The danger is clear to anyone with a brain:
“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.
The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.
With benefits, they make approximately $100,000 and the average teachers’ salary is $56,000. Per capita income in Milwaukee barely breaks $20,000:
The superintendent who’s been in the school district for nearly forty years remarks at around the 1:26 mark:
“This is the worst financial condition that I’ve seen in the district…the costs are way outpacing the amount of money that we have…”
If you see nothing wrong with what’s in that video, then you’re part of the problem.
On MSNBC last night, Michael Moore, the corpulent millionaire filmmaker, speaking on behalf of “workers”, declares “war”. On what or whom, is not clear. But why does MSNBC continue to condone such violent, angry rhetoric?
The appropriate response to Mr. Moore’s asshattery is made:
You want war? Bring it, Lardbutt. You are the biggest talking, good for nothing little piece of Communist filth this country has produced in decades. You suck up to backward brutes and thugs like Castro while you castigate the American engines of the world’s economy. You trash this country and our people and belittle our values every chance you get, you cynical black hole of a human being. The worst words I can think of are too good to use to describe you. You are a buffoon, a hypocrite, and really of no use to civilization whatsoever.
[Hat Tip: Instapundit]
Here’s what Governor Walker thinks about polls:
“Polls are nice, if they are on your side,” he said. “But in the end, you’ve got to govern based upon what you think is the right thing.”
Yesterday, Scott Walker and Wisconsin Senate Republicans did the right thing and scored a bold victory and took a huge step towards relinquishing the stranglehold that public unions have on the state budget and on Wisconsin taxpayers:
Bypassing Democrats hiding out in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Republicans voted 18-1 to pass the stripped-down budget bill in a hastily arranged meeting. None of the Senate Democrats were present.
The State Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall..
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.
Thanks to this bill — which doesn’t touch any of the civil service protections afforded public workers, nor any private-sector unions — public sector workers will have a choice over whether to join a union. Thanks to this bill, public workers who elect not to join a union won’t be forced to pay dues anyway. Thanks to this bill, elected officials won’t be negotiating away taxpayer dollars the people who finance their campaigns. So, naturally, the Democrats call it the the undoing of fifty years of “civil rights.”
The blowback will be brutal–from the media, the unions, the professional left, etc–and as enormous as this victory is, the work continues. And it will be rough. Efforts to recall the governor and the state senators have been underway for over a week now and this will only help to accelerate them.
The governor and senators made a gutsy move, as they’re risking their political careers over their actions, but that should suit voters just fine. Isn’t that what Americans want? Elected officials who do the right thing, in spite of the risk to their careers?
We can only hope that what Governor Walker has done will inspire conservatives throughout the country and do the right thing for their own constituents.
And let’s not forget–this is a blow to President Obama, the Democratic Party and their enablers in the public sector unions, which fund it all. The President needs the unions, or more specifically, needs their cash.
Speaking of which, here’s an interesting take:
Barack Obama paid for, organized, and is putting on this riot.
Repeat ad nauseam. This is what Barack Obama wants. This is what Barack Obama believes. Barack Obama thinks that, if laws don’t go your way, you form a violent mob and riot.
Look very closely, America. The pictures you see from Madison tonight are of Barack Obama’s worldview.
Walker, whose state faces a $3.6 billion budget shortfall, outlined a two-year, $59 billion budget that would cut spending across the board. Over $4 billion would be gutted from state coffers, a 6.7 percent reduction. “The facts are clear: Wisconsin is broke,” he said. “It’s time to start paying our bills today — so our kids are not stuck with even bigger bills tomorrow.”
Walker, who is not shy about his fiscal conservatism, takes an axe to numerous state programs in his proposal. If passed, over $700 million in education funds and over $1 billion in county and municipal aid would be slashed. That state’s Medicaid budget would be cut by $500 million. Over 20,000 government jobs would be eliminated. The state commerce department would disappear. It would also require, as his budget-repair bill stipulates, for public employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries toward their pensions and pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums. Taxes would not be raised.
“Our budget reduces the structural deficit by 90 percent,” Walker said. “Gone are the segregated fund raids, illegal transfers, and accounting gimmicks. Gone are the tax or fee increases. Our state cannot grow if our people are weighed down paying for a larger and larger government. A government that pays its workers unsustainable benefits that are out of line with the private sector. We need a leaner and cleaner state government.”
There will be a lot of financial pain for people in Wisconsin, people who
are not in public employee unions go to work everyday to feed their families, depend on state services, etc. I hope those people realize that they have their local union boss to thank for all of that. Scott Walker is merely trying to clean up the mess.
Collective bargaining is indeed a problem in the hands of public sector unions:
It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
The Wisconsin State Assembly voted on and passed Governor Walker’s budget bill early this morning. This is what happened after the vote was tallied:
Democrats erupted after the vote, throwing papers and what appeared to be a drink in the air. They denounced the move to cut off debate, questioning for the second time in the night whether the proper procedure had been followed.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!” Democrats shouted in the faces of Republicans as the GOP lawmakers quietly filed off the floor and a police officer stood between opposing lawmakers.
“Cowards all! You’re all cowards,” yelled Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) as another Democrat tried to calm him down.
Here’s the video:
This is how the Democrats and their union overlords roll–intimidation, heated rhetoric, etc. We’ve seen it play out all week long. And they’ve taken it to the statehouse.
To the extent that the left now considers the Koch brothers the face of their opposition, they should be wary as the Kochs won’t be intimidated by the amateurish actions of the unions and their protesters. No, the Kochs aren’t backing down:
“With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight,” says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries. “We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. [...]
“This is part of an orchestrated campaign that has been going on for many months. It involves the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress, aligned left-wing groups, and their friends in the media.
Here’s the deal. The union bosses are thugs, plain and simple. But they can be simple-minded. They’re used to getting their way and will throw a tantrum when they feel opposition.
Here in New Jersey, for example, the NJEA have had their way with Trenton for years until Governor Christie was elected. They were used to demanding previous governors to jump and the governor would happily oblige. When Governor Christie pushed back–and hard–the unions immediately started with the demonstrations, the in-your-face tactics, etc.–the typical nonsense. They’re used to getting their way. They’re spoiled.
So far Governor Walker is standing his ground and I would like to think that once the State Senate takes up the legislation, that Wisconsin’s Republicans stand firm. It’s the only way to reverse the unions’ ruinous cycle of fiscal destruction.
This is video of Tabitha Hale, conservative activist at Freedom Works, getting assaulted by yet another union thug:
There’s the new civility for ya. Jim Treacher has had enough:
I know Tabitha. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m sick of this crap. We get months of “Teabaggers are violent” — hell, years — when in reality, Tea Partiers have been the recipients of violence. Meanwhile, these union guys are ratcheting up the violent rhetoric and now actually assaulting people in broad daylight.
For the record, I’m in total agreement with Treacher. Unfortunately there will be no coverage of this story outside of Fox News, and will soon be forgotten I’m sure, so that the media can focus on more important things like how many calories were in Michelle Obama’s ancho-chile braised short ribs dinner or how the Koch Brothers run the country. And I would be shocked if anyone in the liberal blogosphere is writing about this.
This act of thuggery comes a day after a
Tea Party Democrat congressman said this to a crowd of union supporters:
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going [...]
“Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.”
So you have a pro-union, liberal Democrat from Massachussets egging on a crowd of frothing union hate-mongers, and less than twenty-four hours later, a union protester with a deranged look in his eye, decides to take the congressman’s words to heart, and assaults someone for standing up for themselves. That’s not to say that this goon actually heard Congressman Capuano’s statement, but union thuggery appears to be more the rule, and not the exception.
But this is a world of biased inference. A place where cable news apologizes for a guest using the word “crosshair”, because Sarah Palin put some on a map once, and a Congresswoman was shot months later by an anarchist, so it is of course, Sarah Palin’s fault.
To wit, mission accomplished Congressman Capuano. Who knows what you’ve started.
UPDATE. Bravo! Ace nails it with a excellent post on the left’s reaction to the Tabitha Hale story, specifically Oliver Willis’ assertion that the attack was a stunt:
“Manufactured” is a slippery term indeed because it embraces a very fat range of meanings. It can be a literal term — something can be literally manufactured, created in whole. It can be more figurative — we say something is “manufactured” if it’s incited by craftiness. In baseball, they speak of “manufacturing” runs, by which they mean relying on less-spectacular methods of run production such as the combination of a walk, a steal, and a sacrifice fly.
Or “manufactured” may refer to the outrage over an incident, which is postulated to be false, and not the actual incident itself.
So a fat, dull, talentless hack like Oliver Willis can offer a general denial of an incident without really specifying in what particular way he denies it. He claims it’s “manufactured.” What does this mean? We don’t know, and in all likelihood, neither does he. Being obese of mind as well as body, he is lazy and hasn’t bothered to figure it out.
But he knows that his job relies upon him vomiting a steady stream of propaganda (as well as half-digested Filet O’Fishes), and so he obliges with a meaningless statement that pleases the leftist lunatics he preaches too and dissatisfies anyone with a working intellect.
[Via: Robert S. McCain]
Anything to get a day off from work. Paid for by New Jersey taxpayers of course:
The largest state employee unions are organizing a rally at the Statehouse on Friday to express support for workers rallying in Wisconsin.
The Communications Workers of America, which represents most of the state’s employees, will participate in the rally at noon, and National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will address the crowd. The rally is organized by the AFL-CIO and supported by the Change to Win unions and the National Education Association.
“We are all Wisconsin public workers this week,” Hetty Rosenstein, CWA state director, said in a statement. “They’re trying to blame middle class workers for the financial mess that Wall Street caused. It’s more politics as usual and we’re ready to fight back.”
It’s all for the kids, I’m sure, but I wonder how much this will cost taxpayers?
More of the new civility from the compassionate and tolerant left:
More evidence that progressives and liberals are hypocritical and motivated by hate and anger.
[Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit]