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Wisconsin: What the So-Called MSM Isn't Telling Us

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 19:29:15 PM EST


Don't go to the so-called MSM, including the Associated Press, to learn about the facts about the Wisconsin state employees unfair treatment at the hands of its dictatorial, ambitious, and duplitous governor. He's counting on trying to turn the country against public employees and he wants all of us as unwitting accomplices. So he spins one lie after another about the root of the problem.  (He is it, as in a he's a contrivor and Machiavellian manipulator). Note that I drew from Joshua Holland's article for some of these points.  But you will want to read the Holland article.  There is much useful information here.

Here are some facts to fill in some of the blanks:

• Gov Walker inherited a surplus.
• State workers have had no raises in 2 yrs.
• Workers gave 100 million in pay concessions in Dec. , including 16 furlough days w/o pay.  

KathyinBlacksburg :: Wisconsin: What the So-Called MSM Isn't Telling Us
• Walker arrived in office in Jan and gave new tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy and immediately demanded more from workers. This is a contrived shortfall.
• He threatened to bring out National Guard if they even protested, and/or if they walked off the job.
• Yesterday, the workers union agreed to more than 5% cuts of pay to pay for part of their pension and cuts to pay for higher health care premiums. That should have brought an agreement.  But it didn't.
• The governor refused because he demands an end to collective bargaining (and other demands).
• The Koch Bros funded Tea Party Groups (Am for Prosperity, Club for Growth, and Freedom Works) bussed Tea Partiers for confrontations today. Note that 80% of Tea Party funds go to the GOP right-wing infrastructure.
• The Bill:
o Gives the governor unitary control over much hiring and most pay decisions.
o Upends the state employee pay scale which will lead to more cuts in the near future.
o Dispenses with the state civil service commission.
o Requires unions to re-certify every year.
o Ends collective bargaining for all but base pay and there are limits to that.
o And all of this masks that at the bottom of the bill is a measure to defund Medicaid.
• In WI pensions are 6% of the state budget.
• Police and fire are exempted from the bill (they supported Walker).
• Walker sent out state police to round up Dems who "walked."
• Many WI employees have no eligibility for Social Security.  The average pension is $22 k per year.

Meanwhile, the on-air hotheads call the WI public employees everything from greedy to much, much worse. Democrats owe it to themselves to read between the lines and through the subterfuge the so-called MSM tells Americans.  There is much more going on here, primarily a wide-scale assault on people, the strength of the economy,  the environment, civil liberties, and even the earning capacity of Americans, who all benefit from organized labor's negotiation of wages and benefits.  Without it, the rest of Americans would make far less. It is also an effort to defund the "left" and leave it desperate and impoverished.  And without public employees, Democrats lose one of their strongest contingents.  It's ironic given Citizens United.  But it's not surprising in one sense.  On the other hand, it shows how low the conservative movement will stoop to harm American workers and how little credibility that movement has in telling "its side."  It's another case when he said/he said on-air counterpoint obfuscates and damages American politcal decision-making.

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Ezra Klein corrected his article (4.00 / 1)
See here:
As I wrote in the update to my original post on Wisconsin, my initial understanding of the way Gov. Scott Walker's tax cuts had changed his state's budget picture was wrong: They didn't add to this year's deficit, but to the 2011-13 deficit. That doesn't make them any more fiscally responsible, but it does mean they're not behind the deterioration in Wisconsin's 2011 budget projections. They're behind part of the deterioration in their 2011-2013 budget projections. The Wisconsin State Journal has a good editorial running through the numbers.


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