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Sunday, February 27, 2011



At 97% funded, Wisconsin's public workers union pension is the safest pension fund in the US.

Wisconsin workers have already agreed to take the cuts Walker is insisting on.

There was NO budget crisis until Gov. Walker and the Republicans gave $100M in tax breaks to Wisconsin business.

A provision tucked into the bill would allow the state to raid the pension fund.

The LA Times bit does not address the situation in Wisconsin.

And the OPINION piece from the Chicago Tribune may as well have been written by Carl Rove. "Their showey boycott" Really?

No Ken, the GOP busted the Wisconsin budget by giving out corporate welfare checks to their business buddies and now they want the people and the state workers of Wisconsin to pay for that gift and future gifts...



"There was NO budget crisis until Gov. Walker and the Republicans gave $100M in tax breaks to Wisconsin business."

Dave's is the typical liberal response to the problem ...

!. Deny the existence of the basic problem

2. If #1 fails, blame it on Republicans

What is consistently missing are any ideas or suggestions to solve the problem.

Denial, lack of any sense of responsibility and blame don't pay the bills, Dave.

Donald Pay

Who ballooned the debt and why? Republican Tommy Thompson greatly expanded use of debt. The debt piled up is for four main purposes: pay off his political supporters in the road building industry, fund the programs needed to carry out Wisconsin's welfare reform program, construction of state (university) buildings, property tax reduction through state education aids, and reduce state taxes to the wealthy and corporations.

Which of those do I disagree with? Tax cuts for the wealthy need to go. Education has been under cost controls for 18 years, by the way, but not road builders.


BillW of course feels that not only should business not pay taxes but governments should do any and everything to support them... (talk about feeling "entitled")

Solution: Don't give money away when you've got obligations.

And BillW, Does this sound familiar at all?

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person unconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others have those feelings.
Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.
An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another person or object.

George Mason

Thompson payed off his cronies in the road building business? Wow, building roads has always been a favorite "stimulus" for democrats (and of course the roads are built by mostly unionized contractors). Thompsons welfare reformed saved billions for the state long term by cutting waste and better defining eligibility. Those of us who work in the real world are just weeping tears of blood over the fact that state employees, who on average are making more than the private taxpayers who provide these lavish pension and insurance benefits, may now have to contribute something (like people in the real world). Walkers proposal asks for contributions on a percentage basis that is less on average, not only for real world workers but less than other states require of their employees. The Marxist rhetoric we hear on the news would make you believe the state employees are working in and receiving third world sweat shop conditions and pay. Maybe they should call UNICEF.


Again, Dave blames someone else besides the people who were in charge. He blames a $100 million tax break for businesses who will most likely bring more than $100 million into the state. He also fails to understand businesses do not pay taxes to any great degree. They pass the taxes on in the forms of higher prices or fewer employees. In order to attract investors, businesses have to offer a good rate of return.
Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion dollar shortfall over the next two years and blaming Governor Walker and the Republicans who just came into office? Interesting. Donald blames Tommy Thompson who has not been governor for 10 years, and not the tax increases and the spending that have broke the state.
Wisconsin has doubled its spending per student since 1998. I do not know about Wisconsin, but education spending in SD is almost 50% of the budget. I imagine it must be a major part. And what have they received from all of this spending? 32% of 8th graders read at proficient levels. 66% below proficient. Standardized reading scores have stayed exactly the same after 10 years of increased spending. Obviously in Wisconsin there is not a correlation between dollars spent and reading scores increasing.
Keep your blinders on all you want fellas, but the facts are that Wisconsin is broke. So are many other states. We do not have the resources to pay into the funds that have been promised in the past. And it is ludicrous to have the people negotiating contracts being the same people who depend upon the votes of the people they negotiate with.
Democrats in Wisconsin do not give a whit about the unions. What they care about are those automatic deductions by the state that go to the unions that in turn go to the Democrats. They do not like the idea of having to raise money the old fashioned way.


Good job with the corporate/GOP talking points there duggersd...

Ever expanding corporate profits, flat payroll, and declining employment would seem to contradict your point. If the GOP were to actually care about fiscal responsibility, they would force business to prove that they actually hire people as a condition of tax breaks... But that's not going to happen is it?

You are right however in saying ultimately We The People pay the taxes. And I do understand that most "businesses do not pay taxes to any great degree." Problem is, the vast majority of The People are not making $ hand over fist like the major corporations who suck up most of the corporate welfare tax breaks and reap HUGE profits in the process...

To me it would seem that you are in favor of what many Americans see as the reverse Robin Hood that government has become.


Dave, the government has absolutely no business in telling businesses who or how many people they should hire. What the government should do is to make a climate that if a business finds it attractive, it will hire someone. You must not understand very much about business. If a business hires someone, it has to believe that the costs of hiring that person are outweighed by the profits of hiring that person. Contrary to what liberals seem to believe, businesses are not in business to offer jobs. They are in business to earn a profit. If you think otherwise, the start your own business and hire a whole bunch of people for which you get a tax break and see how long you stay in business not earning a profit.
I see government as Robin Hood, not the reverse Robin Hood. The fact of the matter is what government has become is the source of the redistribution of of money. Government decides someone has more than he or she needs and insists on giving it to someone who has not earned it. Your government is plundering those who produce and have made a moral code justifying it.
Your philosophy is very much the philosophy of the Looters and the Moochers taking from the Producers. Personally, I do not hold for corporate welfare any more than I do for personal welfare. Tax breaks are not corporate welfare as corporations as you agree do not pay taxes. However subsidies are.


Very confusing argument duggersd...

Q:Why does "the state" give any company a tax break?
A:The State hopes the business will create jobs and increase revenue.
Q:If the "state" gives "XYZ.corp.LLC" a tax break and they do not create jobs or increase revenue, what happens?
A:"XYZ.corp.LLC" realizes a profit equal to the amount of the tax break and the citizens are required to make up the difference.
Q:If "XYZ.corp.LLC" realizes a profit equal to the amount of the tax break, and the people of the state have to make up the difference, are the people of the state ultimately slaves to the corporation?
A:Yes, but "XYZ.corp.LLC" and their minions in government want you to believe they are doing you a favor...

George Mason

Dave; You are partially correct. A state shouldn't give any company a tax break. It should eliminate corporate taxes so business has a chance to succeed which will provide the jobs and prosperity politicians always claim they are after. The problems in states like Wisconsin is that with liberals in power so much of the time they have created a hostile atmosphere towards any productive enterprise. This does allow the politicians to pick winners and losers by providing tax breaks to people they "like." And because they have politicians who think like you and want to manage other peoples lives. In South Dakota we favor other states doing this because it brings business here to escape the very type of interference you propose. One of the reasons this recession drags on is that business are not going to hire when they are facing similar interference coming from Washington as well as the state governments. The states like the federal government are broke not because we are taxed too little but because they spend too much.


Thanks to George Mason for explaining the "race to the bottom"...


And allowing the GOP talking points to prove my point. Thanks George Mason!


George, When XYZ.corp.LLC gets the people of South Dakota to build a new factory for them, who pays for the new infrastructure needed to support their operations and the new roads needed to get the "employees" to their new plantation er job? The employees and the citizens who of the county/state who have NOTHING to do with XYZ.corp.LLC do! Why should the slaves er people living in the county or state of XYZ.corp.LLC's new facilities be FORCED to carry the burden of XYZ.corp.LLC's Profits?


Give it up George,

What liberals like Dave can’t wrap their minds around is that economics has to be considered at a couple of levels. The big picture – the macros stuff –the size of the pie Americans get to divvy up. And then the micro level – how the pie gets carved up – how much does capital – “business” as guys like Dave lump them all into – versus labor – unions in his mind even though labor unions are so irrelevant as to be on life support in the private sector.

He simply cannot wrap his mind around the fat that the serious issue confronting the United States is the macro one. The pie is not growing – it is shrinking. The economic debacle of 2008 resulted in our having to face the reality that a huge chunk of the pie we have been fighting over went up in smoke – never really existed actually. It was largely a mirage consisting of credit that turned out to not be backed up by real wealth – hard assets.

So while the Tea Party, the governor of Wisconsin, conservatives in general who are of a libertarian leaning, and all of the folks advocating hard for reducing the government debt in order to shrink down the credit monster that is killing our grand American pie, are working on and making tough decisions to address the serious macro – how big is the pie – problem, liberals like Dave are still waging the old capital versus labor battle.

Dave and his ilk seem to think there is some huge pile of wealth that exists by magic or because the government put it there, and that the big fight is over whether Wall Street or some union guy should get the bigger chunk of it. They are waging the same old war that may have been relevant in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the American economy kept growing at a fantastic rate, but is completely irrelevant to the current problem. The notion that businesses create the wealth – make the pie bigger – sails right over his head. He apparently thinks the pie is just there and that business should pay their ‘fair share of taxes’ for the privilege of eating at the pie trough. The notion that they are the pie bakers and, without business, there would be no pie for either capital or labor is beyond his comprehension.

Liberals have no solutions to offer, and do little more than repeat the old Marxian capital versus labor criticisms of business, mostly because they do not comprehend the problem. They are like a bunch of folks criticizing the paint job on the house while everyone else is worrying about the fact that the house is on fire.


BillW claims to know what I'm thinking so I'll leave it to him to make all my future comments for me.

I have one prediction though, and I'll make it here first. If the GOP forces changes in Wisconsin, They will never win a major election again. I of course see the ridicule coming, but remember then day you read this.


Bill says "seems to think" and Dave changes it to "knows what I think". Dave cannot read, either. At the risk of having this misconstrued, Dave and his ilk seems to think the profits of a business are the property of the government. Or that the government should be able to tell a business how to use those profits. I believe that is the classical definition of fascism.
In the 1970's and the 1980's we were doing quite a job of getting businesses to relocate to South Dakota. Just a few weeks ago, IL announced it was going to raise the state business tax and income tax. This had several states licking their lips at the opportunity there was to convince IL businesses to relocate to their states. Jimmy Johns is one that is considering the move. NYC kept raising taxes so high that Rush Limbaugh took his show to FL. NYC still has their high taxes and Rush Limbaugh still has his money. How did NYC win in that exchange?
Dave, you may be right about if the GOP forces changes. I am not convinced the people understand all of the changes they voted for. However it seems to me the GOP is offering the changes they ran on. And they have a mandate. If they do get the changes and things do improve, then they will win elections.

Donald Pay

KB, you seem to be getting your information from a source that hasn't followed all the details of the debate on SB 11. the Democrats offered amendments to split the time sensitive budgetary measures from the bill, so they could be acted on immediately. That makes the argument that you are trying to make against the Democrats and turns it around on the Republicans. As the Democrats have been maintaining since SB 11 was announced, the fiscal issues could have been dealt with very easily. The Republicans and Walker refused. Another FAIL for your attempt to excuse Walker and the Republicans.

Donald Pay

KB, you seem to be getting your information from a source that hasn't followed all the details of the debate on SB 11. the Democrats offered amendments to split the time sensitive budgetary measures from the bill, so they could be acted on immediately. That makes the argument that you are trying to make against the Democrats and turns it around on the Republicans. As the Democrats have been maintaining since SB 11 was announced, the fiscal issues could have been dealt with very easily. The Republicans and Walker refused. Another FAIL for your attempt to excuse Walker and the Republicans.

Donald Pay

George, you haven't been following the debate on SB 11, nor do you know the recent history of concessions made by the state workers unions and other local and school unions. The unions and the Democrats have said they would concede on the pension and health care coverage for state workers. The state employee unions have conceded on several issues over the last 4 years, including having flat or declining wage levels. Really, you are letting your ideological rhetoric obscure the facts.


Donald, they made the concession AFTER they could not get it through the legislature in the lame duck session http://chippewa.com/news/local/article_8b2a5352-092d-11e0-8008-001cc4c002e0.html. The debate has been misconstrued as to what Governor Walker wants. He is not saying unions cannot negotiate for wages. Just that they cannot negotiate benefits. Also, I understand WI is not a right to work state. As such, the state is required to deduct the union dues instead of having the union collect them. He is saying WI is no longer going to do that. And the union has to re-certify each year. The fact of the matter is the health care package and the pension are the budget killers in the states. The workers have not said they are willing to drop that forever, right?


Absolutely right duggersd

The issue is not just the financial terms of the current contract. Unions need the force of government to survivie. When workers have a choice they overwhelmingly reject unions. The governonr wants to turn Wisconson into a right to work state, and the pull-out-all-the-stops reaction from the unions is driven by the fact that their goose is cooked if the employees they proclaim to represent have a choice. Why else would the unions be so against the notion of annual recertification?

Donald Pay

The lame duck session bill was to ratify the contracts negotiated in the last biennium that began a year and a half ago. So, the contracts turned down in the state Senate would have extended to June 1 only.

What did these contracts contain? They actually had more cuts in certain areas than Walker has proposed. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration negotiated 17 contracts covering 39,000 state workers ranging from teachers to janitors. There were no pay increases and 16 furlough days (no pay), equaling a pay cut of pay cut of about 5%. The contracts called for a 5 percent increases in health care contributions from state workers. All adjustments meant cuts equalled about 10-12 percent decrease in state worker take home pay.

Why did the bill fail in the Senate? Two Democratic senators voted against the contracts. Sen. Plale was negotiating a job in the Walker administration. The quid pro qo was his vote against the contracts. The other Democratic vote against the contracts was revenge from Sen. Sheridan for Governor Doyle's refusal to pardon former Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala, a Democrat, convicted of various corruption charges.

Let's not pretend the vote against the contracts were on the merits.

Mark Anderson

You can always raise taxes. The top rate was 92% in the conservative days of the Eisenhower administration. It's 35% now and we are hurting. What was it under Clinton when we prospered, I believe about 38%. That sounds about right and we could afford to do what government should do. This is about "starving the beast" by conservatives. The upward movement of money to the very wealthy from the middle class is astounding. Just check out how the top 29 hedge fund managers did last year and the 15% rate they had to pay on that income. The United States is not broke.

George Mason

BillW; I defer to your superior wisdom.



The US is racking up trillions of dollars in debt every year, spending far more than it takes in. It pays its bills by borrowing.

Exactly what is your definition of being "broke" if spending money you don't have doesn't constitute being broke?

Donald Pay

This might give you more background on some of the misinformation being reported some of the fiscal matters in SB 11.



Because apparently no one wants to read it...


Scott Walker's attack on public employee unions is part of a bill that includes other onerous changes now just coming to the attention of the public, such as his attempt to grab total control of Medicaid funds from the legislature, create more political appointeeships from current civil service jobs, add language assigning himself the right to sell state-owned power plants without competitive bidding, cutting aid to our state's heretofore superior university system, and more. But in its impact on public workers, the bill gets even worse, as Walker channels his mentor, former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Another assault on public employees is tucked away on Page 125, Section 9115 of the bill now stuck in the state Senate. This particular provision would let the state take $28 million from the state Employees Trust Fund in order to pay the state's portion of employee medical and pension contributions through 2013.

Get that? Walker wants to raid the pension fund -- which is money belonging to employees -- to pay the state's portion of further contributions owed them.

That's like borrowing ten bucks from somebody and then telling them you need to borrow ten more bucks to pay them back.

The Legislative Reference Bureau's analysis of this provision says that under the bill, the secretary of Employee Trust Funds is required to allocate the $28 million from reserve accounts in those funds for group health and pharmacy benefits for state employees; the purpose, according to the analysis, being "to reduce employer costs for providing group health insurance for state employees for the period beginning this July 1 2011, and ending this Dec. 31. After 2013, under the Walker plan, the state will no longer pay anything towards the state employee medical and pension fund. State employees will be required to pay the entire cost for those benefits. Meanwhile, Gov. Walker is helping himself to the till.

One estimate averages out these lost benefits to roughly $1,500 per month for each state employee, going forward. Not chump change if you're middle class, as are many state workers.

Thompson pulled a similar but more transparent stunt in the mid '90s, when he manipulated the law to extract tens of millions of dollars out of the pension fund in order to balance his budget. He called it a "dividend" for the state based on the fund's superior performance. In other's words, it was a raid. After a decade-long legal battle, public employees succeeded in a union-backed lawsuit fighting the maneuver. A court ordered the state to replace the funds to the tune of $230 million, which included lost pension earnings on the amount that Thompson raided.

So is Walker's own raid legal? We'll see, if it is enacted. It appears the Walker administration has tried to side-step Thompson's legal problem by designating the $28 million for its costs related to the benefits it is savaging, rather than grabbing the money into the state's general fund. But either way, the state is swiping back money that arguably was vested into the possession of state employees, and in doing so helping it balance its books. On the backs of its workers, once again.

It's all reminiscent of similar raids on private sector pensions by unscrupulous businesses back in the '70s. One Doonesbury cartoon lampooned those incidents, having the morally bankrupt character Uncle Duke protesting as he's led away in handcuffs: "But the pension fund was just SITTING there!"

In Scott Walker's eyes, the state employee pension fund apparently is just sitting there.

Wisconsin Republicans were outraged when Gov. Jim Doyle reappropriated transportation construction funds to balance his budget, but taking money from an inanimate object like a road is a lot less offensive than taking it from hard-working men and women who will be hard pressed as a result. Score another goal for the GOP in the game of upward income redistribution.


And an excellent and informative link from Donald. (too bad nobody will read it cause they already know it all)

Mark Anderson

The top 400 richest American's combined wealth increased by 8% in 2010, to a total of
of $1.37 trillion. That's just one thing. Did you know that America has the largest inequality of income in the industrialized world. Upward mobility is higher in France than America. I know, libertarians and conservatives all believe that they'll be in that upper 2%, good luck. In the 1970's CEO's made $25 for every $1 the average worker made, it's $500 to $1 now. I could go on all day with this, just downloading information from Forbes, etc. The GNP went down slightly, but middle America lost money to richer Americans, and THOSE charts continue to go way up.


"The GNP is down slightly" - yeah! That's a big deal, Mark, not a casual bit of data. And you want to keep in mind that the GNP is grossly over-stated by the facts that (1) it does not take into account that more of it than ever is owed to someone other than Americans. That is like saying that your doing OK because your annual income this year is only a little bit less than last year but not taking into account that your credit catd debt is way up over the previous year. The combination of less income and more debt means that you are actually a whole lot worse off than last year.

And (2) the GNP still includes the 'service economy myth'. It includes a lot of gross national product that is not real - I sell you a life insurance policy for $100 and you sell me a car insurance policy for $100 and the pinheads in Washington say we created $200 of wealth and put it into the GNP, when all we really did was swap hundred dollar bills with each other. The GNP of goods produced - real stuff like food, mined products and manufacturerd goods is way down and has been on a flat and now declining curve since the Reagan administration. Both parties have sat idly by while this has happened, and as we create less and less real wealth and borrow more and more to finance our lifestyle we are sowing the seeds of our grandchildren's demise.

Your data may well be correct, but it doesn't really matter. Arguing who has more of the shrinking real wealth, without addressing the fact that the overall wealth is shrinking, is like a couple of guys arguing over who had the bigger stateroom on the Titanic as it sinks with them on board.

The problem with liberal/Democratic economics is that they believe in big government but government cannot create wealth. It is only good a redistributing it. Government jobs don't create anything - they merely force money from one guy's pocket into another guy's. And they are pro-union, but again all that accomplsihes is to force money from the business owner's pocket to the working guy's, but it does not create new wealth.

Only business can create wealth through increased productivity. In the liberals hell bent rush to redistribute wealth - take more of it from businesses that create it and give it to other people - they are killing the wealth creating sources.

I really don't care if the liberals want to stick the idle rich with a higher tax bracket. In fact I am in favor of higher inheritance taxes, and I have no sympathy for Wall Stret millionaires who got rich by looting the businesses they bought and sold through a lot of legal scams under the noses of both adminstrations. But the liberals are throwing the baby out with the bath water and in atacking the rich they are hurting a lot of legitimate, job creating businesses and busines owners who are the only ones who can save us.


As to the idea that raising taxes will greatly increase revenue, here's an excellent analysis:

"Raising government revenue - taxes - substantially is not only bad policy, it has proven difficult and ultimately unsustainable for any length of time in the past 60 years. Since 1950, annual government revenue, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has averaged just below 18 percent despite every attempt to jack it up or tamp it down. Our post-World War II experience shows that if the government is going to live within its means, it can't spend much more than 18 percent of GDP. Period."


Dave - I read Donald's link and found it to be neother "excellent" nor "informative". The state pays a worker a thousand dollars in cash and a hundred dollars for health insurance. Now the state wants to pay a thousand dollars and have the worker pay twenty dolars of the hundred for the insurance. The brilliant insight the writer brings forth is that the state was actually paying $1100 in total compensation, and now wants to reduce that to $1080.

He gets credit for logic and semantics, but points out nothng everyone did not already know. He argues that the hundred dollars paid to health insurance was the employee's money, rather than the state's because they had agreed to pay it. What is the dignificance of that, and how does the outcome of that arguement over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin change anything?


For a substantially more execellent and more informative article, you guys might want to read what the New York Times, quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George Meany had to say on the subject - not one of them what anyone would call conservative or right wing ...


“'It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.'

That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany -- the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O -- in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.

Public sector unions insist on laws that serve their interests -- at the expense of the common good. The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this 'unthinkable and intolerable.'”



"The unions and the Democrats have said they would concede on the pension and health care coverage for state workers."

That is only a temporary fix.

Donald Pay


That is what Walker said he needed. Are you calling Walker a liar?



That is not all he wanted to do! The minor concessions are only a small first step!



Do some of your research so that you don't sound so ridiculous.

"This particular provision would let the state take $28 million from the state Employees Trust Fund in order to pay the state's portion of employee medical and pension contributions through 2013."

The $28 Million is a surplus???????

(4) ALLOCATION OF CERTAIN EXCESS RESERVES IN THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEE TRUST FUNDTO REDUCE EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS DURING 2011.Not withstanding any action of the group insurance board under section 40.03 (6) (d) of the statutes, from reserve accounts established under section 20.515 (1) (r) of the statutes for grouphealth insurance and pharmacy benefits for state employees, the secretary of employee trust funds shall allocate an amount equal to $28,000,000 to reduce employer costs for providing group health insurance for state employees for the period beginning on July 1, 2011, and ending on December 31, 2011.

Section 40.03 (6) (c) of the statutes shall not apply to any agreements entered into by the group insurance board to modify group insurance coverage for the 2012 and 2013 calendar years.

larry kurtz

Beats the hell out of civil war, fellers. http://www.utne.com/Politics/American-Decline-New-World-Tomdispatch.aspx

Woster mused today on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio about whether South Dakota might be a better place if unions had been more of a force. Did you know there are at least 150 gangs represented in the Penitentiary?

larry kurtz

Want to talk about disclosure, Ken? http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2011/02/28/inside-job-oscar

Donald Pay


That's what Walker said he wanted to do during the campaign, and that's all he said he wanted to do. So, you are either calling Walker a liar, or you are saying he was misleading the electorate about his real plans.



I could care less if Walker is a liar compared to what he said during the campaign, I don't live in Wisconsin. I read his and his people's analysis of their Budget Plans, and after looking at the numbers, all makes perfect sense and seems quite reasonable to me. I went thru the actual piece of legislation, and nothing in there that is as outrageous as the Left is trying to make it sound, especially considering Wisconsin's economic future.

So far he hasn't broken any promises....but of course.....he was at least smart enough to not be specific on this particular issue....good on him!


Obama is liar compared to what he said during his campaign as well, but of course that never seems to bother anybody on the left. Every politician lies to win office....so what....it is nothing new.

Walker is doing the country a favor by bringing this Union issue to the public's attention. Doesn't matter if he is successful, which I doubt he will be able to actually do what we all want him to do, but this is great for all the other states that will end up having to do the same thing at some point in the near future.

If you all in Wisconsin don't like Walker...Fine....Vote him out...elections have consequences. Personally I think Wisconsin shouldn't have voted in someone like Walker.....they deserve someone like Al Franken....or the Jesse Ventura.....it would have been much more amusing to the rest of us to watch Wisconsin collapse under it's own Utopianism and hear them whine to the Fed's for a Bailout.

Donald Pay


I don't think you've gone through the legislation, and I don't think you have a clue about the numbers. Walker has repeatedly postponed delivering his budget. What you've got are Walker's talking points. No one hear believes him.

Walker will face a recall election at the earliest possible moment. That law requires we wait until January to recall him. In the meantime, several Republican Senators could be facing recall as early as May, which would put it before the budget is enacted.


Yes, some senators are facing recall elections, but I do not believe they are Republicans.
Donald, who would you rather negotiate with? A person who has no loyalty to you or a person who owes you for his/her position? This is the problem with public unions. When the people unions negotiate with are Democrats, and the facts are the the public service unions donate heavily to Democrats, the unions are negotiating with someone who owes them. This is going to give very favorable terms to the unions negotiating. The fact is Republicans have been elected in your state and it appears by a large margin. They have no vested interest in offering the unions better terms. In fact, the PEOPLE of the state have a vested interest in knocking down some of those advantageous terms the unions currently enjoy. If I were living in WI, I can tell you I would be very happy with the way Governor Walker is handling the situation.
I am sure there are some disgruntled people in Wisconsin who would like to recall your governor, but on the other hand, he seems to have most of the support of the people. There is a vocal minority coming to the capitol, and then there are his supporters who are working and cannot call in sick to come to the capitol. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2011/02/25/poll-wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-winning-labor-budget-fight



Well let's go thru the facts:


Total Debt up to and including 2010: $23.51 billion
Budget Shortfall 2010: $137 Million
Pre-budget Deficit 2011-13: $3.1 billion
Tax Burden per Capita = 11.1% of all income



Did Walker create the crisis himself? Did Rachel Maddow lie when she claimed that Wisconsin has a Budget Surplus? It has been claimed that MSNBC and the Huffington Post started the original rumor that Wisconsin had no budget crisis. Fox Buisness disagrees, see why and tell us why they are not correct!


As far as what I have read, why don't you Go thur it yourself, and point out to us what the problems are?

S.B. 11

Assembly Bill 11

Donald Pay


I'm not sure you are aware that the Wisconsin Budget Project is a project of a progressive organization, and is not a government entity. Check this out:


I would advise you read and take their information seriously.

I'm happy you linked SB 11. People who read this blog can see what it was that Governor Walker was expecting the Legislature to rubberstamp with only three days of study and one day of testimony. Only the courageous action of the heroic 14 Senators who left the state prevented this monstrosity from becoming law.

I and many other Wisconsinites continue to go through this bill. I object to the whole bill. It is a vast overreach, most of which is not budgetary, but policy. It should be dealt with in separate bills.

Democrats have offered numerous amendments to split off parts of the bill that are budgetary and that have general agreement. There is general agreement on the debt restructuring portions of the bill, which could be passed if Walker was interested in reasonable compromise. So far he is taking his orders from Koch-funded outside groups, and not listening to Wisconsin citizens.



You need to wake up. If you guys don't fix the union situation, then this will be the beginning of a long and painfull nightmare. Wisconsins already had their chance to make changes, that would have been much less painfull, and those days are long gone.

It is a same that there is a minority of people in Wisconsin, that are having such a hard time facing the reality. Good Luck!

Donald Pay


I'm wide awake. Wisconsin has had these budget issues (structural deficits) since I moved here from SD in 2001. They started under Gov. Tommy Thompson, a Republican, in the 1990s. South Dakota also has a history of structural deficits under Republicans and with much weaker unions. In fact, the states with the biggest fiscal problems have been led by Republicans and have weak unions.

The lesson I take away from this is we don't need to fix the "union situation," because that isn't the problem. The problem that needs fixing is to get rid of Republican fiscal policies which run the federal and state governments into difficult fiscal situations.


Oh Donald,

You know better than to throw out a big fat lie like that.

California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey were governed by Republicans with no union influence? Who would guessed? What do you think, you want to give that last comment a redo?


"In fact, the states with the biggest fiscal problems have been led by Republicans and have weak unions"

Been hittin' the medicinal marijuana a bit too hard there Donald?

larry kurtz

Here's some current data on state budget deficits: http://www.freakalytics.com/2010/07/26/map-dashboard-state-budget-shortfalls-for-2011-just-30-minutes-with-tableau/

Nevada is a Republican-controlled state in tough shape where union membership has gone down in most recent years.

"In 2009, the number of workers belonging to a union was 173,000 in Nevada, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that union members accounted for 15.7 percent of wage and salary workers in Nevada in 2009, compared with the 16.7 percent posted in 2008. At its peak in 1996, the union membership rate for the State was 20.4 percent."


larry kurtz

Note Montana's surplus under a Democrat with increased union membership.


and what does your analysis of California show Larry? You wouldn't be cherry pickin' data to fit your narrative would you?

larry kurtz

Just putting a little cover fire down for Don. California is in water trouble, too.

Contrast that first map with the ethics in government data for 2009: http://www.statenet.com/capitol_journal/08-17-2009/html

Since two sources are better than one: South Dakota is 50th in THIS ethics list, too. http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/top-stories/article_5608cae4-093d-5b96-8dab-f7ca0f01e7e9.html

larry kurtz

Here's a fun map: http://sadhillnews.com/2011/01/27/united-states-of-shame-where-does-your-state-rank



You do realize that they ranked the state governments based on the "strength," of their ethics laws, not whether or not they were actually ethical or not? And of course the "strength" of a state government ethics laws are subject to opinion, culture, and effectiveness are they?

Never ceases to amaze me that you all on the left have such hard time not progandizing every single topic!

larry kurtz

I call it red state failure: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105531867



Chuckle in background...



Thank you Wisconsin Police!






In Scooby voice: "Ruh-Rhow"



Polls don't mean anything until the sampling is known. Also, did you go thru the questions? Those questions were not specific enough to decifer anything, especially when Walkers bill end collective bargaining.


Oops, "Walkers bill does NOT end collective bargaining"


Uh... JIMI,




Call me wind because I am aboslteluy blown away.


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It's highly tehccinal. Sort of like when security calls us for a man down inside the ATM kiosk. We couldn't wake him up. Hey, wake up! Uhh, I was just sleeping man. Turns to security guard, You don't know the magic phrases, that's why we're the paramedics.


I don't suppose you'll note what an abroiton Finneran's first day was on WRKO. He sounded, how shall I say it, awful. Helps to have a radio host, hosting a radio show. I won't hold me breath.


As meaningful as the baltte going on in Wisconsin is, the most interesting thing to me about this post is the way in which people are using the internet to generate interest in small-scale causes that resonate with large-scale audiences. Teachers are important, but $25,000 for pizzas from a single restaurant from around the world in a matter of a day or so? Now that is impressive. It reminded me of this post in the Captiol Hill Blog:How could you say no to that face?


I'm not a medical prsansoioefl. If I saw an elderly person, with a walker, down my assumption would be broken hip or some other broken bone and would not want to make things worse by attempting to move them.

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