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  #1    
Old February 19th, 2011, 08:45 AM
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http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journa...=177&prid=5622

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#41655758

Apparently, other states are watching to see the outcome of this whole fiasco. And other countries, too- Pic from Egypt, found on Facebook:
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Rachel Maddow in the second link pretty much explains the bare bones of the situation. How it's really the Republican party attempting to crush Democratic opposition. Fine, we all know that happens, right, but the way this is happening is going to throw the quality of life in the state down the toilet. Forcing public employees to pay that much for their benefits and such, when they are only living a middle-class lifestyle and generally a bit poorer than average as well. For some reason, people don't seem to understand this. People are hating teachers and city workers and other public employees right now, and they don't seem to understand the implications of this mess.

I know all this and it affects me personally. My father and stepmother are both teachers in Wisconsin. If this bill passes, they would be having to pay so much more that it would throw them into debt for the rest of their lives. They already take care of my stepmom's three kids full-time, and have me and my brother every other weekend. Plus the general cost of living is skyrocketing as they boycott places that supported Walker in the elections- Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger King, Gordy's County Market, AT&T, 3M, Wells Fargo, Sprint, Verizon, Jimmy John's, YMCA.
Our family used to frequent many of these places. Sam's Club provided food in bulk for seven people. McDonald's was cheap on-the-run food. Dad and Stacey use Verizon(and are attempting to drop it), Gordy's and Wal-Mart were other sources of food. 3M makes all kinds of supplies, and my stepbrothers go to the YMCA for after-school care. Trying to replace all of these things is going to be expensive.

If this abomination actually passes, Dad and Stacey are taking the boys and moving to Minnesota. The three boys are all special needs kids on the Autism spectrum, and with the quality of education about to collapse, they are going to need to get out of there before it negatively affects the kids' development. And Dad and Stacey's jobs are going to be worthless as well, so really it's hard to stay regardless.

Um... I just kind of wanted to get this out there, so... discuss if you wish. I personally hate what is happening, if you couldn't tell, and I actually cried when I heard about it.
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  #2    
Old February 19th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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Man... That's horrible... What you should do is organize a petition and people to stand against crap like this... And educate as many people on it as possible.

The republicans have always been good at lying... They make it seem like spending money is a bad thing, wherein the only people getting hurt is the middle and lower classes... This is kind of how they were able to get the opposition they did for free health care...
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Old February 19th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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What's going on in Wisconsin is insane. Leave it to an out of touch, ignorant and hypocritical Republican governor to completely put people's livelihoods in jeopardy.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 10:53 PM
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Uhh...people the Democrats lie too you know...both parties are a bunch of liers...actually I'm thinking of turning into an Independent now...
I also think that Unions aren't needed much anymore...this coming from a future teacher...
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Old February 19th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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Mm, okay. Liars the lot of them, fine. But is that what this is about? No. This is about an obvious power grab that could send Wisconsin and possibly other states into complete economic disaster.
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  #6    
Old February 20th, 2011, 06:28 AM
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I'm not very union-supportive in general. I prefer individual reward and personal responsibility. You get rewarded on your merit. If you deserve to be fire, you get fired - you don't get shuffled around or moved somewhere else. Not everyone deserves a payraise or a bonus outside of cost-of-living increases.

Primarily, I'm against unions in the public sector. When you're working for the public, it's a duty and a sacrifice and it used to be that you'd know you'd be making a little less than the private sector. Now it's reversed and the public union often get better pay and benefits than the average non-unionized private sector worker.

In the private sector, if the union decides to take too much - then the company goes under and those workers lose there jobs. (Take note Transit Union Local 113 York Region Transit workers who were complaining last week that their employers had the audacity to attempt making a profit). There is a balance, but no such thing exists in the public sector.

However, unions have done good. For everyone, even non-unionized. Benefits, weekends, minimum wage, etc. Things that are now standard across the board.

All that said though... despite my general disdained of unions, I support the folks down in Wisconsin. You don't cut pension, period. And cutting health care benefits to half their private sector average? No! I said, the public sector should get a little less than the private sector - not 50% less though! No dice.

There are other ways of cutting costs. Look at waste, look at bloat, look at inappropriate spending, look at sole source contracts, look at things you sponsor, look at your budgets, reduce redundancy. If you go after workers, you don't retract what you've already negotiated to give (unless they're in agreement).
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Old February 20th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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I think it's a necessary evil. Wisconsin's state debt is of astronomical proportions. There are only so many ways a state can cut its budget, and all of them will make someone mad somewhere. A good understanding of economics is important to address this situation, something most of the people protesting it don't have.

Ideally, Wisconsin could tax those who can afford it more, but they have enough money that they can just move elsewhere if they choose, and then the state wouldn't be getting any money and they'd be right where they started. The reason firefighter and police budgets weren't cut is because those two groups are absolutely necessary to the normal functioning of society and without them there would be chaos in the streets. We can't afford to have either of those groups go on strike, but the other groups aren't going to cause significant problems by striking for a few months. The only groups left to take money from were the ones selected. It was a matter of damage mitigation and I highly doubt any other governor could have done a better job.

Additionally, provided these groups do as the governor asked, there won't be any layoffs and they'll still receive their money. What was asked was that the groups buy into their pensions more. It's like buying war bonds in the 1940s; you are paying money to the government that you will get back in the future. That's all that's being asked; the alternative, as he said, is layoffs.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:24 AM
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^I agree thought it's kind of sad that our leaders have inflated the state debts and national debts to the point we have to pick between two "evils"...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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wisconsin's budget is actually balanced. The "crisis" is a sham. This is just a union busting bill.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 12:50 PM
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wisconsin's budget is actually balanced. The "crisis" is a sham. This is just a union busting bill.
Really? did you have data that shows this :\?
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Old February 20th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Magmaruby and Aquasapphire View Post

Really? did you have data that shows this :\?
The video linked in the first post had mentioned that the state's budget office (non-partisan, by the way) had forecast a budget surplus of $120 million for the upcoming fiscal session. Though it kind of strikes me as a one-session fluke surplus like we had experienced here in Minnesota 5 years back.

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Originally Posted by RattataL72 View Post
wisconsin's budget is actually balanced. The "crisis" is a sham. This is just a union busting bill.
I have to disagree. That balance strikes me as kind of a fluke surplus like I said above in my reply to Magmaruby and Aquasapphire.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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Oh that explains a lot...but what would the state do once that surplus is drained...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 03:53 PM
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I think it's a necessary evil. Wisconsin's state debt is of astronomical proportions. There are only so many ways a state can cut its budget, and all of them will make someone mad somewhere. A good understanding of economics is important to address this situation, something most of the people protesting it don't have.
Actually we have it MUCH harder here in California. We have a $25 Billion in deficit and our bonds are considered Junk status. Surprisingly I'm actually here in Sacramento, California right now inside the Capitol Building for the YMCA Youth and Government State Constitutional Convention Program, Governor Brown had a Press Conference yesterday saying that the Democratic Controlled legislature has come close to an agreement. His proposal is both a half and half of Tax increases and severe service cuts. :/

As for Wisconsin I agree with Triforce in this one. You do not RETROACTIVELY do cuts.

And IMO severely reducing bargaining rights can also lead to abuses. D:
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Old February 20th, 2011, 04:00 PM
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Yeah the state down south (California) is in desperate need of money...
So Netto are the tax increases for the top earners all all across the board (including the poor)?
Right reducing bargaining rights would make future debates more sided towards the state than towards the workers...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 04:04 PM
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Actually the "Tax increases" are actually just extending the current tax rates that was voted upon 2 years ago to extend to another 5 years. So tax rates stay the same. :O
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Old February 20th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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Oh that make sense so it's like the opposite of the tax cut extensions...tax increase extensions...
The situation in my state is beginning to turn more like that of California a couple of years ago...when it's fiscal house began to go down hill...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Governor Brown is calling it a "check-in" with the people because if they vote down the proposals, they are essentially voting for a full scale across the board deep cuts, with schools being closed down across the state and essential services such as Police and Fire being furloughed I believe. :/

All the "fat trimming" has already been done. California already did deep cuts over the past decade with our yearly structural deficit. So yeah, unless we go rogue like the Wisconsin legislature and start a Union fight in a state that voted a straight Democrat Party line during the "red tide" of 2010...then yeah, crazy things will happen.

We already had student takeovers of Univ. of California campuses last year. That will be only the start. :(
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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What I find funny is how people really think that money grows on trees. People whine about deficits during elections, then when the elected officials want to cut budgets, liberals get pissed. When they want to raise taxes, conservatives get pissed. How are we every going to find any solution to our debt problem if we can't make some concessions and come to a compromise? Wisconsin citizens elected that Governor and the Republican majority in their Legislature, so they get to call the shots. I think it's cowardly that those politicians left the state and that it's criminal that these teachers are depriving students of their legal right to an education by being absent from their classrooms. I also find it funny how the left is behind these teachers but the Tea Party can't protest without being criticized even when, unlike these teachers, they're not breaking the law in doing so.

Here in California, Brown's plan isn't that bad. As a conservative I think it's a reasonable compromise to keep taxes at their current levels so we that the budget cuts save money while not reducing revenue.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Hmm? Explain to me how teacher using the personal days granted to them to go protest or going on weekends is breaking the law.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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Hmm? Explain to me how teacher using the personal days granted to them to go protest or going on weekends is breaking the law.
A lot of these teachers didn't use vacation time, but rather falsely called in sick.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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And where is your data to back this up? My stepmom and my dad are teachers, and everyone they know who went took personal days or waited until the weekend.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:21 PM
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No offense, but misusing a personal day probably doesn't bode well for public opinion. Aren't those for illness, injury, or medical emergencies? At least where I live. Plus other "urgent events" related to family members.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:28 PM
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Personal days here are a no-questions-asked, non-paid day off.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 12:12 AM
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No offense, but misusing a personal day probably doesn't bode well for public opinion. Aren't those for illness, injury, or medical emergencies? At least where I live. Plus other "urgent events" related to family members.
Personal days are a certain amount of days one can take off by law without having to have justification. Those are usually different than sick days; which are usually unlimited since no one can plan on being sick for X amount of days (but the law can regulate how much of that is paid time off).
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Old February 21st, 2011, 05:56 AM
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I know its different than sick days. For me, Personal Days mean like....your parents died, you go into a car accident, even your babysitter cancelled. "I'm too sick to work today" would be a sick day.

Anyway...different topic altogether.
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