Obama Stands Up For Wisconsin Public Service Unions

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Governor Scott Walker, of Wisconsin unveiled his plans to salvage the economy and budget of Wisconsin. His plan calls for sweeping legislation that will weaken public employee rights and bargaining ability.

State officials alerted the Wisconsin State Employee unions that expired collective bargaining contracts will be terminated on March 13. A budget repair bill also unveiled will do away with all collective bargaining rights for nearly all public employees and make it much easier to fire employees.

Naturally, the unions and Democrats see this as an attack on unionism that is tantamount to the attack on Perl Harbor.

The Governor has contingency plans to replace striking prison guards with National Guard soldiers and he is not seeking to cripple the fire and police unions, leaving them with their collective bargaining rights.

While the governor of Wisconsin is trying to save his state from insolvency, President Obama injects himself into the states affairs by declaring Walker’s actions an “Assault” on unions.

Apparently, President Obama longs for his old job of Community Organizer or perhaps he would like to retire as a business agent for public service unions, but like when he accused the police of doing something stupid by arresting his friend Skippy, a president should let states take care of state business and concentrate on matters of state and the economy. If the governor needs advice or help, I am sure he will call on Obama the Omnipotent

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has a personal website skooksjournal.com featuring his personal writings and historical novel type stories.

135 Responses to “Obama Stands Up For Wisconsin Public Service Unions”

  1. 101

    Skookum

    Larry, Congrats. I like those people who have used the foils and swords in general, an ‘A’ none the less.

    In a more serious vein, I have maintained that in life you need to be careful or “have your wits about you” as they used to say at home. After that, you need a certain amount of luck. OT is a perfect example. He is arguably one of the best in the world at his occupation, most of us have no concept of the depth of his work and danger, even those of us who were once warriors. Yet he had another element, simply it is just plain luck. He had luck in spades.

    Most of us have had luck by surviving trips down highways like the 405 without injury or death, common sense will help you throughout life, without it you are doomed, but without a bit of luck you are doomed as well.

    We didn’t have formalized instruction, it was more of a fencing club. I saw several blades break ad usually the contestants were too absorbed to notice the break, but there were always observers like myself to rush in and stop the proceedings before there was an accident, thank goodness. The injuries I dealt out and observed were with the side of the blade on exposed skin, requiring accuracy and a deft touch. The fencing club was not the place to show up with an attitude of course. There was always some long hired kid with skills that seemed to reach back 200 years or more that could put some respect and schooling into anyone who walked through the door.

    It is nice to read that they are trying to improve the safety factor, the safety equipment appears just as it does in the old prints from 200 years ago in France, so there is room for improvement. Kevlar within the tunic or helmet would help tremendously. College was such a great opportunity. Touche!

  2. 102

    James Raider

    @ O T2,

    “. . . as POTUS, He speaks for the Nation and It’s Laws.”

    This is exactly what the MSM and the occasional lost troll seems to NOT grasp. This President has not grasped it either. He flaps his lips to further ignite the dissent. He has not been able to shed the coat of community organizer on some of the most corrupted neighbourhoods in America. As soon as he’s off teleprompter, he is completely lost. When he IS on the teleprompter, each and every speech is filled with outright lies.

    How did this empty head ever get elected? . . . nevermind, how is it possible that anyone is still supporting him?

  3. 104

    anticsrocks

    On the Hannity radio program today, a person called it that said he was a retired member of the Wisconsin teacher’s union. He, after getting really irate at Hannity for “spewing vitriol,” explained why the poor teachers are being so misunderstood. BTW, he never was able to pinpoint just what nasty, vile things Hannity had said…go figure!

    Seems that originally the teachers DID contribute to their pensions and health benefits. But when they discovered that if their employers paid their part, it was tax free, they then had their contributions paid by their employers and took a corresponding cut in pay. This is all according to the caller, mind you. I have no proof one way or the other, I am merely taking him at his word.

    Supposing that the above is true, then two things come to mind.

    1. I would only assume that their one time cut in wages to offset not contributing to their benefits has long ago been erased by yearly pay raises.

    2. Because they found a tax loophole, the taxpayers of Wisconsin should be on the hook for their benefits??

    *sigh*

    Just some thoughts on the subject.

  4. 105

    chipset

    There’s a problem with government, in general. Rather then being good stewards of anything, they simply look to the public to fill their coffers.

    See, in good times, the government from the smallest enclave to the grand-daddy of the all, decide to spend money. They spend it on schools, enhancements to existing structures, new services, new employees, new equipment and whatever boondoggle they can come up with. My city has built fire stations that are gorgeous, and very expensive, a new town hall, and all sorts of excess.

    Now, while they are doing these new spend measures during financial boom, they often believe the money will continue to flow in. Then, one day the economy doesn’t look so rosy. People spend less, tax revenue is then reduced. Rather than look at their own expenditures and reducing them, they often talk about the need for more revenue. This often leads to higher taxes on property, higher use fees, higher sales taxes, etc.

    And then the cycle begins again. Due to the increases in revenues, the money starts flowing again. The spending happens. And the revenue declines. And the call for increased revenue begins again.

    We finally have some people on positions of power who are saying “No More!”

    For their financial stewardship, they are called racists, hounded at their houses, and like little children, some run out of their state so the government can’t function. The Democrats did that in Texas during redistricting. It didn’t work then, either.

    Childish games are seen for what they are. The adults are in charge and are trying to address problems, yet some can only see what they want to see.

  5. 106

    Old Trooper2

    OK. Now the Shake Down…

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived around noon Friday, speaking to the near-capacity crowd for about five minutes. From the second level of the Capitol rotunda, he led the crowd in chants including “Save the teachers. Save the children.” Protesters swayed as Jackson led them in a rendition of the song, “We Shall Overcome.”

    “If we can find the money to bail out wealthy businessmen, we can bail out Madison, Wisconsin!” Jackson yelled, to thunderous applause from the crowd, many of them clad in Badger red.

    If asking Public Sector Employees to contribute to their Benefits Package constitutes a Bail Out, that’s nothing short of a fraudulent claim and Preposterous. This coming from a renowned Shake Down Artist that has Extortion down better than the Mafia. Well, the Elected Governor of Wisconsin is being bullied by the King of Shakedown, the Pretender in Chief and the Unions that have no Contractual relationships whatsoever with the State of Wisconsin.

    At what point does this malicious mischief end? Not this year. There are States in very similar circumstances that require Budget Repairs as well. Most states cannot spend more than they collect in Revenue. States that are prone to Flood or Snow events that can be costly and have No Reserve can wait months for the Feds to show up, if the Feds have any Borrowed money to spare.

    Life in the USA under the Obama Economy. Yep, He owns it Now. That ugly Business in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s war, He owns it now. Comes with the Job Description like flights on AF One for Date Nights in NYC and Rock Star trips to India with an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group in tow.

    The Governor of Wisconsin must balance the books. By Law.
    The POTUS, BY Law, the 10th Amendment, has No dog in this Fight.
    Laws, You got Em or You don’t.

  6. 108

    Hankster

    Perhaps, if JJ wasn’t using “Rainbow/Push” as a tax fraud/dodge and using funds from it to pay for his “ho’s” and illegitimate kids etc… we’d HAVE more “tax money” for things! What do ya say to THAT Jesse ?? you big fraud!!! No one’s seen or heard much from him in a while.. guess he needed to grab a headline fast so as not to be “forgotten”… has been….

  7. 110

    Old Trooper2

    From American Thinker…When Teachers Strike: A Memoir

    I am a Graduate of the US Army Intelligence School located at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. That place holds more than a few fond memories for me. This piece invokes a few thoughts on several levels for me.
    Go there for a look…

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/02/when_teachers_strike_a_memoir.html

    As I watch the striking teachers in Wisconsin shut down schools, I am thankful that the history of Texas has been that teachers in this state are not unionized. We do not go on strike in this state. We do not ask the taxpayers to give any more than local taxes will bear. It may keep teachers’ salaries lower than we think they should be, but it also separates teaching into a special calling, one that values the students over self. States that are running out of funds are meeting hard truths, but I learned many years ago that local taxpayers have a say as well. Now that the till has gone dry in many states, teachers and other unionized workers are learning hard truths, that when the well goes dry and there is no more money, the striking workers will be met by angry taxpayers sick of having lost local control of climbing taxes. The shell game of labor of using generous taxpayer funds is coming to an end

    Now ask Yourself as a Taxpayer, Who is being Served here and Who is Serving. Is Teaching a Calling any more than Plumbing, Concrete Finishing, Street Sweeping, Nursing, Computer Programming, Crosswalk Guard, Firefighting, Police Beat Cop or Community Organizing .

    Do You insist on Contractual Agreements being Honored when You know that others will lose their Employment because they are not “Tenured” ? Agreements that never took into consideration the Current State of the Economy that does not hold much promise on Anyone holding their present Employment when the Cash runs out?

  8. 111

    anticsrocks

    I live in Illinois (unfortunately) and our idiot governor (yes, I called him that) thinks that Gov. Walker of Wisconsin is crazy.

    A number of Wisconsin Democrats are hiding out in Chicago, making a stand against a Republican plan to balance the state budget by cutting the pay, benefits and collective bargaining rights of public workers.

    That’s fine with the Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. He says the Wisconsin Democrats are welcome to stay here until Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in Quinn’s words, “comes to his senses.”Source

    We have a real gem on our hands here in the Land of Lincoln. But it was inevitable, since the GOP put up a RINO to run against him. When will the Republican Party ever learn? Moderates (RINOs) are never the answer!

    To clarify, I call Illinois Gov. Quinn an idiot because in the middle of a recession, and with a state that is 9 – 15 BILLION DOLLARS in the red, he raises taxes and then expands the budget…

  9. 113

    another vet

    anticsrock and missy: Quinn will be sending plenty of jobs to Wisconsin and other states. My brother-in-law worked 9 hours of OT and had the equivalent of 4 hours of straight time taken out of his check compliments of the tax increase and it will have little impact on the financial mess this state is in because they won’t cut spending. So wonder the state is on the verge of bankruptcy. 4 of our last 7 governors have ended up in jail (Blago is sure to go). The majority of the people in this state sure can pick some real winners. If those Wisconsin legislators are tried and convicted for breaking the Wisconsin law OT2 referenced, it would be nice if they could get Quinn for harboring criminals! Then we’d have 5 of our last 8 governors having ended up in jail.

  10. 114

    anticsrocks

    Chicago politics have trickled down through our entire state, that is why Illinois keeps electing idiots who tow the party line, rather than act as leaders.

    Add to that a weak, corrupt GOP in the state and you only get RINOs to run against the left.

    Honestly, if I didn’t own my home, I would move. The wife has family in AZ and FL, and either would be better than Illinois.

  11. 115

    Curt

    administrator

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: Missed this comment.

    Now, the founder/editor-in-chief of this blog, I believe, is represented by a public union, which has outrageous, taxpayer-funded pension benefits. I’m not going to put him on the spot by asking him the direct question (he seems to have recused himself from this particular discussion), but I doubt that he’ll volunteer to give up wages and benefits won by the ALADS, whether or not he’s a dues paying member (which is none of my business).

    Since ALADS is a closed shop then yes, I am a dues paying member…I have no choice. Additionally, I, along with all Deputy Sheriff’s pay for the retirement benefits…a large chunk of my paycheck goes to that. Not sure I’m getting you’re point since Aye called you out on the tax deal, not I.

  12. 116

    another vet

    @anticsrocks: You couldn’t possibly referring to how they lost all those trade shows at McCormick Place because the unions were overcharging everyone like the electrical union charging venders $50 to plug in a light bulb? Or you weren’t referring to how Daley had to expand O’Hare at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars and drove all those people out of their homes and caused all those small businesses to close only to have United and American sue the city to stop the expansion because they can’t afford it? Only in Illinois.

    Ditto on AZ for me. A great state. Florida’s nice but a little too humid and I like the mountains and desert.

  13. 117

    openid.aol.com/users/110

    @115. My comment was addressed to Aye and not to you. As I wrote, it wasn’t a big deal; just a thought experiment.

    The point is that one can be opposed to a given law or political position, in principle, yet not be a hypocrite in following the rules which do exist, in reality, as opposed to following rules which one would wish did exist, in principle. In my case, it’s tax rates. In another case, it’s pensions. I don’t know whether the pension plan in question is entirely self-funded (in which case my choice of example would not be valid) or whether it is, to a large extent, taxpayer-funded (in which case my choice of example would be valid).

    – Larry W/HB

  14. 118

    Curt

    administrator

    No, the employer also contributes….I believe for 2009 it was around 4%. They also match 4% of what I pay into my 457 account (if an employee decides they want one)….but that was cancelled this year due to the economy so no employer contributions there.

  15. 119

    openid.aol.com/users/110

    @118: I don’t know how the ALADS-negotiated pension benefits work, but, in the case of the OC deputy sheriffs, there’s the famous 3% at 50 which Moorlach (Orange County Board of Supervisors, Republican) has been fighting in the courts. That’s 3% of final year’s compensation, multiplied by the number of years served, with retirement optional, beginning at age 50. So an officer who joined the force at age 25 would collect 75% of his final year’s salary (+ overtime), per year, beginning at age 50, at which time he could obviously take another job in another law enforcement agency (so-called “double dipping”). Or he could retire at age 58 and get 100% of his final year’s salary (which, in virtually all cases, would be the most he ever earned in any one year of his career).

    Now, assuming that said officer had been contributing 4% of his salary each year for 25 (or 33) years, he’d have contributed, over his career, only the total of a single year’s (or 1 1/4 year’s) salary. Even accounting for interest (or investment return), it’s entirely obvious that the taxpayers would be on the hook for probably 95% or more of the average retiree’s benefits. There is nothing and I mean nothing in any private sector pension plan I know which comes anywhere near the above.

    Again, I don’t know the difference between Orange County, CA vs LA County, CA. Maybe the Orange County Deputy Sheriffs’ union has done a whole lot better job for its members than LA.

    P.S. California police and fire compensation is pretty darn good. Here in Surf City, USA, population 200,000, there are 366 police + firemen who earn more than $100K per year. Personally, I think they deserve every penny of this (and I think that teachers deserve every penny they make, also), but I think that the pension benefits (and these people are also eligible for Social Security), are utterly outrageous.

    P.P.S.S. Here’s the reality facing those of us in the real (i.e. private sector) world:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703959604576152792748707356.html

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  16. 120

    Old Trooper2

    @ openid.aol.com/users/110

    As You know I am not a Member of a Union. My Military Compensation is set by Congress every year. I am an O-6 over 32 Years Service. My Retirement Compensation is 3/4 of My Active Duty Pay. Go here for the Current Chart: http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp

    My Last Annual Pay increase was 1.4% to arrive at the figures shown on the chart. I no longer collect “imminent danger” Pay in my current assignment. Nor am I on “Jump” or parachute pay status currently. I have paid into and am Vested in Both Social Security and MEDICARE by Law.

    Professional Law Enforcement/Firefighting Personnel face “imminent danger” daily at the drop of a hat.
    I do not begrudge them one penny of Their Retirement Pay or Benefits due to the Nature of Their Work.
    They are also held to higher Standards of Personal and Professional Moral Conduct than 97% of the Population in the US.

    Neither Professional Military Service or Law Enforcement/Firefighting is a Career choice for everyone as the duty involves stressful conditions, personal risk and the Job is neither 40 Hours a week 5 days a week. The Divorce rates are High in these Professions. Stress related deaths or illnesses are higher as You well know.

    You make a Career Choice, Put in the Required Duty and get Compensated upon Retirement. My ‘Real World” is as Real as Yours. Too “Real” by comparison at times.

  17. 121

    openid.aol.com/runnswim

    @Trooper (#120):

    Here’s a list of the most dangerous jobs in America:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-most-dangerous-jobs-in-america-2010-3

    Police/sheriffs are #10. 22 fatalities per 100,000 per year. Taxi drivers are #11. 21 fatalities per 100,00 per year. Trash collectors are #9. 23 fatalities per 100,000 per year.

    Us doctors have stressful jobs, with high suicide rates:

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410643_2

    In case the link doesn’t work, here’s the quote:

    The overall physician suicide rate cited by most studies has been between 28 and 40 per 100,000, compared with the overall rate in the general population of 12.3 per 100,000.[1] Overall, then, physicians are more than twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves. Each year, it would take the equivalent of 1 to 2 average-sized graduating classes of medical school to replace the number of physicians who kill themselves. This rate appears higher than among other professionals.[2]

    How many times do policemen and military personnel really have to tell the ultimate bad news to people and to members of their families? Like parents of children? Or spouses? It’s a weekly if not daily job duty in my medical specialty. There are all sorts of types of job-related stress.

    When I was an oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute, we were required to take a mandatory one hour per week of psychiatric counseling, because a previous oncology fellow had offed himself by connecting himself to a morphine drip in the on call room. When I was an intern, my tuberculin test turned positive when a patient with tuberculous laryngitis coughed sputum all over my face. On three occasions, I have given mouth to mouth resuscitation to men in cardiac arrest. One of them vomited into my mouth. On more than a half dozen occasions, I’ve stuck myself with contaminated I.V. needles. Many occupations have built in hazards.

    What would your average, friendly neighborhood Republican think of municipal trash collectors having union-negotiated deals where they could retire at age 58 with peak salary, on top of social security?

    – Rhetorical question.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

  18. 122

    another vet

    Here’s an idea. Since Obama and company set a precedent by forcing Obamacare on the American people and exempted certain unions from the law, perhaps Wisconsin should let the union keep whatever it is they are bitching about and pass a tax increase and exempt everyone in the state who is not a member of the Wisconsin State Employee Union. If they complain about it, they will expose themselves as hypocrites. Just a thought.

  19. 123

    Old Trooper2

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: Whoops! I have no login for Medscape but I do get Your Point on the hazards of Medical Professions.

    I have personally met with Families of My Fallen Troopers at return to CONUS/End of Deployment and that experience carries itself in my memory. It is not pleasant, far from it, but a Duty that I felt was necessary due to the respect that I have for my Soldiers. Parents, Widows, Siblings and children that would forever have that Loved one missing in their lives. An empty place at the table on Holidays and not there for raising children, seeing the births and marriages of those they loved and loved them.

    You Profession involves the preservation of Life and the easing of the passage of those that Life is departing. It is a noble one but were You driven to it by that nobility that is resident in You or Compensation?

    My choice of Career was not to become wealthy. It was driven by other motivation that had little to do with what I figured was monetary or lucrative.

    I am not Party affiliated but despise Career Politicians of every stripe. If the Trash Collector gets a good deal through his career Choice or by a Politician’s maneuvering to buy His Vote, I reckon that is the way things are.

  20. 124

    anticsrocks

    @another vet: Yes, or how about the way that Exelon lobbied heavily to stop the creation of a new shale oil power plant in my county. Seems that since big business would see a 1% increase in power bills, they wanted it killed. They created panic and fear mongering, so that folks in my home town actually thought their residential power bills would go up. Even the state senator from our district, who just happened to run against Gov. Quinn in the last gubernatorial election voted against it. Never mind that it would have created thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs. Never mind that nearly his entire district was for it. Nope, the lobbyists won the day on this one.

    http://www.thereisaway.us/2011/01/tenaska_coal_pl.html

  21. 125

    Hankster

    Hence the reason, in “Hankster’s World” Lobbyists would be BANNED! I don’t have a “special Pimp” telling my Congressman, who is SUPPOSED to be MY public servant, what I(US) want back Home! So Corporations shouldn’t have more access that the average Citizen has. Lets see the “Tea Party” press for THAT reform as well!!! Let the Company that wants something, talk to the CongressCritter when he’s back in his HOME state, same as us……..

    @ Another Vet… I LIKE it!!

  22. 126

    Hankster

    Larry, Suicide rate is probably from filling out too many Federal Forms, driven nuts…and being sued too often by Lottery seeking bums….. driven broke….. ya think?? ;-]

  23. 127

    Old Trooper2

    @ Hankster, As I have frequently referred to Our Congress as the Parliament of Whores. Your reference to Lobbyists as Pimps strikes Me as very appropriate. You will never see Term Limits to abolish the influence of Career Politicians or their Arrogance of Incumbency as they would be required to Vote for that.

    We, as Voters, need to periodically cull the Herd in DC to get rid of all of the mischief, buffoonery and the inbred complacency that comes from drinking from the Potomac River for too long. The Founding Fathers never envisioned an Electorate that was so stupid as to allow Career Politicians this kind of Power or Term Limits would have been a part of the Constitution.

  24. 129

    Curt

    administrator

    @openid.aol.com/users/110: No, LA Sheriff does not have 3 @ 50 and those departments who did get it won’t have it for long. Currently LACERA has made a good amount of money from investments, smart safe investments, so our retirement is quite strong….unlike Calpers.

    Either way, you don’t think we should get what we get and that’s cool. I’m not a union person, think they do more harm then good, but what can I do. It’s a closed shop and and I take what they give me. I do know that I pay large chunk out of my paycheck for my retirement and do not, DO NOT, get any Social Security credits.

  25. 130

    Skookum

    editor

    Curt: Orange County Sheriff, or any of the counties in CA, you will not hear me begrudging you guys your pay or retirement. Of course, Corona made an ass of himself, but you guys are as close to combat as you can be without the ability to initiate live fire, I have seen what it is like at 2 AM on Saturday night in Huntington Beach, No Sir, I don’t want your job with your rules of engagement. Semper Fi

  26. 131

    Curt

    administrator

    @Skookum: Thanks Skook…I’m a Los Angeles Deputy and work South Central. I live in HB actually and while it can get wild, its just a bunch of drunks. Drunks can be a MAJOR pain in the ass but not really any threat since their reaction time is slowed so much. A parolee gangster in LA who may be looking at some hard time because he has a glock on his person is another animal altogether.

  27. 132

    Old Trooper2

    @ Curt, My hat (Beret) is off to You Sir, However I prefer My Rules of Engagement to Yours. In my worst nightmares, the Duty of Civilian LEOs would not be My Choice. The amount of restraint that You exercise daily would tax my patience into shreds.

  28. 133

    Curt

    administrator

    @Old Trooper2: Thanks OT….but it’s me who should be saluting you, and all those who are serving now and have served in the past. What I go through is nothing compared to what the kids in Iraq and Afghanistan are going through, or what those who served in Vietnam, Korea, Europe and the Islands went through in days gone past.

    The amount of restraint that You exercise daily would tax my patience into shreds.

    Yeah, that takes some getting used to…that is for sure. Gets easier as we get older and more experienced I think. You learn more patience I think. I still watch the rookies go bananas over something I just chuckle about now. I suppose I was just like them in my younger days.

    Either way, the rules of engagement being stricter or not…if I feel my life is about to be taken I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that does not happen and the threat is neutralized.

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