

Joel Edge

February 23rd, 2011
8:26 am

“not so popular with the public”
It’s popular with me. And judging by the comments other blogs and news articles, fairly popular elsewhere.

Old timer

February 23rd, 2011
8:28 am

OH…Yes they do…..

granny godzilla

February 23rd, 2011
8:29 am

John Galt

February 23rd, 2011
8:30 am

@Sue Davis-

You are misinformed. (or is that Miss Uninformed?)

The banks didn’t make anyone borrow money- no guns were put to anyone’s heads at loan closings. WE- myself included- borrowed OURSELVES into this mess, individually and collectively (through state and federal government).

The “fiscally irresponsible institutions” are being shut down left and right, and the people who ran those banks are unemployed and suffering. I’m close to that situation and I assure you that the stories of the “fat cats” are anecdotal; there are few if any industries in the world suffering from the economy like the employees and stockholders of the banks.