Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2020

What Wisconsin Tells Us About the Election in the Fall

The recent primary in Wisconsin tell us that the Trump Party should be shitting themselves and I'm talking explosive diarrhea. The ploy by the GOP to have the election anyway in the middle of a pandemic completely backfired as democratic turnout was massive. Even with only 5 of 108 polling places open in Milwaukee, Jill Karofsky still managed to defeat conservative Justice Daniel Kelly.  So, what does this tell us?

Democrats are fired up, want Trump gone, and won't even let potential death from Covid1-19 stop them. This is exactly what Rachel Bitecofer has been saying. Trump is toast and will get his ass kicked in November...assuming he doesn't quit before then. He's looking awfully shaky these days and really out of it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thank You, Wisconsin!

I love how conservatives foam at the mouth about voter ID as if there is so much voter fraud going on that we are all falling into a boiling pit of sewage. Their arguments are just a giant smokescreen for their fear at losing more voters year after year. They are already at the point where they can't win elections unless some Democrats swing their way. So, they need to figure out how to suppress votes without being so obvious. Hence, voter ID.

It looks like their strategy worked in Wisconsin.

According to federal court records, 300,000 registered voters, 9 percent of the electorate, lacked strict forms of voter ID in Wisconsin. A new study by Priorities USA, shared exclusively with The Nation, shows that strict voter-ID laws, in Wisconsin and other states, led to a significant reduction in voter turnout in 2016, with a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters. Wisconsin’s voter-ID law reduced turnout by 200,000 votes, according to the new analysis. Donald Trump won the state by only 22,748 votes.

So much for adhering to the Constitution.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Trump on Scott Walker


Friday, June 05, 2015

Walker Raising Taxes?

Scott Walker recently announced a $500 million dollar stadium deal for the Milwaukee Bucks, half of which will be funded by taxpayers. Somewhat perplexing, no? After all, isn't this the same Scott Walker who is "battle tested" and fighting for lower taxes? I guess $250 million dollars of corporate hand outs are OK:)

I guess funding basketball is OK but not education.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Walker Down 12 Points Versus Clinton

Check this out.

To look ahead to a possible 2016 presidential matchup, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Walker in Wisconsin, 52 percent to 40 percent.

In his own home

Thursday, April 09, 2015

First Florida, Now Wisconsin

For Some Wisconsin State Workers, ‘Climate Change’ Isn’t Something You Can Talk About

Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change—even responding to e-mails about the topic.

A vote on Tuesday by Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, a three-member panel overseeing an agency that benefits schools and communities in the state, enacted the staff ban on climate change. “It’s not a part of our sole mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries,” said State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who sits on the board. “That’s what I want our employees working on. That’s it. Managing our trust funds.”

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. What a bunch of fucking babies. Once again, the closet fascists come out to play!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Focus on the Right Questions

The biggest problem conservatives have heading in to the 2016 election is they continually attack the person and not the policy. Actually, this is true even in political debates between citizens. I've noticed over the years that when the facts are against them (as they are often), conservatives switch to attacking me or some sort of trait/style that I have and run very quickly away from the issue.

Of course, they can't talk about the issues and run on policy because of stuff like this.

Walker's Wisconsin Still Lags Nation in Job Growth

It's also why they limit the availability of the media. They whine about "liberal bias" but reporters are going to ask him about his economic record and it's not good. Their policies don't work and they know it, hence the reason they switch to ad hominem.

This election should be about the issues and policies that each candidate is going to support and implement. It should not be about Hillary Clinton's personal life or Rand Paul's time at college. What are their plans for the problems we fact as a nation? Have these plans worked in the past? Where? How? These are the questions that should be asked and focused on intently in the next election.

That's what we will be focusing here at Markdelphia.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Occupying the Homeless

I remember, quite fondly, actually, the derision towards the Occupy movement. "Occupy a job" was a common dig along with predictions that the movement would never amount to anything.

Yet this story from the front page of newspaper illustrates several things. First, the Occupy movement has amounted to something: helping the homeless have a place to live. And they are doing it through a nonprofit umbrella which means donations, not government help.

Second, they are continuing their mission to reduce inequality by building these homes. That's something Jesus would be proud of, right? That whole helping the poor thing...mentioned more times than anything else in the Bible.

Third, they are doing it in Wisconsin, right in the back yard of Scott Walker. He has stated repeatedly that his policies will help middle class and poor families by freeing up the private sector. Where are their 98 foot houses for the homeless? Where is the Tea Party version of this?

If this is the future of the Occupy movement, I say, "Well done, folks!"

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Battle of Wisconsin

Three years ago, Wisconsin become Ground Zero for the battle over public sector unions. There were two sides drawn with Scott Walker and austerity supporters on one and the unions on the other. The former prevailed and the public sector unions were not allowed, by law, to bargain collectively (except for the police and fire department).

The results from this change in policy are muddy at best. Scott Walker promised 250,000 jobs as a result. The state has only netted just over 50,000. Of course, that's a politician's promise so a boulder of salt should taken with it. Wisconsin's unemployment rate sits at 6.5 percent which is about the national average. The state government has a surplus (yippee!) but that's not really saying much. As I have mentioned previously, Wisconsin illustrates how austerity policies do not work.

That being said, this recent article in the Times shows how there are many sides to this story. For instance,

Ted Neitzke, school superintendent in West Bend, a city of 31,000 people north of Milwaukee, said that before Act 10 his budget-squeezed district had to cut course offerings and increase class sizes. Now, the district has raised the retirement age for teachers and revamped its health plan, saving $250,000 a year. “We couldn’t negotiate or maneuver around that when there was bargaining,” Mr. Neitzke said. “We’ve been able to shift money out of the health plan back into the classroom. We’ve increased programming.” 

A good thing for students but not so great for the teachers. Now, they have to contribute more out of pocket and, as a result, they don't have as much money to spend in the economy. The rest of the piece looks at examples of all the different angles and fallout from Act 10. It's very much worth a slow read because what is seen on Fox or MSNBC is very simplistic.

Here's something else from the article I found interesting.

James R. Scott, a Walker appointee who is chairman of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, which administers the law regarding public-employee unions, said that “as a result of Act 10, the advantages that labor held have been diminished.” He added: “It’s fair to say that employers have the upper hand now.” 

But the employers are the government. Doesn't that add power to "Big" Government? What power does the individual now have if they are a public employee?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheese or Lutefisk?

There seems to be an awful lot of comparing and contrasting going on between Wisconsin and Minnesota these days. I've talked about it recently and they are both excellent, real time cases as to which ideology, conservative or liberal, is most effective. This recent piece in the Times is the most in depth that I have seen as it addresses the fundamental differences in ideology with how each state is governed. There is also a video that goes along with it.

It's a pretty even handed report with criticism spread around evenly as one can see.

I'm wondering if the problems with Wisconsin's economy mean that Scott Walker won't really be a serious candidate for president in 2016.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Minnesota Wins!

If you want a good barometer on how what sort of government policies work the best, compare the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. That's what this recent piece in the New York Times did and the results speak for themselves. In 2010, voters in each state chose a specific path to improve their economic conditions. Minnesotans chose Democrats to run their state and Wisconsin chose Republicans. Minnesota's unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent and Wisconsin's was at 7.1 percent.

As the article notes, a month after Mr. Walker’s inauguration in January 2011, he catapulted himself to the front ranks of national conservative leaders with attacks on the collective bargaining rights of Civil Service unions and sharp reductions in taxes and spending. Once Mr. Dayton teamed up with a Democratic Legislature in 2012, Minnesota adopted some of the most progressive policies in the country.Minnesota raised taxes by $2.1 billion, the largest increase in recent state history. Democrats introduced the fourth highest income tax bracket in the country and targeted the top 1 percent of earners to pay 62 percent of the new taxes, according to the Department of Revenue.

The result?

Today, Minnesota is essentially at full employment at 4.8 percent while Wisconsin's unemployment rate stands at 6.5 percent. Wisconsin lags behind Minnesota in job creation and economic growth. Wisconsin ranks 34th for job growth. According to Forbes’s annual list of best states for business, Wisconsin continues to rank in the bottom half. Along with California, Minnesota is the fifth fastest growing state economy, with private-sector job growth exceeding pre-recession levels. Forbes rates Minnesota as the eighth best state for business.

So, why is it working in Minnesota?

Higher taxes and economic growth in Minnesota have attracted a surprisingly broad coalition. Businesses complain about taxes, but many cheered Mr. Dayton’s investments in the Mayo Clinic, the new Vikings stadium, the Mall of America and 3M headquarters. The lion’s share of Minnesota’s new tax revenue was sunk into human capital. While the state’s Constitution required that half of the new revenue balance the budget in 2013, Mr. Dayton invested 71 percent of the remaining funds in K-12 schools and higher education as well as a pair of firsts: all-day kindergarten and wider access to early childhood education. Minnesota was one of the few states that raised education spending under the cloud of the Great Recession.

Why is not working in Wisconsin?

Mr. Walker’s strategy limited Wisconsin’s ability to invest in infrastructure that would have catalyzed private-sector expansion, and he cut state funding of K-12 schools by more than 15 percent. Per student, this was the seventh sharpest decline in the country.

I'm pretty optimistic about the state in which I grew up, however. The numbers speak for themselves and, if the Democrats put up a good candidate, Walker will be gone and left to pursue his dreams of 2016.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Rules They Don't Live By

A while back, Vann Jones (former climate guy for President Obama and current socialist/fag lover/grandma plug puller/statist who wants to rape all of our children) was asked why the Republicans get to behave the way they do. His answer?

"Because they are assholes."

He got fired over the remark by President Obama.

Gotcha right winger James O'Keefe captured former NPR exec Ron Schiller saying that the Tea Party was racist and generally slamming conservatives. He was fired along with Vivian Schiller (no relation) from NPR for his comments.

Sensing a pattern here? Other than the fact that Jones and Schiller were both accurate, of course:)

It's pretty simple. Generally speaking, the right wing of America does not have to live by the rules. They are, in fact, assholes and get to do pretty much whatever they want. They can call Barack Obama "the magic Negro" and it's not racist. They can sting other people in heavily edited videotapes but refuse to allow themselves to be videotaped as is the case with Mr. O'Keefe (so much for him being the right's answer to Michael Moore as Moore can wait to have his mug anywhere people will have him). Or they can say things like this:

Pussy. And YOU ARE STILL WRONG. NPR is run and produces nothing but liberal drivel. Pussy.

Yet I am the one with "voices in my head."

Democrats, liberals, and progressives have to live by the rules. Conservatives don't. And the more the left lives by them, the less the right does. This has lead to the right trying to "catch" the left in not living by them so they can (in typical school yard bully fashion) point and say, "See? They do it too!! N'yah N'yah!" See, when people like Schiller or Jones say things like they did, they get fired. When Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin says it, they get more money and supporters cheering them. Understand the difference between conservatives and liberals these days? It gets worse.

Governor Walker and the rest of the GOP in Wisconsin ignored a judge's ruling and are moving ahead with the bill they passed anyway. Starting on April 21st, union dues will no longer be collected from workers paychecks. The state of Wisconsin will also begin deducting more money for health benefits from each state worker's check. They had the law published already which basically means they are already in contempt. If they actually take this next step, they will have defied a judge's ruling twice. But, hey, she's a fucking commie so fuck her!

Will they do it? They say they are going to but I'm more interested in their frame of mind which is pretty much how most conservatives around the country think. They are under the (quite mistaken) impression that liberals cheated when they passed health care. Libs shoved it down their throats and rammed it through (time out for a chuckle on the penis metaphors) and, in their very warped minds, they can now do the "same" thing. Except it's not the same but they don't really know the difference. We are dealing very low emotional intelligence after all.

I'm curious to see how far they will get-both with the law and the American voter-but one thing is very, very true and I've said it all along. It's not that they don't like government. That's just their t 8 year old boy temper tantrum talking and looking for something to pick on. It's that they don't like certain laws and think that they don't all apply to them. Out of this comes a general attitude and perception-which is hilariously ironic when you think about it but perfectly consistent with their interaction and behavior with people on the left. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, given how they continually flaunt the rules, that they feel this way and it's one simple word.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Classic Overreach

After last night's vote in Wisconsin, I received a flurry of panic emails and calls. Most of you know that I have a vested interest in what is happening in WI as both my mother and best friend (John Waxey) are public employees of the state. While I am concerned about the vote, I guess I'm looking at the bigger picture.

In the short run, it will be interesting to see what the AG of WI does. Will he allow the vote? Regardless of what he does, the recall effort of Senators is underway. It's reasonable to assume that a few are going to be recalled and voted out of office. So, in the next few months, we could see a shift in the WI state senate that would put Democrats in chage. In the long term, you can bank on Walker being recalled. The question much damage can he do in a year? If some Senators get recalled, it will be limited.

So, I guess I'm not of the mind today that we are all being thrown into a boiling pit of sewage yet. Honestly, I think it's classic GOP overreach. My chief concern right now is the pensions. There is no fucking doubt whatsoever that private concerns who have backed Walker want to rob the pensions in Wisconsin. That's where this is headed and where the ultimate battle will be fought. This is my mother's retirement and I shudder at the thought of those despicable people doing what they did back in 2008 to the entire country.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tell The Truth and Run

Things seem to be getting more interesting and stranger by the minute in Wisconsin. Meetings at the state line...a few GOP Senators starting to question supporting the bill....a pregnant Democrat who might give birth sometime soon...

So, while we watch this all unfold, let's take a step back and take a look at the 20 lies Scott Walker has been peddling over the last few weeks (courtesy of Russ Filtered News). These are some of the same lies we have seen in comments as well so it's nice to be able to finally dispense with them.

Walker: His bill is about fixing a budget crisis.

The truth: Even Fox News’ Shepherd Smith couldn’t swallow that one, declaring that it’s all about politics and union busting, and “to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey.”

Walker: says he campaigned on his budget repair plan, including curtailing collective bargaining.

“We introduced a measure last week, a measure I ran on during the campaign, a measure I talked about in November during the transition, a measure I talked about in December when we fought off the employee contracts, an idea I talked about in the inauguration, an idea I talked about in the state of the state. If anyone doesn’t know what’s coming, they’ve been asleep for the past two years.”

The truth: Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the sketchiest outline of his far-reaching plans to kill collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. In fact, he was caught on tape boasting to what he thought was his billionaire backer that he had “dropped the bomb.”

Walker: keeps saying that “almost all” of the protesters at the Capitol are from outside the state

The truth: “The vast majority of people protesting are from here — Wisconsin and even more from Dane County,” said Joel DeSpain, public information officer for the Madison Police Department.

Walker: He wants to negotiate.

The truth: He won’t negotiate, but he’ll pretend to so he can trick the 14 Dem senators into allowing a vote on his bill. Walker recently offered to actually sit down and speak with the minority leader – something he should have done anyway and long ago – but only if the rest of the senators came back with him. Why?

“…legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way…But that would be the only, if you heard that I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them. And my sense is, hell, I’ll talk to them. If they want to yell at me for an hour, you know, I’m used to that, I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.”

Walker: says his budget-repair bill would leave collective bargaining “fully intact”

The truth: Walker revealed his own lie in the same radio interview when he said it was necessary to use his bill to strip collective bargaining rights, and in his own Feb. 11, 2011 letter to employees about his plan cited “various changes to limit collective bargaining” to the rate of base pay.

Walker: claims that states without collective bargaining having fared better in the current bad economy.

The truth: According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, three of the 13 non-collective bargaining states are among the 11 states facing budget shortfalls at or above 20% (Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina). Another, South Carolina, comes in at a sizable 17.4%. Nevada, where state employees have no collective bargaining rights (but local employees do) has the largest percentage shortfall in the country, at 45.2%. All in all, eight non-collective-bargaining states face larger budget shortfalls than Wisconsin.

Walker: Public employees are more richly compensated than their public sector counterparts.

The truth: According to the Economic Policy Institute, wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience. State workers typically are under-compensated by 8.2% in Wisconsin.

Walker: said we needed a “repair” bill to address a payment owed to Minnesota of nearly $60 million and money owed to the Patient’s Compensation Fund in the tune of $200-plus million.

The truth: Walker’s budget repair bill addresses neither issue.

Walker: said that our budget problems are largely due to employee wages.

The truth: Total salaries and compensation in the last budget were 8.5% of the entire state budget.

Walker: “The alternative” to higher state worker pension and health care payments “is to look at 1,500 layoffs of state employees or close to 200,000 children who would be bumped off Medicaid-related programs.”

The truth: Federal law prevents Walker from taking away the health care coverage of 200,000 low-income and disabled children. Later, Walker told a Madison radio station that the layoff was merely a ploy to gain some political leverage: “I needed to get their attention to show how serious we were about having a balanced budget,” Walker said on the “Sly in the Morning” show on WTDY radio.

Walker: “We’ve seen local union after local union rush to their school boards, their city councils, their technical school boards and rush through contracts in the past two weeks that had no contributions to the pension and no contribution to health care. And, in fact, in one case in Janesville, they actually were pushing through a pay increase. Actions do speak louder than words.”

The truth: Of the 11 such contracts provided as examples by Walker’s staff, all 11 include some employee contributions to health insurance. PolitiFact Wisconsin, which too frequently gets the facts wrong and arrives at strained conclusions, did, at least, contact the 11 communities:

Madison: Unions in the state’s second biggest city have been negotiating contracts for more than a year. Their pacts expired at the beginning of 2010. Contracts with two of Madison’s biggest public unions settled before Walker was inaugurated Jan. 3, 2011, said Brad Wirtz, Madison human resources director. He said who said those deals set the template for the remaining unions, who reached agreement on wages and other key financial issues after Walker took office but before Feb. 11, when Walker announced his plan.

Sheboygan County: Adam Payne, the county’s administrator, said the county’s agreement with the unions was reached between negotiators before Feb. 11 and it mirrors pacts reached with other unions late last year. “There was no special treatment,” Payne said noting the County Board approved the contract at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Janesville: The tentative agreement for school custodians was reached Jan. 25, 2011 — before Walker’s proposals were made public. Eric Levitt, city manager, said that in January he had set a mid-February target to settle contracts with city workers, so the talks continued on the previously set timetable. The two sides were close to reaching tentative agreements prior to Walker’s Feb. 11 announcement, Levitt said. He said the city felt that because of its obligation to negotiate in good faith, it was necessary to continue the talks after the governor made his call for increased payments by employees.

LaCrosse County Administrator Steve O’Malley said the county didn’t rush things since negotiations started last year and the first tentative agreement with a local was reached in December.

Racine City Administrator Thomas Friedel that Racine had been negotiating with bargaining units representing Department of Public Works and clerical workers since summer of 2010 and reached tentative agreements well before Walker made his move.

Milwaukee Area Technical College: Like all of the other governments, the technical college and the union representing teachers and other workers had been talking for months, well before Walker was elected. The board and the American Federation of Teachers Local 212 reached tentative agreement on Feb. 10 — the day before Walker’s announcement. The agreement froze wages for two years.

Walker: “I don’t have anything to negotiate. We are broke in this state. We have been broke for years.” and “We’re broke. We don’t have any more money.”

The truth: The NY Times says “It’s all obfuscating nonsense, of course, a scare tactic employed for political ends.” Even the hyper-conservative Wall Street Journal calls out Walker on this lie. The notion that the state needs to refinance the debt because it’s broke and can’t make its debt payments is “completely wrong,” said Frank Hoadley, the state finance director. Joshua Zeitz, municipal finance analyst for MF Global, said, the shortfall — about 0.5% of the state’s overall budget — is a fairly inconsequential amount. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that this is a question more of politics than it is of a budget crisis,” Zeitz added. ”There’s a good amount of political theater in what you’re seeing,” said Tom Kozlik, municipal credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.

If Walker were truly serious about balancing the budget, he would not be proposing a $36 million cut in the state’s capital gains tax or a $46 million corporate tax cut, on top of the millions of dollars in tax cuts he and the Republican legislature have already approved. Walker could balance his current budget by ending a variety of special interest tax dodging that is occurring in his state.

Walker: state employees pay next to nothing for their pensions and that it is all a big taxpayer give-away

The truth: Forbes — yes, the conservative Forbes! — says Walker is lying:

If the Wisconsin governor and state legislature were to be honest, they would correctly frame this issue. They are not, in fact, asking state employees to make a larger contribution to their pension and benefits programs as that would not be possible — the employees are already paying 100% of the contributions.

What they are actually asking is that the employees take a pay cut.

Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter, David Cay Johnston, said so, too, at

Walker: said his budget repair bill, which guts the right of most public employees across the state to engage in collective bargaining, will deliver “the tools” local governments and school districts need to balance their budgets. “We cannot put this burden on local governments.”

The truth: Walker is going to both slash state aids and block local governments and school boards from raising taxes. And, of course, Walker’s numbers don’t match anything like reality.

Walker: claims he’s supported by silent majority.

The truth: Majority of Wisconsin residents (nearly 6 in 10) — and a majority of Americans — oppose his attack on collective bargaining and support the Dem 14 blocking it. Gallup found it. The CBS/NY Times poll found it. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found it, too. The polls are so strong, even the reliably Republican Rasmussen couldn’t spin away from it. The public also overwhelmingly rejects the whole “public employees vs taxpayers” canard.

Walker: He wants to avoid layoffs.

The truth: Layoffs are implicit in his budget. Walker’s budget eliminates 21,325 state jobs

Walker: “To protect our schools, to protect our local governments, we need to give them the tools they’ve been asking for, not just for years but for decades.”

The truth: All four major state associations representing schools and local governments (not their employees) say this isn’t true.

Walker: The Dem 14 who are in Illinois to deny a Senate quorum needed to pass Walker’s budget repair bill are to blame for the layoffs he says he’s about to make to state workers.

The truth: Walker spoke of using layoff threats as political leverage: “We might ratchet that up a little bit, you know.” in his phony phone call with the faux Koch brother. Also, as noted above, Walker’s budget eliminates 21,325 state jobs.

Walker: “I have great respect for those who have chosen a career in government. I really do.”

The truth: Comedian Jon Stewart noted: ”‘I really do’ is a dead giveaway for ‘I really don’t,’ That’s what’s known in the business as the convincing clause. ‘I love you. I really do. That’s why breaking up with you right now is so difficult.’” The contempt he has displayed — in his bill, in his refusal to negotiate with the unions, in his refusal to negotiate with the Democrats and in his phony phone call — reveals why he felt the need for a convincing clause.

Walker admin: The protesters did $7.5 million of damage to the Capitol building by putting signs on marble walls with tape.

The truth: No professional estimate for clean-up has been performed. The Walker-appointed state facilities administrator would not support that estimate and said he’s not seen any damage by the protesters.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stripping Away The Douche

According to David Cay Johnston, the general public has been done a great disservice in terms of the the reporting of FACTS regarding the situation in Wisconsin.After reading his article, it's clear to me that language of douche (spoken frequently in comments here on the subject of Wisconsin) has hijacked this issue and, with the help of Mr. Johnston, needs a little translating.

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

Kindly take a moment and ask the nearest friend to clean up your exploded head.

Done? Now let's continue.

How can that be? Because the "contributions" consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

So, they take less money in order to get the better benefits. Since I don't speak douche, this seems reasonable to me. But why are they all pissed off about Governor Walker's plan then?

State workers are not being asked to simply "contribute more" to Wisconsin' s retirement system (or as the argument goes, "pay their fair share" of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin' s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

Perhaps if Governor Walker hadn't cut taxes or reduced audits the budget might be in a better place right now. The article goes on to detail exactly how every reporter (and some of my commenters) are factually wrong when they say, "the state workers are being asked to contribute more." Johnston makes a great argument and is quite detailed in the rest of the piece as to why this is the case. The state is paying their pensions. THE WORKERS ARE!!

And that brings us to the collective bargaining part of the equation. Why is this so important?

The fact is that all of the money going into these plans belongs to the workers because it is part of the compensation of the state workers. The fact is that the state workers negotiate their total compensation, which they then divvy up between cash wages, paid vacations, health insurance and, yes, pensions. Since the Wisconsin government workers collectively bargained for their compensation, all of the compensation they have bargained for is part of their pay and thus only the workers contribute to the pension plan. This is an indisputable fact.

Part of their fee for their service is the collective bargaining for all the benefits. Taking this away diminishes their value of their service...which is EXACTLY  the point. The message is clear once you see it. The people that stand against the state workers don't value public employees. It's just that simple.

Witness a fine and shining example of the pathological war on all the things public sector by a group of pissed off and frightened bullies blaming the completely wrong people. It's like I said yesterday...misery loves company. And if you aren't miserable, there's a whole bunch of people that want you right down in the sewage with them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When The Tide Goes Out, I Want To Make Sure That I Drag You Down With Me

Whether he knew it or not, Stephen Colbert (in the video I posted yesterday) summed up exactly how the conservative movement of this country has as many followers as it does. I also now understand the motivations of some of my posters.

If you take a look at most conservatives these days, they are pissed off about something. Abortion, gay marriage, the debt, unions...whatever...and each of these things are demonized to such a point of irrationality that it's quite befuddling. For years, I thought they were just dicks. Recently, I have to come think that they are mostly just bullies and adolescents but I didn't take that extra step until reading this article in the Times and hearing Colbert two days ago.

I was so blind.

What do most bullies have in common? They all have a bunch of crappy things going on in their personal lives so they act out when they are at school. Or, in this case since they are "adults," the act like creeps when they are out with people and/or posting on blogs. Take the example of Rick Hahan from the Times article.

“Something needs to be done,” he said, “and quickly.”

Across Wisconsin, residents like Mr. Hahan have fumed in recent years as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs have vanished, and as some of the state’s best-known corporations have pressured workers to accept benefit cuts.

Fumed...there's the anger that they tap into as easy as pie which is why something needs to be done "quickly," I wonder if Mr. Hahan understands that this problem could have been easily remedied by not cutting taxes as the Governor did upon taking office. Taxes that were cut,  I might add, to favor the people that are (in reality) the reason why Mr. Hahan is out of a job.

And see how easily anger becomes resentment in the case of Mary Kay Horter.

Ms. Horter said she was forced to work more hours as an occupational therapist, but had not seen a raise or any retirement contributions from her employer for the last two years. All told, her family’s income has dropped by about a third.

“I don’t get to bargain in my job, either,” she said.

Ah, I see. Since Ms. Horter and Mr. Hahan don't have the same benefits, why should anyone else? Everyone, I guess, should be as miserable as them regardless of how hard they have worked to get to where they are today.

Misery does indeed love company. In American today there a fuck load of people, like Ms. Horter and Mr. Hahan, who are miserable and don't really like themselves very much. It's become increasingly obvious that these folks are ripe fruit for the pickins.

Guess who are the produce collectors?