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Morning Bell: The American People Can’t Afford to Lose Wisconsin Union Showdown

What Billings does not understand, but is about to learn, is that like all government unions, Madison Teachers, Inc., does not care about teaching her children. Former American Federation of Teachers President Al Shanker put it bluntly: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” That is what this fight in Wisconsin, and across the country, is really about: money. And not money for government employees—money for government unions. The government unions themselves are admitting this every day the fight drags on.
Let no one be confused, the stakes in Wisconsin are high and the Badger state could turn into the crucial battle ground between progressivism and the new Tea Party majority in the country. Issues as important as public sector compensation, bulging state deficits, union power, federalism, education, federal entitlements as well as others are being fought over. That Wisconsin is the birthplace of American progressivism with a new conservative governor, new conservative majorities in both chambers, a new conservative U.S. senator and the bright new conservative chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, has made it ground zero for the left.

President Barack Obama has federalized the issue, throwing the full weight of the White House, the Democratic National Committee, and his own Organizing for America operation behind government unions, with the assistance of the SEIU and AFSCME unions. This is a major new test for the new governor, Scott Walker. If conservatives lose in Wisconsin, reform might be stifled elsewhere. If they can win, progressivism is in real trouble.

On the ground of course, it means that the Madison Metropolitan School District will not be educating any children today. For the third day in a row this week, the union members of Madison Teachers, Inc., will stage a “sick out” today to protest Governor Scott Walker’s (R) new budget, which would overcome a $137 million budget deficit this year and a projected $3.6 billion deficit over the next two years. Stacy Billings, a parent of two Madison students, told the Wisconsin State Journal that she supports unions and opposes Walker’s proposal but is against a teacher protest during school hours: “That’s not acceptable to me. My tax dollars pay for the teachers to teach and not to protest.”

What Billings does not understand, but is about to learn, is that like all government unions, Madison Teachers, Inc., does not care about teaching her children. Former American Federation of Teachers President Al Shanker put it bluntly: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.” That is what this fight in Wisconsin, and across the country, is really about: money. And not money for government employees—money for government unions. The government unions themselves are admitting this every day the fight drags on.

Yesterday, Wisconsin state Senate Democrats brought the body to a halt when they fled the state to prevent the three-fifths quorum requirement needed for debate on legislation to continue. Governor Walker’s budget helps end Wisconsin’s budget deficit by requiring government workers to pay at least 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums and contribute 5.8 percent to their pensions. Even with these modestly higher costs, Wisconsin government employees would still enjoy benefits far more generous than those offered in the private sector. But that’s actually irrelevant. Remember, this fight is not about government employee pay. It is about preserving the direct pipeline that government unions have to our tax dollars. Don’t believe it? Just ask Wisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell: “This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits. It is about protecting our right to collectively bargain.”

On Thursday, the President told a Wisconsin television station, “I haven’t followed exactly whats happening with the Wisconsin budget … some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions.”

President Obama is wrong: Denying government unions the power of collective bargaining is not an assault on all unions. Previous Democratic Presidents understood this fact. No less a progressive icon than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote in 1937: “All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. … The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.”

This is why private-sector unions are regulated by the federal National Labor Relations Act but government unions are regulated by the states. Wisconsin is actually the birthplace of collective bargaining power for government unions, granting them the privilege in 1959, but many states have always operated, and still do, just fine without them. Virginia, for example, gives no collective bargaining power to government unions, but according to the Pew Center on the States, it still somehow manages to be one of the best managed states in the country.

What is really at stake in Wisconsin today (and Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania tomorrow) is the future of American competitiveness. According to the latest Pew polling, the American people understand that unions make it harder for America to compete globally. Government unions are simply a parasite on the U.S. economy. When President Obama came into office, he shielded government unions from transparency by ending their reporting requirements to the Department of Labor. As a result it is impossible for the American people to know for sure how much of their taxpayer revenue is being diverted into union coffers. But if you assume that each union member pays between $500 and $750 annually, taken involuntarily directly from their paychecks, that means the government union industry in Wisconsin is worth at least $100 million a year.

If government employees want to voluntarily form associations and lobby the government for higher pay, better benefits, and working conditions, that is their constitutional right. But they have no right to force all employees to join their organization and take money from their paychecks every week. Governor Walker’s bill fixes these problems: It affords government workers the right to quit their union and keep their jobs; it requires unions to demonstrate their support through annual secret-ballot votes; and it stops state and local governments from collecting union dues through their payroll systems. These are common-sense measures that would increase worker freedom, restore power to taxpayers, and make America more competitive internationally. Keep fighting, Governor Walker! The American people can’t afford you to lose.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/18/morning-bell-the-american-people-cant-afford-to-lose-wisconsin-union-showdown/
 

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I'm still waitin for cars to come down in price 10k from the broken unions....


does gm still owe us money?:huh:
 

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The world of guarantees is gone - sorry teachers.

The unions are protecting their millions, and everything else means nothing. This all has to end.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reminds me of Greece, Spain and France.
 

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I'm still waitin for cars to come down in price 10k from the broken unions....


does gm still owe us money?:huh:
gm/ford/chrysler vehicles cost about $9000 MORE than their import competitors because of unions....now that the uaw is in charge....
 

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gm/ford/chrysler vehicles cost about $9000 MORE than their import competitors because of unions....now that the uaw is in charge....
WOW, you mean with no union I could get a new Ford Fiesta for $4,000!!

You are letting your mouth override your butt !!

:rolling:
 

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Fact:

Pensions and lifetime healthcare have to go. No workable way to keep them. 401K and a public option are about as close as we can get, but the public option isn't going to happen. Fine.

BUT, how can we responsibly draw these costs down and end these programs? Sure, we can vote to **** those who did their jobs as they agreed to by bailing out on our end of the bargain. That'll go over well.

Start:
Abolish pensions. No employee hired today can have one. Change jobs? Don't get to bring it with.
Start mass lump payments to a 401k from pension funds and transfer people out of that system.
No new hires get lifetime healthcare, even if you change jobs within the union/company.
Companies can start a long term healthcare subsity/COBRA thing if they want. But they are free to end it at age 67.

Sadly, the ethical thing to do is to keep the promises already made. Failure to do that flies in the face of every American value, not the least of which is that a man's word is his bond.

Take away the retirement and healthcare weapons of unions, and they will only be able to bitch about safety, discipline, and pay. Well, federal arbitrators have a good record of saying 'no' to unreasonable pay demands.

Solved.
 

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I'm still waitin for cars to come down in price 10k from the broken unions....


does gm still owe us money?:huh:
Thats a good point :laughing:

non union manufacturing helped GM so much that

they need to file bankruptcy

I'm pro a fair living wage, Dental medical, and retirement

For American Workers :nuts:

Not Oshawa Canada where GM resides ( see 2011 Camaro)
 

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Fact:

Pensions and lifetime healthcare have to go. No workable way to keep them. 401K and a public option are about as close as we can get, but the public option isn't going to happen. Fine.
I couldn't agree more, there is no workable way to keep them. The question remains how do decide who gets screwed? If we only go after nie hirees then we're in the same mess for the next 30+ years. Do we go after those who have only completed enough time to be vested? Do we go after those who are still employed by seeking legislation to change their pension tiers? Do we go after current retirees through legislation to change their current benefits?

Did you believe they should axe pensions when you said this back in 2009?

Never been fired, so I wouldn't know.

I will get full retiree bennies from that gig when I turn 65. :thumbsup: It's the least the country can do for me after what I did for her.
 

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That is the promise they made me. They need to hold up to it. I held up to my end of it. More, really.

:thumbsup:
 

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Why not eliminate the GI Bill? So what if we promised it. Budgets need trimming and college does not help a soldier shoot his weapon, so it is unnecessary, right?
 

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That is the promise they made me. They need to hold up to it. I held up to my end of it. More, really.

:thumbsup:
But you said yourself, we can't sustain it? Can we sustain it another 30 years? I know there is no easy answer and the reality is...Changing pension tiers for new hirees does nothing to save money now. There needs to be concessions by public workers, which I agree is painful and no one wants to do, otherwise we will never fix this problem. The fact that the Wisconsin teachers have closed schools and the democrats have fled the state tells me that no one is willing to fix the problem except the party in power. Federal workers don't have collective bargaining rights....niether should state and local workers. I think the plan outlined by the Gov is more than fair.
 

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But you said yourself, we can't sustain it? Can we sustain it another 30 years? I know there is no easy answer and the reality is...Changing pension tiers for new hirees does nothing to save money now. There needs to be concessions by public workers, which I agree is painful and no one wants to do, otherwise we will never fix this problem. The fact that the Wisconsin teachers have closed schools and the democrats have fled the state tells me that no one is willing to fix the problem except the party in power. Federal workers don't have collective bargaining rights....niether should state and local workers. I think the plan outlined by the Gov is more than fair.
The fact is that WI was running a $137mil surplus until the Pubs voted a tax cut for the wealthy. Now they are running a $140mil defecit as a result. So they are trying to balance the budget by taking from the working class.

Yeah.... **** that.

they were made a promise. They held their end. Deal.
 

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yes, the teachers and such are deffinately holding up their end....

Is it not the job of an elected official to make good on the pledges he made during his candidacy? Gov Walker said in his campaign exactly what he was going to do- and he was elected by the people. now some act surprised by this?

THere is a big difference between a soldier and a govt employee....a big difference. We are the least compensated, have the worst working/living conditions, give far far more than we will ever get. Yet we still soldier on, doing what we do because it is about the good of the many, compared to the good of the few.

No other govt employee is asked to make the sacrifices that we choose to make because of how important what we do is. Yet we are ALWAYS the first place many look to make cuts, because to them, we do not matter.

The benefits servicemembers get upon honorably leaving the service, is meager compared to what they have paid.



This myth about the budget surplus is just that, a myth. It did not take into account the difference in tax revenue (what was projected and what was reality), among other things.

Increase the state's GDP by 1% and you will gain more tax revenue than any amount of tax increases you could imagine. make your state attractive to business, and they will come. business and industry are what drive GDP....
 

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yes, the teachers and such are deffinately holding up their end....

Is it not the job of an elected official to make good on the pledges he made during his candidacy? Gov Walker said in his campaign exactly what he was going to do- and he was elected by the people. now some act surprised by this?

THere is a big difference between a soldier and a govt employee....a big difference. We are the least compensated, have the worst working/living conditions, give far far more than we will ever get. Yet we still soldier on, doing what we do because it is about the good of the many, compared to the good of the few.

No other govt employee is asked to make the sacrifices that we choose to make because of how important what we do is. Yet we are ALWAYS the first place many look to make cuts, because to them, we do not matter.

The benefits servicemembers get upon honorably leaving the service, is meager compared to what they have paid.



This myth about the budget surplus is just that, a myth. It did not take into account the difference in tax revenue (what was projected and what was reality), among other things.

Increase the state's GDP by 1% and you will gain more tax revenue than any amount of tax increases you could imagine. make your state attractive to business, and they will come. business and industry are what drive GDP....
The governor didn't sign a contract with the voters. The state DID DID DID DID DID DID sign a contract with the workers.

Honor it!
 

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as they currently honor their part of it?
 

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as they currently honor their part of it?
I have seen no breech of contract filings against the teachers, so...

I guess those in power beleive they have.
 

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there have been several filed, but the judge ruled that since they are out sick it does not constitue a strike or work stoppage....the next set of suits in the works will bring fraud charges against those claiming to be out sick. in addition in the works are suits against the doctors on corners just writing people fraudulant doctors notes with the intent to have their medical liscense revoked.
 
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