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  • Wisconsin's Governor Walker Takes on Public-Sector Unions

    EDITOR’S NOTE: As Wisconsin’s Democrat Senators escape to Iowa to avoid voting on Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) proposed budget, read Heritage analyst James Sherk’s commentary from NRO on what the fuss is all about.

    Wisconsinites are still celebrating the Green Bay Packers’ win in Super Bowl XLV, but taxpayers in the Badger State may be on the verge of an even bigger victory. Newly elected governor Scott Walker has taken a page out of Chris Christie’s playbook. He is going to deal with the state’s budget crisis by tackling the special interests that helped cause it.

    Wisconsin is broke. The current budget is already $137 million in the red. The 2011–2013 biennial budget faces a $3.6 billion hole. So Governor Walker has called the legislature into special session and presented them with an emergency budget. His plan closes the deficit without raising taxes.

    Government employees in Wisconsin get amazing benefits. They get a generous defined-benefit pension with minimal contributions on their part. They also only pay 6 percent of the cost of their health-care premiums. Few taxpayers enjoy anything this generous.

    Government employees get these benefits because of the special privileges government unions enjoy. Government workers in many states — including Wisconsin — must pay union dues or lose their jobs. The state subsidizes their fundraising by using its payroll system to collect these forced dues.

    This gives the union movement billions of dollars, which it uses to elect favored candidates. The American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees (AFSCME) spent more than any other outside group in the last election. Government unions have used this political clout to hijack state government to serve their interests.

    Governor Walker could have raised taxes or fired 6,000 state employees. Instead, like Governor Christie, he decided to actually fix the problems that brought Wisconsin to this point. His budget limits government collective bargaining to just wages, taking benefits and work rules off the bargaining table. He would also require voters to approve any raises above inflation. Walker would prevent government unions from forcing taxpayers to cough up for their gold-plated benefits.

    Having done that, his budget requires state and local employees to contribute half of the cost of their pension contributions — roughly 6 percent of their salary. He also requires them to pay 12 percent of their health-care premiums. By private-sector standards these are modest changes, but they will help close Wisconsin’s budget gap.

    Walker’s budget removes the special privileges that give government unions their outsize influence. His plan allows workers to quit their union without losing their job. He requires unions to demonstrate their support through an annual secret-ballot vote. He also ends the unfair taxpayer subsidy to union fundraising: The state and local government would stop collecting union dues with their payroll systems.

    These measures do not go as far as they could, and Walker exempted the politically popular police and firefighters unions. Still, they represent a major step forward for Wisconsin. They would also serve as a model for other states with similar problems.

    The Wisconsin legislature could vote on the emergency budget as early as Thursday. Unions are campaigning hard against it. Conservatives should enthusiastically root for these reforms. If they pass, Governor Walker will deserve recognition as Wisconsin taxpayers’ MVP.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    36 Responses to Wisconsin's Governor Walker Takes on Public-Sector Unions

    1. Patrick, Arizona says:

      Given that testing reveals tht USA students have low scores in almost all subjects, i.e. math, science, English, all languages, history, etc. What difference does it make if the teachers don't show up. They apparently are too poorly educated to teach. The Govenor and schools administration should call in substitute teachers and if they don't show up, just hire parents. The teaching results aren't going to suffer.

    2. Les Krupp says:

      Hats off to the Governor for having the political courage to face head on the overwhelming budget problems our Country in general face. He is to greatly commended by the majority of Americans who oppose unions and there power grab. They are destroying our America by their greed.

    3. Al Hornung says:

      I agree 100% with Governer Walker's approach to closing the deficit. I don't understand why the public employees are crying so loud, it's still their money, they just have to pay today's dollars for tomorrow's benefits. That seems extremely reasonalbe and fair to me!

    4. Joseph Randolph, Wis says:

      Finally a governor who has the guts–and cares not for the glamor–to tell the unions they better button down their hatches, because eating out the public trough is getting harder.

      J. Randolph

    5. Bobbie says:

      Good one. These people must have some type of "union thug" training to think the way they do. It's obvious where greed is. The rich make their money, these people steal it. it's the private sector working harder with less. It's the private sector that gets paid according to their work ethics. Guarantee government pay is ignorant. Government employees have been weakened to think they need a union. Government employees go behind the backs of those that pay their wage and demand more when their existence is worthless and wasteful!

      We're not rich but held accountable to their demands of more overpay. They're greedy government union employees. Only effective in scare tactics. Tax payers should be the ones to set government wages since they're footing the bill.

      It just seems funny that government employees would need a "union" to protect them from government? and at a cost that's put right back on the tax payer. Those that run the government shouldn't be so derelict that they need "union" backing. Government unions are a conflict of interest to the people paying the bill. There is no need in government for them. Obama said we all need to sacrifice and I say government should be the first! Too late for that! Unions create little greed monsters with the president's support.

    6. Bobbie says:

      A nurse stated: why does the governor hate me? I would have to ask why do you hate yourself to have to have a "union" speak for you? So sad the more government does the less people think for themselves. These people are embarrassing and act like spoiled little children while they neglect their paid duties! Ignorant and disgusting.

    7. Tom says:

      Wow, ignorance is bliss apparently. Allow me to correct your lack of knowledge or understanding of this issue. First of all the primary reason people work for the state of Wisconsin is for the benefits, NOT the pay since the pay for most similar jobs is normally higher in the private sector. Hence the reason why the private sector normally pays more for insurance and/or pension. Might I add that if the governor wants employees to pay more into health insurance or the pension fund then meet with the unions to negotiate, DON'T refuse to talk to all unions like a child.

      Also regarding law enforcement and firefighters so called exemption. ALL, I repeat ALL law enforcement and firefighters would still have to pay Walker's health insurance and pension hikes. The only exemption they are allowed is to be able to collectively bargain for things such as vacation, hours of work, sick time, work rules ect. This exemption is only for State Troopers and local county and city law enforcement. It does NOT include Capitol Police, UW Police, Game Wardens, or DCI Agents. Walker wishes to strip these rights from all other state employees. What does this have to do with the budget you ask…..NOTHING. It is simply a union busting tactic!

      If you doubt anything I have written do some research. It is ALL correct.

      Tom…………state employee serving Wisconsin since 1990

    8. Elaine Z, Oxford, WI says:

      How does taking work rules off the table help the budget??????

      Refusing to allow workers to bargain working conditions is not social justice. As a retired teacher of 29 years, I worked many years under revenue caps and realistically had little bargaining power, but at least I could negotiate my hours, calendar, prep time, etc. This is outrageous!!

    9. Elaine Z, Oxford, WI says:

      How does taking work rules off the table help the budget? As a retired teacher of 29 years, I worked many years under revenue caps and, realistically, had little bargaining power. Yet, we could negotiate calendar, work hours, professional development, and prep time, etc. Taking this away is outrageous and is not social justice.

    10. William J Macfarlane says:

      If they are not going to vote, their job and duty. they should not be paid for that pay period. Even Obama voted present when he was State Rep. in Illinois. He didn't leave.

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    12. Tim,Grafton,WI says:

      Teachers who walk off the job, cancel classes and further encourage young students to join a protest when those students have absolutely no idea what the issues are, bring along there family as if on vacation… all on the taxpayer dime. Where were they over the weekend? They are getting paid big money to protest, further damage our already failing schools, and make fools of themselves. How about a sharp dose of reality.

      Lets just look at healthcare costs. Most private employees are covering $300-$600 per month as there share with the company covering the rest, than the $15-$30 copays, $6000+ deductible per year, no dental or vision coverage without a further $ fee, in PPO 20/80 but outside 40/80, the constant creditor calls(herassment). They are up in arms over 12.5% or about $125 per month, than its a free ride. Really, that is so terrible.

      How about Private employees retirement? Most 401K's have either vanished or employer contributions have dropped considerably, we work until at least 65 if not much longer because we are completely responsible for our entire retirement $. Factor in what is being called the lost decade in finance, and we will be lucky to retire at all. They on the other hand are retireing at age 55, contributing next to nothing, being asked to at least contribute 5.8%, and OMG. This is unfare, WHAT?!? Than to top this off, how about when they get hired on as a consultant, collect full pension plus beni's and another full pay check, all on tax payer $$. Excuse me while I go throw up!

      How many Americans have either lost there jobs, took huge pay cuts, lost work hours, pay freezes, cuts in benefits…. I have lost 60% of my earnings from 2007, my 401k, 4 weeks vacation, healthcare coverage, but managed to suck it up. Yes, i work for a living and am damn proud of it!

      The only problem with Scott Walkers plan is it doesn't go far enough!! two words for you unionized spoiled brainwashed brats, Shut UP!

    13. SkippingDog, Califor says:

      Old fashioned union busting is evil, particularly when the ham-handed Governor threatened to use the National Guard as a tool for his political agenda.

      Good solutions are reached through collaboration, not ultimatums. Walker has single-handedly reinvigorated both the labor movement and the Democratic party.

    14. George Colgrove, VA says:

      I actually hope more of this happens. The public sector is starting to show it colors. There are a lot of good people who work in the public sector – do not get me wrong. I used to be there myself. But when the money runs out things have got to change. We can tax the rich this year of 100% of their wealth and still not pay for the entire government. But next year there will be no more wealthy to tax – then what do you do? As a company will do when it gets to the end of its life – it needs to close. We are getting there with government.

      These protests show that the well off public sector has no respect or gratitude for those who provide them with their paychecks. If they want to strike – let them. They are showing their true greedy colors. For those who stayed at their desks and continued to work – I applaud you – you are the real heroes. This is going to have to change. Governments all over will be shrinking. They will be doing less with much less people. Pension will be significantly reduced. Lucrative pay scales will be reduced. Exorbitant benefits packages will be reduced. It has to happen if we are to survive.

      The gravy train has hit the buffer stop and we are now in an economic disaster. The greedy take of taxpayer money (especially done at the federal level) can no longer continue. It is not a choice – it is a condition – a reality. Now it is time for acceptance.

      Government and the public sector failed America. Blame the unions? OK, but a union is only as powerful as its workers are, and the workers were the ones who in the end voted for every grab of taxpayer money.

    15. George Colgrove, VA says:

      “It's just what happens when you run out of other people's money.”

      FROM RUSH LIMBAUGH (02/17/11) Quoted from Rush Limbaugh’s website:

      "Fantasy land has come to a screeching halt. You just got transferred to Literalville. Same place I live. And you people in Wisconsin, you better come to grips with the fact that you live in Literalville as well.

      "Michael Bowers, UNLV’s provost, noted that UNLV is 54 years old and that he has worked there 27 years. 'I never thought this day would come, but we have to plan,' he said. The emotional display was unprecedented, Bowers said after the meeting, 'because we’ve never had a situation like this before.'" Well, you've never run out of other people's money before. This is just the beginning. This is what happens when you run out of other people's money. But if you notice the tone of this story, these are like war heroes, people losing their jobs or may be downsized. I don't want to come off as insensitive here, but being that I live in Literalville, since when did state employees take on the status of war veterans? Since when did their jobs and benefits take precedence over everything else?

      Borders books just went into Chapter 11. Look at the number of people looking for work at Borders. What did they get undercut by? Internet. Store employees at Borders are gonna lose their jobs, others will get fewer hours, a lot of stores are gonna close. I haven't seen the stories about all the employees there shedding tears. How about we get a story of all of the taxpayers crying 'cause they're watching their hard-earned money get thrown down rat holes by this administration? My point is the sympathy is selective. Somehow there's a valor involved if you are a state employee and you have your salary cut back or you lose your job.

      We're not getting any stories about how unemployed state workers and union workers are benefiting from their new status. We're not getting the stories about how they're coming together and getting closer to their families and closer to nature and finding more productive uses of their time. But when average, ordinary Americans were laid off and losing their jobs, we got all kinds of stories about how good it was for them. Now we get stories from New Jersey to Wisconsin to Nevada about the sorrow, the unfairness, and the insensitivity involved. It's now state, federal workers facing the same thing private sector workers face every day. It's just what happens when you run out of other people's money.”

    16. Mistrbill, Nevada says:

      Seems as though Governor Walker is on the right track and is going to do what he was elected to do. This entire country needs someone to stand up to the "punk" unions and get the sweetheart deals out of government.

      If the health care available to We the People isn't good enough, at the same cost, for the politician and state workers, why should the tax payers be forced to support their habits??

      Teachers unions are the cause for the "dumbing down of America"! Firefighters and police are as bad as the teachers. We all need more Sheriff Joe's, quit coddling the law breakers and crooked politicians. Sens all the ILLEGALS packing and get this country back to what it stands for, Freedom from big government and living within our means.


    17. George Colgrove, VA says:

      As Rush said yesterday: “The people paying for this are losing their jobs, the people paying for all of this don’t make nearly the money the people they are paying make – it cannot be sustained!”

      Here is a way to put our current situation only an environmentalist can understand.

      Imagine a fertile vegetable garden next to a two story parking structure – both taking up the same area on the ground. People in the garden are working and flourishing nicely. People on the top story of the parking garage only have concrete. The people in the garden are just living their lives and the people on the garage only have weapons and the power of intimidation.

      People on the parking garage decide to take the fertile soil from the people in the garden. They act nice and say we won’t take it all – that they will just take only a little. People in the garden being reasonable folks say OK and allow the garage people to take some soil. The garden produces enough compost to replace much of what is lost, so they agree.

      However, the soil on the concrete bears no produce. Therefore, the people on the garage says it need some of the water the garden people are using. There is enough water so the people in the garden are reasonable so they say OK and let them have some water. However, the water runs through the soil and runs off the concrete. In a short time, the soil produces nothing and the sun burns it out.

      The garage people make a proposal, they have figured out how to grow really great food, but that they will need a little soil from everybody to make the project work. Everyone agrees to the idea of giving up a little soil for the project every once in a while. So the garage people assigns a group of their people to go around and collect soil from both the garden and garage people and then take it up to the garage for the project. Everyone thinks this soild sharing program is fair. The garden people are not concerned as they produce enough compost to more than replace what is lost periodically. All seems good.

      It takes a couple years before the watering apparatus is set up, but then the garden people see that the soil is mounting up on the garage floor. They are also starting to notice that their soil is getting thin. What used to be a rich flow of water is turning into a trickle. The garden people decide to build greenhouses to keep moisture from evaporating and so they can control the climate of their crop production. It works.

      The garage people however are having trouble getting crops to grow. They have soil, water and things still seem to be burning out. They see the green houses down below and convince the garden people to let them have them. The garage people, who oly started to learn about gardening eventually start to produce food. Not the delicious, juicy and colorful food that the garden people produced, but sufficient. They feel in good time they will have enough resources by their previous deal that in time all will be good.

      The soil-sharing program continues. Everyone at both levels give a little soil, which is then taken to the garage for the food production program. The garage people are starting to produce surplus of food and need to store it. The garden people are starting to have trouble getting a good supply of food. The garage people asks for the garden people’s shed. All agree, it would be better to have them where the surplus is. In return, the garage people agree to send down some food for the garden people.

      Eventually the garden becomes barren. What soil remains has mixed with the clay under the soil and has turned to mud. All of what the garden people had is now on the garage. A massive storm is brewing. The people there have no place to go. They are unhealthy since the food they get from the garage, though plentiful is not a nourishing as theirs once was. The well-off garage people offer the the garden people the first floor of the garage which is empty. They say go in there and we will give them cover and will support them. The garden people run to the structure and set up camp.

      However, the columns and the beams, the very foundation of that garage was not designed for the heavy load of the soil and the watering mechanisms, the greenhouses and the massive stores of surplus food. When the garage was built, it had a very limited purpose of only storing cars. The people notice that the beams and the columns are cracking. They warn the garage people, but they do not hear – they choose not to hear.

      You end the story.

    18. Kim O'Brien says:

      Governor Walker-you are doing the right thing and I am proud of the hard stand you are making>!! Those of us in the private sector have had this for years. I am proud to know that business checks and balances are now flowing over to the public sector.

      Thank you so much!!! Keep up the good work!!

    19. Joseph Randolph, Wis says:

      Dear Governor Walker:

      Respectively accept my congratulations on a fine job over the past week for our state of Wisconsin. I must admit I have despaired of politicians such as you still existing, but apparently you have the courage and tenacity to stand for what this state and our country most need in a time of dire financial times. I was privileged to be at a Republican dinner in my area last weekend, and one of the local speakers predicted something like the kind of opposition you have seen to your proposal in Madison. But in that some context, he also said “fear not.” These words would be my words to you Sir.

      You of course will have to put on an extra coat or two or three or more of thick skins to your critics, for they will make every attempt to destroy you because you have dared to work toward some financial resolutions that they are too cowardly to even consider. “Realism” we call it Sir, and you are to be commended for taking the responsibility of addressing a financial crisis that demands we take account of reality.

      Our state is filled with citizens who voted for you to do precisely this kind of thing, and I am sure that it fills them with pride that their governor is an object of national attention for doing it. Of course your critics think in some childish way that they are the courageous ones in opposing you; but, as you know, they were and are prepared to do nothing about the state of our finances until it is beyond any kind of repair. You Sir are trying to stop the bleeding; they are ready to act only when the body has become a corpse.

      As you know our state is known and often touted for its progressivism, but you Sir have seen that the way of this route of very recent years is to ruin, financial and otherwise. If it is any consolation to you, your supporters have had some rancid situations to bear themselves, as this situation in Madison is a topic for conversation of many kinds—with of course your detractors being out in front with all sorts of uncivil things to say about a governor trying to bring some restraint in spending to a state given to spending money like a drunken sailor.

      Of course if you make it through this ordeal there will be others, but not unlike this one. I know many Wisconsin citizens on the verge of retirement looking for another state to retire in because of the exorbitant taxes of this state. I love my state, but if I cannot afford to live in it as a retiree, then I cannot afford to live in it as a retiree. This thinking of course is lost on those who think wishful thinking is sufficient to nullify realities, but thankfully, you, nor most of the citizens of Wisconsin, think like that.

      Keep up the good fight opposing those who do. And fear not. And thank you.

      Joseph Randolph is an academic and writer living in Wisconsin. His 2010 book Debilitating Democracy: Power From The People, is available from Wasteland Press and Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble. His email address is jqrandolph@hotmail.com.

    20. Bobbie says:

      I don't doubt you, state employee serving Wisconsin since 1990, Tom. You're selfish and refuse to do your part. And you get paid by stealing other people's money because you can't make it in the private sector so you take part in destroying it. Obviously you're ignorant of the private sector and where your money comes from without consideration to the contentions it puts on people.

    21. Ken Pausewang, Templ says:

      Dear Governor Walker, you are a true Patriot. It is people like You that will save Our Great Nation. You are courage and commitment is very honorable. May God bless you and your family, and everyone thats standing for good, and truth.

      Keep it up, your doing a great job, Texas is supporting you sir.

    22. Gary Lundgren says:

      I support Gov. Walker. It is refreshing to watch someone who can and will make a positive difference for our state's future growth. His political legacy will be to encourage trust in our government and show how government by the people can actually make an impact on future generations.

      Governor Walker…………you go guy!

      God bless the man who can make the difference.

    23. Pingback: Bookworm Room » Thoughts about the Wisconsin teachers’ union

    24. Linda, Minnesota says:

      I am reminded of how the liberal media was admonishing the conservative tea party gatherings with carrying Hilter signs, (which no one could actually produce any pictures of) and yet were is your outcry with this women comparing Gov Walker with Hilter? Where is your civil tone that the liberal media was demanding over the shootings in Arizonia? The behavior by grown adults in front of students (that should be in class not in picket lines) has had me shaking my head in disgust!

      Also, the man with the loud speaker telling the gathering that the deficit is due to the lack of taxing the rich enough. Well right now the so called RICH pay 70% of our taxes (varies slightly from state to state) while over 40% of people in Wisconsin pay little or no taxes. So my question to him is how much is enough? Do you want industry to totally leave your state? That is exactly what has happened in our country, and why our jobs have been outsourced to foreign land. We have taxed our corporations or the RICH as he put it, and allowed our unions to force companies to take our jobs elsewhere by demanding pensions and healthcare benefits that the average citizen can only dream of having. Wake up america and get informed on what is really behind this union showdown. Do you want to continue to have your union dollars going to elect people that do not represent your views? Do you want to continue to support Dems that run and hide instead of facing the tough decisions? The dems did this before only that was in Texas. Seems like a pattern is developing here. I also seem to remember Anthony Weiner D, NY shouting at the Republicans for not casting a vote a few months ago. His statement was and I quote "If you want to vote yes then vote yes and if you want to vote no then vote no but at least vote!!!!" How soon we forget.

    25. Lisa Roberson says:

      Congratulations to all elected officials who are behaving like a trout, i.e.swimming upstream against an almost torrential current which is heading over a waterfall. Most Americans are savvy enough and wise enough to recognize that many states and our national government are not just heading toward bankruptcy but are in the midst of it. However it seems that most folks want something to be done about it but draw the line, revolt, start name calling and act out in a tantrum if it touches them on a personal level. My husband and I live on a very modest income and my non-government job requires that I pay close to half of the premium for my healthcare benefits and there have been recent changes in the retirement plan that will substantially impact what I receive when I get to retire. And believe me, I have to contribute to my retirement benefits, my employer doesn't provide them for me. No whining, that's just the way it is. The day has come to pay the piper as they say and all of us have to be willing to do our own part as hard as it may be. America suffers from the 'all about me' syndrome and it's time for that to change or America will cease to be the country it was founded to be.

    26. Frank, California says:

      Thanks Walker, you are fighting for all of us,this is a big start in taking our states and nation back.You are right everyone should pay the share of medical, how can the citizens support what is destroying this nation. Men like you are opening eyes to the truth.We do not need a nation of suffering people, if you ever run for president you have my vote. God bless you. Frank from California.

    27. Raymond Franco Johns says:

      dear gov. walker keep up the good work and stick to your plan we should have more gov. with your courage. p.s. I would also put all state workers on a 35 hour work week and save an additional 20%off the states payroll untill the budget is balanced you can do that by having half of each dept workers work 8 to 3:30 and the other half work 9 to 4:30 without closing down any dept. the tax payers of america can't afford the perks these workers are getting good luck Raymond Franco

    28. sue says:

      I do support the cuts. They are not unreasonable and you are asking for control of salaries and yet the feredal workers dont have that. Oh but you deserve it dont you. I think most of the folks dont even know why they are out there. Ok lay off the 6000 folks instead of contributing to your benefits and losing some unions rights. What have you given during the recession? I honestly want to know why you need a union in the public sector? I am serious.

      Most public workers are working for me and for yourself, because we both pay taxes into the system. The public sector jobs that are union, demands higher salaries to pay their dues which pays all the administration of your union and political support of candidates. You should do some research on what they make and some of the corruptions in unions. Now…..why do I have to hire someone to negotiate your salary or benefits with me. We only have so much money and do you realize it takes the union 15 months to negotiate. That is just an organization milking money from you the worker to pay their salaries during this difficult time. I have worked with the union and in negotiations. If the American folks dont want to pay more taxes to pay you more, why should we? If that is what the majority wants. We run your business. You always have the right to get another job and get more money. We dont believe in paying a lot of taxes so that means government workers will have to get back to the private sections salaries or lose your job. The Union has dictated to us what we are going to pay you for too many years. Why do they tell us what to do? We pay you because we run the business. We only have so much and yes business gets some too so they can get jobs going.

      The issue I have is I pay you to pay your dues. Your dues are used to support political candidates that I might not support and yet I cant stop that. If you want to get together as a group at the office and support a candidate, great but you use Millions ($171 Million in 2010….did you read that$171 Million) in the election to support democratic policies. That is right? It seems corrupt to me. Is that what all union workers want? We pay you, you pay union dues, union dues pays democratic candidates to support the union that the American folks dont want in public sectors. How is that right? I guess I am also suprised that more of the good union workers arent out that objecting to the protests by the unions. If you are a good worker, you will be rewarded, if you are a bad employee you wont, you might lose your job at some time. But thats the way it should be. We do have great workers in our public sector but we always have terrible workers that should be removed but cant with the union. I know the union well. I feel the private sector has the right for unions if the folks want it to be there but NOT in the Public Sector. The same is try with teachers….kids are getting less educated because of the unions. We dont tell the teachers what they are going to teach our kids, they tell us from the unions. Why is that right or fair. Children are our most important asset and yet we allow teachers to keep their jobs forever no matter how terrible they are. Where are the good employees??? Why arent you standing up for getting rid of the bad folks in our school system or any public system? I thought they cared about the kids. Let me ask this would you be fired in your job if you taught training at your company and everyone that left the classes didnt learn anything. Yes you would, why not in our public school system. We have so many great teachers that need or want jobs but we cant hire them we have to keep bad teachers. How about if you were CFO of a company and time and time again you missed your budget projections or missed an estimate on a project the company stared and it ended 30% over budget. Would you still have your job? No. But everyone in the Congressional Budget Office still have theirs. I guess for me the stand in government seems to be so much lower than in private sector. We would demand better because we would be out of money and out of business. Stand up and lets reduce our expenses. Why do we have to do it and yet folks allow our government to do. Get involved by your vote.

    29. James ,Wisconsin says:

      To address Toms comments. One most of the private sector does not make what the average pay and benefits for teachers equal. This amount is just a little over $86,000.00 dollars a year. Second a large part of the private sector does not have a union and second and most importantly is Tom you seem to forget that your salary and benefit package are mostly paid for by those same private sector workers through the taxes they pay. And last any teacher that attended the protest from a school district that had to close, this is a work stoppage and against their union contract ( which they want to keep as is) should be fired for this illegal action. And the Doctors handing out sick slips on the street should have there medical license pulled.

    30. ron aull pell lake w says:

      go gov walker! we stand beside you, its about time we had someone to stand up to the unions. its time we all take a stand. these are other issues-

      immigration-stop paying for them !teach english

      goverment cell phones-i bought mine you should too

      unions-what a waste of money

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    33. Ed Way, Oregon says:

      Governor Walker's actions are a beginning as well as a minimum. Public Sector Unions should never have been allowed, and weren't until the Carter administration. Their access to the money trough, through enforced membership dues, and their influence in Congress, through political donations and services, have so damaged our political system and ultimately our economy, that these unions should be closed as quickly as possible.

    34. John Condon Omaha, N says:

      It takes two to negotiate and when any decision is made it is signed and agreed to by both parties. Why are the unions blamed for all these results? If the workers have conceded the monetary aspect of the problem, then the Governor obviously only wants to break the unions. Taking away the fundamental basis of unionism–the right to negotiate–obviously leaves them only a group of people with no right to talk about anything.

      When unions are finally eliminated, as is planned by various governors, there will be nothing left to the midlle class of America–which is about where we are now. The divide between the rich and poor grows daily.

      When the workers of America were 38% unionized we had a huge middle class living the American dream. It is no longer being enjoyed by very many Americans.

      Once Congress passes the "reforming" of the immigration laws and 12 million people are granted citizenship any job opening in America will go to those people are $7-$10 an hour. The 10 million unemployed now in America will not get those jobs because no American can live on those wages. Place those 12 million on to Medicare, Social Security and Medicare and there is total collapse of our government. Does all of this please you?

    35. Bobbie says:

      Not sure where you're going John. But I will tell you this, It takes two to negotiate a contract in the private sector when any decision is made it is signed and agreed to by both parties involved. The business owner who pays and the union that demands. It takes three in the government union sector where the third, payers of demands (tax payers) are excluded. How is that fair?

    36. Pingback: What’s the Matter with Wisconsin? | What's the Matter with Kansas?

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