Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill

February 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm (political, Wisconsin)

The issue of the teachers and state employee union is a heated one, exposing deep fault lines within  the state, faultlines that have been there for a long time.  The union is willing to negotiate on the money issue.  But Gov. Walker is insisting on eliminating their collective bargaining rights as well.  If it were indeed about the money, than why is the governor pressing ahead on this anyway?  Could it be that the budget is not truly the issue?  No this is union busting, and the stand the teachers are making is admirable and deeply necessary as the implications of this bill are far more profound than most realize.  It is a last stand for the middle class.

Remember the robber barons of the 1910’s and 20’s?  Remember the crash of 1929, remember the great depression?  This is history repeating itself.  Unions are what brought us out of that, and the reason we ever had a middle class in this country.  They are the reasons we for the most part grew up in relative comfort, the reason your dad could buy a car, and your mother could have not only a washing machine, but a dryer, dishwasher and microwave too.  They are the cornerstone of the American and the Wisconsin work ethic.  But in the last 30 some odd years, they have slowly been dwindling and forced out of the American workplace.  In 1978 big business finally figured out if they all got together, forming the Business Roundtable, they could over power the unions, and indeed they did.  They struck down pro-labor legislation and gutted whatever power the National Labor Relations board had.  Since then, the power of the union has slowly declined.

Not so coincidentally, as GDP has risen in the same time period since, average worker wages have not grown proportionately.  Somehow CEO’s and owners on the top though, have salaries that in terms of growth are astronomically out of proportion on the other end of that spectrum.  They have seen billions of dollars in growth, but yet the still whine about not having enough as soon as taxes and unions are brought up, while the bottom 20% have lost the same and wallow in crushing poverty.  Yet they have the gall to claim if a person is poor well then they deserve it.  As we sit in the wake of the Wall Street meltdown, unemployment at 30-35% (if you include everyone not on the unemployment dole, the majority of the unemployed), and outsourcing of jobs, it should not be so hard to put two and two together.   The unions are what kept it fair for the little guy, which is all of us.  And without their collective bargaining muscle in both the state and federal legislature, any workers rights we have, are slowly taken away with our jobs, so they can go exploit other countries who have even less regulation and standards than we do.

So enter the protests in Madison and the walkout of teachers here and all over the state.  Our educational system is failing already, it is failing because we have watered things down to the lowest common denominator, with farsical bills like no child left behind, and inevitable lowering of standards as a result so districts dont lose their funding.  We have spent our time bickering over moral issues such as evolution and sex ed, and we have left our teachers in the middle of it all, hands tied, mouths gagged lest they offend someone.  In places like Korea, teachers are treated like royalty.  They are the gardeners in the field of the future, without them, we have nothing, and we fall further and further behind in our competiveness on the global stage, because half the adults in this country can’t do simple algebra.   We put so much responsibility on their shoulders, because it almost impossible to support a family on one income alone, and stressed out parents simply do not have the energy to teach their kids.  And why do we have to work so hard to live?  Because workers collective bargaining muscle has been slowly squashed while we weren’t paying attention.

Walker has already shown his true colors in his move to grant a campaign contributor special exemption from DNR regulations to build a store that, paradoxically enough is an outdoor store.  heck if I knew 1000 dollars would buy me that kind of clout, I would have opened up my pocketbook a long time ago.  I have a suggestion for the governor.  In order to make up the 137 million shortfall in the budget, why dont we chop down the 6 billion dollar corrections budget in this state?  Stop building so many prisons with things like Congressional Bill HR645, stop hiring for profit contractors, put the offenders to work, 12 hours a day, and see how fast that shortfall gets made up.  TV in prison?  Sitting on their butts all day?  Teach this miscreants a work ethic like they did in the 30’s.  Not only will it make you some money, but you might not have to build so many prisons anymore as it might actually teach them how to earn a living.  But that wouldn’t benefit your corporate campaign contributors now would it Mr. Walker?

Indeed hidden within the bill is a one line statement allowing for the sale of 20-30 state run power facilities and the like in no-bid contracts, a move that more than likely will benefit Koch Industries, a group that has several Wisconsin operations and not so coincidentally just opened a new PR office within walking distance of the State Capital.  The Koch brothers, founders of Americans for Prosperity, the group that brought you the Tea Party, donated 43,000 directly to Walkers campaign, as well as 60,000 to the Republican Governors fund, who worked extensively in Wisconsin for Mr. Walker during his campaign.  Apparently Wisconsin really is open for business as Walker stated a few weeks ago.  Wisconsin is for sale.

But the story gets more sinister I am afraid.  If one googles the previously mentioned HR645, they will find a bill allowing the detainment of US citizens in Rex 84 facilities or FEMA camps. It was passed under the guise of being in the event of national emergency, but in combination with the deployment of 20,000 national guard troops on American soil, a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the threats Walker has made in regards to the National Guard taking over the prisons, and his lingering insinuation of the use of troops for crowd control is a massive warning sign.  See Rex 84 facilities in Wisconsin are the prison in Oxford, WI, and then Ft. McCoy.  In total there are 800 of these facilities all over the country.

The democratic senators who have walked out are heroes in my opinion, the fab 14 as they are being called.  But do you know there are idiots in this state who are actually moving to recall these senators.  The reason, they think they are neglecting their duty.  Meaning the ignoramus in Eagle River starting the petition obviously doesnt have a clue about political procedure or precedent.  Indeed, the Fab 14 are following in the footsteps of Mr. Abraham Lincoln himself, and I do not think an overstatement to say that the moral issues in question rival those Mr. Lincoln faced.  As if the move to recall from within the state on the grounds it is being made were not ridiculous enough, a Utah based group, American Patriot Recall Coalition, is trying to horn in on this as well and recall these Senators.  Excuse me?  Since when is it any business of a group out of state to recall senators the people of this state elected?   Butt the hell out and mind your own damn business.

The political climate is sickening at this moment.  Outright lies are being passed off as truth, polls are being twisted into being in favor of this when really the numbers are more like 60% against.  Mr. Walker so valiantly stated that his move to strip union bargaining rights was to protect the taxpayers of Wisconsin, but then turned around and moved to raise the income tax?  How is that protecting us taxpayers?  I commend the Buffalo NY blogger that was able to dupe our governor into thinking he was David Koch.  The statements of “(the democrats) not being one of us” should speak volumes.  Never before has corporate influence so completely pervaded the government.  If anyone should be recalled, it should be Walker himself.

“Take pride in America, we have the best government money can buy”

As a final note, the group defend wisconsin, website http://www.defendwisconsin.org , is moving to recall Walker.  Go to the site, donate and/or volunteer.  I personally will be looking into how I can get signatures to help in the recall process.

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2 Comments

  1. Jeffrey David Raphael said,

    I think the govenor of Wisconsin is a crazy lunatic!

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