In Wisconsin battle, it’s not about the budget

You still can’t find a single Democratic state senator in the entire state of Wisconsin. All 14 of them remain in self-imposed exile in Illinois, and as long as they stay there, they can continue to prevent passage of a highly controversial bill that would sharply reduce benefits for teachers and other government employees and, more importantly, gut public labor unions.

It’s that second aspect of the bill that has drawn national and even international attention. As the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

The bill would require most public workers to pay half their pension costs – typically 5.8% of pay for state workers – and in many cases at least 12% of their health care costs. Union leaders have said they are willing to accept those concessions, which total nearly $330 million through June 2013.

Under the bill, the unions could not bargain over anything but wages, would have to hold annual elections to keep their organizations intact and would lose the ability to have union dues deducted from state paychecks. Employees would no longer have to automatically pay union dues, but could choose whether they want to do so.

In other words, the unions are willing to swallow the economic demands. If givebacks are necessary to help balance the state budget in a time of crisis, the employees say they’re willing to do their part.

However, Gov. Scott Walker has refused to accept that offer and also refuses to negotiate with labor or Democrats. He doesn’t see this merely as a chance to win an important battle against organized labor; he sees it as an opportunity to win the entire war, forever, by stripping state unions of most of their power and influence. And if he succeeds, the implications for the labor movement nationwide would be profound.

At the moment, only five states prohibit collective bargaining by teachers and other public employees, as the map below demonstrates. Georgia is one of the five. (Note: The right to bargain collectively does not imply the legal right to strike in many states.)

workermap-1

Teachers unions in particular have long been a favorite target of conservatives, with a lot of people blaming unions for poor classroom performance. So the map above made me curious: How does the ability of teachers to form unions and bargain collectively correlate to classroom performance? If strong teachers unions truly do hamper education, the five states that ban collective bargaining by teachers ought to rank fairly high in educational performance.

Here are the numbers for the five states in question, plus Wisconsin, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, given annually across the nation to fourth and eighth graders.

naep2

naepga2

Texas, North Carolina and Virginia are roughly at the national average. Georgia and South Carolina trail in most categories. Wisconsin does very well.

Here are the state rankings for average SAT scores for the six states in question:

Wisconsin 2
Virginia 33
North Carolina 39
Texas 45
Georgia 47
South Carolina 48

The numbers above might be a little misleading, given that most Wisconsin seniors take the ACT rather than the SAT. Then again, Wisconsin ranks second on the ACT as well.

– Jay Bookman

618 comments Add your comment

ronald

February 21st, 2011
2:43 pm

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
2:38 pm

I’ll agree to disagree with that point.

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
2:43 pm

“he has been forced to keep Gitmo open ”

and he even signed an order to close the GITMO detention center, but Congress will not fund it.

TaxPayer

February 21st, 2011
2:44 pm

I can’t think of a more fitting definition of selfishness than what they are displaying.

Think Walker and his Republican cronies.

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

Dave R

“And the portion these people in Wisconsin pay for their benefits is far, far lower than the equivalent portion the private sector pays for theirs.”

and you can document that?

love for ya’ too.

ronald

February 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

“today is President’s Day”

And what about last week? Was that president’s day, too? No…. that was “Union teachers lie about being sick and get fake doctor’s notes” week….That one isn’t on the calendar, by the way. And what a lesson to send to school kids….that lying is OK when you’re a grown up..

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

“On the latter two points, he has been forced to keep Gitmo open and extend the tax cuts because he is not a dictator and needs congressional approval for those moves.”

Nice punt, Jay. There was nothing to keep Hope & Change from keeping his promises on these two, except for a lack of courage and conviction.

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
2:46 pm

“And what a lesson to send to school kids”

Yep. They’re getting a priceless education in democracy in action

WillieRae

February 21st, 2011
2:46 pm

Collective bargaining is the problem. The costs are just symptom. Why fix one and leave the other alone? As usual, the liberal solution is just to raise some more taxes. Anyone thinking about the tens of millions of citizens who have seen the value of our homes fall by a quarter and our incomes shrink from the great recession? Anyone wonder why the fiscal crisis has occured now and not five years ago?

Do democrats anywere have any solution except to raise taxes?

Left wing management

February 21st, 2011
2:47 pm

Thanks, ronald, and good on you for being willing to concede a point.

Unfortunately have to head out now, but happy to continue this later if you’re around.

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
2:48 pm

“Do democrats anywere have any solution except to raise taxes?”

Yep…I do. Cut the DOD budget in half.

TaxPayer

February 21st, 2011
2:48 pm

During the 2010 election cycle, Walker received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC, his second-largest contribution. The PAC also gave significantly to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn helped out Walker considerably in his race. Koch also contributed $6,500 to support 16 Republican legislative candidates in the state.

The Koch-funded group Americans for Prosperity has also been standing with Walker throughout his budget battles, busing in Tea Party activists and launching the site, Stand With Walker. After the election, Walker and other Republican governors received guidance from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that is also funded by Koch dollars and has pushed anti-union measures.

Republicans snort WAY too much Koch. I think I see the brothers Koch’s big toes hanging out of Walker’s nose.

Jay

February 21st, 2011
2:49 pm

Really, Dave R?

Please. Give us all the benefit of your many years of constitutional scholarship and explain how Obama can do those things without congressional approval.

Illuminate us, sir.

Normal

February 21st, 2011
2:52 pm

ronald

February 21st, 2011
2:45 pm

ronald,
you are clutching at straws…none of this would be necessary if the Governor would act like a reasonable man.

Joe the Plutocrat

February 21st, 2011
2:52 pm

TaxPayer, is that true? well what do you know? sounds like maybe the Koch Industries has its own little CBA. oh that’s right, when a public sector labor union attempts to “bargain” it’s un-American and corrupt, but when any other (private sector) interest “bargains” with public sector agencies, it’s ‘free market capitalism at work. jm, with all due respect, Mick is right, what is your obsession with “the left” when it comes to corruption? as if the GOP or any of its “base” in the “industrial” side (banking, oil, mining, defense, insurance, pharm, etc.) is “pure”?

TaxPayer

February 21st, 2011
2:55 pm

These Republicans (short for conservatives of all stripes whether it be a so-called Independent or Libertarian or Constitutional or your not-so-average Joes or whatever) sure are showing off their union envy big time today on here. It’s terrible. The next thing you know, they’ll demand that the union folks pay more taxes than they do.

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
2:57 pm

“and you can document that?”

Not now, but maybe later. Can only speak to my own experiences. I’m paying about 50% of my medical benefits now. In past jobs the percentage was in the 30%-50% range. Even the county I used to be a commissioner in the employees paid about 25% of the cost.

A blast from the past 2010

February 21st, 2011
2:57 pm

New York Pension Scandal: Some Collect More in Benefits Than Final Salary

In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year.

According to pension data collected by The New York Times from the city and state, about 3,700 retired public workers in New York are now getting pensions of more than $100,000 a year, exempt from state and local taxes.

Roughly one of every 250 retired public workers in New York is collecting a six-figure pension, and that group is expected to grow rapidly in coming years, based on the number of highly paid people in the pipeline.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/206624-new-york-pension-scandal-some-collect-more-in-benefits-than-final-salary

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
2:59 pm

Dave R

You were a county commisioner in WI?

The link at 2:19 is about WI and it does not support your opinion.

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
3:00 pm

“Please. Give us all the benefit of your many years of constitutional scholarship and explain how Obama can do those things without congressional approval.”

Jay, stop being so dense (if that is possible for you).

Once again, he had a solid, unstoppable majority in each house of Congress for TWO years. Did he ever try? Nope. He announced he would. Then he punted.

Just like you.

Tool.

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
3:03 pm

“, he had a solid, unstoppable majority in each house of Congress for TWO years.”

also not a fact

Tool Time

February 21st, 2011
3:04 pm

That’s right, Jay. Quit being so dense. How dare you expect some folks on here to back up their words.

Jay

February 21st, 2011
3:06 pm

Gee, all those years of constitutional scholarship, gone to waste like that.

Such a shame.

Normal

February 21st, 2011
3:07 pm

Tool Time

February 21st, 2011
3:04 pm

tee, hee, hee…

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
3:08 pm

“He announced he would”

And you actually BELIEVED him? How naive.

Priceless Republicans

February 21st, 2011
3:10 pm

I Object. Obama was never unstoppable at least not while I was around, objecting. I even objected to my objections. Then we had those that said NO! Even one that said You lie. We’ll do anything for a corporate buck.

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
3:10 pm

Now here we are discussing truly trivial stuff like union busting, when the REAL issue of the day is why Bo Derek isn’t going to the opera!

“Report: Austrian drops Bo Derek as Opera Ball date”

http://www.accessatlanta.com/celebrities-tv/report-austrian-drops-bo-846467.html?cxntlid=thbz_hm

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
3:13 pm

Normal

February 21st, 2011
3:13 pm

Gaddafi is bombing his own cities…hope Walker isn’t watching…

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
3:14 pm

“LIBYA –
2:15 p.m. ET – Two Libyan Air Force pilots defected to Malta on Monday after being asked to bomb Libyan citizens, a Maltese government source said. The pilots’ fighter jets were armed with rockets and loaded machine guns, the source said. Malta is a short flight from Libya”

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/21/live-blogging-north-africa-middle-east-protests/?hpt=T1

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
3:14 pm

Doggone/GA

it could get messy if the orchestra played Ravel’s Bolero…..

Doggone/GA

February 21st, 2011
3:16 pm

“Ravel’s Bolero”

I love that music, but I have never heard a version to even rival the one where Ravel himself conducted. The tension in the music that he coaxed out of the orchestra is spine tingling

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:16 pm

Granny, as usual, your link at 2:19 is the equvalen of “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

Dave, not to jump the subject, but I guess you’re gonna walk your fellow conservatives back for the bs they were talking earlier then. The whole “Taxpayer money going to pay union dues crap…” That has, by far, gotta be the most stupid crap I’ve ever heard someone here use as the basis of an argument. If that were truly the case, then taxpayers are paying teacher’s utilities, groceries, car notes, mortgates, and everything else they pay with the money they earn for their labor. I know you and your fellow conservatives hate public workers and/or their unions, but if you’re gonna argue a point using statements such as that, your argument doesn’t even stand up to basic logic, much less any level of truthfulness.

ronald

February 21st, 2011
3:18 pm

Tomorrow’s headlines: Union teacher’s go home and do their jobs. Hooray for school kids. Union Reps and Donna Brazille continue to protest….ride into town square on camels.

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:19 pm

Joe @ 2:52 pm

Do you really expect an honest answer from jm on that topic? Big business can do no wrong!!! Bravo for that post!!!!

Midori

February 21st, 2011
3:25 pm

Normal @ 3:13 — :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:26 pm

Not now, but maybe later. Can only speak to my own experiences. I’m paying about 50% of my medical benefits now. In past jobs the percentage was in the 30%-50% range. Even the county I used to be a commissioner in the employees paid about 25% of the cost.

And would you believe that this here public union member and government worker is paying over 40% of his medical benefits. Not to mention, my retirement is actually doing good because I took all my money out of government bonds at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2009, and I’ve been able to ride the markets all the way back up. In other words, that means, I’m investing MY earned money to support my retirement and not sitting on some imaginary “fat taxpayer-funded pension” as many believe all government workers have.

While you and your fellow conservatives are railing about public union members and budgets, you should be taking your congressmen to task as well. There has been no signs of a pay freeze in either the legislative or judicial branches of the government, but Obama has exec-ordered a freeze on us. Makes you wonder…….

Midori

February 21st, 2011
3:27 pm

another headline: Ronald proves once again he’s completely clueless

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:31 pm

Republican Sen. Dale Schultz has floated a compromise to end the stalemate over Gov. Walker’s budget repair bill.

[...]

On Monday Walker rejected Schultz’s compromise. Walker said it would be a short-term fix to a long-term problem.

Walker wants to take away public workers’ rights to bargain over anything, except salary increases higher than the consumer price index.

Walker insists the changes to collective bargaining rules are needed to balance the state budget.
http://www.wuwm.com/programs/news/view_news.php?articleid=7867

Damn, even when a GOP Senator tries to negotiate an agreement….. Well, I’ll give Walker credit for one thing, he’s proven that he has no negotiation skills at all. If he did, he wouldn’t be so intent on killing the negotiation process. :lol: :lol:

Del

February 21st, 2011
3:32 pm

Off topic…we’re letting our people fight and die for a country such as this and we criticized the Mubarak regime and asked him to step down. Bring our people home from Afghanistan.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260050/america-quiet-execution-afghan-christian-said-musa-paul-marshall

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
3:33 pm

“Gee, all those years of constitutional scholarship, gone to waste like that.

Such a shame.”

As did all your years of journalism training . . . :)

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

“Dave, not to jump the subject, but I guess you’re gonna walk your fellow conservatives back for the bs they were talking earlier then. The whole “Taxpayer money going to pay union dues crap…” ”

Never bought into the facetious argument, SoCo.

I’m not Jay.

UAW Rules

February 21st, 2011
3:37 pm

Let me tell you how great unions are from my experience as a proud UAW member in the 70’s working at the engine plant in Brookpark Ohio.

Worked in the foundry for a few years. Everything going great….
Developed an issue with dust, couldn’t breath. Went to the doctors and got a medical excuse to not work around dust. Ford and the UAW put me on medical leave for 13 months.

Between Ford’s medical/disability benefits and the UAW’s disability benefits, I made more setting at home those 13 months that I did working 40+ hours a week.

Now after 13 months I had to go back to work. Not a problem, Ford had an opening where I did not have to go back to the foundry. Same pay but it was a lot more physically demanding job. This got real old after about 6 months so I went to the union (the great UAW!!) and wanted to change jobs. The only job that I could take from someone else, due to my seniority, was back in the foundry. Guess what, I took that job!

3 months later I went and got me another medical excuse and got to go home for 13 more months. Again, making more than I was while I was working.

This cycle repeated itself for almost 8 years. Then I went back to school, got an education and found a job I could be proud of.

God Bless the UAW.

Yep them there unions sure do protect the employees from those big bad companies!

@@

February 21st, 2011
3:38 pm

And Obama’s promise to exclude lobbyists from policymaking jobs?

More than 40 former lobbyists work(ed) in senior positions in the Obama administration, including three Cabinet secretaries and the CIA director. Yet in his State of the Union address, Obama claimed, “We’ve excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs.”

Did Obama speak falsely?

Well, it depends on what the definition of “excluded lobbyists” is.

When asked if Obama had chosen his words poorly, the media affairs office defended Obama’s statement: “As the President said,” a spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail, “we have turned away lobbyists for many, many positions.”

So, the country may have heard, “we haven’t hired lobbyists to policymaking jobs,” but the White House tells us Obama meant, “we only hired some of the lobbyists who applied for policymaking jobs.” In other words, they’ve excluded some lobbyists.

Political speak…I did except when I didn’t? I didn’t except when I did? I was against it before I was for it? I lied but you weren’t supposed to notice?

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
3:39 pm

Doggone:

You may have already heard this version …………..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-4J5j74VPw

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
3:39 pm

“also not a fact”

Unless your under the influence of mysterious mushrooms . . .

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:41 pm

Never bought into the facetious argument, SoCo.

I didn’t say you bought into it. If you’re going to call out lies as you said earlier, why not call them on the ones coming from the right? I know you don’t follow the “it’s ok if you are a republican” logic, right?

It’s crap like that getting tossed around like truth that clouds this and many other political debates. I just brought that statement up because it’s bs and you were talking about lies, that’s all. I didn’t mean anything nefarious about it at all.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
3:43 pm

Well, the schoolteachers and Democrats of Wisconsin decided to support their union first instead of their state and country. The governor is doing exactly what he was elected to do and that is cut state expenses. The Feds will have to do the same thing and the next election will also support a necessary national frugality.

Now is the time to decide whether you are going to support your state and government first or your union, your club, your society, or some other group.

No graphs, charts and arguments change that. Your actions speak louder than your words.

modantel

February 21st, 2011
3:45 pm

How many times has Wisconsin Governor Walker repeated his same old one-liners? – “We can’t negotiate -We’re broke” and, “Democracy.”
“Negotiate” and being “broke” are two separate entities – totally unrelated! – Anyone can “negotiate” – at anytime – It has nothing to do with his one-liner – “We’re broke.”- And, the “broke” part is largely of his own doing – giving tax breaks to corporations two weeks after his inauguration!
Gov Walker? Where is the “democracy” in stripping collective bargaining from our teachers and hard working public employees?!? – It is a basic human right?!! – This no longer 1888 – or 1932 or 1959! – Your “logic” has no place in DEMOCRACY!

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
3:45 pm

Dave R

mushrooms and granny

also not a fact

you got quite a streak going

MPercy

February 21st, 2011
3:45 pm

Southern Comfort @10:34 am For far too many years, the scenario has been, you support my demands, I will see that you get our votes. Kayaker, are you talking about the Chamber of Commerce or unions????

See, that’s exactly what I was talking about before. It’s only bad when the *other* guy does it, but in reality both groups are doing exactly the same thing and we should either accept it from both groups or argue against both.

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:50 pm

See, that’s exactly what I was talking about before. It’s only bad when the *other* guy does it, but in reality both groups are doing exactly the same thing and we should either accept it from both groups or argue against both.

Amen!!!!! That’s one of my bedrock reasons for saying Walker and other GOPers are wrong for trying to do away with collective bargaining. As evident by the Citizens United ruling, they are not going to ask or legislate corporate money out of the political process, so why are they so intent on doing away with the opposition’s version of that funding? Sometimes, our elected officials are so friggin’ consumed with playing politics that they forget to govern and legislate effectively.

Mick

February 21st, 2011
3:51 pm

Why doesn’t the governor respect the fact that these people want to be represented by a union? There is no other issue here. When a governor wants to be a dictator, its time to go…

buck@gon

February 21st, 2011
3:52 pm

Leftwing Mgmt:

“As I wrote yesterday on Wingfield’s blog, there’s a reason we need to go an extra mile to ensure a measure of security for people who go into traditionally less lucrative lines of work – going into burning buildings, hauling trash, teaching children, delivering mail – in return for their foregoing more lucrative private careers.”

FYI Leftwing: The average salary overall in the private sector is approximately $41,000. FYI reminder: The average WI teacher salary is over 10% MORE than that. I’m thinking that these, aaahhh, “servants” aren’t forgoing the lucrative careers that you seem to think they are forgoing. I’ll leave it to you to figure out on your own the other glaring fact: that government employees everywhere get far sweeter and much more subsidized benies by far than most employees in the government.

Jay,

With all your time in office to research such things, I’ll take your word for it, that you know better than I do what Walker promised and what he did not. Question: Should it be the position of the government (and the President, by the way, who has weighed in on this STATE matter) to FORCE teachers to join unions as it does in Wisconsin?

Isn’t that the issue, or would you just rather use perjorative terms like “union busting”? Isn’t it relevant that in a right-to-work state like Georgia, we have higher pay?

Answer all questions, and don’t skip the first one, please.

@@

February 21st, 2011
3:53 pm

And what about Obama’s attack on McCain’s proposal to tax employees health care benefits? During the campaign, it was a bad idea. Now it’s pretty much guaranteed with Obamacare.

Guaranteed to everyone but unions. They’re exempt.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
3:59 pm

The governor of Wisconsin is telling the truth. Truth is the supporting structure of democracy.

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
3:59 pm

FYI Leftwing: The average salary overall in the private sector is approximately $41,000. FYI reminder: The average WI teacher salary is over 10% MORE than that. I’m thinking that these, aaahhh, “servants” aren’t forgoing the lucrative careers that you seem to think they are forgoing.

When you make broad comparisons like that, you are being intellectually dishonest. The private sector has a larger swath of job types, including fast food cashiers and such, that do not require a college degree. You may even get by with just a GED. Most of your public sector workers have college courses, and at least a bachelor’s degree. To boot, you don’t have comparable jobs in the public sector to match the largest group in the private sector, which is your retail clerks.

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
4:00 pm

SoCo, I take enough time to point out the lies of the left. I’m busy enough as it is in that regard. You folks don’t need my help with the right.

No worries, though. It gave me another chance to dig at Jay. :)

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
4:02 pm

“Why doesn’t the governor respect the fact that these people want to be represented by a union? There is no other issue here. When a governor wants to be a dictator, its time to go…”

Why do you always engage in hyperbole, Mick?

There is no indication that the governor feels that way, nor is there any indication that all teachers want to be represented by a union.

Chill.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:02 pm

The governor of Wisconsin was just elected governor by a majority of Wisconsin citizens. He is not a dictator, just a governor following the wishes of most Wisconsin citizens.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:05 pm

Jay:

“On the latter two points, he has been forced to keep Gitmo open and extend the tax cuts because he is not a dictator and needs congressional approval for those moves.”

A couple of points:

1) If he knew during the campaign that he would not be in full control of these two areas, then why did he promise something he couldn’t produce?

He lied to get votes and for that he should not have been elected.

2) If he did “not know” during the campaign that he would “not” be in full control of these areas, then he knew little about how Congress and the Executive Branch function.

And for that he should not have been elected president.

TAKE YOUR CHOICE

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
4:06 pm

No worries, though. It gave me another chance to dig at Jay.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

On a serious note, I think it goes a long way when people from either side of the political spectrum makes an effort at least once or twice to try to tamp down the completely foolish stuff that is thrown from their respective camps.

Del

February 21st, 2011
4:07 pm

What we see in Wisconsin and in many other states is the combination of vote pandering politicians and unions that have pushed state public workers wages and benefit packages far beyond private sector middle class compensation. It’s bankrupting these states.The democrats and the unions just can’t grasp the fact that there just isn’t anymore money. There isn’t any reason for public sector unions except to benefit union leaders and politicians who benefit from union political support.

Jay

February 21st, 2011
4:08 pm

Under those standards, Scout, no candidate for president or governor or mayor could ever campaign on anything. It’s foolishness.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:09 pm

Headline: “REPORT: US warships box in Iranian flotilla”

Hummmm ……….. a little “sea chicken” going on here?

Is Obama going to get us into another war?

Another “Gulf of Tonkin” incident by a Democrat president ?

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:10 pm

Jay:

No it’s not. He knew better and he lied.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:11 pm

Hummmm ……………………

Headline: “GALLUP: Number of Solidly Democratic States Cut in Half From ‘08 to ‘10 “

Vinny

February 21st, 2011
4:13 pm

You are full of it Jay. The graduation rate in Wisconsin is only 46% = PUBLIC EDUCATION HAS FAILED!!!

Jay

February 21st, 2011
4:13 pm

“What we see in Wisconsin and in many other states is the combination of vote pandering politicians and unions that have pushed state public workers wages and benefit packages far beyond private sector middle class compensation. It’s bankrupting these states.”

Nope. The two states facing the biggest budget deficits in 2012 (as a percentage of their 2011 budget) are Texas at 31 percent and Nevada at 45 percent. Neither allows collective bargaining by state employees.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:15 pm

Headline: “The burgeoning democracy movement across the Middle East appears to have caught al Qaeda off guard, and threatens to reduce the terror group to irrelevance, CNN terror analyst Paul Cruickshank finds.”

Are you kidding me? Any “true” Middle East democracy will make it easier for them to function.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:15 pm

Del, you got that right.

“The Democrats and the unions just can’t grasp the fact that there just isn’t anymore money.”

Exactly. But the Wisconsin governor knows there is no money and he is working with that knowledge. A strong men, that one.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:18 pm

Jay:

“Nope. The two states facing the biggest budget deficits in 2012 (as a percentage of their 2011 budget) are Texas at 31 percent and Nevada at 45 percent. Neither allows collective bargaining by state employees.”

You can’t compare the above with Wisconsin ! There are dozens of factors involved; tax rates, population, budget history, etc., etc. Collective bargaining or not is just one factor.

Jay

February 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

Has the foolishness factory added another shift?

Vinny, the high school graduation rate in union-taught Wisconsin is 82 percent, and even higher by some estimates.

modantel

February 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

Wisconsin Governor Walker’s Budget Proposal to fix a deficit is TOTALLY WRONG!
When all of the multi-million $ bonuses were awarded to CEO’s of “Too Big to Fail” banks, after receiving federal stimulus money – did anyone ask them to pay more for health insurance – or pensions – or take away their “collective bargaining” rights? LOL – - Those culprits don’t even know the meaning of “collective bargaining!” – They just reward themselves, at anytime – with no questions asked – and no accountability! – However, in the state of Wisconsin, our new Governor believes that public employees are the problem – not big banks or big business! – And if he repeats this lie often enough, he gets a segment of the population that buys into it! – This is a tactic used by all DICTATORS – Repeat a lie often enough, and people will begin to believe it!

Jay

February 21st, 2011
4:19 pm

tell it to Del, Scout. He’s the one who made the claim. You two argue it out.

Del

February 21st, 2011
4:24 pm

Jay, I said many other states. You may want to take a look before commenting. Try California as one.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:25 pm

Right, …1801

To connect collective bargaining with budget deficiences is a loooooooooooooooooog stretch.

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:31 pm

Jay @ 4:13

No ………… Del’s statement is correct on its face in my opinion and your statement trying to counter it is an invalid assumption.

Del

February 21st, 2011
4:34 pm

Dusty, Walker campaigned on what he’s now doing in dealing with Wisconsin’s financial issue. The voters obviously agreed with him, so now we have some on here calling him a dictator.

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:36 pm

modantel

Did you know we are talking about the governor of Wisconsin who is trying to get the finances of THAT STATE in order? That he is doing it because there is not enough money now or in the future to pay for that state’s expenses?

Go rant and rave about rich people and CEOs and the stock market and dictators and stimulus money in your back yard. I doubt that you live in Wisconsin or ever followed a budget. Give it a little more thought, willya?

Mr. Right

February 21st, 2011
4:38 pm

Unions may have had their place in the the past but as usual when someone has power they normally overreach. You can’t hardly fire sorry performers and they drove wages so high that companies are outsourcing their jobs else where because it’s cheaper and then everybody screams ” Evil Companies” should not be allowed to do that! Bust the unions and save the country!!

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:42 pm

I know, Del. Wild & crazy scores points here. It is sorta a Bookman’s “Believe it or Not” by Democrats. They outdo Ripley every day.

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
4:43 pm

Walker really is the best Governor the Koch Brothers ever bought….

buried int eh budget bill is this little nugget

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
4:43 pm

Well, if the protests keep on going for a while, Wisconsin may not have a budget problem after all….

Madison business owners welcome protesters, and their money

There is at least one group of people happy with both Scott Walker and the pro-union protesters: Madison business owners.

Wisconsin’s budget crisis and the protests that have occurred during the past week have created tens of thousands of customers for Madison’s hotels, bars and restaurants.

Susan Schmitz, president of the economic group Downtown Madison Inc., said business has been booming all week for Madison shops.

“The restaurants, coffee shops and bars have been packed,” Schmitz said. “Some of the businesses have hardly been able to keep up with it, some of the restaurants have run out of food.”

“It’s a good thing,” she continued.

Union supporters have been calling in from all over the world to order food to be delivered to the protesters.
http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/116610553.html

And to think that all that business is coming because a few public sector workers got angry about something…..

0311/0317 - 1811/1801

February 21st, 2011
4:45 pm

Granny:

Are you in a “grandma’s” union ?

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
4:46 pm

Call Ian’s Pizza in Madison WI and have a pizza sent to the protesters….

Del

February 21st, 2011
4:46 pm

0311, thank you…Jay made the assertion that Texas and Nevada have the greatest state deficits. I haven’t checked that out but his assertion has nothing to do with the fact that many states beyond Wisconsin are faced with deep financial issues brought on by union negotiated state worker compensation packages that are driving them too far into the red. A liberal politician darling, MarioCuemo in New York is looking at doing what Walker’s doing in Wisconsin. The lib’s sure know how to dance to the left when they can’t make an argument.

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

So Scout when and why did you go from Scout to 0311/0317 – 1811/1801?
And why?

Who do you think you are – Prince?

Dusty

February 21st, 2011
4:48 pm

Woo Granny, you still gathering Demo propaganda to dispense here? I thought you stopped. Oh well. New subject upstairs.

SoCo, I never heard of a storeowner who did not like more customers. I guess there was one good thing in this mess for Wisconsin. Yeah, school teachers strike to help business but not the state.

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
4:50 pm

I am in one union – with the greatest husband in the world.

Mr. G – You are the greatest!

Granny Godzilla

February 21st, 2011
4:52 pm

Dusty

Nope, just shoveling away the GOP propaganda……

still working to clean up the mess you guys made.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Left wing management

February 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

Buck@gon: FYI Leftwing: The average salary overall in the private sector is approximately $41,000. FYI reminder: The average WI teacher salary is over 10% MORE than that. I’m thinking that these, aaahhh, “servants” aren’t forgoing the lucrative careers that you seem to think they are forgoing.

Well, I’m no math genius but a 10% higher salary than $41,000 is still in the mid-40k range, hardly ‘lucrative’ by most people’s standards. But, again, what you like so many on here are missing is the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the private-public comparison, which is: .

If private salaries and bennies now appear increasingly modest compared to their (often unionized) government counterparts, that does not mean that public workers are greedy but rather that the profiteers at the top of the wage food chain are!.

Your resentment towards the public workers is a resentment that has been instilled in you by the Limbaughs / Koch bros. / Murdochs of the world who want you to view things that way because that will ensure the continuation of the status quo. What’s the status quo? It’s flattening wages for the middle-class and workers even as profits soar.

I’ll leave it to you to figure out on your own the other glaring fact: that government employees everywhere get far sweeter and much more subsidized benies by far than most employees in the government.

They do, there’s no question about is, and one of the main reasons is that they have union representation. So – to repeat – the thing to do is not to get resentful towards public workers, which is misplaced, but to re-direct your resentment to its proper target: rapacious financiers on Wall St. and CEOs who in many cases are being paid hundreds of times the salaries of their workers. It is because of them and not decently paid public workers, that we are in the budget situation we are in.

If you’re still around: how does a 10%

Dave R.

February 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

” A liberal politician darling, MarioCuemo in New York is looking at doing what Walker’s doing in Wisconsin.”

That would be a liberal darling’s SON, Andrew Cuomo, Del.

Southern Comfort (E.O.I.)

February 21st, 2011
5:09 pm

eah, school teachers strike to help business but not the state.

Ever hear the term tax receipts tossed around? They are helping the state. They are actually doing one hell of a job too, considering they have money coming in, not just from Madison, but from all around the world. Maybe, you should send them a letter of thanks.

Jay

February 21st, 2011
5:09 pm

Del, it’s simple:

If union-negotiated employee pay raises are driving this problem, as you claim, then the six states that don’t allow union negotiating ought to be in better shape than their peers. That’s the whole point of your argument, right? You believe that if you end collective bargaining, as Walker is trying to do, the financial situation improves.

Except it doesn’t. Texas and Nevada are two of only six states that don’t allow collective bargaining. Yet they’re among the worst in the bunch. (BTW, I was wrong earlier in stating that they’re the two worst. I was going off memory. Actual data below).

Here are the six states that ban collective bargaining by state employees, and their ranking among the 44 states that face 2012 budget deficits:

1. Nevada (45 percent)
4.) Texas (31.5 percent)
10.) North Carolina 20 percent)
13.) South Carolina (17.4 percent)
17.) Virginia (14.8 percent)
29.) Georgia 10.3 percent)

Five of the six states perform below the median. Only one, Georgia, performs above the median. Apparently, union-negotiated salaries aren’t driving states into deficit.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amos Posner, Jay Bookman AJC. Jay Bookman AJC said: In Wisconsin, organized labor senses a fight for its survival; http://bit.ly/fjHhG3 [...]

Left wing management

February 21st, 2011
5:23 pm

Del, et al.

Oh and about that argument you folks were making about low educational outcome quality and unionization, Diane Ravitch debunks that canard here in arguing that the situation in WI is actually symptomatic of much larger problems in our treatment of teachers today (a desperate situation which, as in so many areas, the Obama administration has done its part to misunderstand and aggravate):

The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation’s teachers. They have grown angry and demoralized over the past two years as attacks on their profession escalated.
The much-publicized film “Waiting for ‘Superman’” made the specious claim that “bad teachers” caused low student test scores. A Newsweek cover last year proposed that the key to saving American education was firing bad teachers.

..

There has recently been a national furor about school reform. One must wonder how it is possible to talk of improving schools while cutting funding, demoralizing teachers, cutting scholarships to college, and increasing class sizes.

The real story in Madison is not just about unions trying to protect their members’ hard-won rights. It is about teachers who are fed up with attacks on their profession. A large group of National Board Certified teachers — teachers from many states who have passed rigorous examinations by an independent national board — is organizing a march on Washington in July. The events in Madison are sure to multiply their numbers.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/20/ravitch.teachers.blamed/index.html

Mick

February 21st, 2011
5:29 pm

dave r

No hyperbole, just an opinion which goes to the core of the problem. People can hate unions all they want but when 60-70k get together to voice their objection, I say give them a seat at the table. Walker may think that he is being strong but he is more similar to the pharaoh – obstinate.

Adam

February 21st, 2011
5:29 pm

MPercy @ 1:46. My bad on that one. I thought we were talking about public votes (like in the Senate) not union member votes.

Adam

February 21st, 2011
5:40 pm

Dave R: LOL, Jay! The case supporting Walker has never been stronger, because it is based on FACTS.

Someone missed all the tables and graphs above. Or perhaps he just didn’t read them. Or perhaps he still believes that certain things are facts when they aren’t facts and ignores the facts he doesn’t like. It’s hard to tell where the logical fallacies come in with him lately.

Dave R: Love to see what basic rights are being taken away. Not that I expect any answer based on the Constitution, mind you, which is the guarantor of rights in this country.

I’ve answered this one already, Constitutionally, many times. No need for me to “rehash” it, as you like to say. No need to thank me or anything…

Ragnar: The next three years ought to tell the tale, as Illinois has embraced leftist orthodoxy – raising taxes – and Wisconsin is reducing taxes. I’ll put my money on Wisconsin.

And I think they’ll both do equally well or poorly regardless. There are other factors that matter more and have more influence, which is the point I was trying to make. My money is on both of them flowing with the tide of the national economy.

MPercy

February 21st, 2011
5:59 pm

AmVet @12:25 pm “This is how the cycle works: Public Sector Unions give 99% of contributions to Democrooks.” Incorrect.

AmVet is right, it’s more like 98%, not 99%…the 5% that NEA gives to Rs is not quite offset by the 100% that SEIU gives to Ds.

I’ve no reason to believe that opensecrets.org is wrong in their data:

Rank Organization Total ‘89-’10 Dem % Repub % Tilt
1 ActBlue $50,010,524 99% 0%
2 AT&T Inc $46,077,005 45% 53%
3 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $43,337,561 99% 0%
4 National Assn of Realtors $38,628,441 56% 43%
5 Goldman Sachs $33,360,252 39% 60%
6 American Assn for Justice $33,047,779 97% 2%
7 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $32,930,966 98% 1%
8 National Education Assn $32,021,910 93% 5%
9 Laborers Union $30,106,550 96% 3%
10 Carpenters & Joiners Union $29,154,808 88% 11%
11 Service Employees International Union $29,139,982 100% 0%
12 Teamsters Union $29,126,809 97% 1%
13 American Federation of Teachers $28,731,591 99% 0%
14 Communications Workers of America $28,273,156 97% 1%
15 Citigroup Inc $27,974,371 46% 52%
16 American Medical Assn $27,442,570 54% 45%
17 United Auto Workers $26,949,252 99% 0%
18 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $26,170,977 98% 1%
19 National Auto Dealers Assn $26,156,258 46% 53%
20 United Food & Commercial Workers Union $25,226,733 99% 0%