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Facts overshadowed in debate over union bill in Wisconsin

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The facts have been overshadowed by rhetoric at the Wisconsin Capitol

You could replace "at the Wisconsin Capitol" with "any recent political debate in the US".

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OK, maybe "in any recent..."

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Federal workers do not have collective bargaining rights and I don't see President Obama lamenting their pay, benefits, or working conditions. In fact, Obama just recently froze the pay of federal employees. I also find it interesting that you haven't heard much from him lately about the "union-busting" that he believes is supposedly going on in Wisconsin. The fact is that along with the Federal government, many other US states also do not allow collective bargaining for public employees. If FDR was against it, how can any self-respecting left-winger not agree?

BTW - there is a good chance that the person that wrote this article works in a union in the state of Wisconsin.

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Even so, Walker has portrayed public employees as the “haves” and private workers as the “have nots,” saying government workers can afford trims to their salaries and benefits because on average they earn more than private-sector workers.

I see, the solution to some people not having enough money is for other people to not have enough money. But people with lots of money should keep all their money. Got it.

It is a bit silly to for the writer write a logical analysis of what is just a lot of illogical, ideological gibberish. This stuff is either about diverting attention from the planned asset stripping of Wisconsin's public assets, or worse, people like Walker actually believe what they are saying, and they are representative of the total economic illiteracy of the USA that is bringing us all down.

And no, I have no strong opinions about unions either pro or con, but I do have strong opinions about con-men / idiots who claim something that is not the cause of the problem is the cause of the problem.

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Wolfpack: Rightwingers and rightwing websites have repeated the FDR thing (which occurred 74 years ago) adnauseam in the last several weeks, and you tellingly continue to repeat it also. Also, the AP isn't unionized.

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But by mid-summer, the state could come up short on cash to pay its bills, largely because of a projected $169 million shortfall in its Medicaid program.

So in other words, the state should keep things the way they are, and when the budget does hit a deficit just tax people to make up for it is what the writer is saying? That type of thinking is what has gotten us in the mess we are in now financially. Don't worry about the future, just buy a house that we can't afford and hope that it will work out in the future, or just give beefits away, and rely on an IPO for the Green Bay Packers to bring in revenue.

At least the Gov. is taking steps to prevent future financial problems.

Federal workers do not have collective bargaining rights and I don't see President Obama lamenting their pay, benefits, or working conditions. In fact, Obama just recently froze the pay of federal employees.

@wolfpacK; Yes and no on this statement. Federal workers in the states below a certain paygrade do have collective barganining rights. They can earn overtime and time and a half and other benefits. But those of us who are Federal employees here in Japan, are excluded from any collective barganing agreements. You aer correct on the wage freeze. We didn't get the annual wage increas this Jan 1, and I believe it will be the same for next year.

Also, I got hit in the wallet by another pay increase taken away from me. Military retirees as myself also did not get a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) this year, and I didn't get one last year too. But as you say, Obama has said nothing about this.

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The salaries aren't the problem. The real time bombs for states and municipalities are the retirement benefits: pensions and health care. Most government pension funds are underfunded even worse than corporations. Those benefits are beginning to swamp the system. In one state, 60 cents of every new dollar in revenue raised for education goes to paying benefits for retired teachers and administrators. States are soon going to have few choices as these benefits balloon: raise taxes, sell bonds at junk bond interest rates or lay-off employees and cut services. The states have no choice but to follow corporations in reducing or eliminating retirement benefits. You can't run any institution, business or government where someone works for 20 years then gets paid for 40 years of retirement, sucking of the system.

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Alpha, check your latest RAS on MyPay (or better yet, get the retirement letter from DFAS)... You'll find that the March retirement checks have a "bonus" for us in the form of increased tax rates on retirement pay. I'm about $37 lighter this month than previous.

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It's kind of sad indictment of the times that funding for schools can be so easily cut while they won't even look at prison funding. I can't help feeling that, in the longer term, with lower quality education, that this will increase the need for more prison cells in the future and cause more financial stress later.

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oh my.....this is far from over. I see this is one of the most nation dividing issue I have ever witnessed. I already see a spill over effect to many other states and private sector if Wisconsin changes to Right to work state.

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Also, the AP isn't unionized.

Actually they are and they've just brought in a Federal mediator since their contract expired 3 months ago.

The Associated Press told the News Media Guild on Friday that it has asked a federal mediator to be present at all future bargaining sessions as the two sides try to settle a contract that expired almost three months ago.

The AP said the mediator would be present when bargaining resumes Feb. 28.

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Rightwingers and rightwing websites have repeated the FDR thing (which occurred 74 years ago) adnauseam in the last several weeks, and you tellingly continue to repeat it also.

Not just "right wingers", but also Libertarians and independents, and even some Dems.

Get used to it.

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Not just "right wingers", but also Libertarians and Cato Institute ARE right wingers.

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SolidariTea, your name suggests you are one of these people with Tea Party. They are just a dead beat dram without reasoning skills.

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They are just a dead beat dram without reasoning skills.

No offense globalwatcher but I consider myself as a part of the Tea Party movement and though I might not posses the intelligence of an Albert Einstein, I been complimented quit a few times in my life on my ability to reason from a conservative standpoint and to show how I have come to my opinions on matters politically.

I don't believe that stereotyping those that disagree with your political views as dead beat dram without reasoning skills does a lot more harm then help during these hard times.

And the times are hard, Governor Walker has had to make some very, very tough decisions regarding his budget and the course for the future of his state. It is actually good and refreshing that he has taken this on and did not "kick the can" down the road as so many politicians from both parties always have in the past.

I happen to agree with his reasoning and his positions. It appears first and foremost that he wishes to avoid layoffs and wishes to set a budget that can absorb the cuts he will have to make. Washington is broke no more Federal money to the rescue, Tax hikes would just kill off any business growth and destroy the very tax base that funds public worker salaries already.

I don't envy Gov. Walker, his positions are political poison if he was just playing the get myself re-elected game but I do respect the fact that he is actually leading, re-election prospects be damned and doing what he believes to be the right thing in fixing his states finances and giving a future Governor be it a Democrat or a Republican a state that is in better financial shape and not burdened with a swamp of red ink.

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sailwind, I appreciate your reasoning and you have earned my respect. I was personally offended when solidariTea included independents as rightwingers. Those independents often time vote for candidate they chose not based on political parties.

Thank you for your good response.

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So in other words, the state should keep things the way they are, and when the budget does hit a deficit just tax people to make up for it is what the writer is saying? That type of thinking is what has gotten us in the mess we are in now financially.

Uh, no, that kind of thinking has nothing to do with what got you into the mess in the first place. You are in this place because banks were allowed to make loans without caring if the loans were paid back, which destroys an economy, which destroys a government's revenue. Destroys the whole point of a bank when they get bailed out, too. But whether people ignore why they are in this mess because they are unaware (no shame in that, it is confusing stuff), or because they are trying to keep other people unaware (because they are stalling for time, and hoping for a miracle) is not really important.

As GW once said "this sucker is going down". And unless somebody somewhere wakes up real soon, Bush will go down in history as a visionary, just a little early on his call. Meanwhile keep arguing over unions and pretending they are the problem. That will keep you safe.

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Washington is broke no more Federal money to the rescue

sailwind, it is known that the Federal Reserve has recently put over 12 trillion dollars into the international banking system. It is not a question of being broke, it is a question of having access to money. Where do you think this money comes from?

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Uh, no, that kind of thinking has nothing to do with what got you into the mess in the first place. You are in this place because banks were allowed to make loans without caring if the loans were paid back, which destroys an economy, which destroys a government's revenue. Destroys the whole point of a bank when they get bailed out, too.

@GJDailleult: That was my point. Just "kicking the can down the road" type of business practices in housing loans, and the way state governemts operate has gotten us into this mess. If the Gov is trying to stop it, I am for it.

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