Category Archives: Wisconsin

Unions vs. Reality: “This state ain’t big enough for the both of us”

I never, ever do two posts in a row about anything, but since this IS the day of Wisconsin’s recall election….I kinda gotta do this now.

One of the outcomes of the battle in Wisconsin was over the funding and viability of public sector pensions. Walker was trying to save them AND not bankrupt the state simultaneously. This was figured out by the voters, who seem to like what they see, so far. This may be the biggest reason that Walker is expected to survive the recall effort against him today.

From Rick Moran over at pjmedia.com:

Scott Walker tried to address one small part of this crisis by asking public employees to contribute more from their paychecks to the state’s pension fund. The way the unions reacted, one would have believed that Walker was trying to take their pensions away. The effort to require public employees to contribute the same amount to their pension fund as most private citizens is going to be duplicated nationwide once pension bombs begin exploding.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Nationwide, state pensions were underfunded by $600 billion in 2009. That accounts for about half of the $1.26 trillion gap in overall retirement benefits owed to public employees that year.” The article notes that “states have only set aside $31 billion to cover the health care of its retirees – just five percent of the $635 billion they already owe.”

And his conclusion?

Even at the brink of bankruptcy, public unions balk at taking the necessary medicine. How will the pension bomb be defused and ever-rising health care costs for retired public workers be successfully managed if the unions don’t cooperate?

Eventually, whether they want to or not, unions will be forced to give in. And this is the final reason why unions have already lost regardless of the outcome in Wisconsin. Their ideas are outmoded and unsuitable for a modern society with problems relating to an aging population and shrinking work force to support them. This final reason for their defeat might do them in entirely unless the unions wake up and work with state and local governments to pull back from the abyss and find reasonable common ground to save what can be saved from this fiscal nightmare.

Read the whole thing. The author actually highlights 4 other reasons that the Unions have ultimately lost the argument up in Wisconsin, and are in danger of losing the whole argument nationwide.

Two Wisconsin Recall stories you DIDN’T hear about

The Wisconsin recall election is today. If you live in Wisconsin, please be sure to vote!

**Unless you’re voting for Democrat Tom Barrett: his election is tomorrow.

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Story #1: I heard about this from Mark Belling over the weekend, but didn’t think about it again until now. A former Marine by the name of David Willoughby  was at an anti-Walker rally. Willoughby is a Walker supporter, and from what I can tell wasn’t causing a disturbance, other than being the recipient of barbs, threats and yelling from the anti-Walker crowd. And for his troubles, he got arrested.

Why, you ask?

“During a political rally, subject raised a protest sign above his head in a manner that created danger to the public. Subject’s actions caused a disturbance during a political rally.” The citation carries a $185 fine and has a July court date.

Check out the story and video here. If this guy was deserving of being handcuffed, jailed, and fined,….then just about everyone deserves to be handcuffed, jailed and fined.

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Story #2This is from over a week ago, but it didn’t get ANY oxygen the first time around in the media. Ever since Scott Walker began to follow-through on his campaign promises to save jobs & money by abridging some of the public sector union’s bargaining rights, we’ve all witnessed the union’s Sturm und Drang. You know the spiel: Walker’s measures would shut down the state; towns would lose their teachers and their schools; Walker hates children; Walker wants working people to starve. You know, the normal stuff said about Conservatives.

Well, a little cited poll came back in May and guess what?

“….now that they have seen its benefits—most Wisconsin voters want to keep it. By a 53 percent to 38 percent margin, independent voters favor the limits on collective bargaining in government. It turns out that closing a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes or laying off teachers is popular after all.”

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Just remember: this election is a battle between the oppressed and the powerful:

A More Perfect Union

Consider this a continuation of our previous discussion about Unions from the other day. Looks like the unions are taking it on the chin.

Get out the tissues:

Regardless of whether Governor Scott Walker survives Tuesday’s recall election, Wisconsin’s public-employee unions are likely to see their power continue to decline.

According to the Wall Street Journal, government unions in the Badger State have “experienced a dramatic drop in membership” since Walker and GOP lawmakers passed a package of reforms last year, including ones curbing collective-bargaining rights and ending mandatory union membership.

Labor unions are being crippled by the elimination of automatic dues withholding, a practice that had enriched the unions’ coffers. Thousands of state workers are simply refusing to contribute; others are leaving public-sector jobs.

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But the biggest drop has been in the Wisconsin chapter of AFSCME, the powerful union that represents state, county, and municipal workers. In the past year, more than 30,000 members have deserted the collective.

How curious: when no longer mandated by law to “contribute” to a group which is not widely perceived as having the worker’s best interests at heart, the workers decide to no longer “contribute” to the group. Yeah, no one saw THAT coming.

Absent those monies, I guess now unions (in Wisconsin, at leastmay have to actually …work on behalf of the union members, in order to survive.

Welcome to the real world, fellas.

Sour Grapes up in Wisconsin

If you’ve lost track of the recall election for Governor in Wisconsin between Gov. Scott Walker and his Democrat challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, it’s not your fault. Things don’t look good for the recall backers up in cheese-land right now, so suddenly it’s “nothing to see here” time for the media. When you can locate a story about it now, they contain a very different tone than they used to have.

Maybe the best indication of things not going well for the Dems is this blurb from the LA Times, a paper which is certainly no big fan of Scott Walker:

Recent polls have pointed toward a victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s June 5 recall election. But here’s the clearest evidence to date that national Democratic party officials believe their side is losing: Democratic officials are playing down the potential impact.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) insisted in a television interview that a loss for the Democratic candidate in the recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, wouldn’t have any implications for other races, such as the presidential election.

Are you sure about that, Debbie? Even when the president is having increasing trouble raising funds, and the unions are spending cash in a race that would have no “national implications”? From the startribune.com:

“…….the National Democratic Governors Association is raising large sums. So is We Are Wisconsin, which, despite its name, raises most of its money outside the state, McCabe said. The organization spent $10.7 million on last summer’s senate recall races, with $10.1 million coming from three national unions — the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union.”

And, although I hate to link to the Huffington Post, for the sake of accuracy:

“”Walker has become a national hero to many Republicans and conservatives and is a hot ticket on the fundraising and speaking circuit. But he is the top target for unions and Democrats as he became the face of the anti-union movement this year with his proposal that took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers.”

Top target?

The face of the anti-union movement?

Over $10 million coming from three NATIONAL unions?

Don’t let anyone kid you: this was ground zero for the Left’s power grab in 2011-2012. Unions and Occupodos joined forces to take down Walker. It was unbelievably important for months and months, and months……until it  recently began to look likely that they’d lose.

And now they are just giving an indifferent shrug and trying to convince everyone that it was never that big a deal in the first place, before this election is even in the books.

Ya know, that reminds me of an old fable concerning a fox and some grapes, but I’m sure I don’t know why…..