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Walker's a genius. He ran on the tax hike from a couple years ago. Now, of course, the only answer is that unions need to have their right to negotiate contracts removed.

 

For the record, the senators who're denying a quorum are representing their constituents and therefore doing their jobs. It's pretty much the definition of "standing for something", and it's insanely partisan to attack them for using legislative rules to block legislation that they don't like.

 

P.S. Here's his campaign web site. Go ahead and look for the part where he promises that he'll start union-busting if he's elected. I'll wait while you find it. He's definitely doing what he ran on though, this isn't bait-and-switch.

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AFAIK, I don't think I've read or heard anything about him saying that he would bust up the unions, which is a pretty crazy idea to begin with.

 

They could just as easily not vote while in session but still in the building as they could not vote while fleeing the city. I don't see how fleeing the city counts as doing their job. But when the GOP blocks lawmaking they disagree with, they are "the party of no" and "halting progress." Thanks for clearing that up.

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AFAIK, I don't think I've read or heard anything about him saying that he would bust up the unions, which is a pretty crazy idea to begin with.

 

They could just as easily not vote while in session but still in the building as they could not vote while fleeing the city. I don't see how fleeing the city counts as doing their job. But when the GOP blocks lawmaking they disagree with, they are "the party of no" and "halting progress." Thanks for clearing that up.

Walker is trying to take away the bargaining rights of unions as well as cutting their benefits (something that has been in place for more than 50 years). That was not the platform that he ran on. He also has the votes to accomplish this. The 14 democrats left the state in order to prevent the vote (via quorum) from occurring as there is nothing else that they can do to halt the process. Walker and the republicans are fixed on the bill and refuse to discuss it further. The democrats have said that they would agree with the benefits slashing as long as the bill left the collective bargaining process alone (which supposedly is a federal right enacted by Kennedy).

 

As for the party of 'no', I think "no benefits" and "no bargaining" is as negative as you can get. Democrats left to keep the option of 'yes' open.

 

Also, what good is a union that can't fight for its people?

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AFAIK, I don't think I've read or heard anything about him saying that he would bust up the unions, which is a pretty crazy idea to begin with.

 

They could just as easily not vote while in session but still in the building as they could not vote while fleeing the city. I don't see how fleeing the city counts as doing their job. But when the GOP blocks lawmaking they disagree with, they are "the party of no" and "halting progress." Thanks for clearing that up.

They're denying a quorum. It's a legislative tactic which they could not do from inside the building. So why is it OK that the GOP used the filibuster extensively, but this is some sort of cowardly flight from responsibility? And for the record, I like the filibuster, because it's outright dangerous to allow simple majorities to enact highly controversial legislation.

 

This is also 100% union-busting. The union's already caved on all the money-related stuff (they've been doing it for a while, this fantasy where public unions are refusing to accept concessions due to the economy is a complete fabrication). Right now, the union is protesting the fact that it will be illegal for them to bargain for ANYTHING in the future. There's a bunch of other stuff which is also designed to be a pointless pain in the ass for unions in that bill, but the big issue is that they are being forbidden by state law from negotiating with their employer.

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I don't have a problem with unions in general, but I do have a problem with collective bargaining rights of unions that either represent government employees or are on government contracts.

 

The problem is that when they sit down to negotiate, the people on the other side of the table have no skin in the game. Politicians can promise unions more and more money, and the likelihood of the politician ever seeing any downside is minimal. After all, it's not their money, and they aren't running a company that actually needs to make a profit or attract customers. If they need more money, they just raise taxes, and it's a safe bet that by doing so you'll a) get the support of all of the union workers and their families, B) get campaign contributions from the union and 'independent' campaign ads run by the union, and c) will be lots of feel-good support from the media. The potential downside is the 1-2% of voters who pay enough attention to know that the taxes being raised now are the result of the collective bargaining you did 5 years ago.

 

With a company, either publicly or privately held, the union sits across from the table from people who hold stock in the company, and tend to care whether the company keeps it's prices low enough to attract customers. Additionally, the union itself is usually willing to rein itself in because they realize that if the company goes bankrupt, they're out of jobs. The only exceptions I've ever seen to the union behaving is when the company is 'too big to fail', and the union can count on the government stepping in with taxpayer money.

 

 

And that's all I have to say about that.

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They're denying a quorum. It's a legislative tactic which they could not do from inside the building. So why is it OK that the GOP used the filibuster extensively, but this is some sort of cowardly flight from responsibility? And for the record, I like the filibuster, because it's outright dangerous to allow simple majorities to enact highly controversial legislation.

 

This is also 100% union-busting. The union's already caved on all the money-related stuff (they've been doing it for a while, this fantasy where public unions are refusing to accept concessions due to the economy is a complete fabrication). Right now, the union is protesting the fact that it will be illegal for them to bargain for ANYTHING in the future. There's a bunch of other stuff which is also designed to be a pointless pain in the ass for unions in that bill, but the big issue is that they are being forbidden by state law from negotiating with their employer.

 

The difference between a quorum vote and a filibuster is quite major actually. Absenteeism isn't allowed at this scale elsewhere because it isn't healthy. In fact, they can simply call for a "house call" and force them back, at least they can in the US house and in many other house/senates. I think the issue here is jurisdiction, since they left the state, they can't make the call of the house. If this isn't the case in Wisconsin, it is a very unfortunate thing. The purpose of a quorum has *never* been to allow it as a stoppage of procedure, it was always in place to prevent bills not getting proper debate.

 

A filibuster has always had the the same purpose, to not allow a bill to proceed by never finishing discussion.

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I don't have a problem with unions in general, but I do have a problem with collective bargaining rights of unions that either represent government employees or are on government contracts.

 

The problem is that when they sit down to negotiate, the people on the other side of the table have no skin in the game. Politicians can promise unions more and more money, and the likelihood of the politician ever seeing any downside is minimal. After all, it's not their money, and they aren't running a company that actually needs to make a profit or attract customers. If they need more money, they just raise taxes, and it's a safe bet that by doing so you'll a) get the support of all of the union workers and their families, B) get campaign contributions from the union and 'independent' campaign ads run by the union, and c) will be lots of feel-good support from the media. The potential downside is the 1-2% of voters who pay enough attention to know that the taxes being raised now are the result of the collective bargaining you did 5 years ago.

 

With a company, either publicly or privately held, the union sits across from the table from people who hold stock in the company, and tend to care whether the company keeps it's prices low enough to attract customers. Additionally, the union itself is usually willing to rein itself in because they realize that if the company goes bankrupt, they're out of jobs. The only exceptions I've ever seen to the union behaving is when the company is 'too big to fail', and the union can count on the government stepping in with taxpayer money.

 

And that's all I have to say about that.

So you would be okay with a company cutting benefits and arbitrarily deciding that unions have no say in the company anymore? I can only IMAGINE the strike that would go on if that were to happen. Why can't government employees try to stop the same thing from happening to them? Would it be wrong for the entire state of Wisconsin to shut down because everyone goes on strike? Although, they pretty much are on strike right now.

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I don't have a problem with unions in general, but I do have a problem with collective bargaining rights of unions that either represent government employees or are on government contracts.

 

The problem is that when they sit down to negotiate, the people on the other side of the table have no skin in the game. Politicians can promise unions more and more money, and the likelihood of the politician ever seeing any downside is minimal. After all, it's not their money, and they aren't running a company that actually needs to make a profit or attract customers. If they need more money, they just raise taxes, and it's a safe bet that by doing so you'll a) get the support of all of the union workers and their families, B) get campaign contributions from the union and 'independent' campaign ads run by the union, and c) will be lots of feel-good support from the media. The potential downside is the 1-2% of voters who pay enough attention to know that the taxes being raised now are the result of the collective bargaining you did 5 years ago.

 

With a company, either publicly or privately held, the union sits across from the table from people who hold stock in the company, and tend to care whether the company keeps it's prices low enough to attract customers. Additionally, the union itself is usually willing to rein itself in because they realize that if the company goes bankrupt, they're out of jobs. The only exceptions I've ever seen to the union behaving is when the company is 'too big to fail', and the union can count on the government stepping in with taxpayer money.

 

 

And that's all I have to say about that.

That is a somewhat valid point, but it boils down to taxpayers voting for these people. I'm not really willing to accept that it's the fault of public employees that voters keep putting jingoistic morons with no long-term plan into office, or that they should be punished for it.

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The purpose of having a quorum rule and what these Democrats are doing with it are completely different. At some point, they're going to have to come back to work, or maybe they won't. Unlike regular Americans, they'll still get paid and won't lose their jobs despite the immense amount of "work" they'll have missed. But, I guess they can hold the state of WI hostage indefinitely, since it seems that it's okay for Democrats to keep bill from passing and not be considered obstructionist. So, again, the Democrats are abusing the parliamentary rules and getting away with it, while there is no possible way for the GOP to have ever done this at any point in recent history and not be completely skewered. Sure, that's unprovable, at this point, who cares? Walker is being compared to Hitler and WI is being compared to Egypt, both of which are flatly ridiculous.

 

I don't think unions should be eliminated arbitrarily, simply because a party or company is simply opposed to them. And from what I've read (all I know about this I've read on msnbc.com and thedailywhat) the governor is not seeking to cut benefits from anyone. He's seeking to have employees pay a little more out of their own pocket for the benefits they already receive, bringing their personal contribution to their own benefits in line with the national average of employee contributions, thus relieving some of the stress of the deficit. Personally, I think he's attempting too much change in too little time. But, I guess the alternative is just firing everyone and starting from scratch.

 

And I do agree that the actual employees are unfairly getting the shaft, when it's the union bosses and politicians that are the ones that should be targeted.

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I don't think unions should be eliminated arbitrarily, simply because a party or company is simply opposed to them. And from what I've read (all I know about this I've read on msnbc.com and thedailywhat) the governor is not seeking to cut benefits from anyone. He's seeking to have employees pay a little more out of their own pocket for the benefits they already receive, bringing their personal contribution to their own benefits in line with the national average of employee contributions, thus relieving some of the stress of the deficit. Personally, I think he's attempting too much change in too little time. But, I guess the alternative is just firing everyone and starting from scratch.

 

And I do agree that the actual employees are unfairly getting the shaft, when it's the union bosses and politicians that are the ones that should be targeted.

The unions and democrats have agreed to this. What you're missing is that the republicans are pushing to get rid of the Union's voice of collective bargaining. And they are benefit cuts (i.e. You are paying more because your employer cut back the amount originally going into them).

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What they are getting is not getting cut, but what they have to put into it to get the same benefits. I can see how that could be seen as a benefit cut. But if they worked in the private sector, they would have never been paid more than their employer could afford to begin with. The government is now seeing the same shrinkage that the private sector has seen for a while.

 

It's so funny how "collective bargaining rights" has all of a sudden become the buzz word of the week, almost as if "unions" has become a dirty word or something.

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What they are getting is not getting cut, but what they have to put into it to get the same benefits. I can see how that could be seen as a benefit cut. But if they worked in the private sector, they would have never been paid more than their employer could afford to begin with. The government is now seeing the same shrinkage that the private sector has seen for a while.

 

It's so funny how "collective bargaining rights" has all of a sudden become the buzz word of the week, almost as if "unions" has become a dirty word or something.

You gots to be cool to bargain collectively, yo.

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I'm all for fiscal responsibiltiy though, kudos to Walker for doing it. There will be whining no matter what, especially from democrats.

 

Do we have any hope of ever having a balanced budget for more than one or two terms?

 

The amount of interest we pay per year for the gov't debt, is just really crazy. What a waste of tax money.

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Walker's solution to balancing the budget is to destroy the education system of his state, partially by selling off its best college (UW-Madison), partially by closing a large number of schools in Madison, and then by removing the bargaining rights of the teachers union (among others) - despite the fact that teachers in the state are paid, on average, 2% less than the national average.

 

If he was really going to balance the budget, he'd be doing a hell of a lot more. He'd raise taxes, or eliminate the corporate tax break which was passed a few years ago and helped contribute to the shortfall today. He'd cut back in sectors beyond education. He's not doing those things. He's attacking unions while giving a pass to the unions which endorsed his campaign (state and local police and firefighters are exempt from his bill).

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What they are getting is not getting cut, but what they have to put into it to get the same benefits. I can see how that could be seen as a benefit cut. But if they worked in the private sector, they would have never been paid more than their employer could afford to begin with. The government is now seeing the same shrinkage that the private sector has seen for a while.

 

It's so funny how "collective bargaining rights" has all of a sudden become the buzz word of the week, almost as if "unions" has become a dirty word or something.

It's the buzzword because it's the union activity which is being specifically targeted in an effort to cripple the union.

 

The point is that the union folded on all of the cost-cutting stuff and did a while ago. The ability of the union to actually be a union is what's being legislated against, and it's what the union is fighting.

 

I used union a lot because union union union it's not a bad word (and for the record, my union is worthless).

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Walker's solution to balancing the budget is to destroy the education system of his state, partially by selling off its best college (UW-Madison), partially by closing a large number of schools in Madison, and then by removing the bargaining rights of the teachers union (among others) - despite the fact that teachers in the state are paid, on average, 2% less than the national average.

 

If he was really going to balance the budget, he'd be doing a hell of a lot more. He'd raise taxes, or eliminate the corporate tax break which was passed a few years ago and helped contribute to the shortfall today. He'd cut back in sectors beyond education. He's not doing those things. He's attacking unions while giving a pass to the unions which endorsed his campaign (state and local police and firefighters are exempt from his bill).

 

 

As pointed out, the cost of living in Wisconsin is lower, so 2% less than average is actually above average.

 

Secondly, you say repeal the corporate tax break and cut back in other sectors? Those other sectors create jobs.

 

I could buy into an argument for education creating new jobs, but I could also buy into an argument that the current state of education is worthless and doesn't create new as many jobs as giving corporate tax breaks. The last thing Wisconsin needs now is less corporate incentive. If they repeal the corporate tax breaks, the corporations would simply move elsewhere. Look at how well parts of Ireland and Northern Ireland are doing because of the corporate tax incentives. It's a methodology adopted by Republicans, you clearly don't agree, that's your opinion.

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He's attacking unions while giving a pass to the unions which endorsed his campaign (state and local police and firefighters are exempt from his bill).

 

I agree in that he should not single out specific types of unions if he's going to make cuts of that type. However, I find it extremely hard to believe that ANY unions supported him. He's even said that himself, that people are making it out to be political and nearly every union campaigned against him. I think you're using conjecture, just like a bunch of people were saying that car dealerships that did not donate to Obama's campaign or that donated to McCain's campaign were the first closed once the "too big to fail" dealers were restructured as a part of the bailouts.

 

The problem is, this is exactly what I was talking about before when we had a similar discussion about irresponsible government spending. Everyone wants to get it under control, but no one wants to have their piece of the pie cut. I'm not saying that Walker's a great governor or that I agree with everything he's doing, but at least he's doing something, which is more than what has been done in the past, which is why the state's deficit is in the billions.

 

If this ends in his favor, expect many more governors to follow suit. If you want to make a semi-accurate analogy, you could probably say that WI is like Tunisia, where it all started. That's pretty much where the comparison ends, as there haven't been any self-immolations or actual violence where people have been killed.

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If this spreads to other states, you can expect unions to become completely worthless - which is exactly what the right-wing, who doesn't get union donations, wants.

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Unions will never be completely worthless. There's too much power and money invested in them and the Democratic party would lose a whole lot of donations and manpower in heavily unionized areas.

 

What will likely happen is that unions will back down a bit, give in, lay low, until this cycle is complete. Then, once people are sick of the GOP, like they were sick of the Democrats in November, the unions will see a resurgence in power as the newly-elected Democratic politicians refund and repower the unions.

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As long as it gets rid of the DoE, I'm happy. All of the money that goes towards the DoE is seen by teachers and principles. Not a dime goes towards the students or the facilities to help educate the students (which is the point.) I have no problem with unions but the DoE has gotten way to comfy with f- students. DoE needs to go. Let the pisspoor teachers unions deal with the aftermath.

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Good call, we don't have to pay teachers to teach our students! If we pay them shit, they'll be inspired to teach our children math all the more! Vote republican 2012!

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