February 18, 2011

Obama injects himself into the Wisconsin conflict.

WaPo reports:
"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions," Obama told a Milwaukee television reporter on Thursday, taking the unusual step of inviting a local TV station into the White House for a sit-down interview. "I think everybody's got to make some adjustments, but I think it's also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."
Actually, that's pretty equivocal. "Seems more like"... "recognize ... enormous contributions"... blah blah blah. But that's the figurehead speaking, maintaining deniability. The important thing is that his organization is working hard on this, and Democratic Party interests are massively at stake:
The White House political operation, Organizing for America, got involved Monday, after Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy M. Kaine, a former Virginia governor, spoke to union leaders in Madison, a party official said.

The group made phone calls, distributed messages via Twitter and Facebook, and sent e-mails to state and national lists to try to build crowds for rallies Wednesday and Thursday, a party official said.
Meanwhile...
"This is not the way you begin an 'adult conversation' in America about solutions to the fiscal challenges that are destroying jobs in our country," [House Speaker John A.] Boehner said in a statement, alluding to the president's call for civility in budget talks. "Rather than shouting down those in office who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the president and his advisers should lead."

The battle in the states underscores the deep philosophical and political divisions between Obama and Republicans over how to control spending and who should bear the costs.

By aligning himself closely with unions, Obama is siding with a core segment of the Democratic Party base - but one that has chafed in recent weeks as the president has sought to rebuild his image among centrist voters by reaching out to business leaders.
It's a tough political problem for Obama, but the truth is... it's not all about Obama. It's about the long-term power of the 2 political parties and, more important, the economic health of the states.

127 comments:

TWM said...

The man is so presidential he sets the new standard for presidentialness. He's even out-presidentialing Carter which I simply did not belive was possible.

AllenS said...

Fuck off, obama.

TMink said...

When the President's party pays for outsiders to come and agitate, he made it about himself. In essence, it is a state issue, I agree. But he is certainly no federalist, willing for the states to act in a sovereign fashion.

Trey

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Classic Alinsky bottom up tactic.

Is anyone surprised?

Put another Zero up on the board!

wv - dicshi

Straight males

kurt mueller said...

An "assault" on unions? I thought we weren't allowed to use violent imagery anymore.

Jason (the commenter) said...

This has got to be great for Scott Walker. He's not just going against unions, he's going against the top Democrat in the country, the President of the United States himself. Talk about street cred!

People complain about Republicans not having enough good candidates, but all I've seen over the last year or so are more and more being given celebrity status.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

President Obama may have just selected his opponent for 2012.

Bob_R said...

Virginia is a right to work state. One could reasonably characterize Walkers bill as making Wisconsin more like Virginia (but still with more benefits for public employees). Butter would not melt in Kaine's mouth today.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

And Fox News is reporting that the DNC is organizing the protests.

This is an attempt to nullify Governor Walkers election in broad daylight.

shoutingthomas said...

You left out this bit from Obama:

I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends.

Yes, they're our neighbors and our friends who make more money, tell us what to do, get free lavish benefits and extravagant time off.

They're our class enemies. Soak the rich public employees!

Lincolntf said...

Good, Obama and the hysterical scrunts with the Hitler signs deserve each other.
Hey American voters, guess who's on your side? Not the President.

The Drill SGT said...

Obama makes it clear that supporting unions is much more important than either controlling spending or the desires of the electorate.

Apparently only some of elections have consequences

rick said...

The great unifier .... gag, sputter, choke, spit. The man is walking oxymoron.

madawaskan said...

You had me at-

Obama Injects Himself>

Kansas City said...

Obama will do nothing other than try to help the unions. The mutual dependence and public funds raiding are too ingrained in the democratic/public employee relationship to allow anything else. I thought Obama's language at this point was pretty clever, "seems" like an "assault on unions" and "friends and neighbors." But, this may be a battle on which he has the short end. I doubt that democrats can get many more votes form public employee unions, but the controversy can cause democrats to lose votes. At this point, the issue seems like a gift to the republicans.

I also think the "failure to lead" charge is starting to stick to Obama.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends.

Tony Rezko's a public employee?

Abe said...

In this economy and on the heels of his health care reform which is not and will not bend the curve, Obama appearing to root on chaos created by gov't workers while presiding over a country whose respective hands are at one another's collective throats could well mark his political end: the heretofore thought impossible combination--Carter 1988-89 + Johnson 1966-67.

If a budget impasse leads to a federal gov't shutdown and things in the states really start blowing up I can imagine the Dems. fracturing just like in '68 and '80, heck Cuomo in NY is closer to Walker and Christie on fiscal policy than Obama these days. Watch what Bubba says soon. Hillary 2012.

vet66 said...

Welcome to the brave new world of class warfare. The upcoming three day weekend (President's Day) will be a preview of the anarchy that will have to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

The democrats have set the battle lines.

Note to those sitting on the sidelines; typical of teachers, they have managed to stretch a three day weekend into a 6 or 7 day mini vacation at taxpayer expense. If that wasn't bad enough, state democrats are leaving the state to avoid voting on the budget. It is apparent that they new this was coming and planned for it.

The anarchists responsible for this tyranny of unions and progressives must be dealt with to the full extent of the law. This will not end well for those who ignore the rule of law and order. Now we know exactly what some of our friends and neighbors think about the rest of us in the private sector.

Watch and learn as they show the ugly truth.

Mr. Buford said...

Dear Mr. President,
'I won.' You do remember those words don't you? Indeed, Mr. President with all do respect to your position, please refer to your own statement when inserting yourself into the sovereignty of a state's governance of state matters.
As this was a clear indication of the true form of civility that is in operation then you must surely understand that, I too won, and will govern as I and the majority of legislators of this state (those that are in the state) are mandated to do. Those that wish to be part of the process may participate as is their responsibility as representatives duly elected by their constituents and vote yea or nay as they see best.
In the end, you are right of course, I won, and I will move forward on my belief as to what is best for this state. Like you, if my course of action is deemed unacceptable by the electorate then they may remove both you and I, or not, in the next election.
Until then, I WON!
Sincerely,
Governor Scott Walker

shiloh said...

Fuck off, obama.

Thanx for sharing ...

Alex said...

It's amazing how short sighted and ignorant of our own history people can be. The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week. They are the ones who helped get you that insurance you love so dearly. And what do you think happens when they go away!? The last firewall protecting the wages of working class Americans foes away. Then next year and every year after, business will cry poverty, and explain to the workers that they can't expect to get paid $40000 for something someone in India will do for $10000.

Why does Althouse hate the union man?

rick said...

I see Richard Trumka is making a guest appearance. Now the real union thugs are coming to front lines. Sad to say - a Penn State graduate and alleged former coal miner.

The Drill SGT said...

Somebody should remind Obama about FDR's opinion on the topic:

The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.

cubanbob said...

The House Republicans ought to raise the ante and force the repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act and require the same of state and local governments as a condition of receiving federal construction grants, loans and aid.

MayBee said...

"This is not the way you begin an 'adult conversation' in America about solutions to the fiscal challenges that are destroying jobs in our country," [House Speaker John A.] Boehner said in a statement, alluding to the president's call for civility in budget talks.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Yeah, Boehner was alluding to the president's call for civility.

shoutingthomas said...

Then next year and every year after, business will cry poverty, and explain to the workers that they can't expect to get paid $40000 for something someone in India will do for $10000.

You've misidentified the reason for this.

The cause of this is the racial quota system.

Hiring whites (who are the people who do the IT work) exposes a corporation to a revenge lawsuit from the racial bean counters in government (EEOC).

Hiring off-shore Indians doesn't show on the books of the racial bean counters.

The Drill SGT said...

Abe said...heck Cuomo in NY is closer to Walker and Christie on fiscal policy than Obama these days.

I thought Cuomo was an idiot when he was at HUD and helping to create the Housing Bubble....

As Governor, he's sounding pretty good...

A guy who's politcal career just ended in a whimper? Tim Kaine. He might have wanted to be VA's next Senator, but Virginia is a right to work state as well as Southern. The voters in '12 will be reminded that Kaine brought "carpetbagging union thugs" into WI to deny the will of the people...

SteveR said...

Brilliant Move.

MadisonMan said...

Dear Obama...this is a local problem. The Feds can keep out.

You can voice your opinion, of course, but not everyone will listen.

Hagar said...

I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends.

Yes, and they are paid 30-40% more than I am for similar work, have benefits I can only dream of, and can retire after 25 or 30 years and go back to work for the same agency at the same or increased salary and pull down a full pension for another 1-20 years and pull down a 2nd pensionb.

This kind of thing puts a large strain on our friendship.

Hagar said...

10-20

Rumpletweezer said...

Being able to shut up just jumped to the top of the list of qualities I want in the next President.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Wont every defeat for unions now, also be a defeat for Obama?

bgates said...

Tony Rezko's a public employee?

Well, he's made enormous contributions. But yeah, I assume he's gainfully employed in the license plate manufacturing sector.

Revenant said...

The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week.

I can't even remember the last time I only put in 40 hours a week at work.

AJ Lynch said...

Boehner is turning out to be a pretty smart sounding speaker.
So far, he has exceeded my expectations.

Robert Cook said...

"'This is not the way you begin an 'adult conversation' in America about solutions to the fiscal challenges that are destroying jobs in our country,' [House Speaker John A.] Boehner said in a statement...'Rather than shouting down those in office who speak honestly about the challenges we face, the president and his advisers should lead.'"

Who is speaking "honestly about the challenges we face?" Oh, yes...we're told--as if we need to be--that we're fucked financially, but there's no honest allocation of blame or discussion of drastically cutting our War and Spying budgets, which are money sucks of gigantic proportion yet serve no good, productive purposes, which do not benefit us in any way.

Our War budget is equal to the combined war budgets of every other nation in the world combined...and that's just what is known of the budget. There are parts of our war and spying budgets that are totally black...Congress has no fiscal oversight over these black budgets and don't even know what's in them or how much money they steal from us.

Further, we hear the repeated lies that Social Security is essentially insolvent and is near collapse, when in fact it is fairly healthy and can go decades more without change and not face any problems. We can start discussing those problems that will start to bedevil the program in 30 years or so and begin planning and implementing steps to forestall those problems. But to say Social Security is in crisis now is a lie, and to discuss savage cuts in programs that benefit children, the sick, the elderly, the indigent, the unemployed or underemployed--or to premptorily remove from working people their hard-won right to negotiate for wages and benefits and work conditions--without seriously talking about savage cuts in our expenditures on spying and killing or serious increases in taxes on the wealthy is to not even begin having an "honest" discussion about the challenges facing us. It's merely a continuation of the cruel lies to and rape of the have nots by the haves.

I am faint of hope, but I wish the Wisconsin public unions success in fighting back against the bastards who wish to make serfs of us all, while they blame us for being "lazy" and "not interested" in the good jobs that, they lie, are there for the taking.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...


I can't even remember the last time I only put in 40 hours a week at work


I'll ask again: If you're so fucking smart, and public workers have is so easy, why aren't you working in a public job?

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

O.T.-"CNN confirms that Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico will announce later Friday that he will not run for re-election next year. That will bring to 4 the number of Democratic senators not running for re-election next year."

http://bit.ly/iaJPNv

The dem implosion continues.

Matt said...

Anyone who finds Obama's comments controversial is not in touch with reality nor with working people in this country.

Wisconsin's problems are the same problems many states are dealing with. But some of these states want to fix their budget off of the back of working class people.

Good for Obama.

Sofa King said...

But some of these states want to fix their budget off of the back of working class people.

Your definition of "working class people" apparently doesn't include private-sector taxpayers barely scraping bye, eh? Fuck 'em, raise their taxes for the public sector unions! They're not the working class!

Maguro said...

Wisconsin has a war and spying budget, Cook? That's a fascinating assertion, please provide details.

MayBee said...

Anyone who finds Obama's comments controversial is not in touch with reality nor with working people in this country.

My Dem and union supporting friends in Michigan believe they've taken too many hits personally to see the public employees be sacred cows.

ricpic said...

Wisconsin joins Arizona as an outlaw state, according to The Lawless Won.

Robert Cook said...

"I can't even remember the last time I only put in 40 hours a week at work."

Do you own your own business or do you work for someone else? If the former, then you're acting for your own benefit and can choose to work as little or as much you need to or please to to reap the remuneration you seek.

If the latter, and if your increased working hours are not of your choice or do not increase your income, then you're a slave, but have been duped to think yourself a king.

Lincolntf said...

"...why aren't you working in a public job?"

Some of us have decided to contribute to society rather than sacrfificing all of our principles in exchange for a paycheck. You wouldn't understand that.

Revenant said...

I'll ask again: If you're so fucking smart, and public workers have is so easy, why aren't you working in a public job?

Three reasons:

1. I think the government is too big by a factor of about 10, and I don't want to be "part of the problem".

2. Government jobs reward seniority, not competence and productivity. I don't want to work in that kind of environment.

3. I like doing work that provides a benefit to others. Most government work is parasitical, not beneficial.

And I wasn't *complaining* that I have to work more than 40 hours a week. After all -- if I don't like it, I can quit. Nobody owes me a living.

shoutingthomas said...

Wisconsin's problems are the same problems many states are dealing with. But some of these states want to fix their budget off of the back of working class people.

80 administrators making in excess of $100k in Madison represents the "working class people."

Jesus Christ!

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night
And he was driving a 2011 Mercedes S-Class Sedan

Workers of the World Unite!

PatCA said...

These GOP governors ran on fiscal reform. The OFA has been ready for months. PULEEZE, Mr. Obama, you don't know what's going on?


http://twitter.com/ofa_wi

Lincolntf said...

Workers of the World Ignite!

rick said...

"The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week."

That was apparently before I was physically threatened by a gang of union thugs while trying to cross a picket line as a young snot-nosed management trainee. The union movement taught me a lot that day. Gang warfare....you know sort of like community organizing.

pbAndj said...

"So far, he has exceeded my expectations."

I have a different reaction. I can't stop thinking that Nancy was so much better at controlling the majority, and getting her way in final votes.

I think you can support the goals of Boehner, and still recognize that (so far) he seems like a sissy little girl, when compared to Nancy.

Of course, if you expected less than a sissy-girl, then I can see where you're coming from.

Matt said...

shoutingthomas

80 out of how many?

Lincolntf said...

Speaking of sissy-girls, is our ever so frail and delicate President gonna make a personal appearance in Madison?
That would be the icing on the cake.

rick said...

"80 out of how many? "

Does it matter?

Revenant said...

If the latter, and if your increased working hours are not of your choice or do not increase your income, then you're a slave, but have been duped to think yourself a king.

Of course the hours I work are worked by choice; I can quit if I don't want to work them.

I'm neither a slave or a king. I'm a skilled worker; I sell my labor for what I can get for it. I command no one to work, and no one commands me.

garage mahal said...

Some of us have decided to contribute to society rather than sacrfificing all of our principles in exchange for a paycheck. You wouldn't understand that.

LOL. Right. The average state worker in Wisconsin makes 25k per year. That's why you don't.

Principles. I'm still fucking laughing.

Kurt said...

If anyone needed any more evidence that Obama has more in common with the far left of Alinsky and Ayers than many of the mainstream Democrats and even union leaders of the past, his statements in this case make it clear where his allegiances lie. Who am I referring to? None other than FDR and George Meany, both of whom said that collective bargaining by public sector unions was unworkable.

Eric said...

The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week.

Oh? How did the unions pass a law?

rick said...

This is a crossroads for Gov. Walker. He can be like the Gipper (re PATCO) or can be like Carter (pick one).

Synova said...

"Wisconsin's problems are the same problems many states are dealing with. But some of these states want to fix their budget off of the back of working class people."

And who pays the salaries of public employees?

Oh, right, working class people.

Everyone is hit hard by the economy but some pigs are more equal than others.

Trooper York said...

I propose that in future we refer to the President as "Douchenozzle in Chief."

As Oprah has said we should him some respect.

Lincolntf said...

Wrong Garage, when I worked for the Government my take home was about $13,000. Still the most fulfilling job I've ever had. Since then, I've probably built (or helped build) a thousand homes for Americans who needed them.
If any of these Teachers want to take Army pay, I'm all for it. But they'll pretend that teaching snot-nosed brats that cars kill polar bears is a much more demanding job than, you know, being a soldier.

Synova said...

When someone starts to talk about how grateful everyone is supposed to feel about unions, and so support them for whatever they want forever and ever, amen, I have to wonder...

Is History really that obscure? Am I the only one who immediately compares the contemporary situation to Historical ones and finds the contemporary whiners utterly ridiculous?

Feminists do it too and are just as ridiculous.

Abe said...

Curious about that 25k number, Garage.

For instance, are all the college students working at the dining halls throughout Wisconsin's university system factored into that average? Are they not "state workers?" I too was a Wisconsin state worker for four years. Made about 2k a year.

I could go on and on with examples, but I think you will probably get my point. "Average state worker" seems like a fairly loaded word. Happy if you can prove my b.s. meter wrong, cheers.

Trooper York said...

None of you union douchenozzles have been paying attention to what is happening in New York City.

Nanny Bloomberg just announced massive layoffs of teachers and huge cutbacks to the Board of Education due to decreases in state aid.

Now the papers neglect to mention that massive increases in spending for education the past two years as there can only be increase in the budget for the "children" and never a cut back.

But I am very confident in our teachers and the Board of Education and know in my heart that they continue to fuck up future generations of children with slightly less money to waste.

Trooper York said...

A voucher system with private schools educating our children and hiring teachers on the basis of merit and not by union rules would solve all the problems.

But that would be a fatal blow to the political power of the Douchenozzle in Chief and his fellow travelers.

madAsHell said...

Another unforced error....

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends

Hey Obama....back atcha. We are also their neighbors and maybe friends. Plus there are more of us than them.

The Obama administration and the DNC are attempting to turn over the results of the last election, wherein they got their asses kicked, by supporting, encouraging and financing mob rule.

They are interfering into the government and sovereign rights of the various States to conduct business according to the will of the voters within the States.

The Constitution of the United States was crafted to prevent just this very thing.

The President is guilty of violating his oath to uphold the Constitution and should be impeached.

I’m not joking. If it can be proved that Obama’s fingerprints are all over this insurrection and subversion of State sovereign power…….he should be impeached.

edutcher said...

This is another Skippy Gates moment and The Zero is too stupid to see it.

Yesterday, Rasmussen had Barry's approval index (Strong Approve - Strong Disapprove) at -9. Today it's -14.

I wonder why?

Robert Cook said...

"I can't even remember the last time I only put in 40 hours a week at work."

Do you own your own business or do you work for someone else? If the former, then you're acting for your own benefit and can choose to work as little or as much you need to or please to to reap the remuneration you seek.

If the latter, and if your increased working hours are not of your choice or do not increase your income, then you're a slave, but have been duped to think yourself a king.


As always, Cook was never educated in capitalism down at the Daily Worker. The employer sets the hours according to the needs of the business and pays a wage the business can sustain. The shift is also set by the employer with the hourly wage applied.

If they don't like it, they can quit. Slaves can't.

rick said...

"Douchenozzle in Chief" Sounds German. Could it be the German equivalent of DHOTUS?

Henry said...

The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week.

I wasn't aware there was a freelancer union.

Though a progressive effort to have the government restrict freelancer hours would hardly surprise me. Working is interstate commerce after all.

When freelancers work hard they make everyone else look bad.

That has got to be stopped. For their own good.

shoutingthomas said...

Garbage, you've got to stop lying:

LOL. Right. The average state worker in Wisconsin makes 25k per year. That's why you don't.

According to 2008 Census data, the state of Wisconsin and local governments in the state employed a total of 379,539 people.[6] Of those employees, 240,747 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $998,312,248 per month and 138,792 were part-time employees paid $123,619,591 per month.[6] More than 57% of those employees, or 218,585 employees, were in education or higher education.


By the process of long division... garbage, you may or may not be familiar with this... I discovered that the average salary of a full-time WI public employee is...

Ta Da!

$49,760.

Plus, super-sized benefits and perks.

Did they teach you long division in school, garbage? You must have gone to one of those Madison high schools.

Lincolntf said...

ST, it's no fair using math when talking to Liberals about economics. (Unless there is a new mathematical symbol for Skittles and/or Unicorns).

shoutingthomas said...

By way of comparison, via Wikipedia:

Males had a median income of $36,718 versus $30,551 for females.

This is in Madison, WI.

Michael said...

"The unions that you all love to berate are the very same that won you the right to a 40 hour work week."

a. Tell that to the 9.8% of America tht is unemployed.

b. Who works 40 hour work weeks? Oh, that's right state employees.

Because, you know, the state has been trying to make their workers work twenty hours a week. Plus twenty observing others work.

Henry said...

@Shouting Thomas -- My wife once worked for a New York State Historic Site. It was a summer-only job with no benefits that paid minimum wage.

That's the kind of job that helps Garage get his 27K figure.

My wife didn't mind so much. She liked the job. What really bugged her was the cut that the union took out of her minimum wage paycheck for "representing" her.

@Garage -- You should note that some of the people that work part-time and seasonal jobs may be teachers. I had a math teacher who worked summers as a state forest ranger. That kind of mucks up your gross "average".

JAL said...

BHO "Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,"

Seems to me he didn;t vcome off looking too great in the Cambridge brouhaha by interfering in a local issue that he "heard" something about.

Y'all might want to go back to Althouse's blog pre-election and read about the man who would be president.

What were you people who voted for him really thinking???

Matt said...

shoutingthomas

Way to undercut your own comments.
You made a big deal out of 80 workers who make over 100k but then you wise up and give us the true figures and it turns out the average is 49K. Then you pretend like 49K is a lot.

So what if they get super benefits and perks? Maybe corporations need to start doing the same for their employees rather than making huge profits which go to only a few really rich CEO's.

Michael said...

Garage; "The average state worker in Wisconsin makes 25k per year."

This is so ludicrous I am not going to bother looking it up. The average full time state worker in Wisconsin makes more than 25K per year. I will back that last sentence up with a wager. If the average pay of full time state workers is $25,000 or less I will send you a check for 100 bucks. If it is more than $25,000 you send me $5. Pretty good odds I am offering, Garage, want some?

Henry said...

So what if they get super benefits and perks?

Talk about undercutting your own argument.

TMink said...

"the Douchenozzle in Chief"

Nice one Troop!

It makes me think of the Doofensmirtz in chief, but then my kids watch lots of Phineas and Ferb.

Trey

Matt said...

Synova said...

And who pays the salaries of public employees?

And who pays the salaries of non-public employees?

Yeah, we do. This is always the case. So your point is not really made.

And, yes, I do get why people don't like unions. They can be hell to deal with. But when it comes to health and pension they offer better than most any corporation you can name. That is nothing to scoff at. Many elderly people live completely off of pension payments. And there is nothing wrong with that.

On the other hand someone who works at Wall-Mart their entire life will not get a pension. They will, of course, get Social Security, which rich Republicans tend to oppose as well.

garage mahal said...

This is so ludicrous I am not going to bother looking it up

Sorry, this is wrong. Apologies. Very tired.

JAL said...

My grandfather ran a small express (trucking) business (3 or 4 employees inclusing himself) in the Boston area while the unions were seeking to represent "workers" -- by intimidating the non-union owners and drivers.

My grandfather paid BETTER than what the union was pushing for. They didn't care. The drivers, inclduing my uncle, drove with a tire iron and chains under his seat.

One of my grandfather's drivers, a friend -- had a heart attack after he was stopped by and beat up by -- ready for this? -- union goons.

Do I think unions have accomplished some good? Well yes "some" good ... but they were never about right-to-work. They were about $$$$$$$$$%$$$$$$$$$ for them.

@PatCA -- 80 - 85% of the money they collect goes to political party and PACs.

They have looooong outlived their usefulness as they exist now.

shoutingthomas said...

Way to undercut your own comments.

Well, no... not really.

You made a big deal out of 80 workers who make over 100k but then you wise up and give us the true figures and it turns out the average is 49K. Then you pretend like 49K is a lot.

80 workers solely in administration in Madison school districts.

49K is a lot in Madison. With an average for men of $36,718, that means the average public employee makes 132% of the average private employee.

So what if they get super benefits and perks? Maybe corporations need to start doing the same for their employees rather than making huge profits which go to only a few really rich CEO's.

The "so what" is that that average private employee gets taxed to pay for the supersized benefits and perks. And that private employee pays his full share for his benefits and perks, who are far inferior.

I've got a calculator. And, I know how to do math.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

SynovaAnd who pays the salaries of public employees?

Matt:"And who pays the salaries of non-public employees?

Yeah, we do. This is always the case. So your point is not really made."

However, we pay for the salaries of public employees whether we want to or not and whether we ever need any of their services. We are FORCED to pay for the public employees.

Employees of private companies are paid from the operation of sucessful business. If I don't ever want to buy a cup of Starbucks coffee, my money does not go towards paying the Starbucks employee.

If NO ONE wants to buy Starbucks, they will go out of business. Sadly, the employees will need to find other jobs.

Unfortunately, the Government will NEVER go out of business and the employees are guaranteed jobs, benefits and retirement even if we don't want their product.

You really aren't so good at this economic stuff are you Matt?

You must be a teacher.

Revenant said...

And who pays the salaries of non-public employees?

The business owners.

Yeah, we do.

Not unless you own a business.

I guess you could argue that people who purchase goods and services from the business "pay the salaries" of the people who work there, if only indirectly. But the key difference there, obviously, is that you can choose not to patronize that business. For example, I think Burger King makes terrible food -- so I don't eat there, and thus contribute $0.00 to the salaries of Burger King employees, executives, etc.

In contrast, even though California public school teachers do a terrible job, I am nevertheless compelled, under pain of imprisonment, to give them money.

JAL said...

. But when it comes to health and pension they offer better than most any corporation you can name.

I believe the issue here (one among many) is that these unionized PUBLIC employees get health and penison benefits from the taxpayers, not from the profits of an income generating enterprise.

The taxpayers are getting dissed and pissed.

They can't even get these people to do what they are paid to do.

Will some Wisconsin citizen *please* file suit against these people for dereliction of duty and damages?

(Are they going to extend the school year so they get in their required # of classroom days?)

Trooper York said...

Here's your chance to vote on who is the biggest douchenozzle!

AJ Lynch said...

How come Obama never comments on Nascar or ice hockey?

Synova said...

"And who pays the salaries of non-public employees?

Yeah, we do. This is always the case. So your point is not really made.
"

Yet, if I refuse to buy a GM truck, I will not be breaking the law.

So your point is not made at all.

Revenant said...

Yet, if I refuse to buy a GM truck, I will not be breaking the law.

Yet.

If the Supreme Court upholds the ObamaCare mandate, of course, there will be nothing stopping the government from compelling you to do exactly that.

Matt said...

Revenant
Synova

That is the whole idea of taxes and such. It has ALWAYS been this way. No one is ever 100% satisfied with where their tax dollars go. But that's what a democracy / republic is about.

Come on, you know this....

Synova said...

Matt, you weren't talking about if I *liked* it or not, but of where it is coming from.

If I like what my tax money is spent on or if I don't, and no one agrees with everything, the money still comes from me on the threat of being made a criminal. People are forced to pay "at the point of a gun".

You equated this with private sector capitalism, where the consumer ultimately pays the salaries of workers.

It's not the same. It's not even remotely the same.

It's not the same because there is no (at least not yet) compulsion or punishment involved with choosing a different product or with the decision to do without.

It's not the same because the private sector actually produces wealth. The public sector only exists by confiscating a portion of that private production. That I might agree with some things (police, military, etc.) and disagree with others or at least with the extent of the funding and the devastating consequences of making charity a government function, it doesn't change the essential nature of where that government funding comes from or the coercive and punitive powers of government.

It's not *different* because I happen to *like* the military. It's still funded through confiscation by the government at the point of a gun. The nature of it doesn't change in response to my *feelings*.

Lincolntf said...

Hey Matt, Democracy doesn't work when the shitbag weasels charged with the duty of executing State business have fled the Capitol and called in hired thugs to do their "work" for them. If you're so worried about the process, get your worthless Senators to do their fucking jobs. Until then, zip it.

Jay said...

ut I think it's also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens."

This is an embarrassing utterance from an in-over-his-head clown.

Jay said...

That is the whole idea of taxes and such. It has ALWAYS been this way. No one is ever 100% satisfied with where their tax dollars go. But that's what a democracy / republic is about.

Good grief.

There was an election.

The side you support lost, and lost big.

Shut up already with your dummy assertions.

DADvocate said...

Just remember, there are a hell of a lot more people NOT in unions than in them. Most see a place for unions, but disagree wholeheartedly with the role public unions have taken on - fleecing taxpayers.

And, yes, it is an assault on unions, public unions. About time. Why do you think Toyota built in Kentucky and Nissan in Tennessee? No mystery there. Unfortunately, state and local governments can't relocate.

Bruce Hayden said...

So what if they get super benefits and perks? Maybe corporations need to start doing the same for their employees rather than making huge profits which go to only a few really rich CEO's.

So, you take a million dollars, and spread it across 100,000 employees, and what do you get? $10 per employee, which still gets them well below what you probably think of as a living wage, and a CEO quitting, and as a result, maybe well more than a million dollar reduction in earnings, which translates back into taking that $10 per employee away.

No, employees are not interchangable. Maybe most of them were 100 years ago, and that was part of why Ford was able to do so well. But now, some employees are worth more than others, and some worth a lot more than others. And, if you don't pay them, they leave and go where they are appreciated.

I know that this supply and demand stuff is a bit difficult, but give it a try.

DADvocate said...

And who pays the salaries of non-public employees?

Yeah, we do. This is always the case.


Only if we voluntarily buy their products and/or services.

We pay public employee salaries under threat of imprisonment.

Try not sounding like an idiot.

Michael said...

Matt: You seem like a reasonable and nice person. I highly recommend that you refrain from commenting on subjects that pertain to business or economics. I would suggest you do some reading in economics, just basic stuff to get going and take the time to read the articles and editorials in financial papers and journals. You can learn a lot that way and spare yourself the embarrassment of exposing your complete lack of business acumen.

Sheryl said...

"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,

What a let down I initially read this as assault on onions.

Does he have little cars that drive ahead of him by guys wearing big shoes and thick glasses, lots of slamming doors and looking busy? That's democracy, and it's coming the to USA.

I never thought I'd say it but today all posters on this site have my best wishes.

Well, you're in the thick of it at least as politicians dash from one side of the state to another.

As someone living in the union capital of North America the crush of the occassional boot can do wonders for a change in perspective. Employee pension contributions at 2.5%, that doesn't come close to sustainable. Where are all of the assholes who wrote this stuff up in the first place. That's so not responsible.

E.M. Davis said...

I'll ask again: If you're so fucking smart, and public workers have is so easy, why aren't you working in a public job?

Are there government ad agencies? I know there are in-house departments who do some marketing/agency stuff for govt. entities, but it's certainly not the same.

I suppose I could go in for one of those myriad jobs at the Ad Council, huh?

Matt said...

Synova

So who is pointing a gun at you? Are you seriously considering not paying taxes? Who doesn't pay taxes except Noam Chomsky? Besides if taxes go to something you like you wouldn't use the metaphor about guns. It's only taxes you don't like that do. Funny how that works.

The larger point here is that taxes help pay for people who work government jobs. [The unions actually help pay the pensions].

The even larger point is that the State of Wisconsin was projected to have a state surplus this year of 121 million but the governor gave 140 million in tax breaks to businesses. So if there is to be a shortfall it isn't because of state workers but because of tax breaks. Now you can argue these tax breaks create jobs or keep businesses in Wisconsin from leaving the state.

But this isn't about budgets. And it's not about someone pointing a gun at you. It's about politics. Always is.

virgil xenophon said...

DBQ@1:41/

I WANNA PROPOSE MARRIAGE!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The larger point here is that taxes help pay for people who work government jobs. [The unions actually help pay the pensions].

I call double dip bullshit on that last statement.

The pensions are Defined Benefit Contribution plans. Part of the contribution is "supposed" to come from the employee (which it doesn't the State pays their part) and the other part comes from the State/taxpayer.

The Unions, at least in my State, have no input or control over the pension funds NOR do they contribute one fucking dime to the pensions.

If it is different in your State and the Unions fund the pensions.....I'm ready to stand corrected.

Prove it.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

From the Milwaukee JS:

Gov. Jim Doyle and the state Legislature began the 2009-'11 budget process with a $6.6 billion shortfall. They filled the hole with $2.1 billion in tax and fee increases, $2.2 billion in federal stimulus dollars and cuts in state agency spending and aid to local governments and schools.

The report predicts the 2011-'13 budget will start with a structural deficit of $2 billion, and the slow economy is not likely to produce tax revenues to fill that gap. State numbers show tax revenues from July through September trailed the collection a year ago by 8%


So how, exactly, did Wisconsin suddenly find itself with a surplus? The $2 billion shortfall is the smallest I've seen reported.

1. Walker
2. ?
3. Surplus!

Scott M said...

1. Walker
2. ?
3. Surplus!


I always suspected the Cheeseheads were stealing my underwear.

This fuzzy math is exactly how I started out the day. The budget gap doesn't seem to suggest a surplus at all...except to the NYT. They probably don't think the payments on the federal debt are really "debt" debt either.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Matt. Those comments are regarding government pensions which are the ones causing the hissy fits by the teachers and others.

Private company pensions are a horse of a different color and have nothing to do with this conversation.

You keep getting confused on those public versus private industry issues.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

All I heard during the last four years was how dismal Wisconsin's budget woes were. If Walker has magically turned this into a surplus (or near break even) in two short months, he deserves to be governor for life.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Virgil

Thanks. But my husband wouldn't approve.

I am serious though. If Obama has any.... ANY.....involvement with encouraging, organizing or otherwise facilitating the anti demonstrations in Wisconsin, it is an impeachable event.

Unlike Clinton who was impeached for merely telling lies under oath; Obama may be shown to have maliciously interfered with a sovereign State and have broken his vow to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Very very serious crime.

He should be impeached. The Governors of all States should support this since this represents an over reaching of Federal intrusion into the business of the States and should be stopped before we lose any more of our sovereign rights.

Impeach him (in my dreams)

jerryofva said...

It is an insult to real unions to equate public employees with teamsters, autoworkers ans steel workers. In the private sector workers can only profit if their employers prosper. Public sector unions are parasites exploiting the overwhelming majority of the tax paying public including union men and women.

We are seeing the emergence of real, not imagined, Fascists. I expect the thugs and troublemakers to take this over and attack the Wisconsin state government. It wouldn't be surprised if an assassination attempt were made against the Governor.

Welcome to the world of Francis Fox Pivens

Scott M said...

Impeach him (in my dreams)

You and I both know full well the first half-black president (and a Nobel winner to boot) will never be impeached.

Ut said...

"Dear Obama...this is a local problem. The Feds can keep out."

Shhhhh.

Never try to stop your political opponent when he's stepping on his own dick.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You and I both know full well the first half-black president (and a Nobel winner to boot) will never be impeached

I'm afraid you are correct. A girl can only dream.

However, when the President and his direct employees are actively working to overthrow a duly elected government and to overturn the results of a State election....at what point is it not treason or an impeachable event?

Alex said...

Mubarak Obama has to go.

Alex said...

Impeach the leach.

Revenant said...


That is the whole idea of taxes and such. It has ALWAYS been this way.


Sure.

Just don't try pretending that collectively "bargaining" for a share of tax money is the same as collectively bargaining for a share of the profits.

We already have a process in place for determining who gets what share of the tax money. It is called "voting for representatives"

The Drill SGT said...

Shoutingthomas said...More than 57% of those employees, or 218,585 employees, were in education or higher education.

One interesting question. Do teachers in WI work a 9 month contract or a 12 month one. also, if 9, do they count as FT or PT.

If they are working a 9month contract and count as FT, then 218k of teachers raises your annuakl salary of 49k a lot, if you consider that many hold a summer job as well.

Synova said...

"So who is pointing a gun at you? Are you seriously considering not paying taxes? Who doesn't pay taxes except Noam Chomsky? Besides if taxes go to something you like you wouldn't use the metaphor about guns. It's only taxes you don't like that do. Funny how that works."

Matt, really!

I most certainly would use the metaphor about guns even if the taxes go to something I like. After all, no one is asking for my voluntary contributions.

chr1 said...

Dear Mr. Cook,

Thank you for coming to the Stanfield HIgh School Waterman Gymnasium tonight and setting up a table to discuss your socialist ideas. Your literature was interesting and we all hope to see you next year. Our students felt that you put history in a broader context for them.

Regards,
The Stanfield PTA

Trooper York said...

You know Joe Stalin won the poll on my site for the greatest Red of all time. Vada Pinson didn't get one vote!

I think Robert Cook and hdhouse stuffed the ballot box though. Just sayn'

gk1 said...

I think the comparison to the Skip Gates incident and him mouthing support for the unions in Madison are pretty on the mark. Obama not only steps in it again, he's tracking it on the new white carpet.Didn't this dumbfuck learn anything from the last time he stuck his nose into a local matter? There is no upside for him in weighing in. He's just told even the most inattentive voter he's all for the budget busting unions. What a dumbass.