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Scott Walker WI governor vs the Packers & teachers


cr8f

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What kind of crossover is there between public and private sector unions? I'm trying to understand the differences and similarities. I mean, the unions were created for noble reasons in a time when there were some serious abuses. I'm not saying they aren't needed in the private sector but what are the abuses that the government put on the people that required a public sector union to begin with?

Look up the Boston Police Strike of 1920. But what does this have to do with anything?
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What kind of crossover is there between public and private sector unions? I'm trying to understand the differences and similarities. I mean, the unions were created for noble reasons in a time when there were some serious abuses. I'm not saying they aren't needed in the private sector but what are the abuses that the government put on the people that required a public sector union to begin with?

Look up the Boston Police Strike of 1920. But what does this have to do with anything?
I'm trying to get a better understanding so I don't throw out comments without having as much info as possible. :yes:
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What's depressing to me is that he's not willing to accept a compromise. If he asked for the cuts but was willing to keep collective bargaining, he'd get a deal and everyone would be happy. This argument about giving the local governments more power makes no sense, because the unions will negotiate with the local governments too rather than deal with layoffs. Walker can get every budget number he wants, but he's trying to permanently end the power of the unions, and that's not right, IMO. Take the compromise.

The bolded is what is needed to happen. From my point of view, the unions have done very little for the people they "protect", the people of the state (who they work for) and especially the students.
But that's not an emergency issue. The emergency issue is the budget. Walker is trying to use the budget crisis to crush the unions. This doesn't seem right to me. He can get what Wisconsin needs without having to do this.
What unions are you talking about? If he wanted to crush the unions why isn't he including the policmen, firefighters, or other unions. He can't get Wisconsin what they need without this? What part of massive layoffs don't you understand?
You tell me why he isn't including the police or firefighters. And again, why are massive layoffs needed if the unions are willing to agree to his budget cuts?
Pathetic, Timmy. As bad as you are here I thought you were better than resorting to this. :yes:
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What's depressing to me is that he's not willing to accept a compromise. If he asked for the cuts but was willing to keep collective bargaining, he'd get a deal and everyone would be happy. This argument about giving the local governments more power makes no sense, because the unions will negotiate with the local governments too rather than deal with layoffs. Walker can get every budget number he wants, but he's trying to permanently end the power of the unions, and that's not right, IMO. Take the compromise.

The bolded is what is needed to happen. From my point of view, the unions have done very little for the people they "protect", the people of the state (who they work for) and especially the students.
But that's not an emergency issue. The emergency issue is the budget. Walker is trying to use the budget crisis to crush the unions. This doesn't seem right to me. He can get what Wisconsin needs without having to do this.
What unions are you talking about? If he wanted to crush the unions why isn't he including the policmen, firefighters, or other unions. He can't get Wisconsin what they need without this? What part of massive layoffs don't you understand?
You tell me why he isn't including the police or firefighters. And again, why are massive layoffs needed if the unions are willing to agree to his budget cuts?
The reason he has stated that he didn't include the firefighters and police is that before he proposed this plan he met with the Wisconsin National Guard to come up with contingency plans in case the public workers went on strike. The National Guard did not have contingency plans for the firefighters and police. It is already illegal for public employees to go on strike in WI but that matters little to the teachers. Most public employees have continued to show up for work except for the teachers.
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OK, now he addressed it. He says that the only way to make sure the cuts don't lead to massive layoffs in the local governments is to get rid of collective bargaining. So he's not being dishonest about this. But I still wish there was a way to do this without getting rid of collective bargaining.

I don't get this at all......Does the Private Sector get to bargain collectively? Nope, we have to EARN our positions and our pay. Unions do all that for people and protect bad workers
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Answer the damn question! You say he wants to crush the unions! Which unions is he including in this bill? How many unions? Since you seem to act like you know so tell us. Also, if you just watched his press conference he stated why layoffs will happen if it doesn't pass. It's clear you don't have any idea on this since you didn't even know some kids were dependent on schools for hot lunches. :yes:

1. Please lower the tone. We're trying to have a civil debate here. If it's going to devolve into a yelling match or insults, I'm out.2. In the press conference, Walker did not acknowledge that the unions were willing to compromise by accepting his requested budget cuts. He claimed he couldn't compromise himself because he couldn't afford it, which by implication means that the unions were trying to negotiate over monies- this is dishonest. He then went on to argue that collective bargaining needed to be taken away in order for local governments to avoid massive layoffs in the future when cuts were made. He was vague about what layoffs he was talking about here, and anyhow it's a nonsensical argument, because if the unions are willing to renegotiate their contracts with the governor, then they will be just as willing to renegotiate with local governments- as if the unions would hold to their position and invite layoffs! Sorry, but that's ridiculous logic.3. I believe the reason that the police and firemen unions were excluded was because they are mostly Republican and those unions supported the governor. This was an assumption on my part, and Mr. Pack told me that the facts contradicted this. But he hasn't explained what those facts are.4. I did know that there are kids dependant on hot lunches. What I did not know, and still do not know, is whether or not the teachers calling in sick the last few days actually prevented those students from getting those lunches. That's what Stat claimed, but I can't find any evidence of this, and I seriously doubt it happened.
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To the story above, the ability to collectively bargain isn't a "right". They are not giving up, nor being denied a "right".

Boehner rips Obama for meddling in Wisconsin issue

Is somebody arguing with that?

Collective bargaining is not a "right" under most definitions of the word that I know. It is, however, something that developed organically as a part of a free market economy. I take it that you support this government intrusion into this naturally occurring economic phenomenon?

The leader of the Wisconsin teacher's union referred to a "God-given right to join a real union", and virtually everyone involved has said that Walker is attempting to remove "workers' rights".
Executive Order 10988 was issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 and recognizes the rights of federal employees to bargain with management.
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Answer the damn question! You say he wants to crush the unions! Which unions is he including in this bill? How many unions? Since you seem to act like you know so tell us. Also, if you just watched his press conference he stated why layoffs will happen if it doesn't pass.

It's clear you don't have any idea on this since you didn't even know some kids were dependent on schools for hot lunches. :thumbdown:

1. Please lower the tone. We're trying to have a civil debate here. If it's going to devolve into a yelling match or insults, I'm out.

2. In the press conference, Walker did not acknowledge that the unions were willing to compromise by accepting his requested budget cuts. He claimed he couldn't compromise himself because he couldn't afford it, which by implication means that the unions were trying to negotiate over monies- this is dishonest. He then went on to argue that collective bargaining needed to be taken away in order for local governments to avoid massive layoffs in the future when cuts were made. He was vague about what layoffs he was talking about here, and anyhow it's a nonsensical argument, because if the unions are willing to renegotiate their contracts with the governor, then they will be just as willing to renegotiate with local governments- as if the unions would hold to their position and invite layoffs! Sorry, but that's ridiculous logic.

Why is this ridiculous? Unions do it all the time.

3. I believe the reason that the police and firemen unions were excluded was because they are mostly Republican and those unions supported the governor. This was an assumption on my part, and Mr. Pack told me that the facts contradicted this. But he hasn't explained what those facts are.

I believe there are around 100 police and fireman unions in WI. Only 3 supported Walker.

4. I did know that there are kids dependant on hot lunches. What I did not know, and still do not know, is whether or not the teachers calling in sick the last few days actually prevented those students from getting those lunches. That's what Stat claimed, but I can't find any evidence of this, and I seriously doubt it happened.

If there is no school there are no hot lunches. Seems obvious to me.

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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece. But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.
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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.

I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece.

But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.

Walker rejects union offer on bargaining rights...

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/116502958.html

Edited by sts911911
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I want to repeat again, though, that I don't have anything against this governor, or the unions: they're both honestly fighting for their interests. I have great sympathy for the teachers, but I don't think they were right to walk off their jobs.

But the worst people in this whole drama are the Democrats in the State legislature. Their decision to disappear and go to other states is the most dangerous, anti-democratic aspect of this entire affair. How dare they do such a thing? It's terrible.

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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.

I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece.

But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.

I still don't understand why it's better to work with the unions. If you believe this is in your state's best long term interest, why wouldn't you try to "slam them against the wall" while you still can?
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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.

I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece.

But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.

I still don't understand why it's better to work with the unions. If you believe this is in your state's best long term interest, why wouldn't you try to "slam them against the wall" while you still can?
You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

But a compromise in which the unions concede all of these pension and budget issues serves to erode their power without this becoming divisive.

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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.

I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece.

But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.

I still don't understand why it's better to work with the unions. If you believe this is in your state's best long term interest, why wouldn't you try to "slam them against the wall" while you still can?
You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

But a compromise in which the unions concede all of these pension and budget issues serves to erode their power without this becoming divisive.

If you truly believe it's by far the best option for the state, you get it done and worry about a re-election when that time comes. Having a sure thing now is far superior to a *possibility* of something down the line.
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018. Edited by Mario Kart
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
People don't even know who's going to run in the next election...yet you're able to predict his chances NINE years from now?
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
People don't even know who's going to run in the next election...yet you're able to predict his chances NINE years from now?
Do you know who bakes is?
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Here's a novel concept - how about, instead of trying to bring public sector workers down to where private sector workers have landed, create incentives for the private sector tycoons to get off of their bankrolls and start hiring people to bring them back up to where they were?

Naaah, never work....

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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
People don't even know who's going to run in the next election...yet you're able to predict his chances NINE years from now?
Do you know who bakes is?
I've seen more elections than he's seen birthdays... :old:Predicting is easy - just look at the guy. He's an uncharismatic smarmy arrogant corporate shill who is proof that while the cream rises to the top, turds also float. He's reached his level of incompetency.
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Why should Walker compromise?

Because it would be better to get the budget changes in cooperation with the unions, rather than by defeating them.

I think we can all agree that what's happening in Wisconsin is going to have to happen everywhere. Pensions are going to have be renegotiated, and cuts are going to have to be made. There's no choice, if we want to avoid what happened to Greece.

But it's far better to do this by working with the unions, and compromising with them, rather than by simply trying to slam them against the wall. The latter creates such discord which in the long run costs more than it gains. I know there is an emotional aspect to this: partisans on both sides care more about "winning" than they do about solving problems.

I still don't understand why it's better to work with the unions. If you believe this is in your state's best long term interest, why wouldn't you try to "slam them against the wall" while you still can?
You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

But a compromise in which the unions concede all of these pension and budget issues serves to erode their power without this becoming divisive.

If you truly believe it's by far the best option for the state, you get it done and worry about a re-election when that time comes. Having a sure thing now is far superior to a *possibility* of something down the line.
:X

Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.

None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

Edited by Mr.Pack
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None.
He's on the front page of Drudge, he's being interviewed by every national news organization in the US, and none other than the President of the United States himself has sent his administrations thugs to Wisconsin to protest.The dude is VERY much in the national eye right now. I'm glad he's not blinking either.
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None.
He's on the front page of Drudge, he's being interviewed by every national news organization in the US, and none other than the President of the United States himself has sent his administrations thugs to Wisconsin to protest.The dude is VERY much in the national eye right now. I'm glad he's not blinking either.
Especially if he pulls this off and turns this State around and creates jobs. He WILL be a force in the future.
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None.
He's on the front page of Drudge, he's being interviewed by every national news organization in the US, and none other than the President of the United States himself has sent his administrations thugs to Wisconsin to protest
Do you ever vary your schtick?
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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
People don't even know who's going to run in the next election...yet you're able to predict his chances NINE years from now?
Do you know who bakes is?
Not really. I only know a few of the biased political extremists. I find most folk on here to be pretty solid, whether or not I agree with them. I guess bakes isn't one of the reasonable ones?
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4. I did know that there are kids dependant on hot lunches. What I did not know, and still do not know, is whether or not the teachers calling in sick the last few days actually prevented those students from getting those lunches. That's what Stat claimed, but I can't find any evidence of this, and I seriously doubt it happened.

If there is no school there are no hot lunches. Seems obvious to me.

:X

Thanks, seemed obvious to me too

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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.
Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None.
He's on the front page of Drudge, he's being interviewed by every national news organization in the US, and none other than the President of the United States himself has sent his administrations thugs to Wisconsin to protest
Do you ever vary your schtick?
:XHe IS getting lots of attention right now. And that's the biggest key to gaining national prominence. Where's the shtick in his post?
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The guy is in there for 5+ more years. The other "cuts" he is going to make are going to be on peoples minds. But, if jobs are back in Wisconsin and the right things are going right for the people, he will get reelected.And, if all of that happens, a Presidential run may be in order. Him and Paul Ryan would be an interesting ticket in 2018.

Too bad the election's in 2020... and Walker has zero chance on the national level. None. Unless the Koch Brothers (aka Soros Right) bankroll him some more.
People don't even know who's going to run in the next election...yet you're able to predict his chances NINE years from now?
Do you know who bakes is?
Not really. I only know a few of the biased political extremists. I find most folk on here to be pretty solid, whether or not I agree with them. I guess bakes isn't one of the reasonable ones?
it was a joke...nevermind :goodposting:
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Walker wants the collective bargaining rights for public employees removed (except on pay) because the next step in the budget is going to be to drastically lower the amount of shared revenue sent back to city and county governments from the state. When that money disappears like it is going to, the idea is for the local governments to have the same option with their employees that the state is doing. Make them pay for part of their benefits. The hundreds (thousands?) of local government entities can't do that if each one has to bargain over pension and health care benefits with their local public unions.

I think this is likely the correct analysis. We should know soon I think, and the unions are finally getting the message out that they are prepared to accept the financial concessions, but not give up their unions.

The head of the largest state workers union said Friday that his group is willing to give in to Gov. Scott Walker's demand for concessions on their benefits if the governor gives up his bid to repeal nearly all bargaining rights for public worker unions.

Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, which represents some 23,000 blue-collar state workers, said his group would agree to pay more of their pension contributions and health insurance benefits.

"We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state's budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union . . .  we will not - I repeat we will not - be denied our rights to collectively bargain," Beil said in a statement.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116470423.html
:goodposting: Kasich came into Ohio and is basically using the same, "It's my way or the highway approach." I'm not sure the "hammer" approach was the best move for House Republicans and Governors. I've never contributed a dollar to either the Democrats or Republicans, but I'm going to walk 1 block from work at lunch next week and ask to the protestors who I should send my money to. Kasich has basically told everyone that corporations have free will to do what they want. I'm not comfortable with that; much like I would not be comfortable with the Unions forcing everything down my throat. Edited by GreatLakesMike
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Walker wants the collective bargaining rights for public employees removed (except on pay) because the next step in the budget is going to be to drastically lower the amount of shared revenue sent back to city and county governments from the state. When that money disappears like it is going to, the idea is for the local governments to have the same option with their employees that the state is doing. Make them pay for part of their benefits. The hundreds (thousands?) of local government entities can't do that if each one has to bargain over pension and health care benefits with their local public unions.

I think this is likely the correct analysis. We should know soon I think, and the unions are finally getting the message out that they are prepared to accept the financial concessions, but not give up their unions.

The head of the largest state workers union said Friday that his group is willing to give in to Gov. Scott Walker's demand for concessions on their benefits if the governor gives up his bid to repeal nearly all bargaining rights for public worker unions.

Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, which represents some 23,000 blue-collar state workers, said his group would agree to pay more of their pension contributions and health insurance benefits.

"We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state's budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union . . .  we will not - I repeat we will not - be denied our rights to collectively bargain," Beil said in a statement.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116470423.html
:goodposting: Kasich in Ohio is basically using the same, "It's my way or the highway approach." I'm not sure the "hammer" approach was the best move for House Republicans and Governors. I've never contributed a dollar to either the Democrats or Republicans, but I'm going to walk 1 block from work at lunch next week and ask to the protestors who I should send my money to. Kasich has basically told everyone that corporations have free will to do what they want. I'm not comfortable with that; much like I would not be comfortable with the Unions deciding everything. Edited by GreatLakesMike
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Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

I agree compromise would be the exactly wrong thing to do.
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This might put an end to the "Walker created the fiscal crisis" talk:

PolitiFact

Rachel Maddow says Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year

False

It has taken hold with conviction: the idea that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ginned up a phony budget crisis to justify his bold bid to strip state employees of most bargaining rights and cut their benefits.

A volley of e-mails, blog posts and inquiries to reporters followed a Madison Capital Times editorial on Feb. 16, 2011, that said no state budget deficit exists for 2010-’11 -- or if it does, it’s the fault of Walker and the Republicans in the Legislature.

Liberal MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow joined in Feb. 17, accusing Walker of manipulating the situation for political gain.

"Despite what you may have heard about Wisconsin’s finances, the state is on track to have a budget surplus this year," she said. "I am not kidding."

She added a kicker that is also making the rounds: Walker and fellow Republicans in the Legislature this year gave away $140 million in business tax breaks -- so if there is a deficit projected of $137 million, they created it.

Maddow and others making the claim all cite the same source for their information -- a Jan. 31, 2011 memo prepared by Robert Lang, the director of the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

It includes this line: "Our analysis indicates a general fund gross balance of $121.4 million and a net balance of $56.4 million."

We were curious about claims of a surplus based on the fiscal bureau memo.

In writing it when it was released, reporters from the Journal Sentinel and Associated Press had put the shortfall at between $78 million and $340 million. That’s the projection for the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2011.

Walker himself has settled on $137 million as the deficit figure, a number reporters have adopted as shorthand.

We re-read the fiscal bureau memo, talked to Lang, consulted reporter Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel’s Madison Bureau, read various news accounts and examined the issue in detail.

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.

More on that second point in a bit.

The confusion, it appears, stems from a section in Lang’s memo that -- read on its own -- does project a $121 million surplus in the state’s general fund as of June 30, 2011.

But the remainder of the routine memo -- consider it the fine print -- outlines $258 million in unpaid bills or expected shortfalls in programs such as Medicaid services for the needy ($174 million alone), the public defender’s office and corrections. Additionally, the state owes Minnesota $58.7 million under a discontinued tax reciprocity deal.

The result, by our math and Lang’s, is the $137 million shortfall.

It would be closer to the $340 million figure if the figure included the $200 million owed to the state’s patient compensation fund, a debt courts have declared resulted from an illegal raid on the fund under former Gov. Jim Doyle.

A court ruling is pending in that matter, so the money might not have to be transferred until next budget year.

To be sure, the projected shortfall is a modest one by the standards of the last decade, which saw a $600 million repair bill one year as the economy and national tax collections slumped.

But ignoring it would have meant turning away eligible Medicaid clients, which was not an option, Lang said.

This same situation has happened in the past, including during the tenure of Doyle, a Democrat. In January 2005, a fiscal bureau memo showed a similar surplus, but lawmakers approved a major fix of a Medicaid shortfall that would have eaten up that projected surplus.

Reporters who cover the Capitol are used to doing the math to come up with the bottom-line surplus or deficit, but average readers are not. (The Journal Sentinel’s Stein addressed these and other budget questions in a follow-up story.)

So why does Lang write his biennial memo in a way that invites confusion?

Lang, a veteran and respected civil servant working in a nonpartisan job, told us he does not want to presume what legislative or other action will be taken to address the potential shortfalls he lists.

Admittedly, the approach this time created the opportunity for a snappy -- and powerful -- political attack.

But it is an inaccurate one.

Meanwhile, what about Maddow’s claim -- also repeated across the liberal blogosphere -- that Walker’s tax-cut bills approved in January are responsible for the $137 million deficit?

Lang’s fiscal bureau report and news accounts addressed that issue as well.

The tax cuts will cost the state a projected $140 million in tax revenue -- but not until the next two-year budget, from July 2011 to June 2013. The cuts are not even in effect yet, so they cannot be part of the current problem.

Here’s the bottom line:

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.

We rate Maddow’s take False.

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You create discord. You divide the public. You set up a situation where it's possible you will be thrown out in the next election, and you lose all that you gained.

But a compromise in which the unions concede all of these pension and budget issues serves to erode their power without this becoming divisive.

If you truly believe it's by far the best option for the state, you get it done and worry about a re-election when that time comes. Having a sure thing now is far superior to a *possibility* of something down the line.

:shrug:

Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.

None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

So what about the people who didnt vote for him? Are they just supposed to bend over?

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Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

I agree compromise would be the exactly wrong thing to do.
:shrug: Conservatives just spent the last two years clamoring for Obama to compromise....
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Good grief are they still trying to pin this crisis on Walker, I talked about this pages back. Just do a Google search on "Wisconsin 2010 budget" and you will get all the links you need, from all kinds of sources including the University of Wisconsin.

Come on people you are either knowingly posting lies or just posting talking points. Google is your friend.

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I want to repeat again, though, that I don't have anything against this governor, or the unions: they're both honestly fighting for their interests. I have great sympathy for the teachers, but I don't think they were right to walk off their jobs.But the worst people in this whole drama are the Democrats in the State legislature. Their decision to disappear and go to other states is the most dangerous, anti-democratic aspect of this entire affair. How dare they do such a thing? It's terrible.

I agree with your point about the action of the Senators leaving WI to avoid the vote. But my understanding is that a quorum is need to vote on bills dealing with the budget. Does this mean that the Republicans can continue to vote on other matters? Why not take the opportunity to vote on other Republican agendas such as voter ID? I would guess the Democrats come back in a hurry.
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Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

I agree compromise would be the exactly wrong thing to do.
:shrug: Conservatives just spent the last two years clamoring for Obama to compromise....
And?
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Walker's platform that he ran on was getting back to Fiscal Conservatism and job creation. Everything he did as Milwaukee County Executive was what people should have expected when he ran.None of this should be a surprise to anyone in WI, and no way should he compromise.

I agree compromise would be the exactly wrong thing to do.
:shrug: Conservatives just spent the last two years clamoring for Obama to compromise....
And?
Obama: "I won. Deal with it"
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Just gonna dump some instapundit commentary in here:

FRANK LUNTZ: Wisconsin Union Action Is Backfiring. Really? A bunch of tax-paid people walk off their tax-paid jobs to demand more money from taxpayers, and that might play badly with . . . taxpayers?

Even Joe Klein thinks this is dumb. “An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. . . . The events in Wisconsin are a rebalancing of power that, after decades of flush times and lax negotiating, had become imbalanced. That is also something that, from time to time, happens in a democracy.”

UPDATE: Professor Jacobson: Obama Acted Stupidly In Picking Sides Against The Taxpayers.

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Union offered to give up of the budget matters but the governor refused to budge, basically admitting this is about getting rid of unions.

Making workers budge on wages is one thing telling them cannot organize harkens back to 1932.

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