Skip to comments.Who Won in Wisconsin?
Posted on 03/15/2011 5:48:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
Who won the battle of Wisconsin? Republican Gov. Scott Walker got a legislative victory. On the other hand, Democrats, with a wary eye on 2012 and noting the worrying drop in support for President Obama in union-heavy states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, claim to be delighted that Walker has picked this fight.
"Republicans have done organized labor a great favor by putting the movement back in (the) labor movement, creating a level of passion and activism for workers' rights that hasn't been seen in generations," crowed Democratic strategist Mike Lux.
Maybe so. Though the three-week tantrum by union protesters in Madison (which escalated to harassment of Republican legislators by the Party of Civility), along with the flight of Democratic legislators to Illinois may well offend more Americans than it energizes.
Polling is equivocal. A national poll by Rasmussen found that 48 percent supported Walker while only 38 percent favored the unions. A highly significant 56 percent of independents sided with the governor. On the other hand, a CBS/New York Times poll found that 56 percent of those surveyed opposed reducing pay or benefits of public employees in order to balance state budgets, and 60 percent opposed weakening the bargaining rights of public employees.
Let's stipulate that polls can suffer from tendentious wording. Nevertheless, the public's response to the Madison imbroglio suggests that Republican budget cutters have not completely made their case.
Republicans may need to put greater emphasis on the difference between private- and public-sector unions. In a private-sector company, when unions negotiate with management, there is a limiting factor at work -- the company must remain profitable or everyone is out of a job. In the case of public-sector unions, "management" consists of elected officials, and the city, state, or federal government is the employer. Profit or loss is irrelevant, so there is no limiting factor. If unions receive more and more generous pay and benefits, it's the taxpayers who are on the hook, not "management."
Franklin D. Roosevelt was as radical as Scott Walker. In 1937, he said, "All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management." Former AFL-CIO president George Meany agreed, saying, "It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government."
In the private sector, unions do not control management and vice versa. In the case of public-employee unions, "management" -- i.e., public officials -- often receive generous contributions from the very unions with whom they are negotiating -- permitting unions to choose "management" to form a cozy, if corrupt, circle.
During the last election cycle, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees contributed $90 million to Democratic candidates. In 2006, then New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine addressed a rally of 10,000 public employees in Trenton, declaring, "We will fight for a fair contract." Corzine was supposed to be management. With whom was he fighting?
The answer, as even Democratic governors like Andrew Cuomo and Jerry Brown are discovering, is other middle-class people -- i.e., the taxpayers. The taxpayers are the ones left holding the bag when elected officials team up with public-sector unions. Middle-class taxpayers, only about 65 percent of whom have access to retirement plans, are picking up the tab for the 90 percent of government employees who do. Nearly 70 percent of lower wage government workers receive health benefits, compared with only 38 percent of private-sector workers.
Many state workers avail themselves of the option to retire in their early to mid-50s at nearly full pay. If they were New Jersey teachers, they can collect free health benefits for life.
The results are clear: New York has a 2012 budget gap of $9 billion; California's is more than $20 billion; Illinois' is $11 billion. The vast majority of middle-class taxpayers, whose pay and benefits are lower than those of the public-sector workers, must pay in higher taxes or reduced services.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has asked California state workers for give-backs of 8 to 10 percent in salary, saying, "We have no choice ... We must now return California to fiscal responsibility and get our state on the road to economic recovery and job growth."
Mike Lux: Before you celebrate, have a look at Sacramento.
Like labor leadership was ever going to urge their membership to vote Republican. Give us a break.
CBS/New York Times poll found that 56 percent of those surveyed opposed reducing pay or benefits of public employees in order to balance state budgets, and 60 percent opposed weakening the bargaining rights of public employees.
I’m betting this poll was taken in heavily union areas.
The media are really great at skewing a poll to meet their agenda.
Agree. I just don’t see that the unions won anything. Nor will they win in Ohio. Our reps, who talked to us about two weeks ago, seemed pretty calm yet convicted in insisting that they had to deal with these issues, and there was only one way, break the gubmint unions.
That probably won’t be known for some time. Depends on how the recall efforts do and the elections in 2012 and 2014.
Or just making it up out of whole cloth.
Rush Limbaugh has always said that you don’t win by losing. The Republicans won Wisconsin, the Democrats, Labor, and their Communist handlers lost.
The sticking issue for all of us is the pension issue,said a labor activist who attended the meeting with Mr. Emanuel. cant tell my members we are going to support a guy who is going to cut your pensions. The labor leader and others who attended the meeting said they did not want to be identified for fear that Mr. Emanuel would retaliate if he were elected.
Emanuel informs union leaders of intention to cut pensions, not just for new hires..so they kept their members in the dark.
Feb 22, 2011 ... Rahm Emanuel declared victory in the Chicago mayor's race
My Illinois friend remarked: "Rahm knows where the bodies are buried."[an expression]
A couple weeks ago we stripped the unions of between 16 and 20 thousand forced members here in Michigan. The teachers are screaming about being treated like slaves. The strategy of coercion and threats is being ramped up.
They’re “winning” like Charlie Sheen.
With the LSM it will be hard for the GOP to get out the correct message. We must keep working hard to get the truth and the fact out there. The libtards own the media.
The key to the public union demise is giving state government employees the right to opt out of automatic union dues collection.
I’m betting that given a choice, at least half will opt out.
The Tea Party and the people who voted in November won.
meanwhile the latest generic ballot results show Republicans with a 46% to 37% lead over Democrats.
That’s all that matters, we are WINNING!
“Republicans have done organized labor a great favor by putting the movement back in (the) labor movement, creating a level of passion and activism for workers’ rights that hasn’t been seen in generations,” crowed Democratic strategist Mike Lux.
Republicans didn’t do it. The labor movement and the Democrat party created a situation that almost ended in riots, and almost created a Constututional crisis, all over a change in law that put WI public unions on the same playing field as federal employees and numerous other states. This was completely and purposely orchestrated by people wanting Obama re-elected.
they need to poll on the question “Are you willing to have your taxes raised in order to maintain current levels of pay and benefits for public employees?”
Even Democrat governors and legislatures smell the coffee. There’s no way underwater states (of which IL is one of those in the worst shape) can balance their budgets without renegotiating the public workers’ contracts. To do anything else would just be nibbling around the edges.
Negating the collective bargaining privileges is key to the process because it takes away the power of unions to buy off sympathetic politicians who will give them everything they want-taxpayers be damned.
The polls that show support for unions are the result of how little people know about where the big pieces of pie are in the local, state and federal budgets and a fundamental misunderstanding of what collective bargaining is.
Wisconsin brought this whole issue to the forefront and it was very instructive to many. More battles such as that will help inform the public. Walker was quite articulate in making his points.
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