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The politics of the Sheriff of Nottingham

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If there wasn't already enough evidence that republicans across the country are firmly in the pocket of corporate America, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's latest move should cancel out any doubt. Inheriting a projected budget surplus of 121 million dollars for the fiscal years of 2009-20011, Walker quickly moved to pass 140 million dollars in tax breaks, and thus create the 137 million dollar budget "crisis" that he now says forces him to pass a bill which would cripple state unions by taking away their collective bargaining rights. The bill also would force union workers to pay an increasing share of their health care costs, an area in which they have already given ground to make up for past budget shortfalls.

While some of these moves may seem justfiable (such as incentives to bring new business to the state), others do not (such as the proposed tougher restrictions on building wind turbines). Whatsmore, the 67 million dollar tax cut designed to lure new businesses into the state would not bring in any revenue for the first two years, while the restrictions on wind turbines would jeopardize the proposed 1.8 billion dollars in new projects slated to provide not only jobs and clean energy, but also more money for the state budget. Walker is proposing increasing the 1250 foot restriction on building the turbines near residential areas to 1800 feet, which would make it the most restrictive law in the nation. Apparently Walker's "open for business" policy only applies to companies favored by republicans.

Not surprisingly, the Governor's attempt to effectively bust the unions by forcing them to have to reorganize every year has faced stiff opposition. Not only have tens of thousands of Wisconsinites descended on Madison to march, protest and fill the halls of the state capital; democrats in the assembly fillibustered the bill for nearly 60 hours before republicans sneaked in a quick vote at one in the morning then walked out without talking to reporters. Senate democrats have gone even further, fleeing the state (not to Sherwood forrest but to Illinois) in order to prevent republicans from being able to bring the bill to a vote. Walker even dispatched state troopers to the homes of the senators in hopes of catching them getting a few necessities, but the troopers came up empty. While these measures may seem a bit extreme to outsiders, when dealing with a leader and a legislative majority that clearly favor the rich over the middle and lower classes, sometimes a little modern day Robin Hoodism is warranted.

Comments

  • Suzanne 3 years ago

    Go Kevin Go! I have been waiting to see on article from you on this subject! The Medicaid "Emergency funding" rules are absolutely insane as well. I feel horrible for all the middle class and lower class of Wisconsin. Our great state used to have an awesome reputation in taking care of it's people and doing the right thing. This dictator is changing all of this!!!

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    Why dont you head south and find out how the right to work states manage. You guys clearly are missing the mark. Our nation has awakened to the greed of organized labor. Would you invest your money in business to be taken hostage by organized labor. Organized labor is a parasite on thriving business, think maybe that is why your state is in the RED!

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    How much of your money does that union slide in their pocket representing you? They have you fooled, your money is their greatest concern, not you. So keep on giving them your money, I am sure they will keep taking it, I would!

  • Profile picture of Kevin Johnson
    Kevin Johnson 3 years ago

    Actually, i wish I was in a union. I"d probably get paid better, have more job security, get better benefits and have more vacation time. What do you think will happen if the unions are busted? We'll go back to a time when there was no middle class, only the owners and the workers who labored exceedingly long and hard hours for little pay, no benefits, no vacation time and no safety measures in place. The governor's move is a step towards that. As stated in the article, it wasn't the union who busted the budget, it was the Governor's tax breaks. The unions have already made concessions, it's time for the Governor to make some too,

  • tankersley 3 years ago

    Yeap. In fact, did you know that Currently, many insurance companies do not allow adult children to remain on their parents' plan once they reach 19. Companies cannot do that any more. Search onilne for "Wise Health Insurance" and you can insure your kids if you are in the same boat.

  • Mike 3 years ago

    You are banking on PROBABLY GET PAID BETTER. It is more simply that that, if you were making the decision to expand your business and assume all the risk financially, remember it is now your neck, succeed or fail, would you throw the dice with a union shop state or a right to work state. You are viewing this from a workers perspective vs business perspective. If the business is successful, it provides jobs, if it fails it ensures unemployment. Which do you prefer? The union will exist whether you are employed or not, the union will survive and not miss a paycheck. The union is a parasite, it survives only if the company does. Without business, unions cannot exist. Unions have no skin in the game, employees do, do you want someone with no skin in the game making decision on your behalf, are they going to ensure full pay to you when to company fails?

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