Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Mess In Wisconsin

So, what's all the sound and fury going on in Wisconsin right now? Here's the nutshell.

It all started when the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, submitted a budget that was balanced by including the restructuring of public sector unions and some reductions of pensions and benefits, and collective bargaining rights. The proverbial stuff hit the fan, big time
. Naturally, Walker's a racist for doing this. And by the way, collective bargaining rights are for the children. Everyone knows that. Anyway, a standoff ensued.

Walker made use of his bully pulpit in the state and publicly challenged them to do their jobs, which, as you can imagine, went over like a load of bricks.
President Obama, firmly in the pocket of unions for years...

...immediately leaped to their defense, accusing Walker of conducting an 'assault on unions'. Very presidential, don't you think? But wait, it gets better.

Protests erupted, teachers embarked upon a sickout (enabled by doctors providing them fake sick notes), and hysterics ensued. After all, unions simply don't give up any money or benefits. They also totally misrepresented Walker's position, saying he wouldn't even 'come to the table' to compromise.

Anyway, then, peculiarly, the Dems in the Wisconsin state Senate did something very odd. They ran away. Literally. They left the state (
go watch the video at that last link - it's really funny to watch the union rep's reaction when the reporter asks her opinion of the Dems running away from the table. Priceless!). The thought was that if the state Senate didn't have a quorum, no votes could be taken on this new budget, so they would be saved from having to choose between their biggest supporters (unions) and the masses of non-union taxpayers (also called voters) who stenciled the words GO AWAY in Democrats' foreheads last November. Still, running away doesn't do much for the complaint that Walker isn't 'coming to the table'.

So the Governor sent out State Troopers to bring them back, and discovered they were hiding out in Chicago Obamaland. Hm, what a shock.

Of course, having the Dems playing MIA in Obamaland is not all bad. Fiscal bills require a 3/5 majority to hold a vote in Wisconsin, but others only require a simple majority. So, the GOP is apparently considering moving ahead to pass some other legislation in their absence. First up is an ever-controversial voter ID bill, but there's a whole list of things just waiting to be passed fast, including concealed carry, school choice, and so on, each and every one something that Dems absolutely loathe. Well played, WI GOP, keep it up!

And, roughly, that's where we are today. The new conservative Governor made the tough choices necessary to balance the state budget, the Dems ran away from the debate, Walker appears resolute, and the situation speaks to a much bigger issue that has massive repercussions for the country at large.

You see,
unions are not about democracy or standing up for the little guys. They're about power. Specifically, their own, and their power to influence buy spineless politicians.

Those protests that are raging through the streets? They're being coordinated by the Obama administration. In fact, the Obama administration is brazenly coordinating similar efforts in at least two other states. At the same time, unions are fading:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the precentage of Americans belonging to unions fell to 11.9 percent from 12.3 percent a year earlier. And only one out of 10 non-union workers reports any desire to unionize.

And the percentage is much lower if you only look at the private sector -- just 7 percent of the private sector workforce is unionized. Last year, for the first time, the number of public sector union members outnumbered union workers in the private sector.

And yet, despite the shrinking numbers, just look at the power they have exerted on the country over the past few years! Given the fact they even they admit their existence has little to do with helping the children or the downtrodden, but rather their own power, this is a problem that needs to be addressed head on. And, as I mentioned before, the big picture has tremendously huge stakes. This is about the future of America:

With unions’ ability to collect union dues at risk, as well as the possibility that they may have to get re-certified every year by the people they represent, Republican Scott Walker’s proposals strike at the very foundation of any union’s existence—union dues and union ’security.’ Yet, there is more at stake than even this. The Wisconsin union battle is about the raw union power that unions wield over the local, state and federal governments and, ultimately, the power unions have over children, both through the budgets, as well as school children’s curriculum.

For a long time, unions have known that grooming good, little collectivists begins at a young age. In Wisconsin, however, unions have even gone so far as to enact their progressive brainwashing into Wisconsin state law, as a few of us union watchers tried to draw attention to more than a year ago.

We noted then that unions were force-feeding union propaganda to schoolchildren when governor Jim Doyle signed legislation mandating the teaching of progressive labor history to students. ...

So, as you watch the scene unfold in Wisconsin and spread across the nation, you need to know, this is not just about “Wisconsin.” This is about union power and, more specifically, how much union power unions hold over you and your children.

The fight is here. It is yours to win or lose for your kids and grandkids.

And the question is: what are you going to do about it?
At this very moment, the battle for America’s future is happening in states all around the country as newly-elected governors try to wrest control from tax-eating unions. Today’s battle is just the beginning of what America will be facing through 2012 and beyond. It is a battle that, if lost, will likely have catastrophic consequences on the fiscal well being of many of the states and, as a result, the nation as a whole. ...

Make no mistake, this is a battle for America’s economic future. It is one that will ultimately decide whether Americans will be enslaved by debt created by a government beholden to public-sector union bosses, or whether some sort of fiscal sanity can be restored before the system collapses due to the weight from years of cronyism.

As labor activists strategize for “class war,” Leftist union bosses also know they may be losing their grip on taxpayers’ throats and they are desperate to keep it there. They’re not going to let go easily either. They’re organized and they have millions to spend on marches, sickouts, protests, candlelight vigils, and advertising.

Unions have become dangerous to America and need to be reigned in. And polls show that most Americans agree. Maybe that explains why the Obama administration has suddenly backed off:

Now Obama is trying to disown his support for the Wisconsin public unions because it is as monumental a political blunder as was the Obamacrats cramming the unpopular ObamaCare down our throats in the face strong public opposition. Like the ObamaCare, Public workers’ unions are not popular.

Last week Rasmussen Reports released a poll that found 70% of likely voters think voters are more willing to make the hard choices needed to reduce federal spending than elected politicians are. Fifty-five percent (55%) don’t think President Obama’s proposed $3.7 trillion 2012 budget includes enough spending cuts, and 40% of don’t think the GOP spending cuts go far enough either.

Also, A poll from the Clarus Group found that 64% do not think that government employees should be represented by labor unions.

Perhaps more important, Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll finds Obama’s popularity has returned to pre-tax deal levels. Obama’s Strongly Disapprove numbers are back in 40% range, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18. These are similar to disapproval ratings Obama had during the midterms when the Democrats got shellacked.

Maybe that also helps explain why Democrats have been hemorrhaging self-identified voters all across the country for the last few years. Regardless, it appears that his outright support of unions on this one was a big, big mistake.

A mistake that will inevitably swamp state after state, and then the nation, if it is not corrected.

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