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70,000 protesters surround Wisconsin Capitol

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So union workers get raises tied to inflation, need to contribute to their own pensions, and pay into their insurance plans. That hardly merits the outcry against the measure, the removal of collective bargaining was a long shot though.

But I guess union workers would rather take the layoffs.

The missing Democrats have threatened to stay away for weeks unless Walker agrees to negotiate.

I don't care who it is, walking away from your job is pure cowardice. If the voters wanted better wages for state employees they would have voted in democrats, they didn't.

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Walker has proposed requiring government workers to contribute more to their health care and pension costs while largely eliminating their collective bargaining rights.

Contributing more to health care and pension costs are definitely items for negotiation. But taking away the rights to collectively bargain? Rights that have been established for over 50 years?

Only an unAmerican fascist or communist apparatchik -- as when the government of Poland tried to destroy the Solidarity labor union -- could support such a move.

Saturday’s line-up included a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots

They're no patriots. Who outside of Nuremburg would organize a rally to support removing the rights of people?

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If the voters wanted better wages for state employees they would have voted in democrats, they didn't.

You have just made the case of why unions are needed, whether in the private or public sectors. Job security is a very real issue for millions of American families. If corporate America along with the GOP are not interested in this basic concern of most people (bring home the bacon to support one's family) then there will be unions.

You don't like unions? Neither do I actually, then support positive policies that do not create the need for collective bargaining. Read yesterday's NYTimes about Hyundai's non-union factories where the need to organize is fed by good wages and working conditions.

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The people of Wisconsin have rights, and they exercised them in November and elected republicans who promised to put an end to public unions bilking them.

RR

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Neither do I actually, then support positive policies that do not create the need for collective bargaining.

If collective bargaining didn't exist, then neither would the "positive policies." When I left the military for the civilian world in the late 70's, I went to work for a large, well-known company that had a branch office in Seattle.

That company was non-union and touted that it didn't need one because of its positive policies. But everyone knew that the main reason it adopted the policies was because of the heavy union influence of Seattle's biggest employer at the time, Boeing. (The same company's offices in the South had markedly different policies.)

Anyone who is familiar with the name, Peter Drucker, knows that he was the unparalleled observer and guru of business management for many decades. One of his observations regarding unions is well worth remembering: "If there weren't unions, there would need to be something like them if for no other reason then to protect management from its own stupidity."

Giving unbalanced, absolute power to management over all things is the certain way to absolute corruption and the stupidity it breeds.

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Obama ... and his political machine, Organizing for America, are offering tactical support to the Wisconsin protesters

Proving, once again, that Obama is a community organizer; not a president. And community organizers never fix problems.

RR

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The people of Wisconsin have rights, and they exercised them in November and elected republicans who promised to put an end to public unions bilking them.

The lie in this statement is that the Republicans did not run on a platform of removing the collective bargaining rights of unions. If they had, they wouldn't have won.

Many signs have been noted in Madison which say "No Longer Republican." The hundreds and hundreds of high school kids who have come out in support of their teachers are getting one heckuva great lesson in Republican duplicity.

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The crazies in the streets demonstrating their greed and lack of concern for children are making the Gov. Walker stronger.

RR

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So if we had a national healthcare system in place do you think incidents like this would be more likely or less likely?

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The hundreds and hundreds of high school kids who have come out in support of their teachers are getting one heckuva great lesson in Republican duplicity.

That calling in sick when your not and still getting paid for the day protesting instead of teaching, that duplicity type thing?

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Giving unbalanced, absolute power to management over all things is the certain way to absolute corruption and the stupidity it breeds.

Isn't that what the whole issue is here. The unions have the right to determine policy over management. I sugest you watch "Waiting for Superman" and how they explained in Milwaukee each year the principles of the schools have what is called "The Dance of the Lemons." Where each principle moves his worse teacher to another school and so on until all the bad ones in one school are replaced with other bad ones, hoping that the one you end up with is not as bad as the one you moved. Why do they do this? Because under their contract, they can't fire any teacher for bad performance. WI taxpayers have to keep paying for these teachers and all of their benefits while they do a poor job at teaching.

Also, if they wanted to reward teachers for doing well and make a merit pay system, they can't. The union says that would be "unfair" to other teachers, so bad teachers, who can't gt fired, wind up making more money by having tenure, and maybe a good teacher with not as many years can't get rewarded, and thus leave the profession or go teach at a private school.

That is the problem (among others) that the Gov. is facing. There are workplace laws in affect in the USA through the Fair Labor Laws and others that present employees from outright just dismissing workers. I don't mind unions being around to assist these employees in their cases.

But when you come to the table, with an automatic "you can't touch me" card with what they have in place now is not fair. What those Dems who are missing in action should do is present a compromise and try to work it out. If they presented a fair comprimise and it is out right rejected, then you can protest. But to run away like a bunch of spoiled brats shows that they are not really there looking out for the people but themselves and their union donations.

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That calling in sick when your not and still getting paid for the day protesting instead of teaching, that duplicity type thing?

Students being with their teachers who are fighting to preserve their hard-won rights from being taken from them are learning a far more valuable lesson than they would being stuck in a classroom learning to face those who would steal their rights with passivity.

I understand how that would seem so threatening to those who fawningly serve their Republican masters. Pathetic creatures who'd never feel even slightly sickened while their rights were being stolen right out from under them.

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This bill has alot of garbage in it that should not be passed. This bill needs to be scrutinized by everyone. If protesting gets people to actually read the bill I am all for it.

We need to look at all these salaries of teachers and the management and see who needs to be cut. The cuts are a must at this point, but this deficit should have been taken care off 2 years ago = now you must make drastic cuts since the Libs kept spending like there was no tomorrow.

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Job security is a very real issue for millions of American families.

And you're point? Nobody wants to be fired or have their salaries reduced (and that's not even the case here, the unions are resisting RAISES set to the inflation index) but if a business or a state is hurting for money cuts have to be made. Whether you think so or not by accepting a job you have decided to invest in the organization you work for, if the place starts failing or you get cut loose then you made a bad investment. Then you move on.

Contrary to popular belief it's not hard to find a job, it's just hard to find a good job. I quite a good paying job a while back because I couldn't stand the conditions and got a job as a security guard for a tenth of my former salary until I earned my current position that I actually like.

So if we had a national healthcare system in place do you think incidents like this would be more likely or less likely?

Neither, about the same really. It's just human nature to want more and it never stops. We always overvalue our positions from janitors to CEO's and state employees are no different, if anything their sense of entitlement is even higher than average.

That was certainly the case for my union coworkers. They paid us four times the minimum wage to sit in a back room for eight hours a day, change a lightbulb every once in a while, and maybe clean up some vomit. But every single time negotiations came up we fought tooth and nail for even more, and we laughed about it when they met our ridiculous demands half way; thinking they had gotten out easy.

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Students being with their teachers who are fighting to preserve their hard-won rights from being taken from them are learning a far more valuable lesson than they would being stuck in a classroom learning to face those who would steal their rights with passivity.

Working for the Government and receiving a salary from the taxpayer to perform services for the public is a *privilege not a right. And the taxpayer who is now going through severe economic hard times and has been tightening his belt has every right to expect those that serve him in Government to do the same. As a matter of fact he should expect those in public service to actually be the first ones to take the lead in cutting benefits and pay that is no longer sustainable or affordable on the taxpayer......That is what public service is suppose to be about.....Service to the people that pay their salaries.

*

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And you're point?

My point was (and is) that unions exist because no one in the public or private sector can guarantee that no one will come around willy nilly and take their jobs away. The Governor has ligit concerns but taking away collective bargaining for most public sector jobs while other public sector jobs receive preferential treatment (primarily those unions that supported his election) smacks of union busting.

And to be clear, I am no fan of teachers' unions. They put themselves in the crazy situation they're in (along with the state government) and they need to find a workable solution. Currently they are willing to have all public workers suffer for their craziness.

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My point was (and is) that unions exist because no one in the public or private sector can guarantee that no one will come around willy nilly and take their jobs away.

There are provisions in the EEOC and workplace laws that prevent that from happening in America. My brother was let go from an exeuctive job of over 20 years, never had a negative review. He fought it, and got the company to admit wrongdoing and won a settlement. Also, he was non-Union so you can make it without a union.

The Governor has ligit concerns but taking away collective bargaining for most public sector jobs while other public sector jobs receive preferential treatment (primarily those unions that supported his election) smacks of union busting.

I believe that when he ran, none of the unions really supported him. He made his plan clear when he ran on what he would do, and the people elected him. So, you want an elected leader who responds to what his big donors want, or what the will of the people want.

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Isn't that what the whole issue is here. The unions have the right to determine policy over management.

Once again, a statement that is indicative of a complete and utter servitude to authority. The union comes to sit at the bargaining table with a position of relative equality and you claim that they have the "upper hand." The union sits down and hammers out policy WITH management and you claim that they have it all OVER management.

Making these statements, you simply aren't dealing with reality.

The issue is not about removing bad teachers or giving good ones merit pay; it's about management's attempt to remove collective bargaining rights.

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He made his plan clear when he ran on what he would do, and the people elected him.

Show me where Walker ran on a platform of removing collective bargaining rights of unions. He didn't, which makes the statement just another in a long string of baseless fabrications.

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Working for the Government and receiving a salary from the taxpayer to perform services for the public is a *privilege not a right.

LOL!! The people hired to perform the necessary work of fighting fires and teaching kids have a right to fair treatment and a fair wage. They also have the right to assemble -- guaranteed in the Constitution -- to form groups to bargain on their behalf. So that fairness should never be solely determined by those who have them over a barrel.

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He fought it, and got the company to admit wrongdoing and won a settlement. Also, he was non-Union so you can make it without a union.

Claiming that this anecdote would apply to all situations is like saying that just because I walked through downtown Atlanta one night without getting mugged proves that there is no danger there.

Lilly Ledbetter (v. Goodyear) is one of many cases that prove that gross unfairness will be tolerated and defended by the powers that be for decades.

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My point was (and is) that unions exist because no one in the public or private sector can guarantee that no one will come around willy nilly and take their jobs away.

As well they shouldn't. Guaranteeing somebody a job is a ticket to the kind of underperformance that is currently plagueing the state and federal government at all levels. Firings are rarely done willy nilly and if they are in a particular place of business than it should come as no surprise.

The Governor has ligit concerns but taking away collective bargaining for most public sector jobs while other public sector jobs receive preferential treatment (primarily those unions that supported his election) smacks of union busting.

Thats how politics work, I'm sure that if the governor's opponent had won they would be sticking it to the unions that didn't support them. It's just another piece of the corruption that inherantly comes with government and unions. Both sacrifice the needs of individuals and those they supposedly serve for their own interests. Union workers are perfectly willing close down services the government has made people dependant on, they feed off of each other and throughout the U.S it's perpetuated a mediocre system.

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Wisconsin has a projected $137 million deficit. I guess it needs mentioning that the newly elected governor might have a balanced budget had he not signed off on $117 million in tax breaks for business and private health savings accounts when he took office. Never mind about that.

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$137 Million deficit for 2011. $3.6 Billion deficit for 2011-2013.

Federal spending in WI increased >50% in 2009.

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15 thousand Tea Party activists have gathered in Madison to help defend the governor and the cause of Liberty. The union thugs are losing. Keep in mind this is one of the most liberal cities in America. If they lose here Obama and the collectivists lose just about everywhere hereafter.

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paulinusa - Wisconsin has a projected $137 million deficit. I guess it needs mentioning that the newly elected governor might have a balanced budget had he not signed off on $117 million in tax breaks for business and private health savings accounts when he took office. Never mind about that.

According to the MacIver News Service on February 8, 2011, "Agency overspending in medical assistance, the Public Defender’s Office, and in the Department of Corrections is the chief reason for the current shortfall. Making matters worse, moving forward into the next biennial budget, agency requests will outpace expected tax revenue by $3.6 billion. Without taking action to reduce the deficit in the current fiscal year, thousands of Wisconsin children and families could lose their health care coverage through BadgerCare, and there would need to be even more aggressive spending cuts in the future."

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President Barack Obama and his political machine, Organizing for America, are offering tactical support to the Wisconsin protesters...

Organizing for America is doing more than offering tactical support. They are busing in Democrats from other states to make it appear as if the government unions support in Wisconsin is larger than it actually is. This also means that Obama is using the federal government to directly interfer with the lawful running of a state government which is illegal.

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SolidariTea - 15 thousand Tea Party activists have gathered in Madison to help defend the governor and the cause of Liberty. The union thugs are losing. Keep in mind this is one of the most liberal cities in America. If they lose here Obama and the collectivists lose just about everywhere hereafter.

There are many more taxpayers in Wisconsin than there are government union members and the legislature is well aware of that fact. Taxpayers who vote.

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"This also means that Obama is using the federal government to directly interfer with the lawful running of a state government which is illegal."

Nonsense. Organizing for America is run by the Democratic National Committee and isn't financed by the federal government. Try not to get all your "facts" from the usual right-wing pundits.

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The previous democrat gov. left office with $3.3B budget shortfall. But instead of Gov. Walker saying he "inherited" this fiscal mess, he's moved on and is doing something about fixing it.

Now the democrat/progressives/lifetime union welfare leeches are throwing a tantrum like spoiled little kids screaming that Gov. Walker caused all this within 50 days of taking office.

Gov. Walker needs to issue an ultimatum: either cease and desist or face job termination. They need to be reminded of what Mr. Reagan did in to 1980s when the air traffic controllers walked off the job.

Gov. Walker should say that if you are a state worker and you strike, or you protest in anyway against the lawful authority of the Legislature or my office in passing and enforcing this law, you will be fired and never work for the Wisconsin government again.

RR

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yabits says

Show me where Walker ran on a platform of removing collective bargaining rights of unions

Yabits is again being disingenuous.

Unions have the right to bargain when they represent employees of private companies competing in the private sector.

But these are public employee unions - a Democrat creation, from the 60s - the only thing that gives any credibility to the bogus claim that 5 decades of rights are being threatened.

FDR is a lib icon. Yabits likes to quote him. So here is FDR commenting on the type of tactics these socialists and union thugs are using

" The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. "

FDR in 1937:

"A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government."

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yabits, I am with you. I am living in the "right to work and work at WILL " state. Business has been abusing the "right to work and work at WILL" to their advantage. I have been witnessing workers are hired and fired for no reason, and working for low wages and no benefits.

The union members have tried to challenge this to higher court, but denied. I believe everything got ignited when the Tea Party Gov.Walker refused workers right to assembly to collective bargain

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Gov. Walker needs to issue an ultimatum: either cease and desist or face job termination. They need to be reminded of what Mr. Reagan did in to 1980s when the air traffic controllers walked off the job.

I'll go one step better, instead of firing the teachers and employees, Gov. Walker should tell those Dem legislators that if they are not back within 24 hrs, they will be dismissed from the state senate. In one week's time, elections will be held in each district that they represent, and the people can choose new legislators.

No need for a long, costly political process, candidates can file, then campaign for 1 week only, and let the people decide who they want to represent them. If the same people get elected the people of that particular district have spoken. But if a new person gets elected, then that will be the case and the people of that district would have said that they want someone to represent them, not run and hide like a spoiled kid.

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Claiming that this anecdote would apply to all situations is like saying that just because I walked through downtown Atlanta one night without getting mugged proves that there is no danger there.

No it doesn't all I did was give a personal story of what can happen. Of course there are different circumstances, but what people seem to be posting here are only one-sided points, and not thinking things through. YOu cited the one case, and it may have proved your point, but there are other cases also that proves my point. So there is precedent on both sides.

The WI Gov. is not asking for the opportuniyt to take all of the gainst the union has made, only asking that they can be dealt with (i.e. in union negotiations) a bit more fairly than they are now. Where does it say in the WI bill that he wishes to disband the unions? They will still have the right to organize and join unions.

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The media elites lie and cover for their fellow collectivists:

"The throngs of protesters—including teachers, prison guards and many students—have been largely peaceful. Police reported just nine citations for minor offenses as of Friday."

But anyone who has had contact with these leftist union thugs will recognize the totalitarian propensities of the autocratic Left and these sickening, all too common tactics, reported on by National Review:

"In Wisconsin, the schoolteachers and other “public employee” beauties are going to the homes of Republican lawmakers, screaming, denouncing, etc. The situation has gotten very bad. We know where you live. Yesterday, I had a talk with Sen. Randy Hopper, recorded here. Republican lawmakers have received threats, and credible ones: threats to their physical well-being. They are not disclosing their movements, whether they are sleeping in their own homes. They are working with law enforcement on how best to protect themselves and their families"

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The media elites lie and cover for their fellow collectivists

Guess the MSM missed the photo of a protester holding a sign with a photo of Gov. Walker with a rifle crosshairs painted on it. More civility, liberal style.

RR

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Great idea, Alphaape. Fire 'em all. They don't like doing the work they're being paid to do? Then let them get jobs as greeters at Wal Mart.

RR

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Well, somehow, my previous posting did not get finished.

I did many academic research for my professors on Labor Law and Labor Economics when I was in college many years ago. I learned how US workers had to work in tears, sweat and dust to earn few dollars. I learned how many labor bills were introduced and became a law to protect US workers and coal miners.

Thanks to Pres. Roosevelt who was one of the greatest policy maker in US history in my opinion. He established many significant labor laws in order to improve work condition, safety,and wages for workers.

Somehow everything went backward when Regan became a president. He introduced 401k to workers, encouraging a sense of ownership and togetherness in business (that was good then until 2009 when the stock went to south), he started busting many unions of air controllers, airlines.....privatizing US postal service, telephone service, OSHA inspection rules, FDA rules, I can go on many more.....

And his anti-union strategy worked and US business prospered. However many workers rights were ignored and neglected. The business loved it and it was later called "Reganomics". I studied everything like a hawk in public policy making class and amazed how strategist he was.

I am not here to take a side for Wisconsin case. But at least I can say the right of workers has to be preserved. I wish all my best to both sides to get the best possible outcome. Good luck to all of them.

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I also would like to state the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America WILL apply to all public employees excluding business in private sector. This is a key of Wisconsin dispute.

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Tea party siding with the big, bad Gubmint, whodathunkit????

Yabits and globalwatcher, nice to see you fighting the fight, bet hey what is the point? Time better spent at Zero Hedge, article by a Dead President has a big word beginning with "o" in the title. Ye shall find it if ye look for it!

Anyways, the time bomb was set long ago, not sure why anybody thinks banging out millions of words on the computer is going to keep them safe. Would be interested in learning their own employment situations though, bet they are union men.

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GJDailleult:

" Tea party siding with the big, bad Gubmint, whodathunkit???? "

Well, you can turn that the other way around, too.

After having seen the liberal media bashing the tea party protesters and defending the big, bad Gubmint all through the last 2 years, it will be quite refreshing seeing them do a 180 degree turn and bash the government and defend the protesters...

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“The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us. They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”

This is hilarious! I'll have to remember this line next time I see a major demonstration against something. "Yes, there might be a lot of people demonstrating against us, but everyone else supports us!" If ten million people around the country decided to demonstrate against big government, then that must mean all of the remaining almost 300 million supported big government! I love it! It's like math from the 7th dimension!

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Mad-Town is LibCity, USA and maybe has the Worst drivers in all of WI. Did not know there was a Rochester, WI (population 1,149). Maybe I need to don my Cheesehead and help protect these protesters from the SEIU thugs. Open carry seems to be the best way to keep the thugs off -but with crazy Libs arming themselves and shooting politicians you really don't want that target on your back.

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donkusai:

" This is hilarious! I'll have to remember this line next time I see a major demonstration against something. "Yes, there might be a lot of people demonstrating against us, but everyone else supports us!" If ten million people around the country decided to demonstrate against big government, then that must mean all of the remaining almost 300 million supported big government! I love it! It's like math from the 7th dimension! "

No, actually, saying that a protesting crowed does not represent everybody is just a stament of fact. Or are you now saying that the Tea Party crowds, which were substantial, represented the whole country?

Now that would be an interesting change of mind :-)

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Yabits is again being disingenuous.

Actually, the disingenuous statement is the one that claims that the voters gave Governor Walker a mandate for destroying the public service unions by taking away their right to collectively bargain. When a rabid conservative accuses a decent person of being disingenuous, it really means that what the liberal had done is to present facts which counter their fabrications.

So here is FDR commenting...

We liberals don't belive that FDR has the final word on anything. (We don't prostrate ourselves before him the way Republicans do before Reagan.) Times change, and FDR never saw all the anti-union legislation that came along in the decades following his passing. We believe he would have responded precisely as JFK did when he allowed federal workers to unionize.

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Business has been abusing the "right to work and work at WILL" to their advantage.

There is no question about that. And it all goes back to Lord Acton's dictum that absolute power will corrupt itself absolutely. The conservatives who disdain the right of people to assemble to form organizations to collectively bargain simply hate freedom.

One form that this takes is the company that refuses to recognize a union even after the workers have held and won an election to form one.

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I'll go one step better, instead of firing the teachers and employees, Gov. Walker should tell those Dem legislators that if they are not back within 24 hrs, they will be dismissed from the state senate. In one week's time, elections will be held in each district that they represent, and the people can choose new legislators.

So, the executive branch can now disregard the constitution and take the law into its own hands by taking such an action.

It would be more advisable to give citizens a civic test regarding the separation and limits of power and make the privilege of voting contingent on those who can pass it. That would eliminate those grossly ignorant of freedom and democracy from staining their ballots.

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I learned how US workers had to work in tears, sweat and dust to earn few dollars. I learned how many labor bills were introduced and became a law to protect US workers and coal miners.

Most places of employement aren't so dramatic as requiring tears. I've had jobs that required sweat and dust through, they were menial and labor intensive but the pay justified the work. During high school I switched between working under the table at a slaughterhouse and a construction company and I certainly didn't have a union there. Moving on to college where I worked as a janitor while I went to school I was unionized as a state employee in Local 517m and really revealed how corrupt and useless the public union was.

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But anyone who has had contact with these leftist union thugs will recognize the totalitarian propensities of the autocratic Left and these sickening, all too common tactics, reported on by National Review.

First of all, the National Review has printed its share of lies over the years. Which legislator has had to actually resign because of death threats the way the one had to do in Arizona because of death threats from the Tea Party?

In the service of their goals to remove the rights by workers to collectively bargain, there is no lie big enough not to be fabricated and printed.

Take this thread, for instance. There has been no vitriol directed towards the Republican legislators, but plenty directed towards the protestors and the Democratic legislators.

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No, actually, saying that a protesting crowed does not represent everybody is just a stament of fact.

What the Repubican Vos is actually said is that everyone in the state outside of the protesters surrounding the capitol are on his side.

That is not a statement of fact; it's typical Republican deluded craziness.

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LIbs are absolutely right that this is an absolute power grab and takeaway of workers rights. But no responsibility is being taken by the Libs for getting US in this mess. These people are their own worst enemy and some of these "ObamaJobs" will need to be cut. It seems the people are pulling the purse strings tighter, but the Gov keeps spending. It all had to end sometime and now Libs are upset.

At the very minimum all Gov union workers should be under the same rules (not a different set for police/fire/prison). Cuts should start at the top also and I hope the people really look at these salaries and find the cuts that are needed to balance this budget -and to always have a surplus (that is not wasted) in the future. Libs need to learn how to save money and take responsibility --this is a very difficult process for them, but a must to learn.

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I read the headline “70,000 protesters surround Wisconsin Capitol” and thought finally the democracy demonstrations had spread from North Africa to the US.

Well, maybe next year.

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RomeoRamenII The people of Wisconsin have rights, and they exercised them in November and elected republicans who promised to put an end to public unions bilking them.

Well, that's the heart of dispute. When Walker (R-Tea Party) was running for the election of governor's position, to my humble understanding, his intention of busing "collective barganing right" was not in the platform, pal. This issue will be eventually escalated to the higher courts unless he removes it. But at this moment, he is not willing to do so.

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Well, that's the heart of dispute. When Walker (R-Tea Party) was running for the election of governor's position, to my humble understanding, his intention of busing "collective barganing right" was not in the platform,

His intention was to get the states budget under fiscal sanity that included looking at "collective barganining"...He made the tough calls, its called leadership and dealing with today's fiscal reality.

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His intention was to get the states budget under fiscal sanity that included looking at "collective barganining"...He made the tough calls, its called leadership and dealing with today's fiscal reality.

What makes some conservatives such obvious and willing dupes?

Is there any association with collective bargaining and the state's fiscal condition? No. Wisconsin projects a deficit of 12.8% for FY 2012, while in North Carolina -- where collective bargaining by state employees is not allowed -- the deficit will reach over 20%. Rather than collective bargaining, therefore, each state's deficit is more a reflection of how the current recession has affected each of them, and the integrity of the processes -- including the raising of additional revenues through increased taxes and trimmed tax favors to businesses -- to pay for the services they provide.

What is happening in Wisconsin is not a fiscal issue, but the power-mad Republicans using the recessionary conditions as a cover to destroy the public-sector unions: a purely political ploy.

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What collective bargaining forces the Republicans to do -- and what they are loathe to do -- is put all the cards on the table, including the aforementioned tax rates and levels of tax credits to favored parties.

This is why Walker and his corporate/business backers are so keen on taking down people orgainized in a most-democratic fashion to protect their interests.

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After all, when you see an absolute power grab taking place that will steal one's rights, what is a responsible person to do? Sit at home and watch it happen?

So state workers have a 'right' to get raises above the inflation index while the rest of the country is experiencing salary cuts and layoffs? Or that they have a 'right' to not pay into their pensions and healthcare benefits while most people use self-reliant 401k plans?

The unions are out of touch with the reality that everbody needs to take more responcibility for their own finances. They've actually come to expect raises beyond what they should rightfully get and have the audacity to think themselves entitled to benefits they have most certainly not earned. Honestly, if I worked at my current job like I did at the union I would have been fired, and I would have deserved it.

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I may add to another business abuse that even going further to US white collor workers. Thanks to computer modern technology in recent years.

The truth of matter is that these white color workers have to work 24/7 with a laptop and are not getting paid. They have to continue working while waiting for flights at airport. These white color works are doing work at night while they are supposed to be in bed due to time difference in global economy.

I believe US workers have set the highest production efficiency in the world economy, but there are many hidden labor issues have to be resolved before going forward.

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Or that they have a 'right' to not pay into their pensions and healthcare benefits while most people use self-reliant 401k plans?

Correction, "not pay more into". If they didn't pay into their plans at all I would protest.

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What is happening in Wisconsin is not a fiscal issue,

Ummm....Wisconsin is broke, welcome to reality.

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RomeoRam, no, you are wrong on this one.

The people of Wisconsin was not informed about his intension to busting "collective bargain right" when they elected Gov.Walker (R-Tea Party). They were misled and are now outraged. This is a heart of matter in this dispute.

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How did Wisconsin get to be broke? Surely not from teachers' salaries.

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The situation in Wisconsin is magnificently exposing what liberals are all about: Leeches on our society.

Union teachers are walking out on students and democrat legislators go AWOL. Meanwhile, Obama and his squad of leftists revoke everything they have been saying about fiscal "accountability" to interfere in a state's business.

Thanks, Wisconsin. You are heroes!

RR

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So state workers have a 'right' to get raises above the inflation index while the rest of the country is experiencing salary cuts and layoffs?

No. They (Wisconsin state workers) have a right to collectively bargain to get a fair slice of the pie.

Otherwise, you end up with a situation were executive salaries and perks become many multiples of what those of average employee are. That is, the pie becomes divided much less equitably.

And don't try to tell me that executive salaries and perks of people like Walker can never reach the multiples of private industry. They get their perks in many different ways -- like having cushy corporate lobbyist jobs waiting for them (on behalf of services rendered). They and their buddies make millions on "knowing" ahead of time where some of the best real estate is going to be. There are hundreds of ways the executives can become very wealthy through their "service."

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I always find myself saying short after posting my blogs. Let me make it clear here that The Fourteenth Amendment WILL apply to public employees, but not extended to Military personnel and private sectors, just in case you are wondering. Thanks.

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The truth of matter is that these white color workers have to work 24/7 with a laptop and are not getting paid.

That's right. It's done by declaring the worker a "non-management salaried employee" and making them exempt from being able to claim overtime. Then pay them on a 40-hour schedule and set up their performance requirements so they have to work 60 or more. Only collective bargaining can confront this gross theft by employers of the labor of their employees.

The amount in lost wages which also accounts as the big increase in productivity you mentioned represents a "tax" on the employee that vastly exceeds any imposed on him/her by government.

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Hmm, thinking about it. This is just the begining.

I thought there would be politics afoot because the drop in the bucket cuts we were hearing about weren't substantive enough to address real problems. These definitely aren't real budget fixes, but using a crisis to score political goals.

I wonder how long it will be before people begn to draw that conclusion... if the haven't already...

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Wisconsin is broke, welcome to reality.

Wisconsin is not running a fiscal deficit because of collective bargaining rights of its state employees. Republicans are using the budget deficit to attack those rights.

Anyone who can't see that is not dealing with reality.

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There are hundreds of ways the executives can become very wealthy through their "service."

Heh, just ask Mubarak. Morally, Walker and his cronies aren't much different.

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I see many teacher bashing blogs blaming them to bring students to the state capital in Wisconsin. It is interesting to learn mothers with Governor, and their kids are with teachers. Kids want to participate at their own will. This only happens in America, a great country.

I think this is the greatest teaching opportunity for students to learn how to participate in the democratic society. We need to teach them how to compromise; giving up a little to gain more. We need to teach them a true meaning of freedom and justice for all. Let's work together to create a fair work environment and country for the next generation how they imagine. Let's move on , so that they can continue living in hope, dream and future, can't we? I know we can do this.

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donkusai - “The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us. They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”

This is hilarious! I'll have to remember this line next time I see a major demonstration against something. "Yes, there might be a lot of people demonstrating against us, but everyone else supports us!" If ten million people around the country decided to demonstrate against big government, then that must mean all of the remaining almost 300 million supported big government! I love it! It's like math from the 7th dimension!

You don't have to participate in a public demonstration to let elected officials know how you feel about paying more taxes to support government employee unions. Just dial a phone.

The taxpayers in Wisconsin recently elected a majority of representatives and a governor who promised to balance the budget, cut taxes and cut waste. The State can't afford to continue to pay out more than it takes in.

The State legislature doesn't have any money of its own. Everything they spend as legislators comes from the taxpayers. The government employee unions are demanding that the taxpayers continue to fully pay their increasing benefit costs and salaries plus the ever growing interest on the loans that the State has to take out to make ends meet.

The taxpayers reject that idea and will elect new legislators if these legislators can't do the job they were elected to do. The elected Democrats, who are currently in hiding outside of Wisconsin, should remember that there are more voting taxpayers than there are voting government union members.

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yabits - Wisconsin is not running a fiscal deficit because of collective bargaining rights of its state employees. Republicans are using the budget deficit to attack those rights.

Anyone who can't see that is not dealing with reality.

You admit that Wisconsin IS running a fiscal deficit. The majority of taxpayers have made it known that they don't want to pay higher taxes, more taxes or increased taxes. That seems simple enough that even an elected politician can understand it.

The State of Wisconsin has NO MONEY. They are dealing with a deficit. The more money it pays out, the more interest taxpayers have to pay on the increasing loan amounts.

No money still means no money. What part of NO MONEY do the government union employees not understand.

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arrestpaul, The elected Democrats, who are currently in hiding outside of Wisconsin.........

What is happening here is a negotiation gridlock. When I was a student of Public Policy Making and Economics, I was sent to actual labor/management disputes for research purpose. When they went to impasse, both of them walked away from the negotiation table. What happends in real negotiation table and what we hear is quite different. Lot's of paper work (tons of it) to be reviewed while continue negotiating behind the door.

So I can tell you that they are not hiding. The Wisconsin governor can issue summonds to make them sit if they are found in Wisconsin. They will continue to do so unless the governor agrees to drop his idea of stripping the right of workers.

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lobalwatcher - So I can tell you that they are not hiding. The Wisconsin governor can issue summonds to make them sit if they are found in Wisconsin. They will continue to do so unless the governor agrees to drop his idea of stripping the right of workers.

The elected Wisconsin Democrats were originally found, and videoed, in Rockford, Illinois. It's now reported that they are somewhere in Chicago, Illinois. Both are outside of the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin State Police.

Officials in Wisconsin are looking for their elected representatives and these Democrats refuse to tell them where they are. Sounds like "hiding" to me. Are they negotiating while they are "in hiding" or are they just "hiding"?

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arrestpaul, yes they are still negotiating with the governor. As matter of fact, the union has just agreed to go with everything what the governor suggested EXCEPT the right to collective bargain issue. This is a core dispute. Many other states employees are carefully watching how the Wisconsin issue plays out for them.

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I think this is the greatest teaching opportunity for students to learn how to participate in the democratic society.

globalwatcher, your posts are a joy to read. Yes, the students in Wisconsin -- like the young people of Egypt -- have the luxury of not only learning from history but taking an active part in making history.

This Wisconsin issue is equally important to Japanese youth who are working as so called "freeters".

Please search and check out "freelancers union" There is actually a union for freelance employees that negotiates and helps manage health and retirement plans -- and other things.

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**Wisconsin is not running a fiscal deficit because of collective bargaining rights of its state employees. Republicans are using the budget deficit to attack those rights.......

I guess you are collect , yabits. "Wisconsin is not broke" quoted by former gov. of Michigan today on CNBC interview.

This is where a barganing process gets very confusing. The management, in this case, the governor of Wisconsin is saying how broke they are, by plugging many different financial data. I am not there, so I am not in a position to make any comment on this.

But at least, I am glad to tell you that the Union is willing to accept everything what Gov. Walker (R-Tea Party) originally proposed EXCEPT the rights of worker's collective bargain issue.

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You admit that Wisconsin IS running a fiscal deficit.

Yes, a projected fiscal deficit. There is nothing to admit. It's a fact.

majority of taxpayers have made it known that they don't want to pay higher taxes, more taxes or increased taxes.

If given the choice between a 5% rate hike on everyone or a 10% rate hike on everyone making over $200K, the vast majority of voters would vote for the latter.

What part of NO MONEY do the government union employees not understand.

There is money in the state of Wisconsin. For over 50 years, the state has had its share of surpluses and deficits. Never before, however, has the presence of a deficit condition required employees to be forced to give up their right to collectively bargain. Stop trying to go off on irrelevant tangents and focus on this key issue: The deficits have nothing to do with the right to collectively bargain.

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They (Wisconsin state workers) have a right to collectively bargain to get a fair slice of the pie.

A fair slice of the pie would be a salary reduction given that the state is flat broke.

Otherwise, you end up with a situation were executive salaries and perks become many multiples of what those of average employee are.

Then people don't need to work for them. The very top of my company makes many times over what I do and you know what? Good for him, I take what I get now and when I want a salary increase I make the case for myself and because of my record within the company I've been getting it more often than not. The very concept of raising wages and salaries across the board seems like such a foolish, quality killing concept that I'm surprised people actually argue for it.

And don't try to tell me that executive salaries and perks of people like Walker can never reach the multiples of private industry. They get their perks in many different ways -- like having cushy corporate lobbyist jobs waiting for them (on behalf of services rendered).

Well if people want what the execs have then they are going to need to do what the execs did. Backstab, undercut, and pursue wealth with a vicious passion. If they don't want to work at it then they can stay where they are. I'm constantly looking for advancement and I've bypassed my old bosses that had held those positions for years, I just want it more.

There are hundreds of ways the executives can become very wealthy through their "service."

Same applies to the average person. But accumulating wealth, whether though legitimate or nefarious methods, always requires some level of thought, work, and commitment and most people lack the resolve to see it through. Most people I know dream of stability so that's all they strive for, others go for excellence.

But there is always a limit to what a given insitution can support, many CEO's have found this out the hard way as their businesses collapse around them, white collar workers find out that their firm has closed, blue collar workers find out that the IRS has slapped locks on their factory doors, and state workers need to accept that their employer is broke as a joke.

Wisconsin and many other states can't support how much the unions are asking for. The terms of the Wisconsin Governor are actually pretty reasonable compared to what a business owner or corporate executive would do in a similar situation.

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But at least, I am glad to tell you that the Union is willing to accept everything what Gov. Walker (R-Tea Party) originally proposed EXCEPT the rights of worker's collective bargain issue.

Yes, of course. The right to collectively bargain should never, ever have been set on the table. Rights are not negotiable.

Walker's now in a tough position with his business buddies. If backs off on his insane position regarding collective bargaining rights, he's going to be attacked as weak by the party that thinks nothing of eating its own.

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should remember that there are more voting taxpayers than there are voting government union members.

However the number of pissed off people far outweighs the "voting government union members." Union member anger across the state is evident. I have also discussed bargaining with my colleagues in management and most seem to thing it is disgraceful to take away a person's right to bargain.

Scott Walker miscalculated and will one day pay dearly for this mistake. I know that it is likely that the legislation will pass. But it will end up a "W" in the Wisconsin Democratic column. In two years the Wisconsin legislature will be in the Democrats hands. In four years we will have the governorship.

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Why didn't Scott Walker carry on his musical career with the Walker brothers and forget about politics?

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This movement what is happening in Wisconsin is a wake up call to many American voters who believe in Tea Party movement.

The next election will be a defining moment for all of us what we believe in, what we do not. Who are for us, and who are not. What is good, what is not. What should be discarded, or what should be kept.

It is an universal law of government that the governor is working for the people and elected by the people. The governor of Wisconsin cannot continue acting like a dictator in the Middle Eastern Countries. Thank god, the democracy works!

Thank you for listening. I have enjoyed immensely many intellectual posts especially by yabits. It was a JOY. Thank you all, and God Bless America!!

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A fair slice of the pie would be a salary reduction given that the state is flat broke.

You don't know that. You can't trust a Republican who wants to steal your rights away to tell you the true size of the pie. All tax cuts and tax credits ought to be put on the table too.

The rest of your post is just more libertarian drivel.

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“The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us,” said Rep Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester and co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee. “They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”

What a tool. He is either lying to protect his interests or he is delusional.

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Listening to a WI state representative gave me some insight. When they say that they want to end the collective barganing, they don't mean that they can't organize nor will they loose any benefits. They will still be able to bargin for their wages, but other issues they will not. So underperforming teachers will now be able to be fired, not just in a "willy nilly" fashion but with a due process.

It took them 15 months to get the current contract they are under, and that is not a way to conduct business.

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yabits - If given the choice between a 5% rate hike on everyone or a 10% rate hike on everyone making over $200K, the vast majority of voters would vote for the latter.

The majority of voters don't want ANY rate hikes. The Wisconsin legislators can do whatever they deem necessary to solve this issue but the voters just unseated the last batch of tax-happy legislators.

This issue isn't about the IBEW or UAW demanding a larger piece of a companies profits.

This is about public employees demanding that the taxpayers pay more to support the unions and union members. The Legislature is only the middle man in this negotiation.

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arrestpaul, this is not a money issue, this is a right of workers issue.

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Easy solution - down with unions.

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globalwatcher - this is not a money issue, this is a right of workers issue.

Only to the government union members and their supporters.

The taxpayers have an entirely different view of the situation. If you wish to produce a compromise for this situation, you need to understand the views and concerns of both sides. Simply ignoring the fact that the majority of the voters DO NOT want tax increases and are demanding that the Wisconsin legislature cut spending and reduce the growing deficit won't work.

State governments don't have any money of their own. They don't make a profit. All of their money comes from the taxpayers. The legislature is only the middleman.

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arrestpaul, to my humble understanding, the union alrady agreed to everything Gov. Walker originally proposed except to the right to collective bargain issue. Maybe you and I are getting two different information. I will check on this and let you know.

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You can't trust a Republican who wants to steal your rights away to tell you the true size of the pie.

But I can trust a democrat that does the exact same thing? Or a union? The size is irrelevant because everybody want's more reguardless. Everybody is looking out for themselves, at least I'm honest about it.

All tax cuts and tax credits ought to be put on the table too.

Absolutely, eliminate credits and cuts altogether even. Institute a flat tax or at the very least make people pay their bracket.

The rest of your post is just more libertarian drivel.

At least one of you guys has finally figured out I'm not a republican. About time as I wasn't being particularly subtle about it, step in the right direction I suppose.

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Institute a flat tax or at the very least make people pay their bracket.

right on.

Simply ignoring the fact that the majority of the voters DO NOT want tax increases and are demanding that the Wisconsin legislature cut spending and reduce the growing deficit won't work.

Exactly. Democracy has spoken, and it's time the "Democrats" get back to work and vote for their union bosses as they always do.

You know, in a company you get fired for not showing up to work. Unions and government employees (such as these legislators) are deluded.

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Scrapping union rights? Is this North Korea? Iran? Libya? Egypt? Tunisia? Go Wisconsin!

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Scrapping union rights? Is this North Korea? Iran? Libya? Egypt? Tunisia? Go Wisconsin!

LOL. Wisconsin is one of the most liberal states in America. They voted for Barck Obama in 08. THey quickly got tired of Dems hopey and changey.

I just laugh at some guy trying to compare Wisconsin to stalinist regimees like N Korea or Mohammedan hell holes like Egypt.

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Latest news is union heads have told the teachers, in the state capitol on bogus sick leave to rail against Wisconsin taxpayers, to return to their classrooms.Some have said they will refuse the order but that is to be expected. Its all about power with the new entitlement class of public sector parasites.

Yes folks, Its another victory for Liberty, democracy, and of course the Tea Party.

Unfortunately for productive, hard-working Americans beyond Wisconsin this could bring even more economic stagnation. Investors and business leaders have watched all of this with shock and concern. I think a lot of ppl had no idea the Dems and the White House were were willing to go to the mattresses the way they did for these union thugs and collectivists. 2 weeks ago no one would have predicted this or that both former spkr Pelosi would back the thuggery. Obama is at work behind the scenes. Ppl know this now.

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People need to understand a couple of key issues. First of all, private company unions and public sector unions are VERY different. Private unions are part of an adversarial process between boss and worker. Who is the "boss" for public unions? The government. The same government which RECIEVES millions of dollars in political donations from public unions. Once the election is over, it is only natural that the unions would want to see some return on their investment.

There are many states without public sector unions already. They seem to be doing fine. As for the governor of Wisconsin, he made no secret of his plans. Curtail spending to prevent present and future financial catastrophe.

As regards to the Democratic legislators throwing a tantrum like a baby throwing their toys out of their crib, they need to get back to work too. Imagine the uproar if Republican congressmen had done the same thing when President Obama was proposing his health care legislation.

To quote the President, "elections have consequences".

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There are many states without public sector unions already. They seem to be doing fine.

Suuuure they are. That's why North Carolina, a red state whose state employees do not have union representation is running a deficit nearly twice that of Wisconsin.

As for the governor of Wisconsin, he made no secret of his plans.

He didn't tell the people of Wisconsin that he was going after the public service employees' union's right to collectively bargain. Since he didn't reveal that then, yes, it was a secret.

Imagine the uproar if Republican congressmen had done the same thing

What I can imagine are the cheers from the same hypocrites who are condemning Democrats for "throwing a tantrum." We'll see how all of you are so concerned about legislators doing the people's work talk out of the other sides of your mouths when the Republicans shut down the federal government.

To quote the President, "elections have consequences".

Ignorance has consequences too. That's why Wisconsin ended up with Walker.

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Good morning yabit, I cannot agree with you more for the statement you have made. Ignorance has consequences too. That's why Wisconsin ended up with Walker.

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Good morning yabit, I cannot agree with you more for the statement you have made. Ignorance has consequences too. That's why Wisconsin ended up with Walker.

In lieu of this comment, let me give you a quick rundown on what Walker wants:

The bill would limit government workers collective barganing agreement (not do away with unions) to pay increases less than the Consumer Price Increase (CPI)unless approved in a local referendum. Unions could not force members to pay dues, and would force a vote every year to remain certified. employees would have to pay 5.8% of salary for pension costs (they pay nothing now) pay 12% of their health care premiums (they pay 6%) now.

That doesn't seem like it is so bad. Especially when the state has to raise taxes to pay for the increasing costs of the benefits, tax raises that the state workers will also be paying too.

What's so bad about that? If if you have valid points, I suggest you email them to the Dem politicians who left the state. They obviously need some help in countering these points.

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Gov Scott Walker REPUBLICAN OF THE YEAR !!!!!!!!!

70,000 protestors !!!!!! Hahahahahahaha !!!!!

Tea Party people are backwards thinking ! ! !

He's a facist, he's truly UNAMERICAN

HE SHOULD READ THE BILL OF RIGHTS A FEW TIMES. TRULY UNAMERICAN

He's tampering with health care O my gosh ! ! !

He's making choices on government workers health care and pensions

Ohhhhh nooooooo ! ! ! ! He's a representative of the tea party ?

And he is totally against Obama

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You reap what you sow ! ! ! To all the tea party people !!!!

Plus, why why why do they always talk about guns ?

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau

“What they’re getting from individuals back home is stick to your guns, don’t let them get to you,” Fitzgerald said. A woman was shot in the head 2 months ago. Why use the gun metaphor ?

What the heck does that have to do with Health Care and Pensions.

Tea Party Representative wants to TAMPER with an american government worker's pension. 70,000 protestors want the dictator to change his thinking.

People voted for this guy, now it's just scary !!!! A total dictator !!!!!!

Now, he is making threats to call in the National Guard because 70,000 people don't want him to change things ? Truly UNAMERICAN

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Now, he is making threats to call in the National Guard because 70,000 people don't want him to change things ? Truly UNAMERICAN

@whiskysour: 70,000 people can rally against the Gov, but looking at the Nov 2010 election results: 1,128,159 (52%) voted for Walker 1,005,008 (47%) voted against Walker

So having 70,000 protest against him is really not an indication of his unpopularity. How many of the 70,000 were bussed into WI from outside of the state.

“What they’re getting from individuals back home is stick to your guns, don’t let them get to you,” Fitzgerald said. A woman was shot in the head 2 months ago. Why use the gun metaphor ?

Go take a web search and you can see some of the signs at the protest with Walker's face in a gunsight, being aimed at.

People voted for this guy, now it's just scary !!!! A total dictator !!!!!!

So in a liberal state like WI was, they now all want to live under a dictatorship?

Now, he is making threats to call in the National Guard because 70,000 people don't want him to change things ? Truly UNAMERICAN

What's more un-American is the Dem legislators running away and not sticking their ground and debating the issues. They say that he was "moving too fast" for them to vote on the issue. Funny, how the Dems under Pelosi thought that we needed ot rush the Healthcare bill through real fast so that we can "Pass it and see what's in it" (her words exactly); but now they want to take the slow road. That is un-American.

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alphapppppe did i press your buttons ? Obviously, you have a different mindset and agenda, correct ?

Are you ok ? First of all, if he wants the people on his side he should give back half his salary. Or work for free !!!!!! He should lead by example !!!!! The choices you make dictates the life you lead. Obviously, this meat sack, Republican Of The Year. He should step down ! ! !

What he really wants to do is layoff the government workers. AMERICAN PEOPLE who are struggling ! ! ! !

Look at the real picture ! ! !

Wisconsin and Michigan are being hit hard ! ! ! Do some research ok ! ! ! The reason why he is there is to make sure Obama will not get enough votes. It's strategy ! ! ! It's Chess, not Checkers.

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First of all, if he wants the people on his side he should give back half his salary. Or work for free !!!!!!

@whiskeysour, it is you who must have an agenda with a statement like that. He is not asking for a raise for himself like the US Congress does and gives themselves every year. Also, he is working and earning a salary. Why should he give it up?

Wisconsin and Michigan are being hit hard ! ! ! Do some research ok ! ! !

Yes they are. Becuase the manufacturing jobs left and went to places like Mexico and other states that had lower costs. Why did the costs in WI and MI go up? Union demands for pension and health guarentees with small worker contributions. Since the auto industry was private busiesses at that time, they did the best to make a profit by cutting costs. These cost savings meant to move operations to area with lower costs. Since you suggest I do some research, why don't you look at the cost to produce a car in MI compared with a place like Tennessee or other locations. You'll see that union demands helped to drive up costs.

What he really wants to do is layoff the government workers. AMERICAN PEOPLE who are struggling ! ! ! !

If that was the case, then he would have started with cuts vice asking them to contribute more to their healthcare, and limit the size of the raises they can get each year.

Look at the real picture ! ! !

I suggest you do. Look at my previous posts at what the governor wanted to pass. It gave clear examples of his plan and his reasons. All you give, are some trumped up postings based on "feelings" and not offering any substantive input.

Do a bit of research. Either chess or checkers, if you clear the board, you still win.

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Obama has made another unforced error here. It's curtains for the commies.

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whiskeysour - Tea Party Representative wants to TAMPER with an american government worker's pension. 70,000 protestors want the dictator to change his thinking.

-Now, he is making threats to call in the National Guard because 70,000 people don't want him to change things ?

Guess again. The "total" number of demonstrators was reported to be 70,000. That's the "combined" total of both sides. Only 30,000 to 40,000 teachers abaondoned their jobs to demand more money from the taxpayers.

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Wisconsin and Michigan are being hit hard ! ! ! Do some research ok ! ! ! The reason why he is there is to make sure

@whiskeysour: Have you heard the latest from Detroit, MI? The city has to close half of it's public schools. The reason why, 2/3 of it's budget is personnel costs (pay, pensions, and health care). The union got too many demands and the city couldn't afford it. So they have to go to the drastic step of laying off teachers and closing schools. They couldn't renegotiate the contracts, so they have to keep paying them.

That is why the WI gov is at least attempting to slow this type of problem down in his state. Nothing to do with ideology.

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@whiskeysour: To add to my previous post, Detroit public schools has yearly costs of $52 million on pensions and $44 million on health care, which is more than their utilities costs and security costs to run the system.

They district has lost over 83,000 students over the past decade, but yet teacher salaries and benefits have continued to increase.

Not to say that teachers are to blame for the economic crisis that the US is facing, but when you get statistics like these, the unions should at least be willing to renegotiate. I would rather take a pay cut than have no pay.

As in true "progessive form" there will probably be calls for taxing the rich to get rid of this deficit. But Detroit is one of the poorest per capita income cities in the US. Who are you going to tax? The city can't levy taxes on people who live outside the city limits, so where do they get the money from?

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Leave Detroit alone.

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Leave Detroit alone

and leave it to the Democrats who destoyed it.Parts of the city are now feral and the median house price in some neighborhoods is as low as 8,000$.

A real dem success story.

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“We pay the bills!” tea party favorite Herman Cain yelled to cheers from the pro-Walker crowd. “This is why you elected Scott Walker, and he’s doing his job. ... Wisconsin is broke. My question for the other side is, `What part of broke don’t you understand?’”

Herman Cain is a very successful, very astute businessman and entreprenuer who happens to be black. I was told the Tea Party was monolithically white and "racist."

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Herman Cain is a very successful, very astute businessman and entreprenuer who happens to be black. I was told the Tea Party was monolithically white and "racist."

That's what they want you to believe.

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Taking workers' free speech rights and now Scott Walker is ready to issue a warning of layoff. Governor's hands are always at the Devil's workshop. Wonder how he could be different from Henry Loeb in 1968 Memphis.

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Taking workers' free speech rights and now Scott Walker is ready to issue a warning of layoff. Governor's hands are always at the Devil's workshop. Wonder how he could be different from Henry Loeb in 1968 Memphis.

@amerijap: I guess you have not been reading the posts closely. Never did Gov. Walker deny the teachers an opportunity to be in a union. As a matter of fact, he stipuatled in his bill that union membership would be voluntary, and not mandatory like it is now. So teachers that didn't want to join the union would have a chance to say so (whole free speech issue). He did not ever say in the beginning his first choice was to lay off teachers. But the Dem legislators have been absent to vote on the bill, thus maybe forcing the Gov to make that move if he has to.

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The US mainstream media, which gave the Tea Party the mushroom treatment are virtually swooning over this.

So, just recently: Protests against government = baaaaaad Now, suddenly: Protests against government = goooood

What an amzing change of heart!

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This just in: complaining about the media, passé. Talking about facts, nouveau.

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Alphaape > He did not ever say in the beginning his first choice was to lay off teachers

No he did not. But regarding the budget deficits the state has accumulated so far, the way the governor addressed the issue and the choice he made are absolutely horrendous. Speaking of layoff, it is inevitable to see many teachers gone whether the governor's alternative plan will be approved or not. He's not willing to sit on the table to talk with teachers simply because he demonizes their backup--unions. It's kind of like a gag order sending us a message like, "you public school teachers are cheap, stinky, manual labor working for us (the state)!" Just like Henry Loeb and any governors who like to make money by bitching on AFL-CIO and labor unions anywhere.

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So, just recently: Protests against government = baaaaaad Now, suddenly: Protests against government = goooood

Not quite:

Protests against government in general = Stuuuuupid and harmful.

Protests against a specific proposal by a government leader, especially a proposal taking away the rights of people = Mostly good and often the sacred duty of a loyal and informed citizen.

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yabits - Protests against a specific proposal by a government leader, especially a proposal taking away the rights of people = Mostly good and often the sacred duty of a loyal and informed citizen.

These protesters aren't even Wisconsin taxpayers anymore. While there were originally some 35,000 "government" union members protesting this bill, the current protesters are mostly SEIU and BarakObama dot com types who have been bussed in from other states to demand that Wisconsin taxpayers continue to pay more tax dollars to support the previous administrations tax dollar give-aways.

The Wisconsin taxpayers said loud and clear 4 months ago that they expect their newly elected state representatives to cut the deficit, lower taxes and creates an environment that draws and keeps business, jobs and paychecks in the State of Wisconsin.

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the current protesters are mostly SEIU and BarakObama dot com types who have been bussed in from other states

Sorry, if you want to believe in fairy tales, that's your prerogative.

Your Tea Party loonies will correct you: Those weren't buses; they were Cadillacs borrowed from imaginary welfare queens.

(Certainly, one of the TP loonies could have taken a photo from their cell phones of all these supposed buses.)

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It's a pretty sad day when an elected official stares out at a group of people who've come to protest and says 'well they're only 70,000, so by default everyone who isn't here must oppose them.' What sort of crazy logic is that?

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The republicans are going to have to clean up the mess the democrats left behind while the democrats try to blame the republicans for being heartless. The thing to watch is Chicago, now Rahm is the mayor and the city is in debt terribly. If he raises taxes on the rich anymore, they may just leave the city, then what? He'll have to turn into a fiscal conservative or the city will go under.

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yabits - Sorry, if you want to believe in fairy tales, that's your prerogative.

Your Tea Party loonies will correct you: Those weren't buses; they were Cadillacs borrowed from imaginary welfare queens.

(Certainly, one of the TP loonies could have taken a photo from their cell phones of all these supposed buses.)

Are you trying to substitute name calling for discussion?

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