An article Bloomberg Business Week has a good summary of what is happening in Wisconsin.
U.S. Recovery Might Need Public-Sector Unions: Tom JuravichThe is not about balancing the budget, but to gut the unions that supported the Democrats. Consider the fact that the governor wants to take away collective bargaining for all the unions except for two, police and fire unions, the unions that supported him in the elections. The Madison Wisconsin newspaper had this to say…
By Tom Juravich
February 27, 2011
There is no evidence that public-sector workers in Wisconsin have higher total compensation than their counterparts in the private sector. It is true that a gross comparison shows many public-sector workers earn more, but they are significantly better-educated than most workers in the private sector. When one compares Wisconsin public-sector workers with their real counterparts, as the Economic Policy Institute has done, Wisconsin pays its public-sector workers 14.2 percent less than workers in the private sector.
However, little has been made of Walker’s own fiscal frivolity. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau of the Wisconsin Legislature released a report in January indicating the state should have a surplus of $124 million on June 30, which instead would turn into a $137 million deficit because of some twists in the budget process. Walker, in a special session in January, went on to grant $117 million in tax cuts to business. Clearly it’s not the state pensioners at $23,000 a year who are the real problem in Wisconsin. These corporate tax cuts should be reversed immediately.
Union leaders in the state haven’t been unresponsive to this fiscal crisis. They have already agreed to significant wage and benefit reductions, yet Walker hasn’t budged on the savaging of collective bargaining and refusing to allow unions to collect dues automatically. The manner in which union dues are collected has absolutely no impact on the state budget, but can only be seen as a political move by the governor to eviscerate his political rivals.
Maybe this is what Walker had in mind all along. Destroy the unions and underfund the public sector so that it truly becomes ineffective, and then try to justify wide-scale privatization. While Republicans like Walker see privatization as the magic bullet, Walker’s own botched experiment with privatizing union courthouse security guards in Milwaukee illustrates just how disastrous it can be.
Plain Talk: With ‘Koch’ call, it’s clear whose side Walker is onThis is not about the budget, but is a part of an effort to deny the Democratic party a major source of funding, the unions by big business, the major source of funding for the Republican party.
Feb. 28, 2011
There is now mounting evidence that this entire anti-public union gambit isn’t even Walker’s own idea, but the first step in an orchestrated national campaign to destroy the power of the union movement and hence the protections they afford to ordinary American workers.
The influence of outsiders first became apparent when the pro-Walker demonstrators showed up at the Capitol Square a week ago and among them was Tim Phillips, whom the New York Times described as “a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.”
Phillips is the president of Americans for Prosperity, which just happens to be the creation of the billionaire coal and oil barons, the Koch brothers, David and Charles. Their Koch Industries, one of the nation’s largest conglomerates, was one of the biggest contributors to Walker’s campaign, as Judith Davidoff of our staff reported last week.
The Republicans have away talked about the “Democrats secret agenda”, LGBT rights. Well now, we know the Republicans “secret agenda”, to deny women the right to self-determination and break the Democratic Party.
What ever happened to the Republican cry that it is all about “Jobs”? It has been two months since the Republicans took control of the House. How many jobs bills have they introduced?