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What Gov. Walker Won’t Tell You

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Posted on Feb 21, 2011
AP / Andy Manis

The Wisconsin governor, elected in November’s GOP wave that also gave control of the state Assembly and Senate to Republicans, set off the protests by pushing ahead with a measure that would require government workers to contribute more to their health care and pension costs and largely eliminate their collective bargaining rights.

By Stanley Kutler

(Page 2)

Wisconsin state revenues are down as statewide unemployment largely reflects the national picture. Furthermore, there is justifiable despair among the unemployed that their jobs may never return. And if they are over 50, there is only a small chance that they ever will have any job comparable to those they held prior to 2007. Little do they understand that companies continue to enjoy swollen revenues, income that inflates the profit side of their ledgers as they reap benefits from “restructuring”—today’s fashionable euphemism for dropping jobs and employees. The business community now sits on the sidelines, hoarding capital, and workers have little work.

The governor claims he has traveled around the state talking to factory workers and others who say they support him because they must spend 25 to 50 percent of their income on health insurance. Well, if that is the case, and such folks are his supporters, perhaps it is time for Walker to rise to their defense and rein in the gouging health insurers.

Budgets are a mysterious maze. Legislators—let alone a citizenry dependent on a largely incompetent, ill-informed media—rarely know the intricacies of a budget and how it may cause a seismic change in public policy. (For examples of the Republicans’ tactics illustrating their belief that democracy is fine for Egypt but another matter for this country, see this.)

Walker himself precipitated the “budget crisis,” necessitating a “repair bill” that gave him and his allies what they really wanted. The governor pursues an agenda backed by the tea party’s financial angels. Public employees and other workers down the line will pay the freight for such folly. The governor lies.

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Stanley Kutler is the author of “The Wars of Watergate” and other writings. He taught constitutional and legal history for 35 years at the University of Wisconsin.


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By tedmurphy41, February 22, 2011 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Just what did you expect? He has to pay the piper for his recent success, doesn’t he?

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By Big B, February 22, 2011 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

GRYM and pin-heads like him prove my piont through their own ravings. (although he fails to realize that in america you are intitles to your own opinion, not your own facts)

Union membership is indeed on the slide. Sopport for unions is indeed low in certain parts of the nation, but not all. These two facts lead us to the crux of the problem, and that is wages and benefits for the majority of the american workforce have stagnated and even dropped in the last thirty years. But hey, that’s how capitalism works. Big business moved jobs to the third world in a quest for even bigger profits. By doing so they accompliced both of their goals. First, profits are up, way up! Second, they help eliminate the higher compensated american workforce, and in turn, cause the labor market of america to have to accept less pay and less benefits. And by impoverishing the US labor force, you take away their politcal power.

I just realized I am talking over GRYM’s head, sorry. The only facts relavent to this entire argument of regulated vs unregulated capitalism can be found in the facts. The times that made america the worlds most prosperous nation were the late 1930’s to the mid 1970’s. Those were also the times when taxes were the highest, union membership was the highest, and wages nearly tripled. The american middle class was the biggest economic force in the world.

It has been thirty years since the de-regulate, lower taxes crowd came into vougue. So hows that working out for us? Well, the top 1% are doing just fine.

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By Billy Joe Righteous, February 22, 2011 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Koch brothers are behind all of this.  Billionaires are proven to be a clear and present danger to the United States.  They have corrupted every facet of the government.  They need to be taxed out of existence and the country needs to publicly finance all elections and take the money out of politics.

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By Alfred, February 22, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The other big news on Reddit is that corporations pay little or no tax. With this tax break, presumably they pay even less, if anything? Reddit also pointed out the Koch brothers funded Walker’s run for office, then used money from Walker’s tax breaks to update equipment, then fire workers made unnecessary by the new, more efficient equipment. With the money they saved, the Koch brothers gave themselves a big raise. So much for “trickle down”. So if the corporations get all the representation, but pay no taxes, is that ‘representation without taxation’?

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By Outraged, February 22, 2011 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

Gov Walker can’t be recalled for a year but eight
current republican state senators can be.  Since
these senators are voting along with Gov. Walker
without regard to the real consequences to the
citizens (yes TAXPAYERS)of Wisconsin they should be
recalled now. 

This bill called the “budget repair bill” not only
ends collective bargaining for state workers it would
also kick 50,000 people in WI off of Medicaid. It
also takes millions of state dollars away from local
governments.  Another thing it does is allow private
corps to buy power plants from the state with “no-
bid” contracts.  Coincidentally the second largest
contributor to the Walker campaign was Koch.  Koch is
an energy corp.  Kinda funny don’t cha think?

This bill cannot be allowed to pass without debate. 
In his short time in office Walker ALONG WITH THE
REPUBLICAN MAJORITY in the state houses has already
turned a state surplus into a deficit by handing out
credits and tax deductions to corps without a way to
pay for them.  Stanley Kutler is right when he says
“The Governor lies” but that’s only the half of it,
he’s shady as all hell.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 22 at 12:56 am,

I am a dues paying union member.  Union administrations do take advantage of their positions and pay themselves way more than they should and many union leaders pull power plays on employees because they can, but without the union, too many people, including myself would have been without a jobs when raising my children.  Many highly educated individuals work in union jobs because they are unable to find better jobs than the union provides.  I will never run the union down, with all its faults, because without a political party representing the class and culture of the American Populace, the union is the only representation the working person of the American Populace has against the Conservative Right and without Collective Bargaining contracts the Union would have no power whatsoever, which is what the Right-Wing is trying to take away in Wisconsin and if they can buffalo the people in Wisconsin, they will in all the rest of the states, so it is imperative that the populace of Wisconsin keep standing for their collective bargaining rights and hopefully for a political party to represent the 70% Majority Common Population, the American Populace, which will help the unions be able to stand up better for the populace in their control.

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By LifeTrek, February 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Politifact studied the claim that the tax cuts were to blame and they rated this claim as a lie.

Here is their summary:
Our conclusion: Maddow and the others are wrong.

There is, indeed, a projected deficit that required attention, and Walker and GOP lawmakers did not create it.

There is fierce debate over the approach Walker took to address the short-term budget deficit. But there should be no debate on whether or not there is a shortfall. While not historically large, the shortfall in the current budget needed to be addressed in some fashion. Walker’s tax cuts will boost the size of the projected deficit in the next budget, but they’re not part of this problem and did not create it.

You can read it here so you can correct your story:
http://politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

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By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

-As County Executive Scott Walker was known to do what he’s doing as Governor today. 

-Candidate Walker campaigned on doing precisely what he’s attempting to do today. 

-In November 2010 the Wisconsin legislature, by a vote of the people, turned republican for the first time in decades.

-Governors Cuomo, Kasich, Christie and Daniels, all very popular, are attempting much the same things in their respective states.

-According to the Federal Election Commission, since the early 1990’s, seventeen of the top twenty lobbying firms in the nation gave more $Cash to the democratic party over republican. Twelve of those labor unions.

-Support for today’s corrupt labor unions in American is at an all-time low in every one of the 50 United States.  Not in one state do the majority support organized labor unions. - Check it out.

Nearly no one feels good about government employees paying zero for health-care and little toward a 95% retirement.  All while BigB is not guaranteed his own job security.  In fact, right now, it’s really pissing people off.

-

Governor Walker certainly runs zero risk of losing his seat in the Wisconsin State capital for standing up to today’s organized labor.

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By MarthaA, February 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Conservative Republican Gov. Walker is following the Systematic Conservative Plan to destroy all infrastructure of the 70% Majority Common Population and, although the DLC Left-Wing Conservative/Moderate New Democrats, PPI Democrats, 3rd Way Democrats and Neo-Liberal Democrats keep a low profile, they will assist the Conservative Republican Governor in his destruction, if they get the chance; it must not be forgotten that Bill Clinton is a Conservative DLC New Democrat.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment

But that’s the world that GRYM wants to see. Free market capitalism! Look how it’s making us a better, more prosperous nation!

-

YES!  The most prosperous, the freest, the system which has lifted more human beings, in all of history, out of abject poverty and misery.  A system in which the poorest amongst you suffer from obesity found its roots in Free Trade Capitalism.

Capitalism. A Free trade system you dare to whine about while more than Four Billion people make roughly $3 a day, often less, in the types of monetary/trade systems you pine for, wrapped in “fairness”.

Yes!  I am all for human beings having the ability to manufacture whatever, and trade freely with whomever, they wish.  All over the globe.  The system which feeds the most families and builds the most homes.

-

You quickly changed the subject Mr. Big.  You earlier wrote that proud union members joyously handover their cash dues each and every week for the Good Of The Cause.

Fine.  Give those same people the freedom to say, “Thank You, No”.  Or would you rather mandate (force) people to give their money for causes they may or may not agree with?

One must wonder how you would feel today if Comcast forced money out of your pockets for nearly all national republican causes and candidates.  I’m sure you would feel the very same joyfulness in your compassionate heart.

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By Shenonymous, February 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone checked out Governor Walker’s personal wealth? 
What kind of car does he drive?  What is his house like?  What
are his benefits?  What kind of schools do his children go to? 
The Wisconsin people ought to start looking into impeachment
of Walker. It is true, though as another commenter noted, the
people of Wisconsin did vote Walker into office.  But if they have
a recall as someone just mentioned, that might be a good way to go.

I was raised in southwestern Pennsylvania in a family that had at
least a dozen mine workers and a about ten mill workers, and a
couple of blacksmiths.  The unions represented these men the best
as the bargaining was always to make sure safety conditions were kept
as they should and the salaries were commensurate with the work done. 
No one got rich but they were treated properly.  There was the usual
negotiations. The union “bosses” were revered and no corruption
damned the entire area.  It is true that for a long time now many of
the unions did have crooked and bribable union leaders and that is
why over the years the unions simply lost credibility and dwindled. 
But this is a new era.  People are much more aware of their society and
what is fair and just. They are beginning to understand how exploited
they are.  Instant reporting keeps them up on what is going on.  Unions
are making a comeback and are needed to keep corporations as honest
as is possible.  There have been several mine accidents in recent years
because of lax safety measures the corporate mine owners practiced. 

It is just a given that corporations will take advantage of their
employees if it is at all doable.  My nephew is a manager for a shipping
company in New Jersey and it is not the case that business has dropped
but the company saw that it could squeeze the employees into unpaid
overtime to make up the hours lost from what laid off several workers. 
It is entirely unconscionable.  Nephew and most of the other employees
are near 50 or over it would be difficult to relocate so the owners know
they have them over a barrel.  This is not a rarity, it is now becoming
the usual.

Here is to the teachers and other workers in Wisconsin.  I hope they
hold fast.  All conscious Americans who have any empathy for their
fellow citizens ought to express their support. 

For myself I will try to work through the Democratic Party but by way of
a grass roots activist group that is just getting its speed.up For all
those who think Republicans need stopped visit Russ Feingold’s site
http://progresivesunited.org

If this doesn’t work out, if this group does not live up to the hype,
then I will look elsewhere, but for the time being, I will stay with the
Party in which I’ve been a member for nearly 40 years.  It is my belief
they have the best advantage to defeat the conservative Republican
outrageous intentions to destroy the social programs that protect a hell
of a lot of Americans. 

What is funny, meaning peculiar, is that a few years ago Texas
Republican senators took a hike for 40 some days to stop a legislative
action and that has been mentioned only once on the news in the last
few days, as if the action in Wisconsin is unprecedented.  Doesn’t
anyone remember that?  When the Republicans do it, no criticism, but
when Democrats do it they get read the riot act.

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By rob, February 21, 2011 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the state is in the red. the tax breaks dont kick in for another year. i want to let you know that if it wasnt for the private sector there wouldnt be a public sector. public unions are bad. anyone who works in the private sector should be against them. tax breaks are good for the economy. it is immoral to be taxed not only on your income but when you spend it as well. i was just in that state and its not a free state you subjects. this will not be printed to much truth

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By Jimmy1920, February 21, 2011 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Some random thoughts.

Does Wisconsin have a recall?  If so, it should be in gear.

To “Go Right…”  Yes it is about money.  The Rich just can’t seem to get enough of it.  It is about decimating the only countervailing force to conservative and corporate political action committees.  We will be left with a single interest political apparatus.  In the olden days when the king would plunder the national treasury, the nobility might squawk.  Today’s nobility is doing the plundering.  King Koch, Rick Scott, are at the top of the list.

But I suspect there are more than a few union members who helped to elect this bozo governor.  As the song goes, “When will they ever learn?”

Have you contributed to ACTBlue to support those Brave Dems who are standing up to the tyranny of “We do not negotiate”, or John Boehner’s, “We will not compromise.”  The brown shirts are in charge.
http://www.actblue.com/page/solidarity

On the other hand, if the Dems had shown the kind of unity that the Republicans are now showing, maybe we would have labor law reform, and a decent health care reform bill and some real stimulus and some real mortgage relief, and some real regulation of the banks and investment firms.

Wisconsin is the front line.  They cannot yield and are thoughts and prayers are with you.
The Republicans can teach us something.

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By heavyrunner, February 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

I am a little surprised that the editors at TruthDig did not ask you to remove the cheap shot at Rev. Jesse Jackson. Is Jesse fighting for the right side? Yes he is. If he is marginalized it is because of pigs like the Koch brothers and our lap dog compromised propaganda spewing corporate media.

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By Jim Mamer, February 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

I will add only one item to this well done column. Hopefully, if any of you reading this is even slightly sympathetic to Governor Walker’s anti-union arguments this will change your mind. (Has anyone noticed how the major media NEVER talk about how much teacher’s make in Wisconsin?) According to the National Center of Education Statistics, the average Wisconsin teacher’s salary in 2009 was $49,730 which was a 3.4% decline over the previous 10 years. Arguing about heath benefits and pensions is useless until this number improves substantially.

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By JOHNNY FRANKLIN, February 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No doubt, corporate greed is really where this story starts. After all during the eight years of Bush-CO. when the tax cuts were in affect, the jobs just continued to “Trickle Down”>>>> to Asia, South America
anywhere but the USA. The greedy corp giants are now siting on all that money and still not making a dent in the unemployment problem and it isn’t about to change. “Reaganonmics” once again, has prover to be a sham. Ten years ago or more when the term “Global Economy” was becoming an every day term in the media, I, not being an economist, said to many of my friends, this: America needs to really understand what this term represents, namely that it didn’t mean we had to slow down while the rest of the 3rd world economies catch up, but that we would have to meet those economies half way. That $20 per hr job was going to have to be $14 or $15 per hr in order to have a smooth transtion. I still believe this and now it seems to be comming true in most of our(middle class) lifes. After 2 years of unemployment, most people I know are happy to take 15 hr!!!(if they are smart) China has more honor roll students than the USA has students period. Scary,,, and that’s not the only place where we are loosing the game on the world stage, so I say it is time we deal with reality. Don’t like to be negative, I truly love my country, but don’t like it’s “Arrogent Stupidity” Got to go look for a job>>>>Bless you all….JF

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By Rodney, February 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can only blame the people who voted for him and put
the Republicans in office. Greedy rich white guys
looking out for greedy rich white guys. Starting with
Reagan, rich people never had it so good. They have
been systematically destroying the middle class and
the unions for thirty years. They hate public
employees. They especially hate school teachers that
teach in the public schools. They want to dismantle
public schools or give vouchers so they can bring
segregation back to the school system. They want to
lower the wage of government workers to the threshold
of poverty. They want to eliminate health care for
the poor and trickle it down for everyone else. They
want to eliminate social security and medicare so old  
poor people won’t live as long. They want to prevent
all white women from all forms of birth control and
or abortion to keep a white majority. And they want
to arm the entire population with guns and bring back
the days of the cowboy when we settle our own
disputes. They only need judges when someone needs to
be put to death. The last thing they want to do is
return rights back to the states so they can make any
racist or discriminatory law they want. Low taxes
means no money spent unless it is for war or defense.
That’s what the Republicans and Tea baggers are all
about. They want their country back. Back to 1860.
Eliminating the middle class is how the plan to
achieve that goal.

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By waltless, February 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Of course he caters to the big business interests—they contributed mightily to his election.  Those interests are just getting what they paid for.

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By berniem, February 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

Is it too early for a recall of the dear gov. walker?

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By Tobysgirl, February 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Anyone who reads GRYM needs their own head examined.

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By Big B, February 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Brix57

I grow tired of the faulty old argument that taxes and higher wages caused the downfall of the american manufacturing sector. Taxes were the highest and wages grew the most in this nations history from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. Those were coincidently the most prosperous years in our nations history.

Don’t blame the workers of the USA. Blame the shamless and naked pursuit of profits that caused US companies to move operations to the third world. How much money is enough money?

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By BobZ, February 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Scott Walker is pretty selective in his union busting tactics. He wants to hammer
the teachers and other public sector employees but exempt law enforcement
who just happened to be major contributors to his election campaign. Other
states have worse problems, like California, but they aren’t engaging in union
busting. Public employees have been forced into givebacks in most of these
states and municipalities, but the right to collective bargaining was never called
into question.  As President Obama said last week, this sure looks like a union
busting attempt to him.
Personally I have neve belonged to a union but I know first hand the negative
impact of not belonging to one. In most other countries IT employees do belong
to unions but here in the U.S. that is not the norm. When the multinational
company I worked for laid thousands of employees off worldwide in 2001, the
company slashed the U.S. worforce severance pay by 95%, while in Europe,
Australia, and New Zealand, they had to honor the union contracts so all of
those employees got the severance pay they were entitled too. They company
also tried to renege on our accrued vacation pay in the U.S. but fortunately in
California, they couldn’t do it. And of course all American’s benefit from the 8
hour five day week, with pensions, holiday’s, sick leave, safety rules, health
care, vacation days, etc all because unions fought for those benefits, and they
ultimately were given to almost all Americans.

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By TheBrix57, February 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Wisconsin has long been a Democrat state, along with the other Rust Belt states. One only needs to look at the Rust Belt states to see where manufacturing first started to flee the high taxes imposed on them to locales elsewhere. Union membership in the Rust Belt was also very high, with the wages increasing every contract, regardless of the profits made.
Quite unfortunate that the service sector simply cannot maintain the same tax levels that manufacturing did. What Mr. Kutler fails to mention in his very brief article is what the tax breaks were for and when the original taxes were imposed. Much like the tax from the Spanish-American War on telephone bills that never expired, those taxes had to originate somehow and somewhen.
It does appear rather odd that the public workers that walked off their jobs for a protest still have jobs to return to. Try doing that at a private company

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By morongobill, February 21, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: Big D’s comment on Comcast, etc.

You guys really can’t be blamed, with all the whitewashing going on in the media and all the anti-union bias, and since most people really want to trust new owners coming in, it was really inevitable that the union would not go through.

Comcast counted on that goodwill to allow their plan
to go through on the q t.

You can take this to the bank. These mega corporations understand psychology and they understand implicitly that they can always count on the working class to vote against their own interests, time after time, if you don’t believe me, look around, all over the country, unions are on the run, workers are getting screwed, but I guar-damn-tee you if you talked to any of the affected workers over a beer at the local watering hole, they would stand by their antagonism to unions.

I personally have seen it, over and over, my own fellow bus drivers voted down 3 past union organizing attempts, we are worse off than ever, and some still are dead set against bringing a union in.

Memo to my fellow drivers and others in the situation-
the unions aren’t the ones enslaving you, stop and think about it.

I grant you unions have made mistakes like anyone else in the past, but it is a fact that as union %‘s have gone down as % of the workforce, so have the wages, and a lot faster.

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By Big B, February 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Let me tell you my story of union/company dealings.

About 5 years ago, the company I worked for was sold to Comcast. At that time we all made good money, had decent benefits, and a pension as well as fully matched 401K. A union approached us wanting to represent us, saying that “bad times are just around the corner” (at that time I thought it was a bit of a dramatic statement, but since then…) Anyway, we voted to not be represented (only 2 local shops voted the union in, 5 said no) We did not see the need for a union. Our previous employers had, for the most part, been fair with us.

Little did we know, it was now the 21st century, and the corporate war against all labor, union and otherwise, had begun. In the first year under Comcast, offices were closed and consolidated, positions eliminated, and “contract” and “temporarary” workers began to appear. Entire offices and depts were being staffed with “contract” laborers. My dept was one of the first to go. This was our reward for voting the union out. (the men in the union offices still have their jobs, but no one has been hired or replaced there in years now, getting rid of all company employees by “attrition”. In 2005, Comcast had nearly 65,000 company employees, now that number has been halfed, nearly all being replaced by “contactors” that make less money and have no benefits. But hey, Comcast’s bottom line is better for it. Once again, the board of directors is doing very well, while the rank and file workers “eat cake”.

But that’s the world that GRYM and his minions wanted to see. Dog eat dog, libertarian, free market, unregulated capitalism! Look how it’s making us a better, more prosperous nation!

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By James Thourgh, February 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Starve the Beast strategy.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starve_the_beast

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By motherwarrior, February 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

Brilliant article. Thanks for laying it out clearly.

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By jasfish, February 21, 2011 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

This article is completely wrong.
Do some real research first as an actual newspaper did:

http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Everyone should take note of how Manchild was unable to dispute Anything I’ve posted here…lol

Attacking someone you happen to disagree with, not unlike a petulant child, is Never Enough.  wink

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By jleman, February 21, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now that his true colors are coming out, why isn’t a recall being done on this dunce? Why is his company still operating in Wisconsin? Run the bum out! Tar and feather him!

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By ardee, February 21, 2011 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

Five posts, three by our resident fascist. That alone should tell everyone how important union busting is to the far right wing of this American Eagle.

Anyone conversant with the history of the labor movement knows how very important unions were, and still are in today’s attempts to turn back the clock, to the American worker.

In all the shrillness of the debate in State and Federal Legislatures I have heard no elected official calling for their own inflated wages and terrific benefits to be curtailed or made into payroll deductions. No, only the working class protections are under attack here.

GRYM and his ilk may see the 1800’s as a goal, the rest of us understand the meaning of fairness, equality and justice.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

Big B - “Union members do not involuntarily pay union dues. They are well aware and approve of this deduction.”

-

Fine.  Let us test your theory.  Make those dues 100% voluntary and not a condition of employment.  Wouldn’t you agree?

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By Big B, February 21, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

It’s always good to wake to yet another pin-headed comment from the likes of GRYM.

Union members do not involuntarily pay union dues. They are well aware and approve of this deduction. For just like any private club, you have to pay something to enjoy the benefits of mambership.

And now the neo-con meatheads are out again bitching about operating costs of national unions (whats left of them) counting in the hundreds of millions. Less money than 1 hedge fund manager made last year.

It never ceases to amaze that a conservative will defend a CEO’s “right” to a multi-million dollar salary, but will look down with disgust on a teacher who has the gaul to ask for a 3% raise to their 45,000 a year salary.

The robber-barons plan is working like a charm, folks. They have us blaming each other, instead of burning their corporate offices to the ground.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

This is about money and the, For-Profit, union industry.

Former American Federation of Teachers President Al Shanker put it bluntly: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”

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By Go Right Young Man, February 21, 2011 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

What Stanley Kutler Won’t Tell You

When President Obama came into office, he shielded government unions from transparency by ending their reporting requirements to the Department of Labor. As a result it is impossible for the American people to know for sure how much of their taxpayer revenue is being diverted into union coffers. But if you assume that each union member pays between $500 and $750 annually, taken involuntarily directly from their paychecks, that means the government union industry (and make no mistake, it is an For-Profit industry) in Wisconsin is worth at least $100 million a year.

If government employees want to voluntarily form associations and lobby the government for higher pay, better benefits, and working conditions, that is, as it should be, their constitutional right. But government has no right to force all employees to join their organization and take money from their paychecks every week. Governor Walker’s bill fixes these problems: It affords government workers the right to quit their union and keep their jobs; it requires unions to demonstrate their support through annual secret-ballot votes; and it stops state and local governments from collecting union dues through their payroll systems.

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Some like to say this battle in Wisconsin, (and Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) is not about money.  That’s not entirely honest. 

According to the FEC the American Federation of Teachers, through involuntary payroll deduction, gave $28,731,591 in campaign contributions. 98% of those contributions went directly into the coffers or pockets of democratic candidates. 0% to republicans. The National Education Association, through involuntary payroll deductions, gave $32,021,910 to political campaigns. 93% of those monies went directly to the democrat party. 6% to republicans.

This is not about hundreds of millions of dollars?

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By madisolation, February 21, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

“After three days of protests, the largest union offered to concede the pension and health insurance payments in exchange for continued recognition of the right to negotiate wage and working conditions.”
That is the most ironic concept around. In exchange for the “recognition of the right to negotiate wage..” they will see less money in their paychecks. What’s the point of collective bargaining if it’s not fighting for better wages and benefits?
Just like we always say Obama (the fraud) should have negotiated the stimulus bill from a position of strength, so should the workers not give an inch. The money should not go to further enrich big business with tax breaks they’ll never spend. It should go workers who will put the money back into the economy.

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