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Obama 2012

Wisconsin Teachers Holding Taxpayers / Education Hostage

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This is the exact problem with 'public' unions. They should be 100% outlawed for ####### like this.

You do not get to hold taxpayers hostage and the education of public school children hostage either.

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http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/17/wisconsin.budget/index.html?hpt=Sbin

(CNN) -- At least 15 school systems in Wisconsin canceled Thursday's classes because teachers and other public employees will continue protests at the state Capitol over a bill that would strip them of most of their collective bargaining rights and increase their contributions for benefits.

At least 10,000 employees and supporters rallied Wednesday in Madison in opposition to legislation supported by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Protesters pack the state Capitol

Classes will not be held for a second day Thursday in the Madison Metropolitan School District, said spokesman Ken Syke, because of a call by the Wisconsin Education Association Council for people to come to the Capitol on Thursday and Friday to "stand beside your neighbors, family and friends to help our voices be heard."

Syke earlier said about 40 percent of 2,600 teachers, assistants, social workers and psychologists in the bargaining unit called in sick late Tuesday, forcing the district to cancel Wednesday's classes for 24,500 students.

School officials in Oregon, south of Madison, said they canceled classes Thursday because of anticipated staff absences.

CNN affiliate WISC listed the multiple school closings on its website.

Walker said Wednesday he is dealing with a budget crisis. Employees and unions contend his bill is an assault on worker rights.

"This is all about balancing the budget," Walker wrote on his Twitter account. "WI needs leadership."

Walker is asking legislators to pass his "Budget Repair Bill" to combat a $137 million shortfall through June 30. An upcoming two-year budget for 2011-13 must address a pending $3.6 billion deficit, he said.

Workers compare governor to Mubarak

The bill cleared the Joint Finance Committee Wednesday night on a 12-4 vote, CNN affiliate WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin, reported and can now move onto the state Senate.

In a budgetary scenario being played out in other cash-strapped states and municipalities, the legislation requires workers to cover more of their health care premiums and pension contributions, although supporters say local governments will decide on health care contribution for their employees.

The legislation also requires collective bargaining units to conduct annual votes to maintain certification. Unions would lose the right to have dues deducted from worker paychecks and collective bargaining can only cover wages.

The bill has prompted protests from public employees and supporters. On Tuesday, an estimated 13,000 people thronged Tuesday to the Capitol, followed by 10,000 Wednesday, said Carla Vigue, spokeswoman for the Department of Administration.

Crowd chants outside Capitol

Unions said the number of protesters was much higher.

"I appreciate the fact that the folks here today will have a chance to have their voices heard," Walker told reporters Wednesday. "But I want to be sure the taxpayers of Wisconsin will have their chance to have their voices heard."

"Calling this a budget bill is a smokescreen," said Bryan Kennedy, president of AFT-Wisconsin, which represents about 17,000 employees. "This is an attack on all labor organizations."

Sign-carrying protesters jammed the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday and Wednesday, chanting "Kill the bill" and "Workers Unite." Thousands more marched outside in the snow.

The governor, who took his campaign for the bill to his Twitter account, said he was talking with some legislators about protections for workers.

Walker's press secretary, Cullen Werwie, told CNN he expects the measure to reach the Senate on Thursday and, possibly, the Assembly (lower chamber) on Friday. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, but the legislation likely faces a tougher test in the Senate.

Under the bill, public employees in the Wisconsin Retirement System would pay about 5.8% of their salaries toward pensions, up significantly from 0.2%, Werwie said. And state workers would pay for 12.6% of their monthly health care premiums, up from between 4% and 6% percent.

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

"This is not something unusual," Walker said of the employee contributions. "That is what middle-class workers in this state have experienced."

The legislation would save the state about $30 million between now and the end of June and, if continued, an estimated $300 million during the next two years, Walker has said. He said workers in the private sector pay higher percentages of their pay for health care and pensions.

The governor visited private businesses on Tuesday, arguing the bill would end furloughs and prevent layoffs.

"People viewed what we are proposing as modest," he said.

The changes do not apply to to police, firefighters and state troopers, who would continue to bargain for their benefits.

But the proposed curtailing of most collective bargaining rights among public employees has drawn the most vocal complaints. There are about 300,000 state and local workers in the heavily unionized state.

Of 425 primary and secondary school systems, for example, employees at all but two are covered by AFT-Wisconsin or the National Education Association, Kennedy told CNN.

Walker, he claimed, is ignoring $100 million in previous employee concessions and wants to take his measure directly to a vote rather than negotiate.

Calling Wisconsin a "state in turmoil," Kennedy said the debate is "not a financial issue. It is about worker rights."

His group is calling for more rallies on Thursday to "keep the pressure on."

The website for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees featured a video of interviews with union workers.

"This is the state where collective bargaining for public employees started," one said. "If Wisconsin falls, so does the nation."

Because of the budget imbroglio, the Madison school district warned teachers that they would be docked pay if they were sick Wednesday through Friday and returned without a note from a medical provider, Syke said. They may face other sanctions.

Although Superintendent Daniel A. Nerad wrote Walker, asking him to return to the table to discuss collective bargaining, he also has said "our No. 1 responsibility is to instruct students," Syke said.

Some students left school Tuesday to join the protests, the spokesman said.

Many states, including California and New York, are grappling with budget deficit crises.

A month after Illinois lawmakers approved a massive tax hike, Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday unveiled a $35.4 billion budget that depends on state lawmakers approving $8.7 billion in new borrowing largely to clear a towering stack of unpaid bills.

The budget, which increases spending by $1.7 billion from the previous year and closes a $13 billion gap, slashes programs for the elderly, the poor and the disabled, but leaves education funding largely untouched. No layoffs of state workers are suggested.


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We'll see how long Gov Hosni Walker will be able to hold on...

I hear ya..... this is why I am more than certain, we will have to have a system-crash..... before we can really get back to a "reset" mode of thinking.


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"Those people who will not be governed by God


will be ruled by tyrants."



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And the Democrat state senators are refusing to show up to even vote. Some have fled the state.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/116381289.html


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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op/ed but it shows the other POV.

Walker gins up 'crisis' to reward cronies

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 athttp://legis.wiscons...Vos&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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Edited by LaL

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Walker is a tool. He never once tried to talk with union officials to see if they would take a cut on their medical and retirement..which most likely they would have. Instead he went out of his way to be a jerk and it's going to end up backfiring on him if anything.


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We'll see how long Gov Hosni Walker will be able to hold on...

Except Walker is not the one fleeing the state, the DEMs are. If thos were not so serious, it would be funny.

You could only compare Walker to Mubarak IF he left the state. In Egypt the protesters did not run out of Egypt.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Except Walker is not the one fleeing the state, the DEMs are. If thos were not so serious, it would be funny.

You could only compare Walker to Mubarak IF he left the state. In Egypt the protesters did not run out of Egypt.

Mubarak hasn't left Egypt unless the country since excluded Sharm El Sheikh from it's territory.

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Mubarak hasn't left Egypt unless the country since excluded Sharm El Sheikh from it's territory.

Yeah, so them DEMs are like Mubarak only without balls. Walker isn't leaving and isn't stepping down, or out. DEMs are running. Who is the party of "No" ????

What is happening in WI is what happens when you run out of money. You run out of money when you continue unsustainable spending. Time to pay the piper in WI. The new Governor and Legislature is doing what they said they would and doing what they were chosen by the people to do in a free election. The DEMs are going against the will of the people.

Who is like Mubarak?


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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What is happening in WI is what happens when you run out of money.

No, what's happening in WI is one side of the isle using tools at their disposal to keep a measure to come up for a vote. Sound familiar? Yes, it's a strategy that you used to be very fond of when applied by the other side of the isle in a different legislative body. What happened?

What is happening in WI is what happens when you run out of money. You run out of money when you continue unsustainable spending.

Wrong, Gary. You must have missed the piece that explains the shortfall - go up a few posts to see or just see below.

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.
Edited by Mr. Big Dog

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