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Scott Walker WI governor vs the Packers & teachers


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So let me see if I have this straight. It's bad for companies to engage in "union busting" (a method to lower labor costs), but it's also bad to ship jobs overseas (a method to lower labor costs). If a company needs to lower its labor costs in order to compete globally, what is the official cr8f approved method?

We are engaged in a race to the bottom. The US can't compete with $1 an hour labor, child labor, forced labor, etc.. The bigger question is why should we? Unless you own a business, you're a worker. The trend is cheaper labor, longer hours, lower income and lower quality of life standards. I'm not sure what the answer is, but there was a time when made in America meant something besides being the cheapest. Along with our jobs I think we also exported our pride.

Consumers need to figure out that all of this is tied together. There are hidden costs for buying the cheapest foreign made product, and we are paying them.

Great. So what should the company do to compete in the meantime? Again, you're demonizing companies which lower wages, and you're demonizing companies that send jobs overseas, so what should they do that will meet with your approval?
It doesn't matter what I think. The cat is out of the bag. The US way of life is dying by 1000 paper cuts. Globalization is a zero sum game. For other countries to rise, ours has to sink.

Companies who are so enamored with the low wage countries and no taxes should move everything there, not just their manufacturing. Move their families there. Use their schools. Use their roads. Instead we are in a period of reckoning. Corporations are moving jobs away, look to avoid paying US taxes and yet they expect to enjoy the freedoms, infrastructure and safety America affords them and their families.

Globalization is not a zero sum game, the rise of emerging markets benefits our quality of life. The problem is that globalization will create winners and losers and our government is excellent at helping the winners keep more of what they won but terrible about helping the losers adjust to a more skilled job.

This is why inequality in America continues to rise and the middle class shrinks. It doesn't have to be this way; other developed countries are facing the same global pressures we are but have strong unions and sensible government programs that have helped them avoid an employment calamity similar to ours IMO.

Edited by Slapdash
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So let me see if I have this straight. It's bad for companies to engage in "union busting" (a method to lower labor costs), but it's also bad to ship jobs overseas (a method to lower labor costs). If a company needs to lower its labor costs in order to compete globally, what is the official cr8f approved method?

We are engaged in a race to the bottom. The US can't compete with $1 an hour labor, child labor, forced labor, etc.. The bigger question is why should we? Unless you own a business, you're a worker. The trend is cheaper labor, longer hours, lower income and lower quality of life standards. I'm not sure what the answer is, but there was a time when made in America meant something besides being the cheapest. Along with our jobs I think we also exported our pride.

Consumers need to figure out that all of this is tied together. There are hidden costs for buying the cheapest foreign made product, and we are paying them.

Great. So what should the company do to compete in the meantime? Again, you're demonizing companies which lower wages, and you're demonizing companies that send jobs overseas, so what should they do that will meet with your approval?
It doesn't matter what I think. The cat is out of the bag. The US way of life is dying by 1000 paper cuts. Globalization is a zero sum game. For other countries to rise, ours has to sink.

Companies who are so enamored with the low wage countries and no taxes should move everything there, not just their manufacturing. Move their families there. Use their schools. Use their roads. Instead we are in a period of reckoning. Corporations are moving jobs away, look to avoid paying US taxes and yet they expect to enjoy the freedoms, infrastructure and safety America affords them and their families.

Globalization is not a zero sum game, the rise of emerging markets benefits our quality of life. The problem is that globalization will create winners and losers and our government is excellent at helping the winners keep more of what they won but terrible about helping the losers adjust to a more skilled job.
This is something I can wholeheartedly agree with.
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Everyone wants the problems fixed but nobody is willing to make any sacrifices to make it happen.

Which is why we keep lowering taxes on the rich?
I've stated numerous times that I have no problem with tax increases as long as they are accompanied by significant and meaningful spending cuts. :lmao:
You're missing the point. It's easier to make the other guy pay and not have to do without anything for yourself. It's easy to dismiss by saying the rich (usually whoever makes $1 more than you) aren't paying enough. The entire tax code needs to be revisited, including that for the wealthiest earners. I'd suggest we even add a few more tiers to the current tax brackets. It's foolish to keep spending like we are though and try to fool ourselves into thinking we can do that and not increase taxes on everyone, not just who we perceive as the wealthy.
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They are paying a higher price in the terms I talked about. I'm old enough to remember my grandfathers generation. There was cheap crap made in Japan and China then too. They didn't buy it. There was a social stigma on foreign made junk. They had pride in the American worker and the American product. He bought American cars only, even when there were cheaper ones out there. That kind of thinking is gone and it isn't a coincidence that wages are stagnant and there are more dual income families than ever. The trade off for cheap goods and services is high. And I do feel that we are screwed. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary in the past 15 years.

That kind of thinking seems silly in this day and age. We should aspire to be more like Apple, an American company that makes innovative products that both Americans and ROW are happy to pay a premium for. Propping up Ford or GM for making similar quality cars to Honda or Toyota at a higher cost just because the employees are American is a recipe for disaster.
Apple uses Chinese labor that can't stop committing suicide at their plants. Now that's a stressful job. But hey, iPads are only 5 bills.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology...-last-year.html

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They are paying a higher price in the terms I talked about. I'm old enough to remember my grandfathers generation. There was cheap crap made in Japan and China then too. They didn't buy it. There was a social stigma on foreign made junk. They had pride in the American worker and the American product. He bought American cars only, even when there were cheaper ones out there. That kind of thinking is gone and it isn't a coincidence that wages are stagnant and there are more dual income families than ever. The trade off for cheap goods and services is high. And I do feel that we are screwed. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary in the past 15 years.

That kind of thinking seems silly in this day and age. We should aspire to be more like Apple, an American company that makes innovative products that both Americans and ROW are happy to pay a premium for. Propping up Ford or GM for making similar quality cars to Honda or Toyota at a higher cost just because the employees are American is a recipe for disaster.
Apple uses Chinese labor that can't stop committing suicide at their plants. Now that's a stressful job. But hey, iPads are only 5 bills.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology...-last-year.html

But what should Apple (or whoever) be doing that would meet with your approval? It's fine to demonize them for using cheap foreign labor, but only if you suggest a viable alternative.
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If I'm Walker here is how I get the public behind me even more so than they already are.

--------------------------------

We will allow wage, benefits and health coverage into the Collective Bargaining.

In return, your Insurance cost WILL go up on average 8%, which still leaves you at about half of what a Non-government employee pays.

Pay about 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions, up significantly from 0.2%.

Pay raises would be limited to inflation, unless a referendum approves of a larger increase.

Union vote is due each and every year for each district.

Union dues are VOLUNTARY!

Let's see their arguments after that. :lmao:

Edited by snogger
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If I'm Walker here is how I get the public behind me even more so than they already are.--------------------------------We will allow wage, benefits and health coverage into the Collective Bargaining.In return, your Insurance cost WILL go up on average 8%, which still leaves you at about half of what a Non-government employee pays.Pay about 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions, up significantly from 0.2%.Pay raises would be limited to inflation, unless a referendum approves of a larger increase.Union vote is due each and every year for each district.Union dues are VOLUNTARY!Let's see their arguments after that. :lmao:

He probably shouldn't have spent all that money in Jan. If he didn't do that...his position would probably be more defensible.
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First, I am a certified teacher in the state of Wisconsin.

Second, I have not had a full time teaching job due to the "recession" and partly due to the Union and its demands.

Third, I want a job doing what I love to do and doing something I went to school for.

Fourth, down with the Wisconsin Teachers Union because they have not helped me one iota.

Fifth, I don't mind what Walker is trying to do.

:lmao:

In our district the classrooms are becoming more and more over crowded because they cannot afford to hire more teachers.

The Average Teacher with 3 Years seniority is making over 80k in our district when you add in benefits.

Not to mention, once they reach that magically 3 years they have to almost kill someone in order to get fired.

Time the Teachers Union got :lmao: like us Tax payers and our children have been for years.

in DC, Michelle Rhee got shot down by the union every time she tried to make a change to improve the schools.
She supported many ideas that are either unproven or fly in the face of research.
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If I'm Walker here is how I get the public behind me even more so than they already are.

--------------------------------

We will allow wage, benefits and health coverage into the Collective Bargaining.

In return, your Insurance cost WILL go up on average 8%, which still leaves you at about half of what a Non-government employee pays.

Pay about 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions, up significantly from 0.2%.

Pay raises would be limited to inflation, unless a referendum approves of a larger increase.

Union vote is due each and every year for each district.

Union dues are VOLUNTARY!

Let's see their arguments after that. :thumbup:

This isn't allowing the union to bargain and thusly conflicts with your first line.
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So let me see if I have this straight. It's bad for companies to engage in "union busting" (a method to lower labor costs), but it's also bad to ship jobs overseas (a method to lower labor costs). If a company needs to lower its labor costs in order to compete globally, what is the official cr8f approved method?

We are engaged in a race to the bottom. The US can't compete with $1 an hour labor, child labor, forced labor, etc.. The bigger question is why should we? Unless you own a business, you're a worker. The trend is cheaper labor, longer hours, lower income and lower quality of life standards. I'm not sure what the answer is, but there was a time when made in America meant something besides being the cheapest. Along with our jobs I think we also exported our pride.Consumers need to figure out that all of this is tied together. There are hidden costs for buying the cheapest foreign made product, and we are paying them.
If the answer is relying on consumers to pay higher prices because it's the right thing to do - we're screwed. You're smart enough to know that.
They are paying a higher price in the terms I talked about. I'm old enough to remember my grandfathers generation. There was cheap crap made in Japan and China then too. They didn't buy it. There was a social stigma on foreign made junk. They had pride in the American worker and the American product. He bought American cars only, even when there were cheaper ones out there. That kind of thinking is gone and it isn't a coincidence that wages are stagnant and there are more dual income families than ever. The trade off for cheap goods and services is high. And I do feel that we are screwed. I haven't seen any evidence to the contrary in the past 15 years.
You lost me when you linked the fact that more women work now than 60 years ago because of people buying foreign crap.
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Love that they took the students with them and some of the signs they are holding, where is the outrage you hypocritical lefties???Typical left coward attitude, Hitler signs okay as long as they are not on obamas face???And no one says a thing here, you have no core values or convictions...

You should probably go to another thread. Adults are discussing important issues in here.
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Love that they took the students with them and some of the signs they are holding, where is the outrage you hypocritical lefties???Typical left coward attitude, Hitler signs okay as long as they are not on obamas face???And no one says a thing here, you have no core values or convictions...

You should probably go to another thread. Adults are discussing important issues in here.
Nah I am here to show you for what you are...Your every post just confirms it...
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It's also not in the public's interest to overpay, but it is in the unions' interest to have the public overpay.

The employees interest to be overpaid... or even paid highly.
Or even to be paid well. Or to not be underpaid. Or to not be slave labor.
Get back to me when any union member is a slave.
Thats the point of the employees unions. :thumbup:
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If I'm Walker here is how I get the public behind me even more so than they already are.

--------------------------------

We will allow wage, benefits and health coverage into the Collective Bargaining.

In return, your Insurance cost WILL go up on average 8%, which still leaves you at about half of what a Non-government employee pays.

Pay about 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions, up significantly from 0.2%.

Pay raises would be limited to inflation, unless a referendum approves of a larger increase.

Union vote is due each and every year for each district.

Union dues are VOLUNTARY!

Let's see their arguments after that. :thumbup:

This isn't allowing the union to bargain and thusly conflicts with your first line.
OK, so Wages are tied to CPI.. But, the amount of the raises based off the CPI can be negotiated.

Nothing I posted above stops them from bargaining health coverage and other benefits. :shrug:

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It's also not in the public's interest to overpay, but it is in the unions' interest to have the public overpay.

The employees interest to be overpaid... or even paid highly.
Or even to be paid well. Or to not be underpaid. Or to not be slave labor.
Get back to me when any union member is a slave.
Thats the point of the employees unions. :thumbup:
No the point of employee unions is to bankrupt companies which leads to outsourcing or closing or bankrupting states which leads to higher taxes on the public or elections like the one we saw last November...

Better to cause layoffs to 6000 people than to have to pay small and reasonable fee for your health care and pension...

This is going to happen all over the country, because the federal government will no longer bail out the states...

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Love that they took the students with them and some of the signs they are holding, where is the outrage you hypocritical lefties???Typical left coward attitude, Hitler signs okay as long as they are not on obamas face???And no one says a thing here, you have no core values or convictions...

You should probably go to another thread. Adults are discussing important issues in here.
Nah I am here to show you for what you are...Your every post just confirms it...
And what exactly am I?(hint: I'm not a Democrat)
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Love that they took the students with them and some of the signs they are holding, where is the outrage you hypocritical lefties???Typical left coward attitude, Hitler signs okay as long as they are not on obamas face???And no one says a thing here, you have no core values or convictions...

You should probably go to another thread. Adults are discussing important issues in here.
Nah I am here to show you for what you are...Your every post just confirms it...
And what exactly am I?(hint: I'm not a Democrat)
You are tsuj uoy, like you have always been Keys... I dont leef ekil being dennab right now... Edited by BoneYardDog
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No the point of employee unions is to bankrupt companies

No, that's the EMPLOYEES doing that. They are the union. Of course most employees typically want as much as they can get, just as most companies do also. This isn't anything new for either side of the bargaining table. Major companies often are world leaders in sales and income and then start outsourcing despite massive profits.

Shouldn't the EMPLOYERS be better at bargaining?

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Another Op Ed about Wisconsin's economy(and Walkers fake controversey)

Wisconsin needs to be fiscally responsible.

There is no question that these are tough times, and they may require tough choices.

But Gov. Scott Walker is not making tough choices. He is making political choices, and they are designed not to balance budgets but to improve his political position and that of his party.

It is for this reason that the governor claims Wisconsin is in such deep financial trouble that Wisconsinites should view this as a crisis moment.

In fact, like just about every other state in the country, Wisconsin is managing in a weak economy. The difference is that Wisconsin is managing better -- or at least it had been managing better until Walker took over. Despite shortfalls in revenue following the economic downturn that hit its peak with the Bush-era stock market collapse, the state has balanced budgets, maintained basic services and high-quality schools, and kept employment and business development steadier than the rest of the country. It has managed so well, in fact, that the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released a memo detailing how the state will end the 2009-2011 budget biennium with a budget surplus.

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_0...amp;Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

The facts are not debatable.

Because of the painful choices made by the previous Legislature, Wisconsin is in better shape fiscally than most states.

Wisconsin has lower unemployment than most states.

Wisconsin has better prospects for maintaining great schools, great public services and a great quality of life than most states, even in turbulent economic times.

Unfortunately, Walker has a political agenda that relies on the fantasy that Wisconsin is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Walker is not interested in balanced budgets, efficient government or meaningful job creation.

Walker is interested in gaming the system to benefit his political allies and campaign contributors.

To achieve that end, he has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to:

1. Undermine the long-established collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, which have for 80 years been the strongest advocates for programs that serve the great mass of Wisconsinites, as opposed to wealthy elites and corporate special interests. As Racine’s Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason says, the governor’s bill is designed not with the purpose of getting the state’s finances in order but as “an assault on Wisconsin’s working families and political payback against unions who didn’t support Gov. Walker.”

2. Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

Actually, Hulsey’s being conservative in his estimate of how much money Walker and his allies have misappropriated for political purposes.

One Wisconsin Now, the progressive watchdog group that has provided the closest monitoring of Walker’s budgetary gamesmanship, explains:

“Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest spending that includes:

“• $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.

“• $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.

“• $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, sums up this scheming accurately when he says: “In one fell swoop, Gov. Walker is trying to institute a sweeping radical and dangerous notion that will return Wisconsin to the days when land barons and railroad tycoons controlled the political elites in Madison.”

The bottom line is evident to anyone who cares to pay attention not to the spin but to the budget figures: Walker is manufacturing a fiscal “crisis” in order to achieve political goals.

Walker is not addressing a fiscal crisis.

He is not serving Wisconsin.

He is serving his own interest and those of the lobbyists who represent his campaign contributors.

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We need to send Dog The Bounty Hunter after those Democratic lawmakers.You really couldn't make this stuff up.All of the Democratic State Senators on the run from the police, just so a vote can't take place.Democrats have found a new low to stoop to.

Lower than giving tax cuts on your own so one man can break up teachers pension funds? I don't think so.
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We need to send Dog The Bounty Hunter after those Democratic lawmakers.You really couldn't make this stuff up.All of the Democratic State Senators on the run from the police, just so a vote can't take place.Democrats have found a new low to stoop to.

Lower than giving tax cuts on your own so one man can break up teachers pension funds? I don't think so.
As you're not opposed to the Dems not showing up to work, we can all safely assume you've never disparaged Republican filibusters in the Senate, right? And you've certainly never referred to Republicans as obstructionists, I imagine? Edited by Rich Conway
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No the point of employee unions is to bankrupt companies

No, that's the EMPLOYEES doing that. They are the union. Of course most employees typically want as much as they can get, just as most companies do also. This isn't anything new for either side of the bargaining table. Major companies often are world leaders in sales and income and then start outsourcing despite massive profits.

Shouldn't the EMPLOYERS be better at bargaining?

They are not employers they are elected officials who the unions had in their back pockets, they didn't care it got them elected, let the next guys worry about it...

Come on you know better than this... Screw the people, just get me elected, it will be someone elses problem...

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No the point of employee unions is to bankrupt companies

No, that's the EMPLOYEES doing that. They are the union. Of course most employees typically want as much as they can get, just as most companies do also. This isn't anything new for either side of the bargaining table. Major companies often are world leaders in sales and income and then start outsourcing despite massive profits.

Shouldn't the EMPLOYERS be better at bargaining?

They are not employers they are elected officials who the unions had in their back pockets, they didn't care it got them elected, let the next guys worry about it...

Come on you know better than this... Screw the people, just get me elected, it will be someone elses problem...

You just admitted that the problem isn't the Union.

You are placing the blame squarely on the politician(s) and the people who elected him.

So if you want to have a proper fix, you need to fix... as I stated in the US budget thread...

You aren't ever going to fix a ### #### thing in Washington... until you remove the lobbyist and money that buys the politicians.

And they are bought just as much on both sides, because its the system we allow and its how it all works.

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So let me see if I have this straight. It's bad for companies to engage in "union busting" (a method to lower labor costs), but it's also bad to ship jobs overseas (a method to lower labor costs). If a company needs to lower its labor costs in order to compete globally, what is the official cr8f approved method?

We are engaged in a race to the bottom. The US can't compete with $1 an hour labor, child labor, forced labor, etc.. The bigger question is why should we? Unless you own a business, you're a worker. The trend is cheaper labor, longer hours, lower income and lower quality of life standards. I'm not sure what the answer is, but there was a time when made in America meant something besides being the cheapest. Along with our jobs I think we also exported our pride.Consumers need to figure out that all of this is tied together. There are hidden costs for buying the cheapest foreign made product, and we are paying them.
If the answer is relying on consumers to pay higher prices because it's the right thing to do - we're screwed. You're smart enough to know that.
It is all related. Price-sensitive consumers pay for cheaper goods because, with stagnant wages, it is their only choice to avoid a declining standard of living. If their wages hadn't been stagnant for the last 30 years, perhaps we wouldn't have such a large demand for cheap goods.
You think that if American car companies suddenly raise wages, American workers will stop buying Japanese and German cars?
We're getting off topic here, but do you really think german and japanese auto workers are making less than american auto workers building "japanese" and "german" cars here in the good ol U S of A?
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Again, I am a Wisconsin certified teacher without a full time teaching job. I have not read this whole thread since I posted in it earlier. It has been reported that there might be layoffs if the teachers do not concede anything. Point me to those jobs that people will be laid off from because I will go teach those kids.

That said, my only wish is that the Police and Fire were included in all of this.

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Again, I am a Wisconsin certified teacher without a full time teaching job. I have not read this whole thread since I posted in it earlier. It has been reported that there might be layoffs if the teachers do not concede anything. Point me to those jobs that people will be laid off from because I will go teach those kids.That said, my only wish is that the Police and Fire were included in all of this.

The Firemen were not included (as they gave money to the Governors election) and yet they marched in support of the Teachers. :goodposting:
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The police and fire supported Walker financially though.

I believe the two Milwaukee unions endorsed him, but the two state level organizations and most of the police and fire unions across the state supported Barrett. The financial support was minimal, but the endorsement from the Milwaukee unions was huge, as that was also Barrett's stronghold. Remember this ad?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2Xm-obWeUI

It was speculated at the time that there must have been some back-room agreement of some sort to get the unions to back Walker. It now appears perhaps this is the quid pro quo they bargained for. Many have also speculated, as I noted earlier in this thread, that Walker has promised to eliminate the residency requirement for police and fire employees.

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Everyone wants the problems fixed but nobody is willing to make any sacrifices to make it happen.

Which is why we keep lowering taxes on the rich?
Right out of the liberal playbook. Nicely done.Because the rich should rake care of this problem right?:yes:
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What is the point?

The point is, the Public Sector should be paying their fair share like the Private sector.No more, no less.
I don't think anyone disagrees with that concept. Public sector employees in Wisconsin have long recognized that there are going to be cutbacks in their comp and benefits. Walker essentially wants to gut the public sector unions (other than fire and police). The opinion piece from McIlheran linked above apparently draws a distinction between public and private sector unions. I'm sure there are relevant differences, but they are not immediately apparent to me so I am asking the two posters who referenced it to explain the significance. I do agree with Battersbox that this is "far from a black and white issue."
By "gut" you mean make them pay their fair share for healthcare and their pensions, and have their raises dictated by how how the economy is doing?Because that is pretty much all this is about.
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Everyone wants the problems fixed but nobody is willing to make any sacrifices to make it happen.

Which is why we keep lowering taxes on the rich?
Right out of the liberal playbook. Nicely done.Because the rich should rake care of this problem right?:goodposting:
Liberal you mean like Warren Buffet?Who said why am I paying 15% in taxes but my secretary is paying 30%. Taxes are not at all fair especially for companies like Exxon that pays nothing yet gets $200billion in subsidies.Republicans talking about cutting in DC took closing tax subsidies off the table and won't talk about raising federal revenues only cutting services.Everything needs to be considered or it's not a fair discussion.I like how Issa® is talking (finally about prosecuting the banks. They should at least repay what they took.What we really need though is jobs.
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Love that they took the students with them and some of the signs they are holding, where is the outrage you hypocritical lefties???

Typical left coward attitude, Hitler signs okay as long as they are not on obamas face???

And no one says a thing here, you have no core values or convictions...

:goodposting:

Typical leftie = :headinsand:

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Another Op Ed about Wisconsin's economy(and Walkers fake controversey)

Wisconsin needs to be fiscally responsible.

There is no question that these are tough times, and they may require tough choices.

But Gov. Scott Walker is not making tough choices. He is making political choices, and they are designed not to balance budgets but to improve his political position and that of his party.

It is for this reason that the governor claims Wisconsin is in such deep financial trouble that Wisconsinites should view this as a crisis moment.

In fact, like just about every other state in the country, Wisconsin is managing in a weak economy. The difference is that Wisconsin is managing better -- or at least it had been managing better until Walker took over. Despite shortfalls in revenue following the economic downturn that hit its peak with the Bush-era stock market collapse, the state has balanced budgets, maintained basic services and high-quality schools, and kept employment and business development steadier than the rest of the country. It has managed so well, in fact, that the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released a memo detailing how the state will end the 2009-2011 budget biennium with a budget surplus.

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_0...amp;Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

The facts are not debatable.

Because of the painful choices made by the previous Legislature, Wisconsin is in better shape fiscally than most states.

Wisconsin has lower unemployment than most states.

Wisconsin has better prospects for maintaining great schools, great public services and a great quality of life than most states, even in turbulent economic times.

Unfortunately, Walker has a political agenda that relies on the fantasy that Wisconsin is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Walker is not interested in balanced budgets, efficient government or meaningful job creation.

Walker is interested in gaming the system to benefit his political allies and campaign contributors.

To achieve that end, he has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to:

1. Undermine the long-established collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, which have for 80 years been the strongest advocates for programs that serve the great mass of Wisconsinites, as opposed to wealthy elites and corporate special interests. As Racine’s Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason says, the governor’s bill is designed not with the purpose of getting the state’s finances in order but as “an assault on Wisconsin’s working families and political payback against unions who didn’t support Gov. Walker.”

2. Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

Actually, Hulsey’s being conservative in his estimate of how much money Walker and his allies have misappropriated for political purposes.

One Wisconsin Now, the progressive watchdog group that has provided the closest monitoring of Walker’s budgetary gamesmanship, explains:

“Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest spending that includes:

“• $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.

“• $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.

“• $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, sums up this scheming accurately when he says: “In one fell swoop, Gov. Walker is trying to institute a sweeping radical and dangerous notion that will return Wisconsin to the days when land barons and railroad tycoons controlled the political elites in Madison.”

The bottom line is evident to anyone who cares to pay attention not to the spin but to the budget figures: Walker is manufacturing a fiscal “crisis” in order to achieve political goals.

Walker is not addressing a fiscal crisis.

He is not serving Wisconsin.

He is serving his own interest and those of the lobbyists who represent his campaign contributors.

:goodposting::thumbup:

I don't care who you are, that's funny stuff right there.

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We need to send Dog The Bounty Hunter after those Democratic lawmakers.

You really couldn't make this stuff up.

All of the Democratic State Senators on the run from the police, just so a vote can't take place.

Democrats have found a new low to stoop to.

Lower than giving tax cuts on your own so one man can break up teachers pension funds? I don't think so.

:goodposting:
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Everyone wants the problems fixed but nobody is willing to make any sacrifices to make it happen.

Which is why we keep lowering taxes on the rich?
Right out of the liberal playbook. Nicely done.

Because the rich should rake care of this problem right?

:goodposting:

They have as much interest as anyone else what with the nature in which our political system works.
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Everyone wants the problems fixed but nobody is willing to make any sacrifices to make it happen.

Which is why we keep lowering taxes on the rich?
Right out of the liberal playbook. Nicely done.

Because the rich should rake care of this problem right?

:goodposting:

They have as much interest as anyone else what with the nature in which our political system works.
I agree 100%, but the Left thinks they alone should be paying the bill.
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i think people should stop thinking of themselves as individuals and just let the state dictate to us how to run our lives.

Except the state isn't doing that, the unions are.
Again...

Shouldn't the EMPLOYERS be better at bargaining?

this is the Employer (state) agreeing upon the terms with the Employees.

Edited by BigSteelThrill
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