The entitlement culture is pissed.
The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.
OfA, as the campaign group is known, has been criticized at times for staying out of local issues like same-sex marriage, but it’s riding to the aide of the public sector unions who hoping to persuade some Republican legislators to oppose Walker’s plan. And while Obama may have his difference with teachers unions, OfA’s engagement with the fight — and Obama’s own clear stance against Walker — mean that he’s remaining loyal to key Democratic Party allies at what is, for them, a very dangerous moment.
OfA Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said.
THE ANNOINTED ONE gives his blessing.
Obama accused Scott Walker, the state’s new Republican governor, of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.
The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.
……Under Walker’s plan, most public workers – excluding police, firefighters and state troopers – would have to pay half of their pension costs and at least 12 percent of their health-care costs. They would lose bargaining rights for anything other than pay. Walker, who took office last month, says the emergency measure would save $300 million over the next two years to help close a $3.6 billion budget gap.
The unions have only themselves to blame. They forced their way into the workplace, extorting dues and using the money for political contributions. Moreover, they’ve jacked up the wages of workers to outrageous levels, thus pricing many of them out of jobs and companies out of business. Wisconsin, like many other states is BROKE. Republicans were elected as the House majority to put an end to this feckless fiscal insanity. Unions, at the forefront of why this country is in such bad economic shape, have their panties in a wad.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Walker’s proposals are hardly revolutionary. Facing a $137 million budget deficit, he has decided to try to avoid laying off 5,500 state workers by proposing that they contribute 5.8% of their income towards their pensions and 12.6% towards health insurance. That’s roughly the national average for public pension payments, and it is less than half the national average of what government workers contribute to health care. Mr. Walker also wants to limit the power of public-employee unions to negotiate contracts and work rules—something that 24 states already limit or ban.
The real issue is union power grabs. The more influence it has over workers, the more influence it has over government. Or so it thinks.
From the Examiner:
Liberals and the White House try to blur the issue by lumping together government unions and labor unions in general. Obama wrongly calls Walker’s bill “an attack on unions.” It is, at its heart, a measure changing the way the state government procures labor — Walker would end single-source contracts with a politically connected special interests.
Government unions in Wisconsin perfectly match the definition of “special interests,” a term Obama often invokes. Four of the top six Wisconsin contributors to the 2010 elections were labor unions, with the state’s teachers union giving $119,342 and the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees spending $83,888. The teachers union gave 96 percent of its money to Democrats, while Wisconsin AFSCME gave Democrats every penny.
Government unions spent $573,868 on Wisconsin’s 2010 elections — almost all of it going to Democrats — while government employees spent another half million, with most going to Democrats.
Another characteristic of “special interests” is that they benefit at the expense of the public interest. Start with teachers unions that often work against students. Even setting aside the Wisconsin teachers abandoning their students last week in order to protest for higher pay and benefits, the teachers union has fought on the state level to interfere with Milwaukee’s trail-blazing school choice program, which is so popular that Democrats in 2009 voted to cap the number of enrollees.
And of course, there’s the budget question. Wisconsin has raised taxes in recent years, and is still facing a multibillion-dollar deficit. Other state programs are being trimmed, and Walker’s effort would be about spreading the pain — specifically shifting some of the government workers’ retirement contributions from taxpayers to the workers. If the government unions win, they guarantee more pain for everyone else, especially taxpayers.
In the romantic liberal vision of this union uprising, determined workers are standing up to the powerful. But there’s no fat-cat owner wanting to pocket more profits here. The unions’ target in Wisconsin is the taxpayer.
At bottom, this is the unions versus the people.
There’s a reason why union membership has declined. People are sick of its corruption and thuggish tactics.
Wisconsin, Madison in particular, is a bastion of leftwing activism. Unions, across the board need a good ‘Chris Christie-style’ bitch slap.
Suck it up, Wisconsin.