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Old 02-17-2011, 06:39 PM   #16
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Dude, the Republicans did this in Texas when Bush was in office.
So before you get all Palin on me, study your history.
I thought it was the Dems that were hiding then, too.

and Tom Delay abused his power by using The Patriot Act to hunt them down.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #17
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Expect a lot more of this over the coming years.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:20 PM   #18
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I thought it was the Dems that were hiding then to.
It was. Once under GWB and once back during the 70s.

I agree about the unsustainability of many states' pension programs (California's situation is the worst, I believe?), but a surprise bill to strip all public employees of collective bargaining rights (save police and firefighters, since they backed Walker during his campaign) suggests a more extreme agenda than that. Especially when, as cori mentioned, the shortfall ostensibly necessitating such action would seem to have been created by Walker's own special-interest spending on HSAs and tax shifts.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:23 PM   #19
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Expect a lot more of this over the coming years.

I know you have posted on this and other related financial topics.


It seems like every thing is unwinding. We (the West) have had a system that worked fairly well from the end of WW2 until about the end of the 80s.

And then practices that were put in place in the 60s and the 70s became too expensive to maintain. The segment of society the is consuming services and resources and far outgrown the segment that is producing and paying for the same.

The longer life spans do to advanced health care and better nutrition drive up costs without contributing to the funds to pay for the same.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:41 PM   #20
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I'm fully willing to pay more taxes for eldercare, so long as stricter means tests for Medicare and Medicaid are applied and SS is pegged to lifetime earnings. That won't fix the age distribution problem but there is so much waste.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #21
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I know you have posted on this and other related financial topics.


It seems like every thing is unwinding. We (the West) have had a system that worked fairly well from the end of WW2 until about the end of the 80s.

And then practices that were put in place in the 60s and the 70s became to expensive to maintain. The segment of society the is consuming services and resources and far outgrown the segment that is producing and paying for the same.

The longer life spans do to advanced health care and better nutrition drive up costs without contributing to the funds to pay for the same.
That's basically the explanation the oligarchy want you to believe.

Germany and France are advanced Western economies that by and large do just fine funding their relatively generous welfare and public sector system - because they still have manufacturing bases and didn't allow the banksters to plunder everything. I use the expression 'banksters' advisedly. I am not talking of your local bank teller or even bank manager, who are just middle class patsies like the rest of us.

I have made the point before, and I stand by it, that the middle and working classes class are being screwed by the welfare class below and the oligarchy scum on top. Both these classes are parasites.

It's time to fight back.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:04 PM   #22
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France and Germany do not spend a good chuck of their resources on the defense industry.

so add to that group of people screwing over the working people in the U S, the Defense related corporations.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #23
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Agree completely.
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:35 PM   #24
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however, if we want quality public services, we need to pay for them.

with taxes. which are presently at historic lows.
NPR has summed this up nicely in reports over the past few days:

"Americans want more government than they are willing to pay for."

People are eager to cut spending, as long as it somebody else whose benefits get cut.

When the Tea Party types start refusing their social security checks and declining Medicare or Medicaid benefits in favor of paying for their health care themselves, well, then I suppose I'll have to respect their position. In the meantime I must conclude they are full of shit hypocrites.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:13 PM   #25
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NPR has summed this up nicely in reports over the past few days:

"Americans want more government than they are willing to pay for."

truth-telling like that is liable to get your federal funding cut.

the problem, of course, is that most entitlements go to the olds. they vote. because they're retired and have plenty of time to do fuckall else on a Tuesday morning in November.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #26
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When the Tea Party types start refusing their social security checks and declining Medicare or Medicaid benefits in favor of paying for their health care themselves, well, then I suppose I'll have to respect their position. In the meantime I must conclude they are full of shit hypocrites.


And when they stop wanting to vote for canidates that will waste money on social and "moral" issues, remain constitutionally consistent with the wars they support, and actually understand the current systems they champion...

So in otherwords it will be a long time before they gain anyone's respect outside of their uninformed bubbles.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:31 PM   #27
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Firefighters joined the protestors today, which is pretty great, considering they're exempt from what the bill would do. The first 15 seconds of this are really great.

YouTube - Firefighters at the Capitol
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:53 PM   #28
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Walker gins up ‘crisis’ to reward cronies

Cap Times editorial | Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 7:45 am

Wisconsin needs to be fiscally responsible.

There is no question that these are tough times, and they may require tough choices.

But Gov. Scott Walker is not making tough choices. He is making political choices, and they are designed not to balance budgets but to improve his political position and that of his party.

It is for this reason that the governor claims Wisconsin is in such deep financial trouble that Wisconsinites should view this as a crisis moment.

In fact, like just about every other state in the country, Wisconsin is managing in a weak economy. The difference is that Wisconsin is managing better -- or at least it had been managing better until Walker took over. Despite shortfalls in revenue following the economic downturn that hit its peak with the Bush-era stock market collapse, the state has balanced budgets, maintained basic services and high-quality schools, and kept employment and business development steadier than the rest of the country. It has managed so well, in fact, that the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released a memo detailing how the state will end the 2009-2011 budget biennium with a budget surplus.

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

To the extent that there is an imbalance -- Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit -- it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January. If the Legislature were simply to rescind Walker’s new spending schemes -- or delay their implementation until they are offset by fresh revenues -- the “crisis” would not exist.

The Fiscal Bureau memo -- which readers can access at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/...os&Darling.pdf -- makes it clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill.

The facts are not debatable.

Because of the painful choices made by the previous Legislature, Wisconsin is in better shape fiscally than most states.

Wisconsin has lower unemployment than most states.

Wisconsin has better prospects for maintaining great schools, great public services and a great quality of life than most states, even in turbulent economic times.

Unfortunately, Walker has a political agenda that relies on the fantasy that Wisconsin is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Walker is not interested in balanced budgets, efficient government or meaningful job creation.

Walker is interested in gaming the system to benefit his political allies and campaign contributors.

To achieve that end, he has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to:

1. Undermine the long-established collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, which have for 80 years been the strongest advocates for programs that serve the great mass of Wisconsinites, as opposed to wealthy elites and corporate special interests. As Racine’s Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason says, the governor’s bill is designed not with the purpose of getting the state’s finances in order but as “an assault on Wisconsin’s working families and political payback against unions who didn’t support Gov. Walker.”

2. Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

Actually, Hulsey’s being conservative in his estimate of how much money Walker and his allies have misappropriated for political purposes.

One Wisconsin Now, the progressive watchdog group that has provided the closest monitoring of Walker’s budgetary gamesmanship, explains:

“Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest spending that includes:

“• $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation that still has $73 million due to a lack of job creation. Walker is creating a $25 million hole which will not create or retain jobs.

“• $48 million for private health savings accounts, which primarily benefit the wealthy. A study from the federal Governmental Accountability Office showed the average adjusted gross income of HSA participants was $139,000 and nearly half of HSA participants reported withdrawing nothing from their HSA, evidence that it is serving as a tax shelter for wealthy participants.

“• $67 million for a tax shift plan, so ill-conceived that at best the benefit provided to ‘job creators’ would be less than a dollar a day per new job, and may be as little as 30 cents a day.”

State Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, sums up this scheming accurately when he says: “In one fell swoop, Gov. Walker is trying to institute a sweeping radical and dangerous notion that will return Wisconsin to the days when land barons and railroad tycoons controlled the political elites in Madison.”

The bottom line is evident to anyone who cares to pay attention not to the spin but to the budget figures: Walker is manufacturing a fiscal “crisis” in order to achieve political goals.

Walker is not addressing a fiscal crisis.

He is not serving Wisconsin.

He is serving his own interest and those of the lobbyists who represent his campaign contributors.

Walker gins up ‘crisis’ to reward cronies


never let a good crisis go to waste.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:48 AM   #29
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This is not about seniors on SS, that is a separate issue that will need to be addressed. This is about the compensation packages that state employees receive. There are also serious issues with county and municipal employee compensation packages.

The state budget in Wis. does have problems and they will continue to grow until they change the how state employees are paid. Some government agencies or going to a two-tiered program. The new hires get retirement packages similar to the private sector, 401ks.


Here is an example of a county worker in San Diego CA.

Quote:
Robert Blair, 89, a former assistant fire chief who retired in 1976 and now lives in Escondido, said he understands why some people may not like the 13th check but retirees are entitled to the money.

“I’m retired and could use the money,” said Blair, who has a $54,000-a-year pension and received a $2,042 check last year. “It helps me pay the bills. I like it. I’m all for it.”
‘13th check’ pension payouts: $73 million - SignOnSanDiego.com


This guy retired at 54, and has been receiving $54,000 a year now for 35 years. He did not even work 35 years, he can receive this for 10 - 15 more years. I know people that have retired in their early 50s and are collecting over $200,000 a year for life. Not to mention top notch Health Insurance packages, too.

This is not about retirees getting 1400 a month SS checks after the age of 65 or 67.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:55 AM   #30
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This is not about seniors on SS, that is a separate issue that will need to be addressed. This is about the compensation packages that state employees receive. There are also serious issues with county and municipal employee compensation packages.
No, these protests are about maintaining the right of association and collective bargaining.

The government can no longer afford compensation packages because they gave all the money to the banks.

Bank bailouts and union busting.

I'm not for the ridiculous examples as you've pointed out, we're dealing with Toronto union employees who have a guaranteed job for life which has zero public support here.

But the right to collective bargaining? Go go go protesters!!!
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