Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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The Wisconsin Aftermath

Remember the Democratic talking point as you read this: the reforms in Wisconsin were all about union-busting, not the budget.  Got that?  Good.

The property tax bill on the typical Wisconsin home would rise by less than 1% annually over the next two years under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget, the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office reported Friday.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau also said Walker’s plan would put the state’s finances in the best shape they’ve been in for more than 15 years.

It found the so-called structural deficit - the imbalance between spending and tax revenue as laid out in state law - for the 2013-’15 budget would be $31 million. That assumes Walker’s budget passes the Legislature without new spending increases or tax cuts that would add to the deficit.

Under its existing form, Walker’s budget leaves the state with a fraction of the structural deficits seen in the past eight budget cycles. The next lowest structural deficit in recent years was $1.5 billion, or 48 times as much as what Walker’s proposing.

There’s a lot going on in that budget and I suggest you read the whole thing.  School funding is cut, but so are tax subsidies to businesses.  Some money is shell-gamed from reserved funds.  It also ends a state income tax credit for poor people that offsets the FICA payroll taxes—said taxes theoretically going to their own retirement.

There’s plenty to criticize if you’re a liberal or even just leftish.  But what can’t be criticized is the math—the budget is coming into line.  That’s more than you can say on the federal level, where S&P issued a new warning about US debt and our politicians have found the amazing courage to “consider” cutting tax subsidies for the environment-ruining, car-destroying, poor-people starving boondoggle called ethanol.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/19/11 at 12:08 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/19/11 at 07:41 PM from United States

I also have to wonder how much longer the hippie union goofballs will keep protesting once teachers realize that their jobs were actually saved by Walker.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/20/11 at 07:24 AM from United States

I also have to wonder how much longer the hippie union goofballs will keep protesting once teachers realize that their jobs were actually saved by Walker.

As long as the union bosses tell them to, or else. That is, until these public unions run out of cash to buy demcorats and elections, drops in power because of the loss of this influence, is forced to resort to criminal activity to “motivate” their people once too often for the law abiding people to look away, and they all get locked up. Once union influence is gone, then maybe, the teachers might feel Walker saved their ass, but the hardcore leftists will never admit it or credit someone else. Just like they so many of them will tell you with a straight face that it was Gorbachev that ended the Cold War, not Reagan and the fact he ran the USSR economically into the ground trying to keep up with us in an arms race.

Posted by on 04/20/11 at 09:03 AM from United States

Ann Althouse has been covering the Wisc protests very closely.  Those people need to get real jobs if they have that much time to protest......still!

Posted by on 04/20/11 at 12:42 PM from United States

State govt. salaries and pensions need to be slashed in order to be brought in line with private sector salary compensation. I believe the average teacher compensation in WI is $89k for a 9-month year including pension and healthcare benefits. Govt. union bosses will try to cut new hire teachers who are doing the frontline work rather than make needed cuts to their bloated pension benefits or reduce the overinflated salaries of principals and administrators.

Posted by on 04/20/11 at 02:32 PM from United States

But, teachers areunderpaid, or so they keep claiming while driving around BMWs and Volvos…

I first heard that line of BS in high school, from a teacher that owned at least 5 different Corvette Stingrays that he drove to work.

Posted by on 04/20/11 at 08:15 PM from United States

the reforms in Wisconsin were all about union-busting, not the budget.

As a teacher union memeber I have to say bot hsides had it half right.  It was about balancing the budget but busting the union was also important.  As long as the union had a strangle hold then any budget balancing would have been temporary at best.  Long term they couldn’t balance the budget without busting the union.

Posted by AlexinCT on 04/22/11 at 09:06 AM from United States

the reforms in Wisconsin were all about union-busting, not the budget.

Actually the battle was about breaking the horribly abusive circle that allowed demcorats to use massive amounts of union money to get themselves elected, so they could then sit right across the union reps to negotiate the next contracts, at the expense of the tax payers.

This change has done magnificent things. It first of all gave union members, the rank and file, the freedom to decide if they did want to donate money to an organization that often didn’t really represent their needs unless it helped said bunch of crooks to increase the amount of cash they robbed the tax payer off.

Secondly, I find the fact that unions collect money right out of one’s paycheck, like the IRS does, hostile. I am certain that what these unions were really up in arms about primarily was the protection of their honey pot. They weren’t fighting for the membership. That was just bullshit excuse to hide behind and give their crusade false legitimacy. And just like I would expect a revolt to happen if Americans didn’t get their taxes removed automatically, but had to mail it in at the end of the year to the IRS, as they realized how much they were being fleeced, I expect union members to simply keep their cash once they realize how much they were being fleeced.

Third, I should point out that with a few exclusions, that $1100 they will on average get to keep, will be a lot bigger than the hike in co-pays and the increased pension/retirement costs they now stand to incur. They win.

Fourth, the tax payers of WI are going t be spared a disaster as the budget gets balanced and the practice where demcorats and unions could collude to rob them ends.

And finally, the thing I love the most, it basically will do away with demcorats using unions as a way to steal massive amounts of money from tax payers so they can buy power and screw those tax payers over and over. That’s golden.

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