Wisconsin's newly elected Governor Scott Walker has picked a fight, and he has picked the right fight after only 6 weeks in office. WI faces a budget hole of $137 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. That's right, this deficit is ONLY for this fiscal year. When July 1, 2011 rolls around Governor Walker has to repeat the process of trying to balance the state's budget.
Walker has picked a fight with government union workers, and this fight is a good one. He is asking them to contribute 5.8% of their pay to their pensions and 12.6% of the cost of their health care premiums. Right now pension contributions by a worker can be as little as zero. The health care premium contribution can be anywhere from 2-6%. Walker's Budget Bill also includes proposals to strip state employee unions of much of their collective bargaining power. So what's the problem? I see nothing wrong with Walker's proposals. I believe the bill should be passed in its entirety. And when it passes I hope other states will follow suit. WE CAN'T AFFORD IT ANYMORE. Tinkerbell isn't going to sprinkle magic fairy dust over the states and the country and make the problems disappear!
Just take a look at the TV this week. See all those riots and demonstrations in Madison at the Capital? Most of them are teachers who have called in sick so they could march with ugly, name calling signs. Watch the video below. See for yourself what kind of people are teaching our kids. The rest of the protesters are students whom the teachers dragged along, many of whom did not even know why they were marching. And the teachers? If a private sector employee called in SICK so they could demonstrate at a rally, they'd lose their jobs. The teachers? They are protected by the unions. They can't be fired. Most of them called in sick, and guess who is paying them anyway? WE ARE. No wonder Walker wants changes made to collective bargaining.
Today the Capital was in full lock down. An email from Madison State Senator Glenn Grothman's office read as follows: "The police have advised that we lock our doors. Groups of young kids are marching through the halls yelling at the top of their lungs, drums are banking, etc. Restrooms are blockaded. Angry crowds are pounding on our glass windows. Please pray for our state." Doesn't sound like a peaceful affair, does it?
And today all the Democrat Senators walked out of the capital before a vote on the bill could be taken. They know that to have a quorum at least one Dem. had to be present. To stop voting they all left and hid out in a hotel in Rockford, IL. Hey, I have a great idea. Now that the Democrats have left the state it might be a good time to "close our borders."
And now for the truth. According to Politico, not a Right Wing media outlet, Obama's campaign arm, "Organizing for America," is responsible for much of the chaos. They have been using email lists, Face Book, Twitter (54 messages documented), and filling bus after bus with protesters and shuttling them to the Capitol. This was not a spontaneous uprising. It was an organized effort by The Left and "Organizing for America." They have been urging people to "bully lawmakers" and scare them into voting against the Budget Bill.
I believe Walker's decision to force a showdown with organized government workers is long overdue. WI has to reign in its legacy costs, as do most of the other states, or WI faces 6,000 government employees losing their jobs. So come on, government workers, give it up or become jobless like millions of other Americans -- Americans who you want to continue to pay your benefits and pensions, when they themselves have lost theirs.
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