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"Staying would have meant ... losing on a fair-and-square vote"

That from the folks at Hot Air on the Wisconsin Democrats leaving the state to avoid a vote:

Paul Ryan said this morning that Madison is starting to look like Cairo, but as Larry Kudlow notes, at least the demonstrators in Tahrir Square were pro-democracy. These morons were actually phoning the media from their formerly undisclosed location to insist that they "were left with no choice" but to skip town, as staying would have meant ... losing on a fair-and-square vote. I confess, I'm mystified by how this tactic is supposedly strengthening their hand. The idea, presumably, is to give the protesters time to pressure the Republican majority, but it's unthinkable that the GOP would cave now. The Democrats look too petty and gutless to be allowed to win and there are too many people around the country watching for this to end in a humiliating Republican crumble. This is, I take it, just kabuki by the Democrats aimed at showing the left how committed they are to unions before they eventually slink back into town and take their medicine during the vote.

When you have the leader of the United States and the Democrat Party completely ignoring the federal judiciary and the rule of law, you cannot be surprised when others within his party begin to abscond from their legislative duties and shirk their own responsibility.

Add to this that it's Obama's Wisconsin arm of Organizing For America whipping up the poorly educated and easily led dumb masses in opposition to Governor Scott Walker's budget cutting policies and you can't help but wonder if politics in America has crossed the rubicon.


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Comments (55)

Democracy was a silly idea ... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Democracy was a silly idea anyway. Everyone knew it wouldn't last.

Can any of our liberal/prog... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Can any of our liberal/progressive friends post here to let me know whether this is how men of the Democrat Party deal with adversity? Run away and hide? Just curious.

Something to bring up the n... (Below threshold)
RYan:

Something to bring up the next time a democrat complains about a fillibuster. What is a fillibuster compared to bravely running away?


This isn't the first time t... (Below threshold)
Stormin:

This isn't the first time that Dems have pulled this type of stunt. Several years ago, the Dems in the Texas legislature ran off to NM to avoid a vote on redistricting. Seems to be a pattern with them.

So, the moronic Gove... (Below threshold)
gnossoss papadopoulis:


So, the moronic Governor slashes taxes for the wealthy and corporations then declares a fiscal emergency and expects the middle class to pay for operating the state. The public employees bargained in good faith for the past ten years making trade-offs and taking an average 14 furlow days a year, unpaid. This has nothing to do with the budget. This has to do with breaking up the unions and further driving down the wages of the middle class and further enriching the donor class and corporate contributors so they can pay off more politicians. This is the basic political reality that tea-baggers fail to grasp, that they too are being screwed...big time.

Actually, gnossoss papadopo... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Actually, gnossoss papadopouli, this is how "The Left" plays their game of politics: there is not right or wrong, only winning and losing.

>>This is the basic politic... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

>>This is the basic political reality that tea-baggers fail to grasp, that they too are being screwed...big time.

Foolish tea baggers, screwing themselves out of the opportunity to pay for someone else's guaranteed lifetime job and Cadillac health care plan.

Obviously there's some hidd... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Obviously there's some hidden money somewhere, all those silly reports about being out of money to the contrary - and if it takes striking or rioting to release it, then that's what they'll have to do!

It's like the old joke - "I can't be overdrawn - I still have checks!"

"This has nothing to do wit... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"This has nothing to do with the budget."

No. Of course not. This has nothing to do with the fact that state employees are paid far more than their private industry counterparts, or that their pensions are luxurious by comparison, or that they can retire far earlier, or that they are virtually impossible to fire even when found to be grossly incompetent.

If state union employees provided value or the money being spent upon them nobody would suggest what Wisconsin and now Ohio and Tennessee are all doing.

Ignorance is on the side of those who think that raising taxes is the answer. Neighboring Illinois jacked up their personal and corporate income taxes and jobs are already fleeing the state. Raising taxes will actually result in decreased revenues for the state. In this economic climate the right thing to do is to cut taxes to encourage job growth.

Idiots like #5 might think that the GOP is enriching the "donor class" but the use of that term itself reveals where he is coming from. The donor class is the working public who pay the taxes to run the state government. They are not all rich, they are working class people too. The unions are in fact demanding that these people, who are struggling to feed their families and keep their homes out of foreclosure, sacrifice so that the state union workers can have bloated pay raises when they are getting none.

We are not donors. We work for a living too and we don't do it so freeloaders like you and your union friends can steal it from our children.

It would appear to the casu... (Below threshold)
Burt:

It would appear to the casual observer that perhaps the Unemployment rate is not high enough. If workers feel comfortable going out on strike and sick-out and congress-critters feel they can refuse to do the job they were hired to do, it's time for more souls to hit the unemployment line.

Anything that brin... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Anything that brings unions back to their original charter is to be commended. The idea that they are to be used as a political tool is despicable.

The original purpose, to ensure equitable treatment of workers was and is proper. I have no problem with voluntarily joining, OR dues paying, or the other ancillary benefits.

The recommendations that contribution percentages toward medical. etc., be increased and borne by the union members is also fine. I noticed the proposed increases are still far below the private industry obligations, so why the wailing? If you wish these sterling benefits, fine--pay for them YOURSELVES, don't be insisting that I must.

If, as seems to be the case, the Governor prevails, then you may look to other states to jump on this. The end result would be to the benefit of EVERYONE, not just one political entity.

`


"So, the moronic Governor s... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"So, the moronic Governor slashes taxes for the wealthy and corporations then declares a fiscal emergency and expects the middle class to pay for operating the state."

And yet, the Democrats never seem to have a hard time getting financial support for their re-election campaigns from big business and wealthy individuals. Gosh, gnossoss how can this be?

It is actually moronic for you to even suggest that it is wrong for the middle class to pay for the operation of the state. If you benefit from state services it seems to me you are obligated to pay for them. It seems to me the governor is actually showing some stones unlike our federal leaders and recognizing that the fiscal problem is a reality. The day of reckoning is approaching and the lying rhetoric of self-serving politicians is no longer an entertainment luxury. The people have to begin making decisions. The Democrats did have a choice as I understand it to debate the bill and offer amendments. Just because it becomes a little more difficult because they are not in the majority is no reason to run and hide.

5. Posted by gnossoss papad... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

5. Posted by gnossoss papadopoulis

Another "Oh look! A rabbit!" moment.

Hey asshole, how about addressing the fact that your liberal buddies RAN AWAY.

Gnossos has all the ... (Below threshold)
rhinelander:


Gnossos has all the facts right. The Gov here did immediatley after he was sworn in renig on the agreement he made with the employees and the former Governor. He then cut taxes for all his political donors and then faced with a self caused deficit declared a fiscal crisis. The other posters here clearly don't know what the hell they are talking about or are watching Fox News. The Dems that left are bravely fighting for their constituents. Some Repugs in prison districts are going to vote against this too. Maybe get the facts before you blindly tow the conservative line.....oh wait that what conservatives do.

I'd just like to get the id... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'd just like to get the idiot in #5 to explain why people who work for a living should have to sacrifice for these union stooges. Why should we have to sacrifice so they do not?

They are being promised job security and a guaranteed cost of living increase and that's not good enough in the worst economy since the great depression. SCREW THE STATE EMPLOYEE UNIONS!!!!

They bravely ran away......... (Below threshold)
John :

They bravely ran away...... Brave Sir Robin ran away. That's not how you server your public, if their position is so strong if the Governor is such a waste then stay and prove your point, convince a majority, that's how you do things in a representive republic. But now brave Sir Robin ran away. That really speaks to the strength of their position doesn't it.

I'd STILL like to know why ... (Below threshold)
Oldpuppymax:

I'd STILL like to know why one of the 19 Republican senators can't declare he has switched parties so the vote can be taken??!!! Too dumb to think of it, or too limp-wristed to do it?!

Union representation of gov... (Below threshold)
studakota:

Union representation of government workers is Quixotic. If it is known that the wages, benefits, hours, work atmosphere, of a Gov. job is much less than the private sector would provide, why would you want to work for gov.? Because, as we all know, it requires little, or no initiative, has extraordinary retirement benefits, allows sleeping in the pickup, operates on the one man working, four men watching, principle, etc. And the "teachers" are a disgrace, pure and simple.

14. Posted by rhinelander |... (Below threshold)
davidt:

14. Posted by rhinelander | February 18, 2011 10:28 AM..."The Dems that left are bravely fighting for their constituents."

By running away.

Wow! A governor who took of... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Wow! A governor who took office 60 days ago created a 3.5 billion dollar short fall? You lefties are really grasping now.

I love the comments that running away is the only way they could win. Spoken like someone that has never been in the military or thought about anyone but themselves. Politicians are elected to do their jobs. If they don't get their way, they simply wait for another day. But the dem's RUN like little scared kids. A national story that has proven again to the independent voter how childish the left is.

If I walk off my job because I disagree with my boss, I love it. If I don't show up, they call that "forfeiting my position". When the left do it they call it "heroic".

The left has lost their mind. They look stupid and act stupid. I thought they were the party of caring for the children. Well, they lost that. ww

"...and further enrichin... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"...and further enriching the donor class and corporate contributors so they can pay off more politicians. This is the basic political reality that tea-baggers fail to grasp, that they too are being screwed...big time."~gnossoss papadopoulis

Gotta hand it to him. He has those talking points down so well while using the right mix of three syllable words and street language so we rubes will understand how he's trying to educate us.

Don't you understand that "big business" is going to contribute to politicians now? It was all so much better when unions enriched their campaign chests and then bargained with them in "good faith" to spend more and more tax payer money on a select few so they can be paid a "fair" wage and retire earlier and get more benefits than the rest of us. Ah, the good ol' days.

SO if given the choice betw... (Below threshold)
jim m:

SO if given the choice between mass layoffs versus guaranteed job security and cost of living raises at the price of curtailing their collective bargaining rights and ability to confiscate workers pay, the unions choose to loose those jobs.

The unions and the dems are somehow still living in some fantasy world where they never have to balance a budget and the state will never go bankrupt. And instead of trying to make some kind of adult decision on the issue the dems run and hide like a bunch of 3 year olds.

Meanwhile the unions shut down the school system and forced students into joining their protest. They should be glad no one has filed a lawsuit against them for doing that.

obama talked about shared sacrifice but apparently the dems took that to mean that everyone else would share in the sacrifice so they could continue to deny reality.

And should anyone think that Wisconsin is way out of line I would note that Ohio and Tennessee have already started down the same path. Public sector unions are nothing more than parasites on the rest of us. They demand both job security and raises that are out of step with the rest of the world and when they do not get it they work to withhold important services to the people who pay the taxes that pay their salaries.

Oldpuppymax (#17),... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Oldpuppymax (#17),

From what I've heard, it isn't a matter of party affiliation, it's a matter of having a quorum. It sounds like they need one more legislator- regardless of party.

Running away. Usually assoc... (Below threshold)
914:

Running away. Usually associated with being yellow.

The governor should fire th... (Below threshold)
John S:

The governor should fire the teachers and replace them with non-union scabs. There are at least 30 million underemployed people with degrees that could adapt to teaching.

Hell, I’ve got a degree, I’m cooking at a fast-food restaurant, (and at 53, I am damned grateful I convinced these people to hire me). But I could be convinced to teach high school for $22,000 a year without benefits. In fact, since it’s only eight months a year, and I could still cook nights, weekends, and all summer, I’ll do their job for $16,000 a year with no benefits.

Public employee unions need to wake up to the new reality.

The governor should fire th... (Below threshold)
John S:

The governor should fire the teachers and replace them with non-union scabs. There are at least 30 million underemployed people with degrees that could adapt to teaching.

Hell, I’ve got a degree, I’m cooking at a fast-food restaurant, (and at 53, I am damned grateful I convinced these people to hire me). But I could be convinced to teach high school for $22,000 a year without benefits. In fact, since it’s only eight months a year, and I could still cook nights, weekends, and all summer, I’ll do their job for $16,000 a year with no benefits.

Public employee unions need to wake up to the new reality.

[Milwaukee, Wisconsin] M... (Below threshold)
jim m:

[Milwaukee, Wisconsin] MacIver News Service – For the first time in history, the average annual compensation for a teacher in the Milwaukee Public School system will exceed $100,000.

The average salary for an MPS teacher is $56,500. When fringe benefits are factored in, the annual compensation will be $100,005 in 2011.

Not bad for 9 months of work. And I know the first thing someone will say is that not everyone accesses all their benefits, but guess what? We pay for those benefits whether the teachers use them or not.

Plus then they demand that they not be compensated by the quality of their work. Merit pay would be wrong.

Meanwhile they cannot get enough protesters so they appeal to the Illinois NEA to send help and they force teenagers out of high school classes to go to the protests.

Yes, at this point the answer is fire them all, break the unions and outlaw the unions in the future.

Is this what a community or... (Below threshold)
914:

Is this what a community organizer does?

Is this what a community... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Is this what a community organizer does?

If by that you mean fomenting unrest for the benefit of specific special interestes and political fat cats to the detriment of the public at large and against the state or national interests? Then the answer is yes, that apparently is exactly what a community organizer does.

Thanks for clearing that up... (Below threshold)
914:

Thanks for clearing that up jim.

I think we are seeing a pre... (Below threshold)
914:

I think we are seeing a preview of 2012 here. The rats scurrying out of dodge whenever Barry is coming to town.

He will have to bring a fleet of buses with him to make it appear he can draw a crowd. Maybe Nagin can borrow Barry some?

A certain suburb in the Mil... (Below threshold)
xyzpdq:

A certain suburb in the Milwaukee area last year had 1 or 2 openings for elementary teachers. They had over 500 applications. Apparently, the benefits package for teachers is not as bad as it sounds.

In addition, Gov. Walker said last night that this proposal isn't even going to affect the teachers' bottom line. The amount extra they will be paying for insurance and retirement is LESS than the amount they WON'T have to pay for union dues.

This is worth repeating:</p... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

This is worth repeating:

We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party's philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people's money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street's fault. Anyone who doesn't agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.

Visit here for the imbedded links

Think folks. The country ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Think folks. The country has spent itself into staggering debt and has compromised it's future viability and security for this! What a shambles...what a demonstration of how widespread exposure to post secondary education can, if it's centered on liberal arts and creating too many effing lawyers, can eff everything up. All hail progressivism! These people's rep's would be better engaged as plumber's assistants to Joe...but, only under the strictest supervision.

The lying filth won't menti... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

The lying filth won't mention that the state employees are being asked to cover only part of their benefits - bringing them up to HALF what the average private sector employee in WI pays for his.

I am even more concerned that they are now sending thugs to the Speaker's home at night.

Gentlemen, arm yourselves and stand ready.

#9"Neighboring Illin... (Below threshold)
Rance:

#9
"Neighboring Illinois jacked up their personal and corporate income taxes and jobs are already fleeing the state. "

Do you have actual examples of companies that are pulling up stakes and moving out of Illinois?


"Militant tactics have no p... (Below threshold)
xyzpdq:

"Militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees."

Quote by that stinkin' rotten no-good fascist tea-partier anti-union anti-working-person conservative republican butthole....Franklin Delano Roosevelt!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-union-20110217,0,7977108.story

Rance,Jimmy John's i... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Rance,
Jimmy John's is moving it's corporate headquarters out of IL - 300 jobs. A recent survey shows that 25% of small businesses are seriously thinking of relocating out of the state. There has a been a growing trend for businesses to pull up stakes in Illinois and move to neighboring Indiana. But largely, these are small businesses who are unable to absorb the raise in taxes. You never hear about them by name because they're not the well known big-name companies and individually, they don't leave much of a gap. But collectively, it makes a big difference. Especially in smaller towns.

"You never hear about them ... (Below threshold)
914:

"You never hear about them by name because they're not the well known big-name companies and individually, they don't leave much of a gap"

In other words, they don't reach Barry's criteria of 'Too big to Fail.'

#38Jimmy John's fo... (Below threshold)
Rance:

#38

Jimmy John's founder "may recommend that his corporate headquarters move". That's two conditionals away from actually moving.

Until they actually announce that they are moving, that's just bluster and posturing.

You know the "other side" h... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

You know the "other side" has got nothin' when out of such a historic and newsworthy series of events, all they can come up with is some nitpick about companies leaving.
Even the other side sees the writing on the wall. The govt gravy train is coming to a halt, one way or the other. Either thru fiscal responsibility or bankruptcy.

Rance,I heard the fo... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

Rance,
I heard the founder of jimmy johns on a radio interview and at that time he said that he definitely
was moving the headquarters.
Both indiana and wisconsin are running ads encouraging businesses to move. Christie flew in last month to pitch new jersey as a better place to do business.
Raising taxes is going to totally screw illinois not make things better.

Rance,I heard the fo... (Below threshold)
Jim m:

Rance,
I heard the founder of jimmy johns on a radio interview and at that time he said that he definitely
was moving the headquarters.
Both indiana and wisconsin are running ads encouraging businesses to move. Christie flew in last month to pitch new jersey as a better place to do business.
Raising taxes is going to totally screw illinois not make things better.

If my research is correct, ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

If my research is correct, Wisconsin businesses pay 7.9%, Illinois increased there taxes to 7%.

Think Jimmy John's will move to reap a .9% increase in their taxes?

So Rance is increasing taxe... (Below threshold)
John:

So Rance is increasing taxes on business a good thing, is that the way to get people to work? Is that the best idea for creating an envriornment where new jobs will be created? Or are you just hung up on a specific number of business that left one place to go to another? If you go over to Ace of Spades they have a detailed map that shows population movement where it came from and where it went, care to guess where people are leaving? I'll give you a hint it's not where taxes are low.

Raising taxes in Illinois i... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Raising taxes in Illinois is the way for the state to pay their bills. In my book, paying businesses for services/goods rendered is pro-business.

I work for the formerly gre... (Below threshold)
JJ:

I work for the formerly great state of NY.

If NY could get rid of the public unions, I'd be all for it. At least half of the staff in my office agrees with me. Union leadership will never put that up for a vote.

I am so sick of them telling me who to vote for, what to vote for, how to think, and that they know what's good for me that I could puke.

I chose not to join the union when I was hired. When my first paycheck arrived 4 weeks later they'd taken out the equivalent of union dues only called it a "shop fee."

They also offer the option of receiving a refund of the portion of my fees that are used for political campaigning. There is one very small-print blurb once a year buried in the union paper that explains how to obtain said refund. After jumping through many hoops (you can't even call then for an application, you have to request it in writing via certified mail within a 3 week window, and the application requires a "brief paragraph" explaining in detail why I want a refund and for which candidate!), I received a refund of less than $20 after paying those blood suckers over $500 that year in dues.

The unions need to go. Now.

But Rance, the state of Ill... (Below threshold)
jim m:

But Rance, the state of Illinois has been isuing IOU's for several years now. Many contractors and many hospitals are not getting paid they are just getting worthless promises. The IOU's in Illinois have no date by which payment is promised, the likelihood is that they will never be paid.

Raising taxes drives business from the state. When they tried to raise a tax on internet sales Amazon announced that they would be cutting off all their Illinois affiliates. what the governor expected to be a billion dollar wind fall quickly turned into a quarter billion dollar sink hole.

Democrats function on the assumption that raising taxes does not change behavior , but it does. Even John Kerry parked his yatch in Rhode Island to avoid Mass taxes.

Illinois' tax hike is not going to produce more revenue it will produce less. Just like the millionaire tax in NY proved to be a bust this will too. Businesses that are mobile enough will leave the state. They will find other states willing to give them big incentives to provide jobs elsewhere.

So Rance by that thinking I... (Below threshold)
John:

So Rance by that thinking I can run up all the bills I want, over spend and it's up to my company to pay me more right? When does the government have to live within their means just like I do?

Rance,Your ignoran... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Rance,

Your ignorance is showing again. The new law just signed will raise the corporate income tax to 9.5%.

Illinois' rate will be exceeded only by Penn and Minn (Iowa's rate is higher but when federal deducability is applied the effective rate is lower.)

Illinois' rate is the 3rd highest in the industrialized world.

John,I never said ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

John,

I never said it was OK for the state to spend like the proverbial drunken sailor. I said that the state has a responsibility to pay the $6.7 billion in has in outstanding bills before the the businesses owed go Chapter 11.

Well Rance the state and fe... (Below threshold)
John:

Well Rance the state and federal governments in this country are spending like drunken sailors and your solution is raising taxes.... So it seems to me that you are indeed saying it's ok you over spent, government was irresponsible with our money but now we'll bail you out. If that's not what you're saying then please tell me how we continue to over pay government employees (especially at the state level) and get spending under control. How does getting anual raises, cadillac benefits excessive retirement plans bring costs down? The answer is not more taxes especially on business that will only lead to more unemployment and reduced revenues to government.

John, "...it's ok ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

John,

"...it's ok you over spent, government was irresponsible with our money but now we'll bail you out."

We have a fundemental difference in view here.

I would state that as "we (i.e. the people of the state) were irresponsible with our money, now we have to pay up.

Teachers in Wisconsin got the pay and benefits they did because the state contracted with them to provide services at an agreed rate.
The governor wants to unilaterally break that contract.

Illinois didn't have to buy all the road salt that it did, but once it was delivered, they are obligated to pay for it.

I've read letters to the editor in Wisconsin papers that say "fire all the teachers and replace them". I've read letters to the editor in Chicago papers that don't seem to care if vendors go belly up for lack of payment.

The states can change what they do going forward, but they better honor their existing financial commitments.

SInce the bill wouldn't eff... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

SInce the bill wouldn't effect contracts until after the current one expires, you are completely full of it. Are you saying the Governor is obligated to honor the contract after it expires and must renew it exactly the same as it is now?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-18/wisconsin-ohio-target-government-union-contracts-correct-.html

THe relevant bit:

"The bill wouldn’t affect employees until their contracts expire, said Peter G. Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission."

So please, find a new talking point. . .

Ok Rance I will agree with ... (Below threshold)
John:

Ok Rance I will agree with you "we" screwed it now "we" are trying to unscrew it. The unscrewing includes getting public sector empoyess wages and benefits in line with the budget needs. So I still go back to my previous point just because "we" were irresponsible doesn't mean "we" should respond by making the right long term changes that will benefit the entire state not just the public sector Unions and employees.




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