Finally, Some Movement in Madison

Finally, after weeks of stall tactics by the union shills, er, Democrat Senators, on Wednesday we saw positive movement on the budget repair bill. The Senate moved the bill through with changes into a conference committee, which is required when the two parts of the legislature pass different versions of the same bill. They approved changes in the committee that strip out all fiscal parts of the budget repair bill, removing the requirement for a 3/5ths majority in order to have a quorum. This allowed them to vote on the Senate floor on the bill with the members who were present. This sets up the bill for final passage tomorrow morning in the State Assembly.

A lot of shouting was done by libs and unionist radicals that these procedural moves were “unlawful”. If you think that what happened in the State Senate today was “illegal” then you need to read up a bit more on the rules. The meetings and votes taken today were not unlawful or against the legislative rules. See for the specific citation.

The unlawful “cheap dirty trick, just to get their way” was when the Dems fled the state to subvert the democratic process as it was unfolding in Madison. They hijacked our state government for nearly a month.

Unlike what the crazed protestors are shouting the passing of this will actually not directly lead to anyone losing their jobs. The failure to pass the fiscal parts of the bill will do that however. It is the Democrats who have doomed about 1,500 state workers to receive pink slips. Hopefully they will now return and will allow the necessary fiscal portions to be passed so that those jobs can be saved.

In the end there will however be jobs lost in the public sector, as well there should be. Our government is bloated and too costly. Walker was elected because he promised to fix that, and to do so without raising taxes. There’s no way for him to fulfill both promises without cuts. The beauty of his plan is that it allows more people to keep their jobs despite the cuts. Without the changes to collective bargaining thousands more would have to be laid off in order to meet the cuts that must be made at both the state and local levels.

The threats that education will suffer prove that teachers care more about their own pay than about teaching our children. I’ve looked up the compensation of my childrens’ teachers, they all make over $100k working for MPS. Two of them make almost $120k! That’s at least three times the state average income for a job that has lavish perks in addition to the monetary compensation. Surely these people can afford to chip in a minimal amount for their health care and retirement, just like the rest of us have to.

These changes will indeed spread. They’ll spread across the nation and they’ll spread to all corners of the public sector. As well they should! As a firefighter myself I see the high level of compensation and minimal employee contribution to benefits that more senior members of the department are afforded and it bewilders me. I would gladly welcome the chance to contribute more to my own retirement and health care costs because I know how much good that would do for all of the rest of the taxpayers in this city and in this state. I would also welcome the freedom to decide for myself if union membership is the best thing for me, currently I am not given a choice. I’m forced into the union and the union’s dues are forcibly removed from my pay before I even see a dime of it.

What so many who are opposing these changes need to understand is that private unions and public unions are very different beasts. As has been shown over the past three weeks, the public unions have the Democrats in their back pocket. AFSCME says “run away” and the Dems say “for how long?” When the union comes to the bargaining table and on the other side is a public official who owes their election to that same union do you really think that there is anyone there looking out for the people paying the bills? The answer is NO! When a private union goes to the bargaining table they sit across from a business owner or a member of management, they are bargaining with the people who pay the bills. Public unions “bargain” with their own handpicked buddies and they collude to stick it to the taxpayers. This has been going on since WI first began allowing public unions about 50 years ago and it has led us to this point, where so many public employees have lavish and exorbitant compensation packages that are simply not sustainable.

What I find funny is that such a big deal has been made of this budget repair bill when it is really a very minor, moderate piece of legislation. The real changes are in the next biannual budget. That’s where the $3.6B hole is, that’s where there will be enormous cuts. We’ve seen outrageous, rude, disgraceful and even violent and illegal protest to this bill. What more are the Dems going to do when the big shoe drops?


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