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  • My Man Scott

    Posted by Dan from Madison on February 12th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Lex’s man Mitch.

    My man Scott.

    Gov. Scott Walker (Wisconsin) said Friday that thousands of state workers would be laid off if the Legislature does not adopt his budget fix that cuts public worker benefits and takes away almost all union bargaining rights from public workers.

    …snip…

    Speaking at a Capitol news conference, the governor also said the National Guard is ready to take control of state prisons if correctional officers illegally strike or obstruct work. Union officials said they had no such plans.

    Walker called government workers “good and decent public servants” and said he wanted to end the practice of forcing them to take eight unpaid furlough days a year. But he said the state had no money or time to bargain with unions over the benefits changes.

    “I don’t have anything to negotiate,” (emphasis mine – Dan) Walker said. “We are broke in this state. We have been broke for years. People have ignored that for years, and it’s about time somebody stood up and told the truth. The truth is: We don’t have money to offer. We don’t have finances to offer. This is what we have to offer.”

    …snip…

    Walker’s bill also would allow public employees to avoid making payments to unions if they don’t join those unions. Now, workers can choose not to join unions, but they must make “fair share” payments similar to dues – a requirement that unions say is needed because all workers benefit from their work at the bargaining table.

    RTWH if you desire, it is full of great stuff.

    I had no idea how many of my friends on facebook were state employees. You should hear ’em howling. I feel bad for them, but the fact is that everyone needs to tighten their belts, or nobody will have jobs. I would probably feel less sorry for them if I knew their benefit packages and hours they worked. But that is probably for another post.

    It is still very early, but Walker may very well end up being a superstar someday. Starting by telling people we are broke is a great thing. With the state senate and house locked up by the Republicans we could be heading toward a new era in this state. It looks as though Walker is done kicking the stupid can down the road and is ready to tackle and address the issues we have. We aren’t Illinois or California, both of whom have CDS rates similar to Bulgaria. But we are broke and it looks as though Walker is very serious about fixing the situation.

     

    8 Responses to “My Man Scott”

    1. Carl from Chicago Says:

      It is great to see someone telling it like it is.

      The difficulty of state workers is that their moral case against the state is weak. They are working on behalf of the people, not a capitalist enterprise, so they can’t say that the “owners” are getting rich while they are doing the “toiling”. The state is represented by the people, specifically the tax dollars that residents are forced to pay. In this case it is literally “the workers against the people” and while the workers can claim “broken promises”, what of all those “working people” who also had their promises broken? Those “workers” don’t have lifetime pensions, or pensions at all, much less pensions that rise with inflation. They don’t have fully paid for health care insurance, and if they took off as many days as the state employees they’d be fired on the spot.

      As far as Wisconsin being less bankrupt than Illinois, sure that is the case, but it is mainly a matter of time on the same trajectory. Limitless promises are still being made on limited funds. That is what your guy is calling out.

      The other things the state workers have got to be thinking is that it would take SECONDS for their jobs to be snapped up by out of work state residents.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      Agree, the state workers are in a jam. Take the cuts or quit. That job would either be phased out or taken by some unemployed person in literally a second. Walker is holding all the cards and he is playing his hand well so far.

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      Daniels 2012, 2016; Walker maybe 2020.

    4. Carl from Chicago Says:

      When you read the whole article it is sad that he exempts police and firefighters from the cuts. Unclear why they are favored and they represent a huge portion of the total problem. Agreed that they are more on the front line than someone in the DMV, for instance, but it seems arbitrary to squeeze everyone else but them.

    5. Dan from Madison Says:

      He exempted the cops and firefighters because he didn’t have a way to cover them if they strike unlike the prison guard situation. The cops I know supported Walker in his election bid and I am sure that plays a part but the bottom line is that this is progress unlike many states.

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      Now, workers can choose not to join unions, but they must make “fair share” payments similar to dues – a requirement that unions say is needed because all workers benefit from their work at the bargaining table.

      So, if you don’t want to join the union you still have to pay them, you just don’t get to vote. The union radicals must love that. They still get to extort money from people who don’t like the union but they don’t have to listen to them at all.

    7. Carl from Chicago Says:

      I heard the logic on no way to cover if they strike but that is kind of a sad example. They have to figure some way out to do the coverage down the road – we can’t be hostage to that.

      Still he is making great progress. More than his sad state down south.

    8. Lexington Green Says:

      Politicians unlike bloggers cannot afford to be ideologically pure. They have to get as much as they can, when they can. Reagan used to say, If I can get half a loaf, I’ll take it, and come back the next day for the other half. He got a lot, but not as much as he or his supporters wanted, and he did it with a Democrat majority in Congress. His supporters trusted him because they knew he had good principles and was doing the best he could with the cards he held.

      The key thing is build up the Tea Party and other external sources of discipline, so the GOP leadership will suffer, face angry crowds, hard questions, bombardment by emails and phone and mail, face primary challenges, lose primaries, be driven from office, if they try to sell out. They should feel pressure to show progress at all times, cutting government, cutting spending, cutting taxes, on all fronts, at all times, or be hounded into retirement if they don’t. We understand tactical compromises, once the official has earned the trust. But if the principles get diluted, they need to be punished for it.

      Walker has to produce. Get some. Get it today. Then come back for more.

      So far, so good. Great to see it.

      But if he does not keep pushing, the voters of Wisconsin need to fire him.