Letters to the Editor

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UNION: Public empoyee unions need busting

Letter by Dana Booth, Tacoma on Feb. 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm with 134 Comments »
February 24, 2011 10:50 am

Eugene Robinson’s column regarding the Wisconsin situation (TNT, 2-22) is simply misleading leftist propaganda. And the assertion that that state’s governor, Scott Walker, is trying to bust the union? Not really a shock to most thinking people that public sector unions need “busting” – or at least radical changes in the way they negotiate, and with whom.

For anyone who’s been living under a rock: In the private sector, labor unions negotiate with business owners. Concessions made by the owners will benefit the union workers, and vice-versa. The public sector, however, is a whole different animal.

Public sector unions donate huge sums, almost exclusively to Democrats, for their election bids. The union then negotiates with representatives – of the same people that they helped elect. During negotiations, these people aren’t “conceding” anything; no one is giving up anything and everyone benefits.

The union workers negotiate prize contracts, and the politicians and their people are ensured another round of big donations from the same people they just negotiated with.

The only people who suffer are private sector taxpayers who are basically the victims of a theft and money-laundering scheme.

Leave a comment Comments → 134
  1. That may be what you think. The question is, can you prove it works that way? Not much more than speculation is out there and it cuts both ways. Imagine the state worker’s situation if they did not have the ability to bargain. Every time a new governor or legislature came in their jobs, pay and benefits would be at risk. Those are the very reasons they fought for and formed unions in the first place.
    There needs to be federal legislation that makes the possibility of public employee unions permanent just as they are in the private sector. That would stop the current nonsense.

  2. tommy98466 says:

    Publico… apparently you are confused about the “way it works.” No one is saying that they should not be able to bargain. Its that its out of control. The private sector is taking cuts as well as some public sector Unions, i.e. a King County Fire Dept. If you think that the Unions are not on the side of Democrats and vise versa you have your head in the sand. We don’t need any more Federal laws mandating Union bargaining. How would a law stop the current nonsense? What nonsense? Its time for the public sector to give some give backs.

  3. denismenis says:

    Calling viewpoints propaganda is disingenous at best – more drivel there.

    Any union can dissolve itself by a democratic process called decertification.

    Union people and the working class recognize economic distress when they see it – and should be reflected in the bargaining (and has been recognized in Wisconsin with concessions on pensions and health care. Too bad defense budgets and tax breaks to corporations and industrialists don’t have the same accountability – but as their proxy it’s easier to target the working class first.

    In historical terms, to take away the right to bargain strikes at the heart of the matter, back to the trade guilds of the Middle Ages and industrialization of Europe and the U.S., where safety, working conditions, the use of child labor and sufficiency for a day’s work were paramount. The reaction is no surprise.
    Oppression isn’t a monopoly of government, it can be of the market as well.
    China and Vietnam may be emerging economies, but they’re not exactly free societies, either.

  4. Dear_John says:

    Working conditions? Child Labor? Are you serious?
    There are laws that address these issues, it is not a union benefit.
    Stop the hyperbole.

    There was a time when unions were needed, that time has long passed.

  5. Bottom-line, regardless of those who are pro-union or anti-union, States like Wisconsin are going broke and cannot meet union demands.

    So union members are paying dues to have their union reps argue for funding that just isn’t there – not even to keep the status quo.

    Some of the media have tried standing up for unions by making a union argument that state employees are already getting paid less than private employees. But one thing that can’t be argued is that state employees enjoy a lot more job security (due to the mounds of paperwork required to fire them). So in fact public employees have not suffered under this economy as much as all the unemployed in the private sector – they should be glad they have a secure job (even if their benefits need to be cut). Instead they expect taxpayers, many who are unemployed, or facing uncertainty in the private job market, to ante up more tax funds to insure the security and benefits of their state jobs.

    There is no meed for me to argue my point – the very nature of this drawn out recession will make it for me. There will not be enough tax revenues to meet the funding for the current staffing of state employees – or their benefits.

    No matter how long the Democratic reps in Wisconsin may run away from their responsibilities, or the rally/protest remains in the Capitol Bldg, it will not increase the tax revenues necessary for Wisconsin to meet union demands.

  6. remove the unions and the former problems will never return?

    when donkeys fly

    there is legislation working towards more lax child labor laws right now

    http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=4124271

    children under 16 working in hotels where there are sleeping accomodations? seems like a slippery slope to no good

  7. Wisconsin had enough in the budget to provide tax breaks for business, but not enough money to pay employees?

    sounds like bad money management

  8. Sorry Dana but your letter is just wrong and I’m really trying to be kind. So teachers, firefighters and other public workers are now the enemy. This is what the right wants for us to fight among each other.

    Here is a great article on why teachers deserve bargaining rights.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/02/22/ravitch.follow.up/index.html?hpt=T1

  9. It’s letters like these that only serve to energize those of whom these letters and those who write them, attempt to oppress.

    I would like to thank Gov. Walker for trying to legislate against the working public, showing them that no matter what grounds they have gained over the years there will always be someone slithering around trying to take it away.

    If it was about Democrats negotiating contracts with unions, that was the problem, Dana, wouldn’t it be enough that this GOP Governor arm wrestle with them, instead of trying to outlaw their collective bargaining rights?

    He’s overreaching because he’s afraid that he would lose in a fair fight.

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    h- Look at the source of his data at the link you posted, very weak (basically made up). And total compensation (i.e. retirement, healthcare).

    And we have laws to protect the children, not unions. One loon proposing a law does not make a ‘slippery slope’.

  11. steilacoomtaxpayer says:

    What needs to be done is to wipe out the union “negotiations” with mangers who get a pay raise after the closure of the “agreement”. Also, there is the fact that Gregoire or other electeds want union support. Tami Green, Dem Dist 28, got $69,000 last election. She got 3000 votes. Is this power, or what?

  12. concerned – do you have proof the source “made up” the data or is this just because you say so?

    benefits. I wonder what kind of benefit package the governor and legislators in Wisconsin have

    the needle in the haystack: “One overlooked part of Walker’s bill that could get passed solely by Republicans allows the state to sell off heating, cooling, and power plans to private companies. Guess who would benefit most from that? The Koch brothers who own several power companies in the state! The same guys who gave Walker more than $40,000 in political contributions, affiliated with the groups who laundered over $3 million through the Republican Governor’s association to get Walker elected, and spent god knows how much bussing in Tea Partiers over the weekend to confront union protestors.”

  13. Another important point, if unions are the problem why do states that have no unionized public work force have the same budget problems or worse? For example, Texas which has a 26 billion dollar deficit.

  14. Soundlife says:

    Proof?
    FDR and George Meany, both giants of the democratic party, proclaimed that it was insanity to have public employee unions for the very reasons mentioned in the letter to the editior.
    Public employees generate no profit.
    There is no profit to divide.
    Even FDR realized that public employee unions would lead into a cycle of tax and debt that was unsustainable and would lead to ruin.
    Unfortunately our society has de-educated itself in basic eoncomic, and now accepts political hacks as experts on the economy.
    Fortunately Wisconsin has a leader who has awaken the public while it is still possible to save the state’s economy

  15. Stelia – in 2010, the corporate backed republicans out spent the union backed democrats by 50 to 1.

    Soundlife: FDR also supported a segregated military. Does that mean we should still have a segregated military.

  16. Great letter Dana! Looks like you hit a sore spot with the leftists. They won’t admit that public sector versus private sector are two different things. I’m still waiting for any of them to tell us how much the education system has improved since teachers unionized.

  17. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Xring,

    Outspent by 50 to 1? Where are you getting this?

    I looked, but found conflicting “facts” from sources that were clearly biased for one side or the other.

    I did find this:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?cycle=2010&Type=C

    Sure seems those special interest PACs sure do love them some Democrats!
    Of course, the majority ARE unions…

  18. Xring with the logical fallacy for the win! Let me try: Hitler believed 2+2=4, therefore if you believe 2+2=4 you are a Nazi. Aren’t there some things that people can agree on regardless of their other beliefs? Hell, Lincoln was a racist who wanted blacks shipped back to Africa but I bet most people think abolishing slavery was a good thing.

  19. pazzo242 says:

    “Public sector unions donate huge sums, almost exclusively to Democrats, for their election bids. The union then negotiates with representatives – of the same people that they helped elect.”

    Sorry to burst your bubble but that is just not true. I was a board member of a public employee’s union and we never negotiated with elected officials. We negotiated with other publoic employees who were responsible for the budget expences and try to get the unions to take as little as possible. Many of those negotiations went several weeks or months and were for several hours a day. Only after an agreed contract and the union membership acceptance vote did it go to the politicians for radification.

  20. Union Busting is a red herring designed to inflame emotions and produce verbage, all to be quoted at length by the press to sell papers and capture the TV viewer’s attention. It has certainly diverted folks from thinking about creative and constructive ways to personally help our country. No amount of so-called union busting is going to save Wisconsin nor any other of trhe many states that are bankrupt. We see only the action of today and forget the past years of states inept management of money, their corrupt officials, the self-serving legislation passed, and we overlook the massive benefits that former government officals, elected and appointed, have set up for themselves and continue to draw. Cut all that off first and you will hear howls from Governors, ex-governors, retired Supreme Court Justices and certainly Congressmembers who have the womb to the tomb gravy train solidified.

  21. ItalianSpring says:

    The union thugs’ chickens are coming home to roost. Right Rev. Wright?

  22. fbergford says:

    This is what FDR said about public employee unions in 1937….remember he was PRO LABOR DEMOCRAT

    “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote in 1937 to the head of the National Federation of Federal Employees. In the private sector, organized employees and the employer meet across the bargaining table as (theoretical) equals. But in the public sector, said FDR, “the employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.” Allowing public-employee unions to engage in collective bargaining would mean opening the door to the manipulation of government policy by a privileged private interest.”

    Public employee unions have no place in our society! Kick them to the curb!

  23. Economic crises are used to push through reforms that wouldn’t otherwise stand a snowball’s chance.

    In January Walker and the newly elected Republicans, passed a whole bunch of giveaways AND forgave millions in past due taxes to corporations. Prior to this action Wisconsin was predicting a budget surplus. This economic crisis was manufacturing to manipulate by Walker.

    If it was just about the budget and not about busting the unions, Walker would be negotiating with the unions (who have offered cuts in their benefits) and wouldn’t have put in the union-busting language in the bill.

    Even though the bill exempts cops and firefighters’ unions (gee….wonder why….could it be that Walker had their support in the election and this is payback?), the firefighters have joined the protest.

  24. redneckbuck says:

    Why should private citizens pay their own healthcare costs and mine too? I make 40% more than the people in the same field. The public sector is out of touch with reality. The unions are acting like spoiled children. The unions are funneling 25%, at a minimum, of the union dues directly to politics. They are out of touch.

  25. gmborting says:

    You people that speak ill of unions and espouse the notion that “the time of unions is over” could not be more mistaken or better yet, believing the misinformation put forth by the media and business interest (one and the same by the way).

    A brief lesson; all those things you mostly take for granted, vacation, holidays, 40 hr work week, safe working conditions and on and on come from hard fought battles just to have the right to collective bargain. Sure there are labor laws to codify most of those workers rights but as you all know laws change as does the political climate. Look around you, good paying manufacturing jobs continue to move out of the country, pensions are almost nonexsistent, wages have barely if at all, kept place with inflation or the cost of living for the last thirty years. Mismanagment and subsequent bankruptcy of a company leads to a court dissolving a companies promise to pay a pension agreed to by contract to employees for long and faithful service. Do the executives loose anything? Hell no, they have their “parachute” and stock options. Do you think they care any more today that they did in the 1930’s about you and me? If you do, you are a fool and deserve that twelve dollar an hour service job you have.

    Now we come to a state that cries poor and wants to save some money by taking away employees ability to negotiate with their employer. Are you jealous or what? If you want to have a better paying job and a voice at the table, organize and vote for candidates that support those rights. Or not and continue to watch company executives make millions in salary and stock options while you make peanuts and have no health care.

    Now remember that same state has the funds to pay for every social program that can be imagined. How many of those people sit in a publicly subsidized home and have never worked. Again, you know what I’m talking about. We pay all these taxes and watch them spent on social programs instead of infastructure and other measures to enhance private employment, or even through our elected representitives, to stop tacitly approving a corporations moving jobs off shore. I wonder who profits when wages, health care benefits, ect stop being made to those laid off employees. Any light bulbs yet?

    Yep, we don’t need those money grubbing unions any more. Right.

  26. redneckbuck says:

    gmborting, Unions should not be giving dues to politicians. Teachers currently are tapped for millions that head straight to the democratic party. This must stop! If teachers are really for choice they will make these changes.

  27. gmborting says:

    Redneckbuck,
    while I may not agree with how some unions donate money, it’s still their right just like it is our right to give to what ever candidate, party or cause we choose. No different than free speech, again I may not like what you say but it is an Americans right to say it as long as it does not infringe or is a lie.
    Know what I mean?

  28. diggerodell says:

    As long as the owners (in this case, we the taxpayers) and managers (in this case, our elected officials) take care of the employees, labor unions are a waste of resources for the employees and owners. Working in a union drove me crazy. I recall employees blatantly telling managers to get bent, dereliction of duties, terrible customer service; and all of these slackers were long time employees supported vehementlly by the labor union. Unions had a time and place. As we compete in a global economy, labor unions hamper our nations ability to compete. While I concede that if owners/managers take advantage of the workers in the private sector, the threat of unionization needs to be protected. Allowing public employees to unionize is crazy because there are no “owners” really as the taxpayers are the shareholders. We live in a capitalist country. After working in a union, I learned that they bread complacency and mediocrity. Unions value years of service, seniority, entitlements. Unions think that all employees are equal but throught years of service, they become more valuable; which often is not true. An employee that works for 2 years could 30% more productive than a 20 year veteran employee. As an ambituous young employee, I was disgusted by the union employees utter disrespect of their superiors and customers. It was all about milking the overtime and squeezing more money and benefits out of the next contract and keeping the young workers down. These are values no American should favor. So I propose this, let’s ban public employees ability to unionize. Then give raises to the great employees, keep the pay the same for average employees, and reduce poor performing employees pay and benefits by say 25%. Merit pay. Then just watch their efficency and effectiveness increase. Capitalism, while flawed, it’s still the best system that actually works.

  29. Parkland says:

    pazzo: “We negotiated with other publoic employees who were responsible for the budget expences ..”

    You must not have understood the sentence. Unions negotiate with managers whose department heads work for politicians.

    In any case, you’ve made the opposite point you were trying. You negotiated with “other public employees”, people who didn’t sign your paycheck and who had zero stake or interest in any concessions being made.

  30. I love all these “freedom” people who don’t want public workers to have the freedom of collective bargaining.

    nimby

  31. Northsc: you are conveniently forget that public unions in WI have agreed to the increases in withholding; the public employees unions here in WA have also agreed to wage freezes and cuts, increases in withholdings for health and retirement, and unpaid days off. Also, the root cause of the recession, and thus the lack of tax revenues, is the outsourcing of American jobs, the Wall Street melt down, and the busting of the Housing Market.

    Olemag: the house passed federal budget slashed funding for programs that help the working and middle classes while giving billions to big business.

    MoD: your site, like most right wing site, only look at donations made directly to candidates and the political parties, while ignoring swift boat type organizations like Crossroads GPS, and the Chamber of Commerce.

    Tummler; the point is that times change. There was a time when the Federal Government sent troops to break up strikes and union organization efforts.

  32. RNBuck: Tell you what, let’s support changing the 15the Amendment. I concede the citizenship issue, in exchange for restricting all political activities to registered voters, and prohibiting donations and other activities by all organizations.

  33. The sad part of this Dana, is that the ignorant liberals aren’t just concentrated here in Washington. People that think like some of these commenters exist in the public. Great letter. It should be pointed out that Walker isn’t actually busting the public employees union. But a person will have a choice as to whether to belong to the union or not-something that they don’t have now once the union is certified. The freedom to belong to the union or not, and the unions collective bargaining rights will be limited to pay only. Very reasonable-and I laugh at the idiots who ran across state lines to whine because they lost a landslide election. It is only starting, thank you for an intelligent letter to the editor Dana

  34. Bottom line. We won, you lost! Don’t like it? You can move, you can vote you can whine. Obama himself said ” I won”. You libs thought that was funny didn’t you? You’re laughing out the other side of your mouth now.

  35. diggerodell – Merit pay sounds great……but the actual practice…..not so much. Currently in a merit pay system in Idaho and was in a merit pay system in Missouri. I have qualified for the highest merit ranking each year – net number of raises – ZERO. No cost of living, nothing, nada, zilch. The State Legislature in these “enlightened” states never approve the budget for merit pay. In economic hard times there is justification that I can accept but, in economic good times they decide to forego Merit Pay in order to “give back the money to the taxpayers”.

  36. Parkland says:

    bB, maybe you haven’t heard. There’s a depression going on. Almost no one is getting pay raises, except for government employees. And it’s not there “pay” in general that most people object to, it’s the benefit packages.

  37. JudasEscargot says:

    “Obama himself said ” I won”.”

    How about a source for this allegation? This smells like sour grapes on the Right branch of the vine.

  38. JudasEscargot says:

    “And it’s not there “pay” in general that most people object to, it’s the benefit packages.”

    What is Governor Walker’s “benefit package”?

  39. JudasEscargot says:

    If you think this concept being pulled by Walker is unique, just look at the list of NFL players that are cut by teams right before roster bonus deadlines.

    Meanwhile, the only community owned team in the NFL is….guess where???

    “Welch on the contract” is the name of the game

  40. JudasEscargot says:

    TMell – and thank you for demonstrating that you can’t comment without the use of the word “idiot”. It says mountains for your intelligence.

  41. Parkland says:

    JE: “How about a source for this allegation? This smells like sour grapes on the Right branch of the vine.”

    “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/01/i-won-president.html

    Easy one, man, everyone remembers that quote.

  42. Parkland says:

    JE: “What is Governor Walker’s “benefit package”?”

    Aww, talk about sour grapes! :)

    The people of Wisconsin elected him on a platform which included doing exactly what he’s doing. The democrats, in a whiny hissy fit, left. Not much for the democratic process when they’re not holding the cards, are they?

  43. If you were truly concerned about this state’s budget, Dana, your letter wouldn’t be about busting the union, but about generating the income that this state needs to continue to conduct business. It would be about properly taxing those of us who aren’t suffering, those with ample incomes.

    What your letter screams is that you don’t want to pay your bills. You don’t want to acknowledge that you and I are responsible for the debts that this state owes, and we are the ones who will ultimately have to pay, like it or not. You want to blame it on the public employees.

    Our current economic problems are due to lack of revenue, but you want people to think that busting the union is going to solve Washington’s debt problems. It doesn’t work that way.

  44. JudasEscargot says:

    “Mr. Obama did voice opinion on some differences on the issue of whether the lowest individual tax rates should be cut from 15 percent to 10 percent and from 10 percent to 5 percent.

    As the president, he had told Kyl after the Arizonan raised objections to the notion of a tax credit for people who don’t pay income taxes, Obama told Cantor this morning that “on some of these issues we’re just going to have ideological differences.”

    The president added, “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.”

    As usual, Obama is quoted out of context.

  45. What is commonly referred to as “merit pay,” usually means demerit pay, as those who hold the purse strings find ways to pay less and less, and has nothing to do with whether anyone merits more pay.

  46. Again we see the work of the GOP Thought Machine at work. Dana try reading outside the gopcult and learn some facts.
    Why this paper publishes letters that are nothing but rightwing lies only hurts our city and our country.

  47. JudasEscargot says:

    Let’s use “Obamaquoting” on Walker and see how his campaign promises match up to what’s happening in Wisconsin:

    “The best way to help Wisconsin families is to ensure that there is a job available for every worker who wants one.”

    Madison — Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday morning the state could send out layoff notices to state workers as soon as next week if the budget standoff is not resolved.

    ““We trust teachers, counselors and administrators to provide our children world-class instruction, to motivate them and to keep them safe.”

    Skating on thin ice, Gov. Scott Walker has evinced not a shred of human sympathy as he calmly goes about his business, which is to demonize and demoralize state workers. It’s all part of a larger pattern. First it was public school teachers that got the broadsides, snide suggestions they aren’t up to snuff.

    The “Walker for Governor” website has been scrubbed on the issue of “government spending” as it is talking in present and refers to the former Governor in the past. Therefore who knows, other than astute voters, what he really campaigned on.

  48. I would support an agreement that the unions would not be able to provide monetary political support to candidates if corporations were not allowed to provide that support. Those asking why their tax dollars could be donated by union members to political campaigns (no tax dollars are directly given to unions, it is workers who donate the money) should be asked why is it OK for corporations to charge us more and then give our hard-earned money to political campaigns of their choosing?

    Oh, yeah, I forgot, we tried that law limiting unions’ and corporations’ political contributions, and the Supreme Court said that corporations were actually a “person”, not an “entity”.

    The campaign donation thing is just another red herring in the fight against unions. Unions have the responsibility to ask for whatever their members want to ask for. In state government, the managers on the other side do not have to give them squat, so faulting the unions is just a phony baloney attack. I have always been on the management side, even as a state employee, and it is very easy to say “No” when you are representing the entire state and the demands are not in line with reality

  49. Parkland says:

    SUE: “Why this paper publishes letters that are nothing but rightwing lies only hurts our city and our country.”

    Quite typical of the leftist thought police mentality. And by looking at the comments here, sounds to me like the left is sort of freaking out. :) Their actions in Wisconsin sure don’t do anything to bring sympathy to their cause from people who may have been on the fence.

    JE: “As usual, Obama is quoted out of context.”

    No, Obama, in his arrogance, stepped out. What he didn’t realize, is that he wasn’t elected due to his ideology. He wasn’t given a mandate. He was elected because people were sick of Bush and McCain was one step below Dole on the “electable” scale. Obama _thought_ he had a mandate, given the sweep of Dems into office, which is what swept the Republicans into office last November. You remember, that party that was given up for dead after 2008? :)

  50. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Xring,

    I have never had one person tell me that opensecrets.org is right wing….until now! Here’s what wikipedia has on them:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Responsive_Politics

    Of particular interest is their donors.

    At any rate, they DO have the numbers for other types of donations. Here’s the page you were looking for:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/527s/index.php

    Nothing on the 50 to 1 ratio? I looked on this site for that info. as well. Nothing there. I’m not trying to push the point, I just really don’t understand where some of these seemingly outrageous ideas come from.

  51. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    Just like you, I thought that fire/police were exempt as a payback for supporting the Republican candidate. Judas was generous enough to inform me that just isn’t true. Of course I looked it up for myself and guess what?….it’s true! They didn’t endorse him at all.
    Broken clock, blind squirrel,….it happens.

    It seems to me that Walker is being a bit ham-fisted in his legislation. Maybe that’s what it’s going to take, I don’t know….but clearly he’s decided this is the hill he’s going to live or die on….

  52. Roncella says:

    Dana, What a great letter, Thanks for allowiing the truth to shine.

    A side note to all this is, its really strange how the dems. liberals, progressives can make mean hateful signs and yell and scream and are disrespectful with their demonstations,

    However when the Tea Party folks were marching and demonstrating, the lame stream Press and Obama and Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress called them names, like racists, trouble makers, etc etc.

    the democrats, liberals, progressives almosts always have different standards for Conservatives and Republicans and Independents, its a very simple formula, for them, it goes like this,

    anything the dems, libs, progressives do is ok, and anything the Conservatives or Republicans or Indendpends do is Wrong !!!!

  53. And your (over)stated philosophy is that Liberalism Is a mental disorder, Roncella. Tell me that isn’t mean spirited.

  54. He wasn’t given a mandate

    Funny how the same people who claim that Obama’s landslide victory didn’t give him a mandate are also claiming that the Republican’s victory in the House has provided them a mandate.

    Mandates are definitely in the eye of the beholder……

  55. Parkland – if your “Depression” comment was in reaction to my merit pay experience, I suggest you re-read my post. I was in Missouri 200-2004, prior to the great recession, and they still “couldn’t find” any money for merit pay.

  56. It’s hard for Democrats to rebut this letter. Booth is correct on all accounts. Time to change the rules and have a disinterested party negotiate with public sectors on behalf of taxpayers. Democrats have had their hands filled too many times in the past to expect them to be faithful and honest in matters concerning unions.

    One of the few honest Washington Democrats was eaten by her own party and the unions because of her honesty.

  57. xring – sorry if reality hurts.

    I did not “conveniently leave out the reasons for the recession we are now in – merely that it exists and a hard reality most of us have already felt. Plus the fact that this drawn out recession is coupled with rising prices (even today news of ever higher gas prices still coming).

    This reality simply equates to less tax revenues coming in, meaning less funds available for government to cover current levels of expenditures. Everything will require budget cuts. It’s simple math – if any area of government budget even stays fully funded at the level it was last year, something else has to take an even bigger cut. For government employees to expect a wage increase or more funding to cover ta higher % of their health insurance, then that tilts the scale even more against some other government program.

    Again, simple math – nothing conveniently left out.

  58. MoD, re your links: Any link that shows the Dems outspending the Republicon/Tea Bag party is either incompetent or outright biased (IMO). Example, Open Secrets does not include funding to the Tea Party, or by NON-Party (swift boat and other right wing organizations in with the Rebublicon party funding.

    MoD: re Walker:
    $140 million in new tax breaks for corporations (60% of whom already do not pay any state tax),
    Forgive $1 billion in outstanding state corporate taxes.
    Allow state to sell power, heating, cooling facilities without bids.
    IMO that is way beyond ham fisted.

    Roncella it is you and the right that have the double standard – Everything said or down by the right is great and good; everything said or down by anybody else is evil, sinful, and un American.

    Camas: rebutting the letter is a piece of cake = we just have to tell the truth.

    Northsc, what you are leaving out is that the root causes of the depression are now being sold as the cure. Think Snake Oil. I.E. taxes are low because unemployment is high. So cut taxes even more so the rich can create jobs. Which they do – just not here where they are needed.

  59. Please excuse this little history lesson. In 1974 a similar event on a bigger scale happened in the UK with coal miners demanding a 100% pay raise. All electricity came from coal. The government stood up to the union and called a national election vote of confidence. At the beginning of the 3 week election cycle, the public supported the government. After 3 weeks of rationed power (4 hrs a day) the fickle public caved and voted in the socialist party who gave the miners what they wanted.
    Moral of the story – union power works if you have a bargaining chip that will affect the public instantly. Government workers are not in that class. Nobody will notice or care until they need their passports renewed.
    Anyway, it all worked out well in the end. 5 years later, Maggie Thatcher came into office and destroyed the unions. All mines were shut down permanently and the UK went to nuclear power.
    A lesson that should be heeded by public employees. You are not that special !

  60. xring says rebutting the letter is a piece of cake = we just have to tell the truth

    I’m waiting for you start. The truth is that Democrats have been bought and paid for by unions.

    Your turn.

  61. ctdrules says:

    Bottom line, status quo is out. Denial is a great thing, it puts off the inevitable just long enough for the solution to disappear. It’s not about the public employees, it’s about the complete mismanagement of money by the government (at all levels). Well, it’s too late for band-aids now, the piper is here to be paid and, man, do we owe him a bunch.

    America had a good run but the end of the line is in sight. Without massive changes to how, where, and to whom money is spent, we are toast. Selling houses to people that can’t pay for them is INSANITY and, yet, our gov’t loved backing those sales. What a joke. I could go on forever but you get the point.

  62. “the piper is here to be paid and, man, do we owe him a bunch.”

    Yes we do.

    There are those of us whose incomes are sufficient that if appropriately taxed we could get our state’s finances in order.

    We’ll remain in the red as long as there are narrow minded individuals amongst us willing to “Bust” the unions, in the name of balancing the budget.

  63. MarksonofDarwin says:

    xring,

    But, bbbut, but…..I provided the link to the page that provides the very information you claim isn’t there.

    You hate Republicans?….I do too. I also hate Democrats. Both parties have members that have this insane knack for believing only what they want to believe, and seeing only what they want to see.

    Anyone who disagrees with them is evil, heartless, stupid, uneducated, mentally ill, greedy, selfish, repugnant, and ugly.
    Oh, and they are monocle wearing mustache twirling fiends, or lazy schmucks who only want a handout.

    I give up. You guys deserve each other…

  64. xring – again, you are espousing a personal opinion that doesn’t in anyway detract from the reality that I have stated.

    Simple math. Cuts must happen. The fact that I have never been a proponent of tax cuts to support the theory of a “trickle down” economy has nothing to do with what I stated.

    But businesses have closed/cut back. The proposal that these tax cuts for businesses that are still hanging on through this recession will solve the budget crisis is ridiculous. If government employees truly want to “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs” then continue arguing for more taxes to support their demands to retain the security of their jobs. It will fall on deaf ears of the unemployed from the private sector who need businesses to recover and start hiring again.

    High taxes will force more businesses to fold/move, creating even more unemployment in the private sector, resulting in even less tax revenues coming in to fund government programs.

    Again, simple math – there are less and less tax revenues to cover expenditures. Expecting private business and/or non-government workers to continue suffering from this recession AND to maintain current levels of government spending – especially to insure government workers are kept secure – is ridiculous.

    No matter how much you support unions or government employees, you cannot escape this reality or simple math. To ignore that tax revenues that pay for government services and the salaries of government employees are derived from private enterprise is the glaring fact that you conveniently leave out of your arguments – and even call “snake oil”. This recession is real, this inflation is real, business failures/cutbacks reduce taxes is real, unemployment reduces tax revenues (sales) even more is real, home values down is real.

    None of this is “snake oil”.

    The idea that government employees need to be protected against this reality – and that more tax revenues are needed to do so – is the only snake oil I see from your impassioned defense of government employees.

  65. Camas, the republicons have sold their souls and the American people to the mega, multi-national corporations.

    PS: here’s a freebe, private sector union membership is currently under 9% of the total work force, down from a high of 45-50% in the 1950’s.

    Ah, yes the 50’s back when workers and the middle classes had money to buy American Built Products, and we produced enough extra to be the leading manufacturing country in the world. Not the mention the leading agricultural nation in the world.

  66. MoD – yah but……

    I hate both parties too but,

    I hate Democrats probably less than you and you hate Republicans probably less than me.

  67. In this clip, he didn’t say the words “I won”, but he implied it.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6242715-503544.html

  68. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    Nah.
    We hate both the Rs and Ds for different reasons! I’m sure the intensity is just the same though.

    Anyway, I should have known better than to comment on a partisan thread.
    Lesson learned…

  69. Parkland says:

    Polago: “We’ll remain in the red as long as there are narrow minded individuals amongst us willing to “Bust” the unions, in the name of balancing the budget.”

    Letter didn’t say anything about balancing the budget, it was about the need to bust public employee unions.

    Nevertheless, busting those unions would save the taxpayers plenty.

  70. Camas, the republicons have sold their souls and the American people to the mega, multi-national corporations.

    And here is a freebee; private sector union membership is currently under 9% of the total work force, down from a high of 45-50% in the 1950’s.

    Ah, yes the 50’s back when workers and the middle classes had money to buy American Built Products, and we produced enough extra to be the leading manufacturing country in the world. Not to mention the leading agricultural nation in the world.

    Northsc: the state worker’s unions, both here and in Wisconsin, have agreed to accept pay cuts to help balance the budget. The Republicans want to balance the budget solely on the backs of the working and middle classes, while continuing to give tax breaks and to corporations and the rich under the mistaken theses measures will create jobs. Which they sort of do, just not in this country.

    As an example, Governor Walker has already given business $140 million in tax breaks (note 60% of the business in Wisconsin already pay no state taxes) and plans to forgive another $1 BILLION in past due state business taxes.

    MoD, Have you ever heard of a book called “How to Lie with Statists” or its later companion volume “How to Lie with Graphics”? Part of my job is to review scientific reports, epically the graphs and charts. Over the years, I have learned to spot those graphics that are misleading. What the O-S charts were doing was separating sources in such a way that the graphs gave false impressions. I apologize in I got a little snarky.

  71. Roncella says:

    Liberals/Democrats/Union offficials have to understand there is a limit as to how much Tax Payers can afford to pay in property taxes and other taxes.

    We have pretty much reached that limit Now !

    Its time for the Union Bosses to lower their bargaining requests and their own wages and benefits and realize that the Tax payers who pay for all public services are Busted.

  72. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Xring,

    No apologies necessary. I honestly didn’t think anything you said was snarky.

    I know stats. and graphs can be easily skewed, so I will defer to your expertise.

    I posted that link after looking for the ratio of spending between Ds & Rs. Interestingly, most of the articles I found said the two were pretty much neck and neck, but they also had disclaimers about how the “raw” numbers don’t tell the whole story, and when broken into different categories, one side or the other spent more.

    It was a natural progression sort of thing….I was looking for the answer to what I thought was a simple question, and it turned out to be a bit more nuanced than I thought. Fwiw, when navigating to the different sections of that site, depending on the category you are on it’s pretty evenly split between the Ds and Rs. In other words….they were pretty much even in donations and spending.

    Anyway….that’s a whole lotta time spent on a subject I really don’t care about!
    That’s why I usually try to stay away from the partisan threads. I end up “defending” one party or the other and I get frustrated with myself for playing the game.
    Cheers!

  73. xring – you seem to have gone a long way to defend something you really don’t care about.

    And I wasn’t making a partisan opinion – just the facts that more cuts will be required across the board to simply meet static tax revenues and inflation, and if tax revenues continue to dwindle then even more.

    The “concessions” already made by state employees will not change the reality that more cuts, not only in benefits but in actual jobs as well, will be a reality that government workers will have to face. Just as the private sector already have over the course of this recession.

    It’s a reality that – unlike partisan politics – is a subject everyone should care about. The partisanship prevalent in the U.S. now will have a more devastating impact on all of us than the problems facing us form this recession and inflation.

    Any overly displayed partisanship for a particular area of government – as is occurring in Wisconsin now, will only serve to increase the divisiveness in American politics. After all the bickering and impassioned opinions, I guess it may come down to the only recourse we have in a democracy – the ballot box. And as Pierce Transit is beginning to understand, there just isn’t any blank checks the taxpayers are willing to write anymore.

    A that is a harsh reality that is still coming to many government employees – regardless of partisan opinions and underlying rationales.

  74. Roncella, unions, both here and in Wisconsin, have agreed to pay cuts and freezes, and to increases in with holding for their retirement and health benefits.

    MoD, the WEB can be fun and informative, but it can drive a saint to drink with all the overkill and multiple conflicting sites.

  75. Alll the repubicans who responded are telling us a few things:
    1. They believe they dont deserve a livable wage.
    2. They dont deserve job security.
    3. They dont deserve health care.
    4. They dont deserve a safe working environment.
    5. They believe their place is to be slave labor for the corporations.
    Tell me the gop propaganda thought machine isnt good…. lolol. These poor exploited republicans make me ashamed to be an american.

  76. All these republicans do here is maintain their delusions with each other. It is fascinating to watch, isn’t it.
    What do you call a group of people who deny fact for ideology and who all hold the same delusions?

  77. You say that your letter wasn’t about balancing the budget, Parkland, but it does imply that union busting is all about money. If it wasn’t, then what other purpose would you, or your letter, be suggesting that union busting serves?

    Roncella, with regard to taxes you say that “We have pretty much reached that limit.” What is that limit?

    Revenues are way down, compared to previous years, which is why we’re in the hole. We’re paying less in taxes than we were when we were making ends meet.

  78. sue, again with the hogwash.

    I simply ask for a realistic view of how all our government programs are going to be paid for, giving a recession will less tax revenues – that won’t even keep up with inflation eating into current government operations.

    Who do you expect to pay for everything? It’s a given that everything cannot be paid for at current levels – where do you propose to cut? Because cutting is the reality coming down the tracks – not a blank check.

    Simple questions, no partisanship involved.

  79. northsc , so how is busting the uniions saving money. I hear all this philosophical stuff against the unions, but at the bottom line, Walker can negotiate pay cuts and benefits cuts, starting with those the union has already agreed to. Hmmm, they agreed to what the governor asked for and he still wants to bust them. It has nothing to do with saving money and everything to do with trying to cut down a political foe using poltics. Imagine if Democrats went in and passed laws punishing the US Chamber of Commerce for being the largest campaign donor to Republicans. BTW, they use my hard-earned money because businesses charge me more for goods and services to be able to give to political campaigns, so I should have a say where it goes, right?

  80. Sumner1234, so..Just what is YOUR union affiliation and Local # seeing that you fancy yourself a self appointed historical collective bargaining “expert”?

    I am a 30 year veteran of Teamsters Local 313 and 174..and you are…?

    We were heavily engaged in the reform movement in the 80’s and 90’s due to the corruption within the National conference level subsequent to the Williams and Presser regimes that rewarded the higher echelons with multiple salaries and multiple pensions specifically Arnie Weinmeister (4th National VP) who also managed to build a mansion monstrosity on the shores of Mercer Island using……non-union labor.
    Our entourage of volunteers ( Teamsters for a Democratic Union , TDU ) organized nationally to END the corruption and were actually successful in the election of Ron Carey as President of the IBT…..however, he also fell to demise for accepting undisclosed funding….we were devastated by that, but were consoled that officials at all levels must now be elected and not just (cronyism) appointed as rewards by friends.
    The Teamsters are now surpassed by SEIU but 98% of most ALL the union political contributions go to the Democratic party in a continuing cycle.
    There are BIG differences in the character and construction of PRIVATE sector versus PUBLIC sector unions but they both overwhelmingly favor the Democratic party.
    I am not a republican, but I must oppose the Democratic platform on a variety of basic non-negotiable issues. And yes I’ve been to both parties’ precinct caucus committees so why not do EVERYONE a favor and knock off your foolish assumptions that those who disagree with your pointless drivel are somehow taking “marching orders from a TV show” or whatever your lame-brain-dead assertion was. Cheers…

  81. JudasEscargot says:

    Well, no one on this thread has commented on Walker’s punking.

    Lets try another

  82. JudasEscargot says:

    Hmmm…larsman has 30 years in the Teamsters. He must be close to enjoying that pension that was fought for long before 1980. Probably will get some of the money that I paid in during the 1970s and the 1990s. Since I’m no longer a Teamster, I’ll not see that money.

    Cheers! Enjoy my donation.

  83. All these democrats do here is maintain their delusions with each other. It is fascinating to watch, isn’t it.
    What do you call a group of people who deny fact for ideology and who all hold the same delusions?

    The DNCcult perhaps?

  84. I was a member of the 174 when I worked for a company when I attended college. I guess I won’t see that money either.

  85. Parkland says:

    Sue: “1. They believe they dont deserve a livable wage.
    2. They dont deserve job security.
    3. They dont deserve health care.
    4. They dont deserve a safe working environment.
    5. They believe their place is to be slave labor for the corporations.”

    Sue, you’re going to need to go back the the Kos or Dem Underground and take a refresher course in Straw Man 1.01. Seriously, what a minor league comment.

  86. tuddo – I never stated anything about “union busting” other than there is the simple fact about how much funding is available to meet every government program’s demands – be it union motivated or not.

    But I do see a difference – if Ford, GM, or Boeing can pay for union labor based upon profits then so be it. And as a consumer if they produce a product that is competitive to others I will by it – again union built or not. But whenever any private corporation cannot afford to pay union demands then they just might decide to move operations (either totally or partially to other locations with less expensive labor/overhead) That is pure business sense.

    But public institutions cannot move their operations – and the money they receive for funding employees does not come from a market derived profit margin that determines what labor unions can demand. Government funding comes from tax revenues – and in a recession there is no growth (unless taxes are raised) and inflation that eats at even current budgets – meaning even less nest year.

    Given that reality, do you propose to raise taxes from the private sector ro meet budget shortfalls? If so then let the ballot box decide the issue – arguing on a forum is not going to solve anything.

    If not, then cuts to government employment is coming just as surely as if a private company doesn’t sell enough of their product to make a profit to pay for their labor.

    That’s reality – not a difference of ideology, no matter how many on this forum want to keep steering the discussion it in that direction.

  87. Nortsc, Walker has stated on more than one occasion that his bill is necessary to close a $140 million shortfall.

    HOWEVER¸ the unions have agreed to the finical parts of the bill. BUT Walker says that is not enough, they have to give up the right to collective bargaining.

    MOREOVER: Walker has already given $140 million in state tax breaks to business (60% of which already pay no state tax).

    AND: Walker plans to forgive another $1 billion in unpaid state business taxes.

    EGO: Walkers overall plan is to bust the state employees’ unions, and balance the budget on the backs of the working and middle classes.

    JE, I see Walker’s punking as proof that what we lefties have been saying is true. The righties will see it as a fraud and hoax done up by the lame stream media.

    R_O, the most ideological dogmatic group in the county was the GOP cult but they have been replaced by the TBP hypocrisy.

    Parkland, you are true master of the minor league comment.

  88. Parkland says:

    Let me guess: TYT army, right? Please say no, otherwise, I’ll die laughing!

  89. northsc, your logic will not infiltrate the liberal minds of mush here. They just believe there is an endless supply of other (rich) peoples money out there to solve all problems.

    Once the middle east causes oil to hit $140 a barrel again, our economy is going to tank again and there will be even less tax revenue coming in.

  90. xping –

    Not once have I broached the subject of political in-fighting in WI. Frankly I don’t care.

    I have simply put forth the fact that tax revenues are down and asked how anyone with a special axe to grind for their own particular issue can expect to get fully funded – without making drastic cuts somewhere else or propose raising taxes. For those who think it is simply a case to eliminate tax exemptions businesses to make up the needed tax revenues I have to be very skeptical – because if businesses are hurting already, expecting them to somehow grow more jobs under a heavier tax burden is expecting one helluva lot. And if this economy does not start making a turnaround (and that is totally dependent on private jobs, not public employees) then we will continue a rollback on government services – whether those jobs are represented by unions or not.

    Raising taxes will be the only alternative to cutting public sector jobs. And at least in WA such a move has to meet a pass/fail at the ballot box.

    I would hate to be any politician here in WA who will try and sell higher taxes to the private sector suffering under this recession – just so government employees can retain their jobs and benefits like they are arguing for in WI. The specter of unions behind the scenes will only make any tax hikes nearly that much more an impossible scenario here in WA.

  91. JudasEscargot says:

    “MarksonofDarwin says:
    February 23, 2011 at 9:10 am
    bB,
    Just like you, I thought that fire/police were exempt as a payback for supporting the Republican candidate. Judas was generous enough to inform me that just isn’t true. Of course I looked it up for myself and guess what?….it’s true! They didn’t endorse him at all.
    Broken clock, blind squirrel,….it happens.

    Well, it helps when you have a relative that was a VP in the Firefighter’s International Union. You see, then, you deal with facts. Not just assertions pulled from the lower colonic passage.

    A fight with the police and firefighters is a losing battle, but it appears that the Governor has a challenge with his mouth and ego that will probably do him in, anyway.

  92. JudasEscargot says:

    Why are all the Rightees avoiding the subject of Walker spilling his guts to a fake David Koch?

    That man shoved his foot, leg and half his posterior in his mouth.

  93. Why is it that the obvious problem seems to escape some – that there simply is not enough tax revenues to feed the beast any longer.

    In WI it appears that the beast is biting the hand that feeds them – but it won’t create any additional tax revenues to address their stated needs.

  94. northsc, I remember many years when unions asked for raises in the good times, and in one case they got a new state holiday, another they got a few vacation hours added to their accruals, but in many others they got nothing. Even in years with high cost of living increases they did not get wage increases to match what the private sector did. Also, there are no bonuses in state employment which private employees received in abundance.

    I agree that in bad times, there needs to be cuts. State employees have taken 8%-12% cut in the last two years if you look at the increases in medical payments and other benefits that have been cut as well as the 3%-5% cuts due to furloughs, and they are willing to make more cuts. Look at the negotiations that are going on now with unions agreeing to cuts.

    My whole point is that negotiating has nothing to do with tax savings. Also, people can decide whether or not they want to pay for state services or not through their representatives. I for one think our taxes are artificially low for what we ask government to do, and you need to cut services before you cut revenue streams. You don’t demand more and more from government and then cut taxes so you can’t pay for it. Of course people will look for a scapegoat,a nd state employees happen to be the elected culprit right now for our refusal to pay for what we demand.

    Generally, the private market determines slarary ranges for local and state employees. In Washington, there is a concerted effort to study wages and to peg salaries about 15% below private wages to account for the additional benefits state emplyees receive in medical and retirement. The state determines entry-level wages for state employees so that step raises will eventually bring a person up to that 15% below private wages threshold after 5-7 years of employment, so the new employee is making even that much more below private wages.. I was on several wage studies, so I know that to be true. If uniions ask for much more than that, they are not successful. In Washington, as in most states, unless there is a big cost of living increase, state employees do not get much of a wage increase, and those increases generally lag several years behind actual cost of living hikes in the economy.

    One of the phenomena in state employment is that, with the advent of computers, fewer low-wage clerk typists and data entry clerks and minimum wage jobs are available. The jobs tend to require more skills and education than two decades ago, so the huge numbers of bottom wage earners are not averaged into the mix anymore. It makes it look like the average wages for state employee has risen sharply, when it is an artifact of there being far fewer lower-paid jobs.

  95. tuddo,

    I guess it will have to be decided by the ballot – and I would enjoy any government spokesperson trying to sell us all on what we need in order to justify a tax hike.

    Pierce Transit couldn’t for a start – and I would hazard a guess that other than fire protection and law enforcement, and maybe road maintenance, could any government agency be successful in making a pitch for a tax hike.

    The comparison of wages is a losing battle as well – as the unemployed private sector – and others on the brink due to the economy – look at the job security of government employees as a big a drain on current tax revenues. To ask for more – in order to insure this job security is going to be a tough sell. And again, better hire some great ad firm if government employees want to change that general impression.

    And because we are lucky in WA to require that tax hikes meet a ballot pass/fail – the onus is going to be on the government to make a great sales pitch that WE all want ALL the services our government currently provides.

    My opinion is that most of the public will take a pass on any tax hike (excepting of course specifically for law enforcement, fire protection, and road maintenance). Now that is just my opinion of course, but I welcome the chance to cast my ballot – just as you or anyone else can cast theirs differently.

    And it will come down to tax hikes or government slashing services. That’s the reality above and beyond any differing opinions we might have.

  96. Northsc, and neither die I, My post concerned the reality of Walker’s Budget Shortfall. Also you read your5:42 post to tuddo. Then re-read my post about what you dismiss as political in fighting.

    JE, ‘avoiding the subject’ thank 3 blind mice; or the see, hear, speak no evil monkeys; or spoiled children with fingers in their ears yell nah,nah,hah …….…………………………..

  97. Stand with the workers in WI

    Walker just confirmed in his phone call with the fake Koch brother that this has never been about the money, it’s about killing unions. Also in the so called budget repair bill, it was recently revealed, gives the Governor the power to sell state owned power plants without bids for basically any price. Hmmmm what business are the Koch brothers in again? Oh yes that’s right the energy business. You think they might want to buy some power plants cheap? I’m sure the Koch bothers got their monies worth with old Governor Walker.

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/02/23/1555857/wis-democrats-filibuster-to-halt.html#storylink=mirelated

  98. MoD – it appears that the reason for the Police and Firefighters in WI getting let off the hook is political expediency. Teachers and other government employees tend to be seen in an unfavorable light (I think America’s Know Nothing heritage and underlying current of anti-intellectualism is one of the reasons why teachers are an easy target). But cops and firemen are still considered pretty highly – even if they are unionized.

    In Missouri, one of the aftermaths of 9/11 is that the state voted to allow cops and firefighters to unionize while retaining the anti-collective bargaining laws for all the rest of state’s employees. It really doesn’t make sense, the logic doesn’t hold – one of the central arguments against public employees unions is that a strike would have devastating effects and create chaos – yet the two groups most essential for maintaining order are allowed the privilege of collective bargaining. The only reason is the high esteem held for these two groups by the general public (read: voters).

  99. BOTTOM LINE: Republicans won, demokrats lost! Get over i!. All of the whining coming from the left is music to my ears.

  100. What doesn’t kill the unions will, only make them stronger.

  101. JudasEscargot says:

    “northsc says:
    February 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm
    Why is it that the obvious problem seems to escape some – that there simply is not enough tax revenues to feed the beast any longer.”

    How many times do you have to be told that the union members already made concessions to assist on the alleged budget problems, that now have appearance of being faked anyway?

  102. JudasEscargot says:

    frosty – that whining you hear are the voices inside your head. The progressives are just sharing the truth of the issue of the day, but I’m sure that truth is like a foreign language to you.

    Just out of curiosity – what did “you” “win”? The Washington Legislature and Senate are still Democratic majority. Although the House in DC is GOP majority (for which I am glad) the Senate and Administration are still Democratic.

    Please explain this sudden “power” that you have.
    Warning, this may require more than two sentences of hyperbole.

  103. Some have said that labor unions have outlived their usefulness. This latest attack on the American wage earner shows that labor unions, maybe now more than ever, are needed to protect and defend the well being of their members.

  104. Frosty, not in this state. Dems still control the house, senate and governor’s mansion.

    And the one in Wisconsin has just admitted enough legal and ethical lapses to get booted out of the governor’s mansion and into jail.

  105. Parkland says:

    frosty: “BOTTOM LINE: Republicans won, demokrats lost!”

    Democrats don’t care about any of that. Oh, if they win elections, they’re more than happy to run with it, but in true liberal fashion, when they don’t win (and it was a pretty convincing shellacking, wasn’t it?) the last thing they’re interested in is the will of the people. They stomp their feet and try and shut down the process believing that people who disagree won’t object; they depend on the fact that most people are good and would rather just let the little progs have their way than to continue the disruption. Sort of like a parent who buys their kid the candy bar in the check out line rather than hear him scream and whine.

    Make no mistake, they’re not immature little children, but they go out of their way to act like that for this very reason. Doubt it works this time, though. This ain’t the sixties, where there was no internet, facebook, twitter, tea party, and a plethora of other medium for normal people to network.

  106. JudasEscargot says:

    “the last thing they’re interested in is the will of the people”

    25K people on the street isn’t expressing the “will of the people”????

    Funny, when the TEAbag Patrol gets a bunch together it’s patriotic.

    When the Progressives display a rally they are “immature little children”

    Gotta love the hypocrisy.

    The funny part is that the internet will be exactly what brings Walker’s regime down.

  107. Parkland – a more perfect description of the repubicon tea party does not exist.

    I suggest you take your blinders off and make use of the plethora of media available to do some research and fact checking

  108. Parkland says:

    JE, the will of the people was expressed last November. If the cute little proggies don’t like it, they can campaign for whom they do like next time. In the meantime, though, they won’t play because they don’t write the rules? Please… Wake up, man.

    Oh, and I just love you little Tea bag dig, amazing how many libs / progs are obsessed with an odd homosexual act.

  109. escargot – again, aside from the particulars about WI, there is a standard theme that is running through nearly all 50 states that escapes your attempts to address reality with inane quips.

    THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TAX REVENUES TO FULLY FUND EVERYTHING ANYMORE!

    Even with the particular concessions in WI, there has to be tax revenues available to budget to pay for whatever to bottom-line is. Maybe more concessions is needed – otherwise there might need to be even more drastic cuts for some other government program to make up it/

  110. RE: UNION: Public empoyee unions need busting
    TO: Dana Booth, Tacoma

    If you have suffered because: you have a 5-day 40-hour workweek, have or had health insurance, had vacation time, had a safe workplace environment, didn’t have to put your child to work in an unsafe sweatshop … thank union workers that did the groundwork before you were born.

    What we see unfolding in Wisconsin on behalf of teachers is one of the most importanct lessons in civics that can be taught to children not only in there but throughout the U.S.

    Your mindset is laughable and meets the standard … Don’t confuse me with the facts – My mind is already made up. If you can read this … thank a teacher . You are tryi;ng to spread an idea as fatal and dangerous as a veneral disease. You need to be condomized.

  111. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    I agree that police/fire are viewed more favorably. It might be for the reason you put forward, but I think there’s more to it than that.
    When discussing teacher’s jobs, there is a definite disconnect.

    Teachers continually claim that they don’t have extra time off. That is demonstrably false. At my kid’s school, there are currently 3 teachers on **vacation** just in their classes alone. Even if one wants to claim that teachers toil long hours during the school day (again, demonstrably false) and that they “ONLY” get maybe 6 weeks off during the summer….they are ALREADY getting a “vacation”. There’s a disconnect right there.

    Teachers agreed to a no strike clause in order to unionize. A concession they made. Regularly this concession is flagrantly ignored. Another disconnect.

    And the biggest doozy for me is the bi-polar claim that they are alternately professional teachers, and also glorified babysitters. This is insulting to teachers AND parents. I certainly don’t see them as babysitters, they are a helluva lot more. It’s bizarre and insulting, and yet another disconnect.

    There is this false perception that fire/police are more important…but teachers themselves bear some responsibility for this.

  112. Parkland says:

    KLN, your comment is simply laughable hyperbole these days, and had little or nothing to do with the topic at hand anyway, which is PUBLIC sector unions.

  113. Judas and xring, uh… I know the dems still control this state. Did I mention this state in my comment about “we won”? Nationally the conservatives kicked butt. Traditional “blue” states have gone “red”. The unions are for the first time on the defensive. That alone is reason to rejoice. But wait.. there’s more yet to come. Once the sheep realize that their money is being TAKEN from them to support the socialist agenda, more will decide to “opt out”. Card Check” is dead in the water, yet another blessing. Obama is busy trying to deflect attention from the downslide of the public unions by bringing up DOMA, sorry, it won’t work folks. You’ve been caught in the light of day stealing from taxpayers and the focus will not just disappear.

  114. I might add, that there’s some discomfort emerging now in tradition blue states like Washington that this thing might catch on. Hold your horses! ha ha.

  115. angelofdeath says:

    Dana, I’m sorry to hear that you think unions are bad. Maybe you should quit your job at McDonalds and get a job at the City of Tacoma.

  116. JudasEscargot says:

    “frosty says:
    February 24, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    I might add, that there’s some discomfort emerging now in tradition blue states like Washington that this thing might catch on. Hold your horses! ha ha.”

    Governor Gregiore just vetoed a program that would have resulted in a total of 7.5% cuts for state employees, saying it was too much and that the legislature needed to find other cuts.

    frosty – do you ever know anything about the subject or just type words on a page? Are you being paid 25 cents a post for this ridiculous garbage?

    I don’t think anyone wants McCain memorabilia that was being given away for “points” in 2008.

  117. JudasEscargot says:

    “Nationally the conservatives kicked butt”

    Senate?

    Another worthless post.

  118. JudasEscargot says:

    “Once the sheep realize that their money is being TAKEN from them to support the socialist agenda, more will decide to “opt out”

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/02/22/public-empoyee-unions-need-to-be-busted/#ixzz1EvVeuEdV

    Frosty – are you ignorant enough to believe that employees don’t know that union dues are being deducted from their paycheck?????????

    sheeeeeeeeeeeeeesh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  119. Parkland says:

    angelofdeath: “Dana, I’m sorry to hear that you think unions are bad. Maybe you should quit your job at McDonalds and get a job at the City of Tacoma.”

    Yeah, and I’m sorry to hear that you failed Red Herring 1.01 over at the Dem Underground. This letter is about PUBLIC sector unions, and all you diversion and ridiculous hyperbole doesn’t change that. Grow up.

  120. JudasEscargot says:

    “I’ll tell you what Scott, once you crush these b*****ds, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”

    The New Improved Government of Wisconsin.

  121. JudasEscargot says:

    Parkland says:
    February 25, 2011 at 6:09 am
    angelofdeath: “Dana, I’m sorry to hear that you think unions are bad. Maybe you should quit your job at McDonalds and get a job at the City of Tacoma.”

    Yeah, and I’m sorry to hear that you failed Red Herring 1.01 over at the Dem Underground. This letter is about PUBLIC sector unions, and all you diversion and ridiculous hyperbole doesn’t change that. Grow up.

    Don’t look now, Parkland, but the city employees ARE public sector union employees. McDonald’s has no union employees

    Ridiculous hyperbole? Thanks for a heaping helping.

    Had any phone calls from bloggers lately?

  122. Parkland says:

    JE: “Don’t look now, Parkland, but the city employees ARE public sector union employees. McDonald’s has no union employees”

    angelofdeath: “Dana, I’m sorry to hear that you think unions are bad”

    .. and then made an amateurish attempt to link that to comment to:

    “Maybe you should quit your job at McDonalds and get a job at the City of Tacoma.”

    Not only is it a childish attempt at an insult, but has zero to do with whether or not tax money should be squandered on public employees. In addition, you both seem to be saying that you’re in favor of taxing some high school kid making minimum wage to pay ever expanding benefits for people making much more and has a guaranteed job for life, regardless of performance? Also, interesting that angelofdeath’s attempt to insult was directed at McDonald’s workers. I guess they’re a bunch of lowlifes, eh? Nothing like the “compassion” of the left. And one last thing, if everyone got a job with the government, who would they tax to pay for themselves? The government, be it local or whatever, is not self sustaining, someone out here has to pay.

  123. You wrote in your letter that the only people who suffer are private sector taxpayers who are basically the victims of a theft and money-laundering scheme.

    Unless you can show that these employees are not providing the services for which they are paid, there is no theft, or money laundering.

    At what point do we realize that the State of Washington has a revenue shortfall and find ways to tax those of us who have sufficient incomes?

    It’s awfully darn difficult to continue to blame public employees for this states money problems and not take a good hard look at the shortage of revenue.

    You’re darn right, “someone out here has to pay”

    We all have to pay, Parkland. We’re all responsible for this states debts and ongoing expenses. Maybe if the good citizens of the state of Washington would agree to appropriately tax themselves, public employees might be more inclined to back off of their negotiated wage packages.

    Give a little, get a little.

    We’re all in this, together.

  124. Parkland says:

    “We’re all in this, together.”

    Can’t argue that Polago, and I’m not against paying my fair share. Some of the other commentators have tried to link my distaste for pubic sector unions to a hatred of unions, period, which is a red herring. I have no beef with the private sector unions, but, umm, have you ever wondered why private sector unions can’t negotiate anything close to the sweet deals that the public sector unions can, all paid for by you and I?

  125. The only reason that public sector union members seem to stick out is because private sector unions have become eroded away, because corporations outsourced their American jobs, leaving union members jobless.

    Non-union employers, who have had to pay their employees, wages that reflect their union counterpart’s, now are free to cut wages and benefits at will, making public sector wages and benefits seem high by comparison, all the while, blaming the economy.

    Non-union employees, although envious of union wages, have fed off of union gains by choosing to accept lesser wages. The reduced union presence doesn’t provide them that luxury.

    The “R” Governor of Wisconsin had the chance to prove that public employees benefited by having a “D” governor, as you’ve suggested. He could have negotiated with them, but he chose to cripple them, instead. Fear, perhaps?

    How do you quantify your fair share of what it costs to keep this state running, Parkland? If we as a whole, are not paying the entire cost of keeping Washington afloat, how can you say that you’re paying your fair share?

  126. If you still feel that you’re paying your fair share, and yet the state isn’t collecting what it needs to operate, who, then, do you feel isn’t paying their fair share, Parkland?

  127. Parkland says:

    “The only reason that public sector union members seem to stick out is because private sector unions have become eroded away, because corporations outsourced their American jobs, leaving union members jobless.”

    Couldn’t have said it better, and the sooner you people realize what’s causing the disparity between union demands and the reality of the world, we’ll continue on down the path of third world status. The reality is, business moves to where it’s cheaper to do business. Whether this is right or wrong doesn’t matter one speck in the context of the fact that it does happen. Public sector unions don’t have that little inconvenience; government will be here along with people who pay taxes. You guys can go ’round and ’round about your Utopian theories of how things ought to be, but that’s not reality based.

  128. Actually, the way to reason with public sector unions would be to step up the furlough process, or layoffs. As it stands, now, it looks like you want the unions to be busted because you don’t like the elected officials, and you want public employees to work for less, so that you can have the same level of service.

    As a right winger, that might seem logical to you, until you stop and remember that it’s your mantra that these services be privatized. That didn’t have as much meaning back when you were complaining about prevailing wage laws. How does prevailing wage sound to you now, now that private sector wages may be as low as you perceive them to be?

    Why do you feel that you have to bust the union, when the state can bid the work out to the lowest bidder?

  129. Parkland says:

    More hyperbole.

    The reason that public sector unions need busting: My taxes > public employees wages > public sector labor union dues > democrat candidates campaign coffer.

    There’s not just one “the union”. My whole point is, public sector unions are not negotiating with people who actually concede anything when making “concessions” to the union. Both sides win, and I lose.

  130. Your issue is with the elected representation, not the union.

    Our taxes pay public employee’s wages. It ends there, Parkland. That money now belongs to them. Whatever they choose to use it for is their business. You seem to think that you have the right to adjust their wages because they choose to support Democrats.

    Who do you expect them to support, someone who wants to bust them?

  131. Your issue is with the elected representation, not the union.

    Wrongo!. It’s both. The unions are the ones purchasing Democrats and Democrats are the ones looking at the unions to sell their souls too. It’s that simple. Unions and elected Democrats have a symbiotic relationship. At times it’s hard to tell which is the Obligate parasite in the relationship.

  132. “Unions and elected Democrats have a symbiotic relationship. At times it’s hard to tell which is the Obligate parasite in the relationship.”

    You mean like the GOP and the corporate giants, camas?

  133. When business interests pay off elected officials at a rate of 71.6% of all donations and election spending for someone to think unions have more power is ridiculous. The US Chamber of Commerce alone outspent 2 to 1 in the 2010 elections compared to their nearest union, the SEIU. Contributiions from PACs were even more skewed with business PACs giving $323,730,165 to labor’s $67,513,377.

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