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Wisconsin, France, Greece.....

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by Luckyman, Feb 18, 2011.

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  1. Luckyman

    Luckyman Active Member

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    For Americans who don't think the welfare state riots of France or Greece can happen here, we recommend a look at the union and Democratic Party spectacle now unfolding in Wisconsin. Over the past few days, thousands have swarmed the state capital and airwaves to intimidate lawmakers and disrupt Governor Scott Walker's plan to level the playing field between taxpayers and government unions.

    Mr. Walker's very modest proposal would take away the ability of most government employees to collectively bargain for benefits. They could still bargain for higher wages, but future wage increases would be capped at the federal Consumer Price Index, unless otherwise specified by a voter referendum. The bill would also require union members to contribute 5.8% of salary toward their pensions and chip in 12.6% of the cost of their health insurance premiums.

    If those numbers don't sound outrageous, you probably work in the private economy. The comparable nationwide employee health-care contribution is 20% for private industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average employee contribution from take-home pay for retirement was 7.5% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

    Mr. Walker says he has no choice but to make these changes because unions refuse to negotiate any compensation changes, which is similar to the experience Chris Christie had upon taking office in New Jersey. Wisconsin is running a $137 million deficit this year and anticipates coming up another $3.6 billion short in the next two-year budget. Governor Walker's office estimates the proposals would save the state $300 million over the next two years, and the alternative would be to lay off 5,500 public employees.

    None of this is deterring the crowds in Madison, aka Mad Town, where protesters, including many from the 98,000-member teachers union, have gone Greek. Madison's school district had to close Thursday when 40% of its teachers called in sick. So much for the claim that this is "all about the children." By the way, these are some of the same teachers who sued the Milwaukee school board last August to get Viagra coverage restored to their health-care plan.

    The protests have an orchestrated quality, and sure enough, the Politico website reported yesterday that the Democratic Party's Organizing for America arm is helping to gin them up. The outfit is a remnant of President Obama's 2008 election campaign, so it's also no surprise that Mr. Obama said yesterday that while he knows nothing about the bill, he supports protesters occupying the Capitol building.

    "These folks are teachers, and they're firefighters and they're social workers and they're police officers," he said, "and it's important not to vilify them." Mr. Obama is right that he knows nothing about the bill because it explicitly excludes police and firefighters. We'd have thought the President had enough to think about with his own $1.65 trillion deficit proposal going down with a thud in Congress, but it appears that the 2012 campaign is already underway.

    The unions and their Democratic friends have also been rolling out their Hitler, Soviet Union and Hosni Mubarak analogies. "The story around the world is the rush to democracy," offered Democratic State Senator Bob Jauch. "The story in Wisconsin is the end of the democratic process."

    The reality is that the unions are trying to trump the will of the voters as overwhelmingly rendered in November when they elected Mr. Walker and a new legislature. As with the strikes against pension or labor reforms that routinely shut down Paris or Athens, the goal is to create enough mayhem that Republicans and voters will give up.
     
  2. X2 fan

    X2 fan Active Member

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    At least a part of your post is incorrect. 1) Modest proposal?? This is far from modest, IMO. Details on how far-reaching it could be are still coming out and they had hoped to have it signed into law by now. They need to back off and look at it a bit harder.

    2) Refused to negotiate?? They were never even asked to the table! Walker simply came out and said the State was going to do away with their collective bargaining rights. That's hardly negotiating.

    I will not argue that they should pay more into both their health care and towards their pensions and I would suspect that many would have gladly done so, given the chance or option(s).

    I would also suspect that any state employees who are affected by this and voted for Walker are now kicking themselves for that choice.

    The biggest problem today in any political debate is that there is no longer any compromise. It's either my way or the highway and that's simply not good. I do not recall ever seeing any proposal, from either side of the aisle that I completely agreed with. There is a middle ground to most anything that could and should be agreed upon. I feel the majority of voters nation-wide are of the same opinion but that's my opinion of course.

    It does no good to polarize citizens against each other in issues like this. United we stand, divided we fall. That goes for EVERYTHING.

    Tim
     
  3. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    The governor is correct. Anybody who believes otherwise is just a commie.
     
  4. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Government employees have to learn and accept that the level of their retirement has to be keyed to the health of our country and it's economy...maybe then will we get a handle on the corruption we are forced to tolerate.

    They can not have what is not there.....it has to stop....they will survive.

    I see no difference between terrorism or unions holding the taxpayers hostage.

    Something else that needs stopped is this retiring and being rehired to the same job the same day......public employees should get 1 paycheck....either work or retire.....never allow both.
     
  5. chuckles

    chuckles Member

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    The average Wisconson retired State worker receives $87000.00 a year in Pension pay and benefits....
     
  6. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    X2Fan and anyone else---What do you suggest should be done when there's no more $$s left-----There are many replacements for those teachers---
    If they are not happy,best they leave and find happiness---It's the tax payer to decide,It's they who pay the fraight---The governor is trying to save the state just like in N.J. and many more states to follow---There's just no more $$s left---They taxed us to the brink----JMO---
     
  7. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Unions were first formed to stop the abuse of workers in a particuliar avenue of work. I.E. industrial industries,mills,mines etc.It was to stop the so called company stores and housing that led to basically indentured service because you owed the company more money than you could pay back.I for one,have SLOWLY turned to believe they have over stepped their original causes and now ,just like the Legal system of our country are main contributors to our country's decline.Yes,I am a retired Auto worker,Yes I was Union,I've never believed Unions belonged in government areas,i.e. Postal system,or professional carreer areas,i.e. teachers.My reason is they are CHOSEN careers,your choice to work there.But I distintcly draw a line where it's plain manual labor,mines,mills, assembly ,etc.and where you strictly choose to go into a profession.Where is there abuse in professions like there was in the mines,mills,assembly plants decades ago? There is no more abuse,just Glut for more,lawyers,doctors,etc. have gotten the system so screwed up with law suits and such,there is actually No abuse.Government workers are NOT abused,Sorry if you disagree,But,unless the unions back off and go back to their roots and ONLY deal with abuse items and do not help with this unrealistic demands for more wages and such,and work towards a solution to equalize the differences instead of just asking for more,more and more.They will be as responsible for the failure of our Government as the Legal and Justice system which is still corrupt in most ways.

    Doug H.
     
  8. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    Drunk again? I'm sure AA will help if you haven't been kicked out of there yet.

    Both sides are drawing lines in the sand without even trying to talk to each other.

    George is right if there is nothing there how can you demand more. In the times of plenty there is room to negotiate for better wages. bennies etc.. But when we are in a recession its time for EVERYONE to tighten the belt buckle until we get out of this mess we are in.

    If you read X2 Fan's post without any prejudice you will see he is saying the same thing.

    Bill
     
  9. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Likes to shoot is right on---We all would like to see the teachers well taken care of---We need them but enough is enough---I never remember a poor teacher and I do remember that they ALL have it pretty good---Great hollidays---great pension benes---All summer off---Come on teachers and govt workers---Look around and compare with those that are out of work--Say thanks to the tax payer insted of always wanting more-JMO---George@SJB---
     
  10. rw993

    rw993 Active Member

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    unions are the method in which we keep the unemployable employed.
     
  11. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    George, My sister-in-law is a teacher in Montana and if you say anything about the summer off with pay she goes ballistic. lol

    We are having some difficulties with my father-in-law and my wife is the only one in town. Of course you know how it goes, the out of towners always have suggestion (demands) on what Kris should do with their dad. Finally I told Kris to tell her sister she could get a family leave to help. Her response was she couldn't do it because it was with no pay. lol But its OK for Kris to take time off work with out pay to take care of her dad. I just tell my wife now its OK she will feel better about herself later in life.
     
  12. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Likes to shoot---Is she right or wrong?---I love teachers---My daughter is one and one of my best friends daughter is one---I tell my daughter that the well is dry---JMO---George
     
  13. Donm

    Donm Active Member

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    Tim

    Sounds just like the health care plan by the Pres. don't it.
     
  14. Luckyman

    Luckyman Active Member

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    How can any Union worker believe that making more money and having better benefits than their Private sector counterpart is going to sit well with the Non-Union American Taxpayer struggling to make ends meet while these Union Clowns ride the gravy train...$87,000 a year pension for a Wisconsin State employee without kicking in one dime to the system!!! All while people in the private sector have to scrimp and save and hopefully invest wisely so they can retire are watching their real estate and stock go hell and their states go bankrupt because bad UNION CONTRACTS BEING NEGOTIATED UNDER THE WORST CONDITIONS IMAGINABLE!!! Basically you give us what we want or your service will no longer exist and we will strike and picket until you give us what we want!!! Once again are you F-N kidding me!!!! This is why Unions in every industry need to go!!!!

    Unions were needed at one time during the Industrial Revolution when workplace standards needs to be set...Kids and Women being exploited for profit is just not right! Those days are over and Unions need to be eradicated....Everywhere unions are involved products and services cost more and they are usually sub-par...They are destroying American Industry, Education and destroying this country and like I just said they need to be eradicated!!!!!! Fire-em all and replace them with people that are struggling to find work and willing to work for a fair wage!!!!Without their jobs the unions will not get their dues and they will dry up and die...The Union people looking to ride the gravy train on the back of the American taxpayer will have to find another job or accept the promises that were made to them by the Liberal Union supporting Democrats they voted just can't be kept(Like Obama said EVERYONE NEEDS TO KICK IN TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS(What a F-N Joke!)...The Union contracts are nothing more than bad deals negotiated by people making promises that can't be fiscally met just to get their votes! It worked! The Liberals got in and now their big F-N Ponzi scheme now being exposed...
     
  15. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Just like Reagan did with the Air Traffic Controllers -- set a deadline, fire them, and start over with the countless people who would love to have those unbelievable cushy terms.

    And crying about paying 12.6% of the cost of their health insurance premiums? Employee contribution at MANY companies is 2 to 3 times that much. It's over 45% for salary workers where I work. So anyone crying about paying a paltry 12.5% can bite me.

    It about time the public sector employees get a whiff of reality and start feeling the pain like the rest of us, and stop being such parasites.

    Working less than 200 days a year, no less. Unbelievable.

    -Gary
     
  16. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Ks5---so whats the ans?---Yes---They may have to cut SS---thers no more $$s---
    Who ever did wrong did wrong---What is the ans?---There's no more $$s---I say with respect---Get it?---We can go OBAMA way---SOCIALISM---Rember the 60s---I was poor then but worked my Axx off---People don't work anymore like we did--
    I was poor but found away to have a good life---Nothing handed to me---Today the want-it-alls want a hand out from the fatcats---Thats SOCIALISM---I lived the American dream---If the kids of today want a life,it's go to work---7 days a wk like we did---I tell that to my (9) grandkids---They don't get it yet but the well is going dry---The parents well is going dry also---If you have the ans. please respond---You seem to know me---If you really do you know what I said above is true---If not come down and spend some time with me---George
     
  17. 1atatime

    1atatime TS Member

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    Re: X2 comment

    I am a Wisconsin State employee. I voted for Walker and DO NOT regret it. (I believe I am part of the "any" cited in your post, making your assertion invalid.) Additionally, two of the colleagues I work with are of similar opinion. Perhaps you should have said "some" instead of "all".

    My health plan actually costs the state about $1600 per month. I pay $66. I have NO co-pay for visits to the Doctor, Chiropractor, dentist or opthalmologist. My drug plan has co-pays of between $5 and $15 depending on the drug. Who in the private sector gets a deal this good?

    That is embarrassing when I hear some of my "private sector" colleagues and friends talk about their health plans. For example, one friend just told me his health insurance costs $1600 per month and has a $6,000 annual deductible for each he and his wife. Not only that, they have even mnore limitations since some of their local providers are "out of network", and there is no "in network" provider within 80 miles.

    I believe the Gov is on the right track. We can only ride the gravy train so long before someone delivers the bill. It's here now and has to be paid.

    Nonetheless, shoot well.
     
  18. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    ks5---The fatcats are being cut---It's called taxes---50% of the want-it-alls don't pay much or any taxes---Time to put them in the mix and then we can talk about cuts from the fatcats---George
     
  19. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    A couple of questions for some of you.

    The pay raise possible will be capped "future wage increases would be capped at the federal Consumer Price Index". Is this the same Federal Consumer Price Index that the Feds use to show inflation at only 1% or so? And incidentally is this the same CPI that excludes such little incidentals from its calculations like fuel (up about 30% in the past year and still rising), food (the same food that everyone is saying will be going up possibly doubling in the next year), clothing (same basic conditions as food) and a few other things that people actually use every day to stay alive. Or is this the CPI that figures housing costs on what it would cost you to rent your home instead on owning it? You may not realize it but there are several different CPI's put out by the Federal Government and they can and do tailor what they are basing that CPI on to fit what they want it to fit.

    Add those factors into the CPI and see what the true inflation rate is in the cost of living. Just for kicks I took a look at the actual inflation rate over the last four years.. What cost you $202 in 2007 now costs you about $222. That would be about 10% actual in the four year period. Here is a link to get a better picture of the true numbers.

    Inflation rate over the years

    Chuckles,you made the statement "The average Wisconson [sic] retired State worker receives $87000.00 a year in Pension pay and benefits.... " Could you please point me to where this information came from? An unattributed statement like that could be considered by some to be nothing but a fabrication. Such facts as the number of retired employees getting a pension, the wage base on which the pension is based, the length of service, the job pay scale for the job they retired from and so forth would be useful.

    In one published document provided by a PA state legislator, the legislator pointed out how "averages" can be manipulated. One Senior state legislator received a pension based on over 45 years of service, including 20 or so years in a Legislature Leadership role, and with a pension based on the laws in effect at the time of his start of employment (laws since dramatically reduced back in the mid 1970s). He was the only legislator, and in fact the ONLY state employee of any type, that fell into this class. His pension was around $300,000 a year. Now if you add in the next set of legislators that retired with Mr. 300K the average pension was around 110 K but if you add in the most recent retirees in the same general class, the average dropped to around 37K. Now 37k is quite a bit different than the Mr. 300 K. It all depends on what you base your pool to be averaged. So back to my question, on what verifiable facts is your "average" based?

    Just for full disclosure, I am a government worker. My average salary is running about 15K LESS than comparable non government employees (based on surveys published annually by one of the IT national magazines). My pay grade is just about in the middle of the pay grades in our negotiated contract. I often end up working a nine or 10 hour day without overtime. The majority of employees (by number employed) covered by this contract are in lower paid classes. After 26 years of service, my pension benefit looks to be about 23 to 25 K a year (about 1/3 of annual wage) and most of that will be taxable.

    I have been paying into the pension every single day but the state withheld it contributions to the pension plan for several years by saying the interest and dividends the plan was earning covered what the plan, as it was set up, required the state to contribute. Then when the investment market went to hell, the state claimed it could not afford to make its payments because of the poor economy. It seems they were taught in the Bernie Maddoff School of Finance!
     
  20. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    pyrdek---You messed up---You should have been a teacher---Try to figure their bennies and get back---I don't know many govt. workers working 12 hr days without overtime---You had it tough---JMO---George
     
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