The Truth about Wisconsin

 Posted by at 17:37  Politics
Feb 242011

As difficult as it may be to believe, there are some out there who still think that the atrocities being perpetrated by Koch Brothers employee and current governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker have to do with balancing the budget of that state. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything young Mr. Walker and his Republican friends and masters are doing in Wisconsin right now is being done with the goal of breaking up the unions, diminishing the influence of the Democratic party and working to ensure a permanent Republican majority. It is all politics. Nothing more, nothing less.

This article by David Cay Johnston may help you understand more fully…

Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?

When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees’ fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.

Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans.

Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, created the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not.

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the “contributions” consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply “contribute more” to Wisconsin’ s retirement system (or as the argument goes, “pay their fair share” of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin’ s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

Please click on the articles title to continue reading. You will learn a lot. Believe me.

Union busting

 Posted by at 13:02  Politics, Republicans
Feb 202011

Have you been following what is happening in Wisconsin? I hope you have, because it is going to have a long lasting effect however it turns out. I also hope you understand that the desire of the Republican governor in that state to bust the unions has nothing whatsoever to do with budget problems. It’s all politics. This, from Agence France-Presse, is perhaps the best analysis I have read…

Republicans attack unions to hurt Democrats: analysts

MADISON, Wisconsin — Republican attempts to disband public workers unions in Wisconsin and other key states are part of a broad strategy to undermine US President Barak Obama and his Democrats at the ballot box, analysts said.

Unions have been the biggest sources of financial and grass roots, get-out-the-vote organizational support for Democrats and have long been a target of business-backed Republicans.

But they’ve seen their power and membership rolls shrink as the manufacturing sector declined and shifted to anti-union southern states, and now represent just 12 percent of US workers.

Public workers account for more than half of union rolls, even though a dozen states prohibit state and local government workers from forming unions.

And now Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa are looking to curtail or even eliminate collective bargaining rights for state and local government employees.

The move to bust public unions is part of a broader attempt “to bring us closer to a more permanent Republican majority,” said Marjorie Hershey, a political science professor at Indiana University.

Republicans won a major victory last year when the Supreme Court overturned a ban on corporate spending in elections.

The flood of new money — $190 million by conservative groups compared with $94 million from liberals — helped propel Republicans to win back the House of Representatives and make major gains at the state level in November’s mid-term election.

It’s really just another salvo in the Republicans’ war against the middle class in America.

Please click on the headline to read the entire article. Thanks.

UPDATE: Also of interest: “What the Right-wing Assault on Women, Unions, the Environment, Health Care and PBS Is All About.”

Dec 132008

The following video is from MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, aired on Friday, December 12, 2008. Air America’s Thom Hartman (interviewed by David Shuster) explains why the Republicans have declared war on labor and are so vehemently opposed to any government assistance of the American automobile industry…