Debunking Tea Party Talking Points in Wisconsin

The Tea Party groups that are coming to counter protest at the Wisconsin state capitol Saturday have been given an strict set of talking points to stick to from their controllers at the Koch Brothers front group Americans for Prosperity. When they arrive on their camels, scratch that, their astroturfing buses from both in and out of state, the following is what you can expect to hear over and over, along with my analysis debunking each point.

“Quick facts about Wisconsin’s Budget Repair Legislation”

The plan is about reform: Wisconsin’s Budget Repair legislation is about enacting modest – but critical – reforms to public sector entitlement programs that are long past due. The proposal takes on some of the most egregious violators of taxpayer dollars including public employee unions and public sector pensions.

This plan is about destroying the last stronghold of organized labor in America: the public sector. Union participation was over 1/3rd of the work force 50 years ago, but has dropped to less than 10% today, except in the public sector. This bill is designed to not only go after wages and pensions, but end the ability of state workers to collectively bargain in the future, something that has nothing to do with any supposed budget “crisis”.

Ending public sector collective bargaining: The plan would end the practice of public sector union bosses strong-arming politicians for exorbitant benefits and absurd contract concessions. The plan rightly calls for an end to the ability of certain public sector unions to band together to pressure policymakers into unnecessary contract concessions.

Conservative groups like AFP have no interest in preserving ANY collective bargaining. They understand that workers are much easier to control individually, and seek to lower wages, lessen safety regulations, and end grievance mechanisms to maximize corporate profits that go almost exclusively to the rich.

Respecting the taxpayer: When public sector workers – who are paid with taxpayers dollars – resort to bullying tactics to gain sweetheart contracts filled with plush benefits unheard of in the private sector the taxpayer loses every time.

This is an attempt to portray public employees as not critical to the state, but these people perform critical functions like plowing snow, fixing roads, and making the government run. Further, it is mysteriously absent why public workers such as firefighters, police, and state troopers unions are exempt from this bill.

Respecting the public’s trust: When teachers choose not to teach purely to pad their already lavish contracts with taxpayer dollars they are violating a sacred public trust. Using students and their parents as leverage in contract disputes is a tried and true practice of teacher’s unions that must end.

There is no evidence that teachers have ever pressured students or parents to attend these demonstrations. The value of a strong education depends on attracting talented professionals to schools, not chasing them away.

Stopping out-of-control benefit costs in the public sector: The proposal would prevent unions from forcing extravagant pension and health benefits on the state that only serve to further cripple state budget. Also, the plan would make the commonsense change that public sector wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by voters.

o Also, some contracts would be limited to one year and wage rates would be frozen until the new contract is settled

There would be no serious crisis had Walker not rammed through tax cuts for the rich and big corporations. “Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit, but he 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 public vs. private sector: In Wisconsin, private sector workers make 74% of their state-level public sector counterparts. This is the 48th worst pay differential in the nation and clearly shows that the public sector employee unions aren’t hurting for better pay or benefits.

This is a blatant lie. A study on this issue was just released a week ago that exposes it: “On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers.”

Paying a fair share: The plan also would help ease the tremendous financial burden placed on the state by its bloated pension plan by finally requiring some public workers to pay their fair share into the program.

o Overall, public employees would fund 50 percent of the annual pension payment – a total that would require a modest contribution of 5.8 percent of 2011’s salary.

Again, if the financial burden on the state is being caused by tax cuts for the rich and large, multinational corporations. Walker is deliberately making the budget situation worse in order to break the backs of public unions.

In typical Tea Party fashion, the talking points are filled with pejorative terminology like egregious violators, strong-arming, absurd contract, bullying, plush benefits, lavish contracts, extravagant health benefits, and bloated pension. They are designed from the top down to give the illusion of a common voice among conservatives about this issue, and like all propaganda, when the points are actually examined in detail, the whole charade begins to unravel.

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89 Responses to Debunking Tea Party Talking Points in Wisconsin

  1. -15 Vote -1 Vote +1Eric C
    February 19, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Many of your ‘debunking’ points don’t even address the tea party talking point. For example, when talking about the use of students as leverage, this has nothing to do with pressuring them to attend rallys, it is related to the fact that teachers are always claiming that even the smallest cut to their salary will somehow directly harm the student’s.

    By the way, you counter your own point when talking about unions. A large reason for the fall in union jobs is because non-union businesses are much more successful and usually out-compete unionized companies. Sadly there is no competion among states so laws must be used to control the unions that are sucking our state dry of resources. While private employees are facing layoffs, pay-cuts, and general uncertainty about the future, the public sector union employees are shielded on the backs of the private sector.

    There is a reason that such a strong republican majority is in control right now: the teachers may whine and moan about the loss of their cushy tax-funded retirement, but the cuts will be made, and most people couldn’t be more satisfied.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Monica "Teajunkie" Koziol
      February 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Teachers do NOT have “cushy, tax-funded-retirement”. They make possibly 50,000 per year in Wisconsin. Others in larger cities may make more or less depending upon where the school is located.

      Try to keep an open mind here, just for a few seconds….If you open a shop next door to a Union Shop, the Union Shop starts its wages and pricing on the ground floor! The Shop Next Door then has competition to make sure a product or service is created to please THE CUSTOMER! The bottom up.That is a free-market, not the rigged-market, the top and most affluent corporations-down the small business; Mom and Pop. YOU are protecting the wrong people! Why are you protecting the billionaires who create the problem in the private sector that you describe in your second paragraph?
      AND most people, thank goodness, are NOT satisfied by the mindless, fearful, uninformed rantings of the tea party or talking heads of entertainment on fox noise.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Joseph
      February 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Take a look down the road. Do you think anyone could live on Social Security payment alone? Where do you find money to save for retirement when you are paid minimum wages? Ninety-nine percent of the population does not have any leverage to bargain with their employers. Collective bargaining is the only way to make sure the powerful not to take advantage of the powerless. If not more, just consider what would happen to your own children’s future. You might have to take care of your children and grand children since you were paid a living wage and able to build your estate. Think about the future. The powerful never play fair and never will.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Argot Fulcanelli
      February 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Strong Republican majority? Unions sucking the life out of the state? I heard the Koch brothers were paying bloggers. It’s simple end corporate welfare and have a progressive tax program. Those two geriatric Stalin funded, oil stealing and not pulling their own weight Koch brothers have fallen so far from the family tree I wonder if their old man’s disowned them in heaven.

      It’s over baggers take your grandpa’s home and let us have our nation back.

      • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
        February 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

        Yea tell those socialist to stay in home. Oh wait they already do 4 months out of the year, waiting for their tax payer funded pensions, while being all but unfire-able based on the amount of time they’ve been sucking down tax payer dollars and not without over average yearly pay , again for only working 7 hour days for 8 months a year.

        Unions have destroyed that states productivity , just like Michigan’s, to the point all the real jobs are coming here to the south for the exact reasons they are leaving there. Rise UP South, let me hear you!

        Yankees, seems you done pissed in your own post toasties on this one.

  2. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Shawn D
    February 19, 2011 at 2:16 am

    So Eric, you are one of the people who believe that teachers are overcompensated? Would you like to explain how it is they are overcompensated, because they have gone through extensive amounts of education, with yearly additional education due to new educational findings, which is not free, and is comparable to the amount of education that say a person in the medical field would have. People do not become teachers in order to make money or live a lavish lifestyle, they do it for the joy it brings them to have made a difference in the world. Also, it is not a small cut to their salaries, and yes, it will bring harm to the students.

    If the budget deficit is so important, care to explain away the 140 million dollar spending on special interest groups. That astounds me that Walker can do that and to make up for it by cutting from the educational sector.
    The United States is falling behind other countries in education, which is a shame because the capability is clearly there. People need to understand that taxes are not evil, and if you are making enough money to live as comfortably as say the Koch brothers obviously do, you should have to pay more in taxes. Think of how many average workers could be paid by the 11 billion dollars that the Koch brothers awarded themselves after laying off hundreds of workers, not due to lack of demand, but rather new technology so they could increase direct profits. That is harmful to America. Pure greed. Think $50,000, which is rather high, per average worker. 11,000,000,000/50,000 = 220,000. 220,000 people could live off of that for a year. That was split between two people.

    The United States should not have to need unions to increase safety and pay and benefits of its workers; instead, they should already have access to that, but due to greed by the wealthy, there are countless people living below the poverty line, and countless more who are homeless and unemployed. The United States should have a standard of living higher than any other country, but due to greed abounding amongst many, this is far from so, and it is disgusting. Once someone is in wealth, it seems that they could care less about someone who makes $50,000 a year, let alone $30,000. They want more and more, even though they don’t have anything to spend it on except for eventually a lavish and luxurious grave, which they better get because they will find very little of that in Hell. As the tea-party conservatives should be well aware of, due to their standard Christian faith right, is that not only is greed a sin, it is one of the seven deadly sins. And did not Jesus share what little he had? Perhaps they do not care as much about their faith as many would guess they did.

    And I also like how you stated a “cushy tax-funded retirement,” because I know from experience that this is not so. I know a professor from a University of Wisconsin school who worked for 25 years at that university before retiring. That professor had several degrees and had many years of education as well as work behind them. When he retired, he received less than $60,000. Is that enough to live on for 20 – 30 years? Try it and tell me how that goes. That is not “cushy” in the least, especially considering how small their yearly pay is to start with.

    • -14 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
      February 19, 2011 at 3:47 am

      Oh Shawn, the pathology of the parasite. You sir, disgust me.

      These public employee union parasites would gladly, given half the chance, do away with their most troublesome obstacle. Their students.

      I had to stay home from work & sacrifice a day’s pay because my 6-year-old’s teacher was taking another “PAID sick day”. Do you think I’ll be compensated for the time I’m wasn’t working, like she will?

      But hey, it’s understandable, right? These “educators” are far too emotionally traumatized to be expected to “work” on a day like Friday. Can you believe it, they’re being asked to personally contribute a whole 12 & 1/2 percent of the cost of their own health care coverage. Dear God, what tyranny!

      See, they’re demanding that taxpayers PAY FOR IT ALL. As well they should. “Public service” means the tax-paying public only exists to serve those on the public payroll. This is the new American reality. It’s what Obama meant by “hope & change”. All wealth produced in this country is the property of Government, & it’s wonderful employees. & we miserable private sector citizens should be grateful they let us keep ANY of what we earn.

      Yep, my 2nd grader’s “teacher” DESERVES her $93,700 a year in total compensation, plus tenure/absolute job security with zero performance accountability whatsoever, (actual total compensation agreement, Debra Ross, Blossomwood Elementary, Huntsville, WI, (256)428-7020) no matter how incompetent she is with her finger-painting. She’s ENTITLED to a guaranteed salary & benefits for life, she teaches 2nd grade! TENURE to watch Arthur the Aardvark with six-year-olds, are you kidding me?

      & now that the state’s broke & there’s no money to pay her with, it’s her DUTY as an “educator” to abandon her “students” & go agitate on the Capital steps with her fellow communists (I mean “educators”) to protect all the taxpayer funded goodies she’s ENTITLED to in perpetuity. She’s a public servant. The public must serve her.

      & the kids? Screw em! The Little Bastards are ranked 32nd in the nation in English comprehension skills, & 35th in mathematics (Wallstreet Journal 2/14). 

      Sure, Wisconsin public school teachers are SPECTACULAR failures, what else is new, but we mustn’t EVER consider giving parents the freedom to send their children to a public school of THEIR choosing. See that would mean that schools would have to innovate & actually COMPETE with one another in the open market, to offer a quality product (a great education) to the children of their customers (the students’ parents).

      This wouldn’t be FAIR to all the incompetent, greedy, or just jaded & cynical teachers who’ve always been told they’re ENTITLED to guaranteed paychecks/healthcare/pensions for the rest of their lives, no matter that there is no money with which to pay for it, or that the productive class has been fleeing the state & there will be even less to confiscate in the future. With school choice & flexible curriculums, they’re be far less need for the multiple layers of administrative bureaucrats, each making $70-300k a year, each paying regular Union dues, each voting the way their Union tells them, to keep the gravy train rolling.

      & if teachers were actually compensated at a level commensurate with they’re ability to teach, & not based on how long they’d been in the system, there would be little need for Unions at all. & then how would Democrat politicians get elected, if they couldn’t buy the loyalty of their Union Constituents with ever more opulent tax-payer funded “benefits packages”, so Union Bosses could then in turn spend the MANDATORY dues of their members to demonize the electoral opponents of those same Democrat politicians. The entire circle-jerk would be broken, & Democrats would be forced to compete for votes in the arena of IDEAS. That would be a disaster!

      As you can see the status-quo is clearly working beautifully, so there’s no need to make any changes. Streamlining & VASTLY improving the quality of the atrocious Wisconsin Public Education System is really just code for “attacking workers’ rights”. 

      I’ll be in Madison today, with thousands more like me. We’d have been there during the week, but unlike public “employees” & professional grievance hustlers, we don’t get paid to blow off work to gather at the Capital to demand that our fellow citizens pay even more for our lavish, unsustainable, & frankly, obscene “collectively bargained” benefit packages. 

      & I’m going to organize Blossomwood parents to see to it that Debra Ross, her boss, “Doctor” Kathy Vasile, & every other striking bloodsucker never “teach” in Wisconsin again. Their greed has overwhelmed whatever decency remained in them. We will not allow them to go unpunished for this extortion.

      You wanna play hardball, you parasites? Let’s play! This is only the beginning. 

      We are determined to crush you & obliterate the corrupt bargain you’ve made with your pet Political Whores. & there are MANY TIMES more of us, who refuse to continue paying for your ridiculous entitlements, than there are of you, who are demanding we pay MORE so may keep them. 

      If you’re terrified now, as you should be, just wait until states like California/Illinois/Michegan  & New York begin to be default on their Bond obligations.  THEN the bloodbath truly begins. Doubt me at your own peril. Your fairy tale is ended. THIS is the moment the productive class finally roused itself to break the stranglehold the looting class has had on the budget of Wisconsin for generations.

      Your public employee unions are finished. Good riddance, you disgusting filth.

      • +16 Vote -1 Vote +1Jean
        February 19, 2011 at 6:01 am

        WOW, you are one angry person–and many facts wrong. I don’t know where your kids go to school, but I know our district does not offer “tenure” for 2nd grade teachers. People like you continue to spread lies–Public School Teachers in WI did NOT REFUSE to give concessons on health care and pension–WALKER NEVER INVITED THEM TO THE TABLE, so stop spewing your vicious accusations that are just not true. This is about STOPPING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING and nothing else.
        I sincerely hope that you place your child in Private Education, because based on what you said-you have no respect for Public Education.

        • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Monica "Teajunkie" Koziol
          February 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

          …and to end democracy itself…Peace Jean!

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
        February 19, 2011 at 3:14 pm

        Wow! You Go Luke!! Show us all how brave you are by focusing on 2nd grade teachers…..ooooh….your manly courage is something to behold! Maybe next you’ll astonish us all and direct your brave rage at a 4th grade teacher!! Yes, won’t we all sleep better tonight knowing that Luke is out there courageously taking on teachers!! Woo Hoo!
        Don’t expend any of your sound and fury on the WALL STREET THUGS and BANKSTERS who WORK SO HARD getting that USURY !! Or for politicians who lied us into war….oops…just let us all know if our troops, who are keeping the land of the free safe from Iraq and Afghanistan, are parasites, too, since they get their pay from tax dollars!! In the meanwhile Superman, thanks for daring to do your part– valiantly keeping us safe from school teachers!

      • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Jay Peterson
        February 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm

        The Looters, you say. Here are some: Bank of America, who received billions in bail out money and tax cuts, and then sent jobs to China, India and Indonesia. They hide their money in foreign tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. They have 5000 employees who will lose their jobs this year to offshore outsourcing. Home foreclosures will continue, with the knock on the door being delivered by people in third world countries who don’t have a prayer of ever owning a home. Next, Anheuser Busch, who continue to lay off workers and demand the remaining ones take pay cuts and work overtime without compensation at time and a half (they are simply moved to different departments and considered to have two part time jobs). Wal Mart, who have gutted the main streets of every town in America with their Chinese made American flags and Chinese made crap. The list goes on , but of course you won’t read it. Teachers, nurses, medical people, etc. who are on state and county payrolls could make more working for banks, insurance companies, drug companies, etc. with the amount of college education they have, but they love public service. Most teachers work over 50 hrs a week and are paid for 40. Education no longer means anything to these Tea Party people who live in the 18th Century. Looters eh? You’re looking at one when you look in the mirror. You further the dynasty of the Koch Bros. and their tyrannical hatred of the common person. You are an accessory to grand larceny by praising and aiding these tax cheats.

        • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
          February 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm

          Bravo, Jay, I salute you! How the money-changers- banksters must snicker all day long–knowing that at their command– their followers will fuss, fume, and blame teachers, nurses, and firefighters for being greedy! Yes, the banksters must be pretty smug nowadays knowing that while intelligence is limited, stupidity knows no bounds. Make the money-changers proud, Tea Partiers!

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Argot Fulcanelli
        February 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm

        Wow Luke, you are crazy. I feel sorry for your kids that had to stay home with you. Anyway, “pretend time” is over nobody wants your extremist views here or anywhere else. Your slim minority is pissing off a great majority of people. We will recall the Govs. and anyone associated with them.

        • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
          February 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

          Naa, sorry pall. It’s your Democrat Whores in the Legislature who are gonna be recalled.

          http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=227422

          Now where do you think a special election can be engineered more quickly & effectively? Jim Holporin’s 12th Senate Congressional District, population 213,000, or the entire State of Wisconsin, population 5,870,000?

          You’re outnumbered & overmatched.

          We’ll have the 15,000 signatures necessary to boot Holporin by the First of March. Beware the Ides. Hehe. Even if he comes back & does his job, he’s toast. As are all you parasites.

          You loose. Thanks for playing.

          • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Randy from AZ
            February 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

            You must be one of those marginalized nutjobs who will show up at a politicians rally to unload your extended magazine clip into the crowd and kill as many innocent (but in your deranged mind condemned) people as you can before you are tackled, disarmed and publicly shown to be the complete loser you are. God have mercy on your soul.

      • +7 Vote -1 Vote +1David Anderson
        February 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

        Take a look above. It’s fascism. Right here. Right now.

        Teachers are “filth” and “parsites.” We know where this is going. Time for everyone to take a stand. We’re doing it here in Wisconsin.

        • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave
          February 22, 2011 at 12:54 am

          Luke is angry at teachers and clearly blames them for all the failing grades he received in English grammar. Evidently “personal responsibility” does not apply to his own education or his second grader’s.

    • -8 Vote -1 Vote +1Derek
      February 19, 2011 at 6:48 am

      I’m in the military. When I retire I will only have around $48k a year. When comparing the risk of jobs does that seem ‘fair’? No, but I knew going in that I wouldn’t get rich. I’m sure most of the teachers knew the salary when they started. Now they want to complain and shut down operations and send quite a negative message to the students that they ‘should’ be preparing for continued education. The message to the kids is “if you don’t get what you want, sit and do nothing and the other side will cave to your demands”. That isn’t how it is in life. Grow up and live up to your expectations/standards. If you don’t like it, find something else to do and don’t get mad when you get fired and someone else is hired to do your job.

      • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Shawn D
        February 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

        Thank you for your service, and I must say that the average teacher pay is lower than $48k while they are teaching, and the $60k the professor above was paid upon retirement is less than the professor spent on his education to become a teacher in the first place. And the part about having someone else hired to replace them, yes, but only if the other person was fired due to a reason other than performance, because what happens is that corporations will fire people when they are able to find someone to work for less. The United States should not have its workers putting in bids to be paid the least for the job, rather it should be the companies putting out bids to see who they can attract with the highest bids. And no one is sitting and doing nothing. There are rallies being held in protest. Protesting is not doing nothing. Do you think that Mubarak would be gone if there were no protests? Highly doubtful. And about your military career, I am disgusted when I hear about how little the government tries to help those who have served, and I personally believe that military persons are entitled to much more, but that of course means an increase in spending, which Republicans refuse to do unless it is for a direct benefit for them. Again, I thank you for your service to this nation, we would not be where we are without people like you.

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave
        February 22, 2011 at 1:17 am

        Military pay should be substantially higher given the danger and sacrifices. Unfortunately that will never happen because congress has other priorities. Look how the Republicans cut taxes during war time and then blocked all legislation in order to force an extension of tax cuts for billionaires. They like to talk about supporting the troops but when it comes down to giving the troops a raise or billionaires a tax cut, the troops will lose every time.

    • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jean
      February 19, 2011 at 6:52 am

      Nice Job! At some point, a Teacher taught you well!

      • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Derek
        February 19, 2011 at 7:35 am

        No, Jean. Those are things a parent teaches.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Monica "Teajunkie" Koziol
      February 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      GOOD on YOU, Shawn!!!!!

  3. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1bill werts
    February 19, 2011 at 4:16 am

    Classic case of building a straw man then tearing it down.

    Fact: wisc. Is $2billoion in the hole.
    Fact: Raising taxes reduce revenue (according to JFK)
    Fact: cuts are all that remain.

    • Ole Ole Olson
      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
      February 19, 2011 at 8:19 am

      Citation needed
      Citation needed
      Citation needed

      I’ve always found it funny how cons try to con people into thinking that lower taxes for the rich = more revenue for the government. That would be analogous to you getting a paycut and expecting a larger paycheck.

      • -4 Vote -1 Vote +1L Carson
        February 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

        Ole,

        Here’s how it works: When tax rates are lowered, people have more disposable income. They spend this additional income, which increases revenues to businesses and to the people they hire or employ.

        So far, so good, Ole? Good. Now pay attention, here’s the hard part: even if tax rates are lower, the increased revenues more than compensate for that, and overall tax revenues increase.

        Making sense, Ole? This is not rocket science, but basic economics. I learned that in school, although not in Wisconsin.

        The reason this works is because goods and services will always will be more efficiently exchanged in the private sector than in the public sector, where bureaucrats make often poor decisions about the allocation of resources. Longer term, the free market generates productivity gains (mainly through advances in technology), which brings greater wealth to everyone.

        • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Monica "Teajunkie" Koziol
          February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

          L.Carson:
          Now here’s a tricky question for you…pay attention.

          In your second paragraph you say, and I quote: “even if tax rates are lower, the increased revenues more than compensate for that, and overall tax revenues increase.”
          Here is your $64,000 question:

          Where does this “increased-revenue” come from?

        • Ole Ole Olson
          +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
          February 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

          L Carson
          When tax rates are lowered for the rich, there is no additional incentive for them to reinvest that money into the economy, or to pay more taxes. They hoard it, thus the term wealth concentration. This is a matter of distribution, that being those who actually create the wealth (the working men and women of America) being allowed to keep more of it, instead of it being gobbled up by the rich. Higher wages and benefits allows more money to be circulated, because poor and middle class people are the ones who actually spend it (on necessities).

        • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Jay Peterson
          February 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

          @ LCarson. What a colossal myth. The very rich get tax cuts and KEEP their money. If they invest it, they invest it not in jobs but in tax shelters overseas, out of the reach of our tax system. The lower class and middle class keep hearing about how they’re going to get tax cuts when Republicans take control, but it doesn’t happen. This myth began with Reagan, who cut taxes on the rich by whopping margins, and cut taxes on the middle class by either nothing at all, or very little, and at the same time destroyed the mechanisms for things like collective bargaining. It is a rigged game, and now spineless Democrats are moping through the halls of Congress trying to act like Republicans, all the while being branded as Socialists. Two facts speak so loudly you can’t shut them out by covering your ears with your Bibles and your Flags: First, The rich get richer and keep their money. They do NOT invest it. It does NOT trickle down. We pay double, first with tax cuts, and second with the loss of our jobs overseas. Second, we spend over half our money on the military, which is bigger than all the other armies and navies of the world combined. We fight wars the majority of the people don’t want, and cut education spending, health care, infrastructure. You live in a Norman Rockwell painting, not the real world.

          • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
            February 23, 2011 at 11:27 pm

            The reason they invest overseas is because we as a nation, to support the runaway spending on public union jobs for one, have let the left tax away any investment.

            The US has the highest corporate taxes in the civilized world.

            It’s almost like we don’t want on need jobs.

            If you want that money to circulate then you have to maintain the an investment conducive society.

            We fight wars , that started when the President in office had the highest approval rating of any president ever.

            Don’t even lie with that. This country was gung-ho for war after 9/11.

            And as far as being branded a socialist, if it smells like a pig, looks like a pig, its probably a pig.

            Redistribution of wealth is THE CORE principle of communism and socialism. So if you dont want to be branded either then dont lay down with pigs.

        • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Harry Johnson
          February 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm

          Well boy it is time you paid attention because you have not for the last 30 years. We have had 11 years of complete giveaways to business and the rich and before that 20 years of gradual removal of regulation and tax giveaways. We are far worse off than when we started. If any of that nonsense worked the way you claim then we would not have the 20 plus percent actual unemployment and 9 percent official unemployment today. Wages for honest, working people have been flat and only the banksters are better off. Time for you to quit beating that broken drum. It does not work. It lead to disaster in 1929 and has repeated that history today.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1Chief Jesus
          February 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

          Then pray tell, why aren’t we swimming in wealth and budget surpluses after all the Bush tax cuts?

      • Vote -1 Vote +1joe
        February 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

        “That would be analogous to you getting a paycut and expecting a larger paycheck.”

        That is noncongruent logic if that is the comparison used for your argument, which is exactly what you are doing.

  4. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Jeff G
    February 19, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Go get em Scott!

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  6. -7 Vote -1 Vote +1DanG
    February 19, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I can’t believe all this bickering. Thank you Eric for the the facts, and thank you Jean for showing the ignorance of the facts. You said you don’t know where his children go to school, well are you a teacher, Then read ! It’s in there, along with the names and benefit packages of the Sick out teachers and administrator(S). But I digress, back to my point. We (the middle class), wouldn’t ask Scott Walkers ( thank God we have a leader who does what he says he will), budget cuts if there was something to show for the price we pay for education. Shamefully, I do not have a diploma, however, I have owned a small technical service business for 32 years and have hired Wisconsin graduates and I am appalled at there limited ability to comprehend an apply simple 3R skills. The point being, if the teachers would get there brains off social programs, degenerate TV shows and baby sitting and start teaching what is important like the 3 R’s, we wouldn’t have so much to complain about. I’m sorry to say this but these poor kids are coming out dumber than when they went in. Please try to understand we need GOOD teachers, not baby sitters. Side bar: You mentioned to Eric He is angry, yes he is, and 1 heck of a lot more people in this country are too. Your argument to go to a private school is well received, we are working on just that and home schooling too. Doesn’t say much for you and you colleagues now does it. Now go do the right thing, and may god bless you in your life.

  7. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1DanG
    February 19, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Sorry I meant God. and your colleagues.

  8. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1Powkat
    February 19, 2011 at 8:26 am

    “Parasite’ seems to be the talking point word handed out by the Tea Party. I have read it in 3 different places, including here. So, when you see the word, know that you are dealing with either a brain-washed tea partier, or a paid stooge of the right wing noise machine.

  9. -10 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
    February 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Powkat, “parasites” isn’t a talking point, it’s an accurate description of PARASITES who won’t show up to work to teach our children because they refuse to contribute 12 1/2% for their own health care coverage. Since they’re demanding to continue to living completely off the blood, energy & effort of Wisconsin taxpayers, they are most certainly PARASITES!

    If you believe you can rebut my analytical assertion without embarrassing yourself, I invite you to try.

    • -8 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
      February 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

      $ Jean, you have NO IDEA how little respect I have for you for what you’ve allowed your once-noble profession to become. I LOATH you, & your disgusting political machine that is choking the life out of Wisconsin, that is condemning her children to this hideous abomination you call a Public Education System. Your pathetically inadequate academic intstruction is but the thinnest veil to hide the systematic indoctrination of your “pupils” into your utterly failed & thoroughly discredited liberal/progressive/Marxist, yes, I said Marxist, pseudophilosophies.

      My son was but is no longer a 2nd grader at Blossomwood Elementary in Huntsville, WI. All teachers there, K-6, are INDEED tenured, & with a few notable exceptions, have relaxed into the lazy, arrogant incompetence of bureaucrats who are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the elaborate bureaucracy they’ve managed to maneuver themselves into, can not possibly terminate them FOR ANY REASON.

      Their union so strong, that not a single teacher has been reprimanded or disciplined in over 10 years, despite numerous incidents that would get any private sector employee fired or arrested.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Harry Johnson
        February 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        I have just one question for you. What kind of salesboy are you? sales parasites are the first and loudest criticizing union workers because they feel inadequate.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1joe
          February 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm

          Im a process control engineer who gets to deal with loud mouthed ignorant prima donnas in manufacturing. Who are completely separated from what actually make the place churn, SALES. Without sales there is no company.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Powkat
      February 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      I could, but from your rantings, I can see that you are one of those folks who when faced with facts that contradict your preconceived ideas simply deny them. If you truly believe that teachers are parasites who are in a conspiracy to indoctrinate children with “utterly failed & thoroughly discredited liberal/progressive/Marxist, yes, I said Marxist, pseudophilosophies” you would not be convinced by the truth.

      I feel sorry for you, but the rest of us don’t deserve the world you are advocating by supporting Walker and the Tea Party.

      • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
        February 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

        So powkat, I’m sure you’d hate living a libertarian society. You’d be TERRIFIED in a world where teachers are paid based on their own merit, & no employee is forced to join a union as a condition of his employment; a union that bullies him into obedience, & syphons off a percentage of his pay to support causes that are anathema to his honor.

        You’d likely go into catatonic withdrawal if you lived in a country where every citizen had the FREEDOM to send his child to whatever school he wants, a country that acknowledged that HE AS THE PARENT can make the best decision for HIS UNIQUE FAMILY. A country of 300 million freeborn individuals, each allowed to act & earn & move in his own dynamic best interest, buying & selling, innovating & improving, never asking from others what he has not earned, nor forced to surrender to others what they are unable or unwilling to earn for themselves.

        Sure equality of outcomes would never be possible, but it’s not possible now. You will never be able to eliminate the difference in human personalities. Some people are more intelligent than others, more articulate, more motivated, less risk averse. Others have different strengths. THIS is the diversity that we would celebrate in a truly free society, not how much melatonin our skins produce, or whether or not we have a Y  chromosome.

        Yes, people like you are terrified of a world like I’ve described. Because being truly free to prosper means being free to fail. & responsibly for one’s failure lie only with one who failed. The horror of that possibility, & your insatiable lust for CONTROL, your NEED to tell others how you think they should live, will always close your mind & blind you to incredible potential of human ingenuity set loose in free society.

        Just me talking like this makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it Powkat? It’s an exhilarating possibility, but it’s not as easy or as SAFE as the way you’ve lived your life. Liberty can be chaotic, & there are no guarantees.

        But I’ll bet you this, given the choice, more Americans would choose to live in my Libertarian society without a safety net, than in your European-style Social Technocracy, even if they COULD live a reasonably comfortable life in the beneficent care of the Welfare State.

      • -1 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
        February 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm

        Those who can’t do, teach.

    • +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Harry Johnson
      February 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      The real parasites are salesboys. And they are the people who toss the word around most freely. They hate unions because it makes them feel inadequate knowing they add nothing of value and just inflate costs. Then to top it off to hear the largest, slimiest parasite of all, rush limpblob, call other people parasites, that draft dodging piece of trash has lived his whole life on daddy’s money and his own b.s. never produced a thing. And sales and marketeering trash are no different.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1joe
        February 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

        Except without someone selling anything , theres no manufacturing for the leeches to feed on.

        They hate unions because , unlike themselves, the unionized depend on extortion for pay. Removing themselves from being responsible to any market. Where as sales pay is directly linked to self motivation and market circumstances.

        No better example than Detroit. Only after the unions were forced into submission via bankruptcy did the companies begin to turn around.

  10. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Laura Littleford
    February 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I love your debunking points. Let’s stand up for all working people. Unions protect all working people.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Jon B
      February 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      If unions protect all working people, why do they use strong arm tactics on workers,and force them to join??? Many teachers here in Wi are afraid to speak up.

      • Ole Ole Olson
        +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
        February 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        No, they are not. People are free to speak their minds in every union I have ever seen or spoken to.

        • -2 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
          February 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm

          Unless its words of compromise.

  11. -6 Vote -1 Vote +1Writer Chick
    February 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I find it interesting that in your responses you keep referring back to how much teachers pay for their education and infer that somehow their pay should make up for that. Doctors pay an enormous amount for their education and yet the government keeps cutting medicare reimbursements. Likewise, lawyers pay a lot for their education but there is no government reimbursement plan for that. The fact is, anyone who pursues a professional career pays a lot for their education – by choice. No one forces anyone into a particular career or vocation and to infer that because someone does that they should be compensated for the cost of their education is a pretty flimsy argument.

    Also, so what if the union participation is dwindling in the United States? You say that as if it is a bad thing. While unions once had a place in business and worked to protect workers from unfair working conditions that is no longer the case. Unions now seek to get as much as possible for doing as little as possible. Believe me, I know. I’ve worked in the entertainment industry and the union think is destroying the movie business (among other things). Methinks you must be a union member yourself to be such a champion for it.

    As to the talking points of the Tea Party – again you spew them as though they are dirty words. All political action groups have talking points, just as you have in your post. I think you’re just upset because they use them and apparently since the Tea Party are not union members they are not allowed to use them.

    The bottom line is that states across the country are going broke and one of the largest sources of budget deficits are government pension and benefits packages. It’s certainly true in my state, California – we’re broke because of union costs and other wasteful spending. Face it friend, times are tough and we all have to feel the pain. No group is immune from the pain, nor should they be.
    Writer Chick

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Shawn D
      February 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Teachers are not paid even close to what doctors and lawyers are paid, but pay a similar amount for education. Plain and simple there, do not think your statement have an impact. I agree that pensions and benefits should be cut for certain people in government, but not teachers. It should be walker giving those things up, as well as the senators, and all the other politicians. Their benefits are far more than the benefits received by a teacher, along with a higher salary than a teacher. Politicians are the ones who are overpayed, but they are against cutting that because it is not of benefit to them.

      • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jon B
        February 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

        My wife wife went to school to become a teacher and graduated but but did not continue in that feild. From our experience, teachers dont pay anything close for education to that of Doctors and Lawyers, unless in a specialized field like the same. In fact teachers education cost is generally no different than most professions aquired at the same university. And most professions require educational updates to hold upper positions.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1Shawn D
          February 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm

          My apologies, you are correct. I checked again and my source was in the specialized fields. I now feel quite foolish, and I thank you for correcting me especially in a civilized manner, it is much appreciated.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Harry Johnson
      February 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      If the state is going broke then why is “commander in chief” walker handing out freebies to his business cronies like there is no tomorrow?

  12. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Charlie
    February 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    The most interesting part of all of this is that the Republicans have successfully turned the argument. In the past, this was more of a have/have not dichotomy. Now, the working class has become pitted against each other. Whoever wrote this script is a genius.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Chris
      February 19, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      The republicans and libertarians wrote the script with the help of big business – and indeed it has worked perfectly. The koch brothers intend on destroying all unions so they can bend over all the workers and turn them back into serfs, feeling grateful for their bread and gruel and 12 hour work days.

    • +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Shellray
      February 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Very true, Charlie. I now understand the meaning of the phrase “race to the bottom.” Pretty soon the Fox and Koch crowd will have working class people convinced that minimum wage and child labor laws should be abolished to promote “job creation” and allow the United States to compete in the world economy. Breaking the public sector unions is just the beginning. And make no mistake, what is happening in Wisconsin is a blatant attempt to break the public sector unions. I don’t have time to explain why, if that attempt is successful, all working people, public and private sector alike, lose.

  13. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Emily
    February 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    No matter how the teabaggers want to spin it, this is a MADE UP DEFICIT for the sole purpose of unionbusting.

  14. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Argot Fulcanelli
    February 19, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Maybe we should all just ignore the baggers they seem to be here in force…Heard that the baggers were going to get software to fake post like crazy-guess they did.

  15. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1jmccarthy
    February 20, 2011 at 5:48 am

    The Pubs will take a beating on this issue in the long run, if not the short term. I greatly appreciate the protest movement in Madison because the protesters see this for what it is, a power grab and a way to use the public employees as a scapegoat for what ails the state governments around the nation. For years these same state governments spent too much of their borrowed money and at the same time did not add to the pension fund, or at best, sporadically. Maybe they should go after some of the Fat Cats on Wall Street and the thieves at the major investment banks, turn them upside down, then shake some of the billions out of their pockets that came out of the pension funds.
    Need a scapegoat? Look no further than Big Business, who ship your jobs overseas and are supported by their brothers in arms, the Republican Party, the same party that refuses to submit real job-securing legislation in Washington, instead attacking middle-class workers, your neighbors, people who actually spend money to help local governments, not as the rich who get a tax break and have proven over the past 30 years that they don’t spend the money, or at least not where it helps the middle class or your local governments.
    This IS an attack on the Middle Class and I am against all such attacks. You have to draw the line somewhere because if THEY succeed do you really think they will stop at dismembering public unions? If you’re in the private sector do you really want a $5000 reduction in pay to satisfy some rich stockholder, the one who got the huge tax break, in order to hold the profit margin and then further receives another capital gains tax reduction from the Pubs while the nation is bleeding.
    Bottom Feeders? They are in the Wisconsin Capitol building. The ones protecting you are in Illinois.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1Kelly
    February 20, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I attended the rallies in Madison yesterday and spent time in both camps. What struck me was the clear seperation of world view among the groups. Both wondering how the other side just “can’t get it”.

    What is obvious from the above comments is that class envy rhetoric has worked out very well in closing people’s minds. I see many comments about how the rich are oppressing the poor. The other side sees Union power as excessive and often intimidating. Welcome to human life. It is in our nature to try to crawl up to and stay on the top. Remember the school yard game “king of the hill”? So yes those that have been successful in gaining assets through their hard work (and yes, sometimes, oppresion of their fellow man-they will get theirs on judgement day) want to keep most of it. Those who feel helpless to change their lot without help (remember the kid who got bullied?) think it is someone else’s job to protect them. Neither is right or wrong – it is just part of living among the humans. One thing we all have on our side is that this is America where we are still free enough to go be anything our talent and dedication will allow. If we find our circumstance unacceptable we can go do something else.

    Another thing that struck me was that even with that many people with opposing views in such close proximity to each other I only heard 2 fellows that should have been given a time out. They both suggested harm to the the f___ing tea baggers (now that is the kind of thoughtful discourse our president is looking for). Overall it seemed everyone agreed to disagree and left it at that. I did talk to a seemingly large contingent of out of state union reps. Godd that they had the resources and interest to support thier comrads but only adds fuel to the opposition view that this is nationally orchestrated. Something the tea party is always accused of – astroturf is the word – fake grassroots. All the tea party signs looked home made to me and anyone I talked to would have been there earlier in the week but was working. Everyone either drove themselves down or PAID for a spot on a group bus. I did see a couple guys making signs on the spot for the protesters of the other view. And theere were doctors on site handing out free sick excuses to anyone that wanted one. I have on for myself for the coming week. Now that affects my view of this whole thing. Openly lying/cheating to get a leg up on the other side. Not the kind of behavior I am looking for out of the people I entrust to teach my children. I know there are a few poor judgements made occasionally but that is going to be hard to set aside as I consider where I stand on all of this.

    If you are still reading consider this. Elections have consequences. Actions have consequences. I know most schools quit teaching civics years ago but remember that after an election we have leaders that are going to act – usually for the will of the people that elected them. After the election we should accept the will of the majority and go back to being good citizens. another election is cominbg soon enough. President Obama has reminded his distractors of this often. Conservatives watched him usher in national health care. That was VERY painful for a conservative to see happen – conservatives see government encroachment into health care as a danger to personal liberty. Scott Walker has not said it yet but he is our elected governor, voters gave him a super majority in the assembly and senate. The conservative supreme court nominee seems headed to getting back on the Wi supreme court and Walker is doing what he said he was going to do during the campaign. Distractors will have to swallow hard and live to vote another day.

    In the mean time we are free to discuss this in a civil and educated manner.

    • +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
      February 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

      ,,,class evny?…. Kelly, You can dispense with projecting the workings of YOUR inner mind on us. While I admire wealthy truth-tellers, Ross Perot and Warren Buffett, I can only scorn the “economic traitors” Perot identified years ago. Until you’ve read Matt Taibbi’s “Why Isn’t Wall Street In Jail?” and Michael Lind’s To Have And To Have Not–we can see whose mind is closed.

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Shellray
      February 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Kelly, don”t assume that all those who support the right to collectively bargain are weaklings looking for a handout – or “helpless to change their lot without help.” Believing in the values of hard work and industry, and supporting the right of public employees to negotiate for benefits, does not create cognitive dissonance. It is one thing for Walker to use the threat of layoffs as leverage to extract benefit concessions from the unions — that’s playing hardball, but at least its playing ball. Its another to pass a law eliminating public employees’ unions’ right to bargain collectively. As far as “government encroachment into health care,” that’s another topic. But I’ll bet you know somebody, maybe even yourself or a loved one, who would be in very tough shape but for a very well-known government encroachment into health care — Medicare.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1jmccarthy
      February 20, 2011 at 9:07 am

      Kelly points out that conservatives “see government encroachment into health care as a danger to personal liberty.” Maybe, but the Medicare Reform Act of 2003, in particular Part D, prescription drug benefit, has been estimated to eventually run up a 15.8 TRILLION dollar bill long-term. This was enacted by a Republican President residing over a Republican Congress with no dedicated financing. Hypocrisy? Trent Franks (R-AZ) voted for that legislation and when he voted AGAINST the Health Care Reform bill last year said, “I would remind my Democratic colleagues that their children, and every generation thereafter, will bear the burden caused by this bill. They will be the ones asked to pay off the incredible debt,” (source:Forbes Mag) At least, the CBO has stated that with reduced spending and tax raises that the Health Care Bill will add little to the deficit, but if it does it certainly will not be 15.8 trillion dollars.
      You want to reduce spending? Start a movement towards reforming the pharmaceutical industry which is raping every single state, not to mention every individual user, but good luck with that since the Republican Party will block ANY attempt at doing so. They will always go after the Middle Class first.
      You’re right about voting in the elections though. I made the mistake of sitting home during the last one but will NEVER do so again.
      JOBS? Yeah, right.

    • +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Harry Johnson
      February 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      I agree everyone should make it on their. That is why there should be a 100 percent inheritance tax. Nobody should get a free pass based on who hteir grandmother had sex with. But every time I propose letting everyone make it on their own, people like you get all worked up about it. Till we actually do that then all the b.s. about hard work and wealth through effort is just b.s. and nothing more. It is just an argument about how to divide up the spoils nothing about rewarding merit. And the pigs born to wealth want it all for themselves and they want to lord it over the people cleaning up after them.

  17. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1lmwilker
    February 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

    “A large reason for the fall in union jobs is because non-union businesses are much more successful and usually out-compete unionized companies.”

    A large number of businesses became non-union by off-shoring those jobs to other countries, or even other states, that are aggressively anti-union. You can’t do that with the majority of public sector jobs. We need to implement FDR’s Second Bill of Rights.

    It is breathtaking that some people will continue to argue about the magic hand of the free market always best allocating resources for long-term prosperity in the face of our ongoing economic meltdown caused by a short-sighted gambler’s mentality among the Banksters and Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street and the Working Class. Magic indeed! Of the voodoo variety.

  18. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1herman
    February 20, 2011 at 7:14 am

    When will the people of this country get it government and business do not pay taxes only people pay tax and then the government leaders buy power with it. We have to live on $30,000.00 a year teachers and government employes get a raise our taxes go up. Well I’m tired of it and the children don’t get a better education because the teacher gets a raise.

    • Ole Ole Olson
      +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
      February 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      Yes, they do. Stronger financial incentives along with a positive work environment attract the best teachers. What’s a shame is how big business is siphoning away many talented educators to work just to increase profits, which does nothing for the long term situation in America.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1joe
        February 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm

        Nope, private schools are know for paying far less than public schools.
        Teacher Pay =! Student education .

        Almost without exception private educators turn out better preped students than public.

        How does that math work? Less pay, far stricter work environment and yet what would seem to be a better education.

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1Derek
    February 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    For a group of teachers, the use of “teabaggers” makes me laugh. If they are “teabaggers” (the use of ‘er’ at the end of a word) that makes you a teabaggee. Can you explain that?

    Luke–it is great to see another military troop on here attempting to get people to open their eyes. Thanks!

    Shawn–Please check your info before you post. Teachers pay WAY less than doctors and lawyers do for degrees and require quite a bit less (if any) yearly CEUs (continued educational units). Doctors and lawyers pay almost as much in yearly CEUs (over a career) as teachers do for their degree.
    My original post mentioned retirement pay. The professor receiving $60k most likely did not pay more than $60k for his education, probably less than half (since he retired after 25 years of teaching-think of costs 25 years ago) and he had 25 years to pay back his student loans. My wife is a doctor and has several years more school. We are still paying on her student loans and she graduated over 10 years ago and had military service to help.
    The part about being fired due to performance, two parts here. 1) would it be a good idea to grade teachers on performance no matter how long they have been working in the district? 2) by participating in a “sick-out”, that reflects on performance and could determine future employment.
    You mentioned companies should not have its workers putting in bids to be paid the least for the job, rather putting out bids to see who they can attract with the highest bids. Believe it or not, this is a business. When you go shopping, do you find a place to shop with high prices or low prices? You probably look for a mix of decent prices with good workmanship/quality. Businesses do the same. They want someone dependable and will do what they are hired to do. They don’t want someone who is hired to do something and once hired, wants to change the job description and pay.
    It is interesting that you bring in the Egypt protests. Are you suggesting violence as well? Egypt wasn’t as peaceful as some believe.
    In regard to your military comment. You mention (R) party refuses to do anything for the military. Historically, they do more for us than the (D) party. Many of the cuts in pay, personnel and technology came when the (D) ran House and Senate.

    I am still amazed that no one sees the negative message the teachers are sending the kids. Put the shoe on the other foot. What if the students decided to have a walkout (or sick-out). The L-E (law enforcement) troops would be called in to round up the students and force them to school. But since the “adults” are doing it, all is okay. (The “Dr” that is handing out sick notes should be investigated as well.) The group of people that consider themselves as “teachers” might need to reconsider their profession if this is the example/lesson they are sending our kids.

  20. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
    February 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’ll try this one last time.

    So, Ms T, you claim to be an enemy of “WALL STREET THUGS and BANKSTERS” huh?

    As a hardcore Libertarian I STRONGLY opposed the unconstitutional TARP bailouts. I wrote many posts on various forums excoriating the very idea of this unprecedented (& likely criminal) government intervention. Where were YOU when it was THE DEMOCRAT PARTY who overwhelmingly voted to use taxpayer money to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiGroup, General Motors, etc? These fatcat firms should have been allowed to fail, but care to see how your “party of the working people” voted when it came to giving THEIR money to Wallstreet incompetents & criminals to keep them in business?:

    H.R. 384 [111th]: TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 (Reauthorization of HR 1424, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which passed 10/8/08, Dems 172 Y, 63 N, Repubs 91 Y, 108 N)

    HR 384
    Republicans: 19 Yea, 156 Nay
    DEMOCRATS: 241 Yea, 10 Nay

    Thats 96% of the “party of the working man” who voted to give his money to the top .01%  of earners. 96% of Dems in the House & unanimous in the Senate.

    Sources:   http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2009-26
    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll681.xml

    Where’s your pathetic class warfare now? “Party for Worker’s Rights” my a$$. Aren’t you embraced that the political whores YOU helped to elect are very the corperate shills you claim to so vehimently hate?

    • +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
      February 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      Luke, seriously, are you confused or trying to cause confusion? I am not, nor have I said that I am a Democrat. Didn’t you get a clue when I said that one of the wealthy people I admire is Ross Perot? I think BOTH parties are completely corrupt.

      That you opposed TARP and use the term “bankster” shows some hope for you. What you don’t get is that I love this country far more than you. We are in danger from an oligarchy. Plato noted thousands of years ago that unless property is more or less equally distributed a Republic CANNOT EXIST……Why did Plato say that?? Because when all the WEALTH is in the hands of a few– SO IS THE POLITICAL POWER—therefore the Republic CEASES to exist. And you have oligarchy/plutocracy. C’mon, Luke, it’s not that difficult to understand!!!

      All the articles I’ve referred you to are easy to read and freely available on the internet. If you’d just read War Is A Racket or To Have And To Have Not by Michael Lind–you’d really understand my point of view. You’d be able to understand yourself more clearly, too, andy why I say you are a reactionary–not a Libertarian. No Libertarian would or could disagree with James Madison’s quote re. War as the greatest threat to “public liberty.” Many Libertarians have this quote posted on their sites.

      Think about what Madison said…..He wrote it all down for men just like you to read and understand….so did General Butler. Don’t let their work go unexamined….you owe that much to the father of the Constitution.

      • -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
        February 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

        Lady, you are a collectivist & a parasite. Do you honestly think you can interest anyone other than your fellow deranged leftist redistributionist in the inane conspiricies that haunt your banal & diseased mind? If you wan’t to recommend reading, perhaps you should take your own advise & read the Constitution of the United States; specifically Article 1, Section 8.

        Find for me the passage that empowers fascists like you to “equally distribute MY property, more or less”, & I will consider reading the intellectual garbage you base so many of your delusional theories on. Show me in the Constitution where it prevents me from using lethal force against those who would steal MY property, for ANY reason.

        It’s protection from movements like YOURS that the Framers wrote into the blueprint for the Nation, the supreme law of the land, the most important guarantor of human liberty; the Second Amendment. Do you think we’re afraid to use it?

  21. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
    February 22, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Tenure for 2nd grade teachers, Ms. T? THIS is the kind of sheer idiocy that comes from public employee unions “collectively bargaining” with the politicians they’ve bought & paid for. Politicians who have zero interest in protecting the very party they are supposed to represent, the private citizen taxpayer.

    In the private sector, labor unions negotiate with management for a share of the profit. But in Government, “management” is the politicians. & politicians who survive on huge union campain contributions are wholly unconcerned with concepts like “profit” or even fiscal sustainability. Infact, the more generous they with the unions, the more support they will receive come next election.

    There is no incentive for either side to try to secure a good deal for the taxpayer. So public unions get lavish taxpayer-funded compensation packages, politicians get huge public union contributions & organized mobilization support at election time, & taxpayers get screwed. Students get screwed. Parents get screwed. 

    Are you gonna try to tell me you care about your kids, when you abandon them to gather at the Capital, to chant such gems as “hey hey ho ho, Govener Walker’s got to go”? Do you expect anyone to believe that all those signs depicting the Govener as Hitler or Mubaric were composed “for the good of the children”?

    So no, Public Employee Unions are utterly undeserving of the “right” to collectively bargain. Their whores in the Legislature have proven time & again to exhibit a fundamental & obvious conflict of interest. So neither “labor” nor “management” can be trusted to “negotiate” with OUR money, when neither has any incentive to spend it WISELY.

    Think on hard on that, & try to factually rebut any aspect of my logical analysis.

  22. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
    February 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    “–the media is wholly owned by the oligarches” Yea the media oligarchy , almost without exception the media is far left biased.

    That is known-known. Only a fool would state other wise.

    “Once again, why do you feel so proud directing your misplaced sound and fury toward teachers, rather than the actual parasites of the MIC like the Black Water thugs?”

    Like the ones that keep the economy going by maintaining the notion of lasting peace within our borders or our suppliers? Oh but thats right, your paychecks aren’t attached to your actual economic viability within a given economy, merely the maximum you can fleece from the tax payers. See if you weren’t busy, haahaa, not earning you would understand that with out commerce there is no economy and no pay check. The military is the guardian used to maintain that ideal of economic potential. Without it, there wouldn’t be much in the way taxes to fight over.

    It almost seems the the unions are purposefully destructive to our nations long term economic sustainability that they should be labeled traitors. Stealing away our nations competitiveness for their own incompetence, lacking any skill to parlay on the open market, they simply take, connive, steal away anything they wish. Is that the purpose behind them? Are they simply agents of an idealism thats lost each of its attempts? Are they here to just weigh down the individual workers of this nation?

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
      February 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      That the media is wholly owned by the oligarchy is self-evident to any thinking person such me and Albert Einstein—but he did explain it to those incapable of seeing for themselves:

      “….Private capital tends to be concentrated in few hands— resulting in an oligarchy of private capital, the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists….
      …Moreover… private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult and indeed in most cases quite impossible for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”

  23. Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Crawford
    February 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Are you sick of highly paid teachers?
    by Meredith Menden on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 3:32pm
    Reposted Fri. Feb 25, 2011 by Josh Crawford (SquawCraw)

    Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

    Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

    We can get that for less than minimum wage.

    That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

    Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

    However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

    LET’S SEE….

    That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
    What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

    Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

    The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days

    = $277.77/per day/30

    students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

    Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

    Update: I’m glad that many people have shown their support for teachers by reposting this note, but I am not the original author. I received this as an anonymous chain letter email, and I wanted to share it to support the public workers of Wisconsin.

  24. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
    February 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    As for Afghanistan, you make my point perfectly. I spent 454 days in al Nuranstan Province (+ another 191 in al Anbar, Iraq) & I survived 68 firefights, one lasting literally 77 hours straight, where I fought on nothing but 2 MREs & 1 90min nap. 

    Want to how much I was paid as an E6 Staff Seargent while in Afghanistan? A 40hr week broke down to about $21.50/hr after taxes with hazard & combat pay. In the middle of some of the most dangerous & hellish conditions on Earth. 

    What am I paying my 2nd grader’s teacher/babysitter, who’s MIA (agitating at the Capitol)? 

    Well her in class time is about 6 1/2 hours a day, & let’s be real generous & give her an extra hour & a half a day for grading 2nd-grade-level “homework”. The district requires teachers only show up for180 days of in-school instruction a year, so let’s multiply that by 8 & divide by her total compensation. 

    180 day X 8 hr/day = 1440 total hours of “work” per year.
    $93,700 / 1440 hrs comes to $65.07/HR

    Now I don’t know how much of the total compensation # I got from the district report website is health benefits & other deferred income, but as you can see, she makes VASTLY more than the guys in the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment taking enemy fire in Iraq or Afghanistan ever did. I doubt even a Combat Brigade Commander makes 100k a year.

    & though the mission & ROEs in Afghanistan need some serious reconsideration, the guys out in the field are CERTAINLY not entitled freeloaders, like so many bureaucrats in government.

    So yah, Ms T, I AM brave & you DO need to be called out on your ridiculous entitlement attitude. 

    & please spare the nauseating crap about how teachers are modern-day heroes. I know heroes, decorated heroes who selflessly risked life & limb to save their fellow soldiers. & what YOU’RE doing be couldn’t possibly be any LESS selfless. You come off as petty & greedy & selfish.

    So Ms. T, with 96% of your beloved “Champions of the little guy” voting to give $800,000,000,000 of their money to Wallstreet Criminals, how can you possibly spout your class-warfare BS with a strait face?

    I eagerly await your intelligent response. pwned

  25. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
    February 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Moderator, please approve my comments & post them in the order I submitted them.

    This site claims to be a “forum for the free & open exchange of ideas”. I really hope your not trying to censor one side of what is an important & completely civil debate.

    Please do the right thing.

  26. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Wullfrith
    February 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Luke,
    The issue here is NOT how much the teachers are getting paid. They HAVE realized they will need to take a cut in these hard times and ARE willing to.

    The issue is Gov. Walker is trying to take away unions rights of collective bargaining.

    So please go out and research more and find out what effect that decision would have and how you feel about it.
    PWNED !

  27. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
    February 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Luke, You evidently have issues with reading comprehension. There are no more than a few “champions of the little guy” in Washington DC. Otherwise I wouldn’t be recommending Matt Taibii’s article: Why Isn’t Wall Street In Jail? If there actually were champions of the little guy in DC, Taibii wouldn’t need to be asking, now would he?

    You haven’t said whether or not troops are “parasites” -–you just tried to defend your own taking of tax money “earned” by fighting the people of Afghanistan and Iraq– who are NOT now and NEVER were a threat to the world’s only superpower.
    You are a Libertarian? You make no mention whatever of the cost to tax payers of the Military Industrial Complex. You sound more like a reactionary–responding to talk-show hosts who have sold their souls to shill for the Military Industrial Complex [MIC]. Once again, why do you feel so proud directing your misplaced sound and fury toward teachers, rather than the actual parasites of the MIC like the Black Water thugs?
    You don’t come across as if you’ve read, War Is A Racket by General Butler. Start educating yourself by checking into the articles I’ve previously mentioned–if you dare–and then look into the award winning work of David Barstow.
    Finally, if you were a true champion of our Constitution and Liberty, you’d already know what James Madison had to say about the greatest threat we face…..Hint! It’s not school teachers, Luke. With sincere hope that you can comprehend, Madison’s warning follows:
    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .”

  28. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
    February 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Kinda lame, don’t you think, Luke, your “vanishing” argument?!! Everyone who has mastered reading comprehension 101 can see that I–a public school teacher–without even beginning to strain my brain—have shown you up—well, actually, you have done it to yourself by allowing your mind to be “seduced” as James Madison warned. If you aspire to be an actual Libertarian, you should become familiar with, and be able to discuss rationally what Madison has cautioned re. War. You see, I don’t take the credit for thrashing you so completely….James Madison did it for me! And here’s some more shock therapy for you: Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciusko that America would become a paradise by TAXING THE RICH! Jefferson wrote in a letter to Revolutionary War hero Thaddeus Kosciusko:

    “Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone…”

    Take heart, Luke, cognitive dissonance is not fatal !! You can free your mind from Kock Bros.[and other seductive forces] if you are truly brave and dare to think outside Rash Limpblob’s black hole of disinformation.

  29. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
    February 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Good one, Luke! You find yourself in the embarrassing position of
    Checkmate! so you accuse the site of censoring you. Lame!! YOU are towing the Kock official line. Grow up, Luke, and try some Deductive Reasoning. You’ve been had by the oligarches’ cabal of propagandists scaring you about a non-existent “liberal, left-wing media”–THINK if you can–the media is wholly owned by the oligarches. If we had a liberal media, then you’d already know the David Barstow story—NBC would NOT have censored the news of his award-winning work. And you’d already know that: War Is A Racket. And we’d all be living in the paradise envisioned by Thomas Jefferson–fully funded as Jefferson asserted: “BY THE RICH ALONE..”

    No, thank you, I will not engage in a personal exchange with you–this site is working fine!! IT’S YOUR MIND THAT HAS THE PROBLEM, LUKE. I’ve already said Cognitive Dissonance is curable. Read “The Cave” by Plato and you’ll recognize yourself. Then see if you’re brave enough to come out of the shadowy darkness into the light.

  30. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1joe
    February 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    “by fighting the people of Afghanistan and Iraq– who are NOT now and NEVER were a threat to the world’s only superpower.”

    Were you huffing your own fumes or something on 9/11?

  31. Ole Ole Olson
    +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ole Ole Olson
    February 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    No comments have been removed except those that are abusive. We reserve the right to moderate this board to keep it a place for rational discussion.

  32. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Ms. T
    February 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the clarification on this. It’s very obvious to everyone that the loser needed someone to blame other than his own sorry self. Interesting that the same style and word usage of the former deputy attorney general of Indiana was fired for using– is the same kind of language–that we’ve seen right here. The oligarches must be getting shaky in their boots!! That’s why they’ve got their shills out in droves on these discussion sites.