This Is What a Broke Democracy Looks Like

Wisconsin, Ron Paul, and the obligation to shrink government by any means necessary

As of this writing, the Wisconsin budget/union standoff hasn’t been settled. While the state assembly debates, Democrats are offering amendment after amendment to slow things down. The state Senate still lacks a quorum, with 14 Democratic senators having fled the state (and who might lose their paychecks if they don’t come back).

Now the show is hitting the road. Ohio’s capital is also filling with demonstrators angry over an attempt to restrict public employee union collective bargaining powers. Indiana legislators are fleeing the state to scuttle a private sector right-to-work bill prohibiting companies from forcing people to join or pay dues to a union in order to work.

The specifics of the Wisconsin fight aren’t why it’s so important. Collective bargaining rights for public unions may or may not be the right battlefield on which to settle a state’s fiscal future. But Republican Gov. Scott Walker is showing a long-term sophistication, beyond the specifics of this fiscal year’s bottom line, in trying to limit the growth of government spending by preventing collective bargaining by public sector unions. Such "bargaining" is often a charade where both sides support each other financially at a third party’s expense (the taxpayer, that is), as is often the case between public sector employees and politicians.

It’s likely not essential to the survival of Wisconsin that Walker win this fight. As his enemies point out, cuts could happen in other places, taxes could be raised. Still, a loss would be an unsettling sign for how America’s political class (including the vocal voters and media professionals that move them) is prepared to face a depressing fact we’ve been explaining to you here at Reason for a while now: We are out of money, on both the federal and state level.

Wisconsin is an early sign of the stresses that will either shift our system of government action and spending to something unrecognizable to those who lived in the post-WW II boom years or tear that system apart. And everyone seems ready to fight about this necessary shift. The White House has its hands in. The AFL-CIO is reviving the old anarcho-syndicalist dream of the general strike to show that all labor is feeling the pain of Wisconsin's public unions. People all over the globe are delivering pizzas in solidarity. Both sides of the larger debate about government spending are busing in their forces. Progressives are calling for national anti-austerity protests this weekend.

We may not be France yet, but there are disturbing signs that Americans may be ready to take to the streets angrily in defense of their government deals and giveaways. (Some polls showing a lack of support for the very idea of public employee unions are encouraging, but it doesn’t take a majority to cause civil unrest.) Wisconsin may be the first sign that, no matter how much support one can gin up for shrinking government, actual attempts to restrain a free-spending government will be met with strong political counterforce—even when that interest is overpaid teachers and big-money unions.

The threat of federal government shutdown, happening simultaneously with the Wisconsin crisis, demonstrates that the fiscal crisis is multileveled, and no one wants to allow it to be dealt with seriously. When it comes to actual spending cuts, Obama’s most recent budget proposals are a joke (although Reason’s own Nick Gillespie, along with Reason economics columnist Veronique de Rugy, have come up with a credible plan for a glide path to a balanced budget without tax hikes). In Obama's world, even programs that are purely destructive assaults on American liberty, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the drug war, can’t be cut, and indeed must grow.

Right now the Democrats in Congress are willing to bring the government to a fake shutdown over the GOP’s plan to cut $61 billion dollars in spending. Even many Republicans thought adding an additional $22 billion in cuts was going too far. A senior Democratic aid revealed the mentality that’s bankrupting the nation to Politico: Since Republicans “supported these funding levels in the past, it is a reasonable position to have to continue that level of funding while we negotiate the longer-term [bill].” It’s reasonable to not cut a level of spending spinning off trillions in debt. If you believe that, then you have a bankrupt Republic to sell us.

Just as these dual fiscal crises were on the horizon, one of the few politicians who both gets the gravity of the situation and is willing to radically alter the way the system operates, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), won a straw poll of dedicated young activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference for the second year in a row. And a web-based “money bomb” for Paul’s PAC raised $700,000 in a day this week.

This is encouraging, but the fact that nearly everyone who wasn’t one of the young activists supporting him at the conference wanted to mock, deride, or call him a Jew-hating nut, was less heartening. Paul understands what most politicians and pundits can’t let themselves understand, even as fiscal realities should be waking them up: The current system cannot and must not go on. It must be rethought at its roots, from its monetary system to its foreign policy, if this country is to survive and thrive.

The government is spending more and doing more than it should, conceptually and constitutionally, and it will have to stop doing many of those things. Yet there are many people prepared to take to the streets to defend these perks. It’s an ugly situation, but it has to be faced. Ron Paul is about the only national political figure ready to do so. Being uniquely prepared to actually deal with our systemic crisis is, strangely, exactly why the establishment, right or left, can’t accept or understand him.

Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker, on the front lines of the current crisis, is undoubtedly a hypocrite for supporting some policies that will likely cost the state money even as he fights over unions. But if any attempt to cut spending anywhere fails with the public and with other politicians because the cutter in question isn’t also pushing to cut other spending elsewhere, we're screwed.

The only really serious position moving forward about government size and government spending is how to cut it, and how soon. While the fight to cut specifics here and there may seem ugly and unfair, all cuts need to be supported, wherever they seem politically possible.

That doesn’t absolve policy analysts, politicians, and pundits from the responsibility of trying to figure out what spending cuts will be the most sensible, politically palatable, and least disruptive of our social order. This is not something that can be figured out a priori, and it’s the most important debate we can have right now. But even if figuring out the perfect way to cut government proves slow or unsolvable, the cuts still have to happen.

Senior Editor Brian Doherty is author of This is Burning Man (BenBella), Radicals for Capitalism (PublicAffairs) and Gun Control on Trial (Cato Institute).

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Tim||

    So much for civility.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, I was wondering the same thing on another thread. Isn't this the exact same rhetoric "kill the bill" that was so offensive in the healthcare debate?

  • ||

    Man I wish I were in Wisconsin.

    I want to make a sign that says, "Well, it's not going to suck ITSELF!" and march around. Not worth the drive, though.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Anyone see the union goon on Hardball look down his fat fucking nose at inferior non-union employees?

  • ||

    You and the other thirteen people that actuallywatch Hardball saw through that??

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Bear in mind, my total lifetime Hardball viewing time is less than an hour.

  • ||

    You people have no business making medical decisions for yourselves. We at the government have years of experience making decisions for other people, including you.

    We have the experience, let us do our jobs. You people can't handle drugs, just look at all the addicts.

    This is the america you people asked us at the government to give you. We delivered.

    http://youareproperty.blogspot.....ed-it.html
    Reply

  • ||

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2.....o-icy.html

    More proof, as if any were needed, that Jon Stewart and everyone associated with the Daily Show are tools. Yeah, lets torture an innocent animal and watch it slip and stuggle on the ice to pull some gotcha jackass stunt.

    Fuck you Daily Show.

  • Warty||

    Camels are horrible and unpleasant animals, but they can perform useful work. Whereas Jon Stewart...well, I guess you could dessicate him and then burn him for fuel.

  • ||

    It's fortunate he uses a fake name. Saying that about Jon Leibowitz would seem vaguely anti-semitic.

    OTOH my wife is Scottish. So fuck you, I guess. Sort of.

  • Warty||

    My name could not possibly get any more Scottish. So nyah nyah nyah.

  • ||

    My whisky couldn't! :-)

    Dessicated peat, burned for fuel, to heat an open floor of germinating barley... Wonderful stuff.

  • ||

    My whisky couldn't! :-)

    Dessicated peat, burned for fuel, to heat an open floor of germinating barley... Wonderful stuff.

  • ||

    My whisky couldn't! :-)

    Dessicated peat, burned for fuel, to heat an open floor of germinating barley... Wonderful stuff.

  • ||

    WTF just happened? I didn't do that 3 times. Really i didn't.

  • Imp of the Perverse||

    Obviously your whiskey is triple distilled. It's Irish!

  • ||

    Don't make me want to puke.

  • ||

    My name could not possibly get any more Scottish

    Oh my god, another one? Why don't you and ProL go be incredibly cheap somewhere together?

  • Warty||

    Don't worry, we'll save you some milk. I hope you like a hot room.

  • ||

    Is that before or after you get through rubbing oatmeal on your butthole?

  • ||

    After, obviously. I mean, isn't that what it's for?

  • The Scotsman ||

    HOW DARE YOU SERVE ME HAGGIS WITHOUT...CHUTNEY!!!

  • ||

    I find the Daily Show funny. I also doubt the Camel stunt came off as planned.

    Stewart did get incoherent when discussing Wisconsin to 'camera 3' as he started talking about corporations and unions when the issue is Public sector unions. But I dont need purity to be entertained.

  • ||

    I find purity to be detrimental to entertainment, but Jon Stewart still sucks most of the time. Sarah Silverman, OTOH, not only doesn't use a fake name, but is also actually funny. And impure.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    And impure

    Isn't that her entire appeal?

  • Joe M||

    Call PETA.

  • ||

    Again some good comments there. Thanks, John.

    Kev said...
    (the other kev)

    Ooops! Time for Stewart to put the clown nose on and deflect!

    2/23/11 9:10 AM

    shoutingthomas said...
    So, are the union ladies ready to saw off their clits in solidarity with those Egyptians?

    We know, it's exactly the same... what's happening in Egypt and Madison.

    Exactly the same damned thing.

    2/23/11 9:40 AM

  • ||

    The best comment is the first one

    TerriW said...
    "As God as my witness, I thought camels could walk on ice."

  • hmm||

    Oh, the humanity!

  • ||

    Oh the bactrianity?

  • ||

    This is an Alice Cooper reference, right? The chicken incident?

  • kinnath||

    wkrp As god is my witness, I though turkeys could fly

  • ||

  • ||

    shoutingthomas said...
    So, are the union ladies ready to saw off their clits in solidarity with those Egyptians?

    No, they'll just use a pair of dykes.

  • ||

    Pogo said...
    Or as Barney Fife said, "Why don't you go up to the old folk's home and wax the steps?"

    2/23/11 10:49 AM

    LULZ

  • Realist||

    When everyone can vote everyone loses.

  • Old Mexican||

    Progressives are calling for national anti-austerity protests this weekend.


    Uh, are they planning to call it National Extravagant Profligacy protest?

  • Wesley||

    I need to find one of these protests and invade it. I would imagine that you could put up some ridiculous signs and be taken seriously. "$14 Trillion isn't enough." "Spend our way to prosperity."

  • ||

    I doubt that the protesters would understand even such blatant irony.

  • ||

    Or perhaps I should say, I'll bet there are already signs like that, but they're not meant to be a joke.

  • ||

    "Scott Walker: WORSE THAN SATAN!"

  • CatoTheElder||

    Yeah, and the signs should read:

    "SAVE OUR STATE!
    PRINT MORE MONEY!"

  • Gregory Smith||

    Well, everyone knows that Wisconsin is the birthplace of the PROGRESSIVE movement, so what do you expect? We have hippie teachers who want to make more money and get more benefits than people in the private sector.

    Why? Because they're special, after all, they're the holy teachers, indoctrinators of our youth, lovers of St. Obama and sometimes molestors of our youth. Specially those cute female teachers that love teaching sex ed after class, gee, I thought rape wasn't popular with the feminazis. Oh well.

    So unlike everyone else, we must worship them. That's why Hollywood movies are always about bad executives and good teachers who come to inner-city schools and save the day.

    So here's my message to you, state-funded teachers, WE WILL CRUSH YOU!

    Yes, I know I'm quoting Krushev, but this time we're crushing the commies so its ok.

    FUN FACTS ABOUT QADDAFI: The eccentricities of Libya's fun-loving dictator.
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl.....about.html

  • Warty||

    You are not as good at being Lonewacko as Lonewacko.

  • ||

    Unban LoneDipshit!

  • ||

    I think instead of clicking your links I'll go get a prostate exam performed by Dr. Hook.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Gregory Smith,

    Maybe you should take it easy with your rants.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Was there anything wrong that I said? Does Hollywood not make movies glorifying teachers and putting down corporations?

    Seriously, I would understand all the insults at Huffington Post, but here? How ironic.

  • ||

    "those cute female teachers that love teaching sex ed after class, gee, I thought rape wasn't popular with the feminazis"

    NOT cool, dude. Don't flaunt the fact that I had a bull market in hot teachers in high school yet never got an 'ABC Afternoon Special'! I feel a little wounded right now.

  • ||

    Where were these female teachers with the extracurricular tendencies when I was in High School???!!

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    With the attractive kids.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Yeah, laugh about child molestation, but if your 15 year old boy was molested and then the teacher demanded he pay child support, you'd be the one really getting fucked.

  • Old Mexican||

    Paul understands what most politicians and pundits can’t let themselves understand, even as fiscal realities should be waking them up: The current system cannot and must not go on. It must be rethought at its roots, from its monetary system to its foreign policy, if this country is to survive and thrive.


    Paul undestands this, but you have two supposedly "opposing" camps that do not, and want to keep the status quo for their own agendas: The Hawks and the Porkers, or the Neo-cons and the Liberals. Some halfwits think that these two are different, but in fact they complement each other, like two oxen driving the cart towards the precipice... with the Fed as the driver.

    http://www.perkowitz.com/image.....OxCart.jpg

  • ||

    There is a difference between the GOP and the Dems, however. At least some (and perhaps most) of the GOP actually believe there is a fiscal problem and we need to solve it NOW. As far as I can tell, no one on the Democrat side has even reached that point yet. All they see is a can that needs kicking again.

  • Chad||

    NAL: Why did Republicans force through massive tax cuts at the federal level, and smaller tax cuts in Wisconsin and many other states in the national news, if they were so damned concerned about fiscal problems. In every case, they have made things WORSE.

    Oh wait, that is normal for Republicans.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    Why did Republicans force through massive tax cuts at the federal level, and smaller tax cuts in Wisconsin and many other states in the national news, if they were so damned concerned about fiscal problems.


    Because "fiscal problems" are the politicians' problems (i.e. spending), not ours, the taxpayers'.

    In every case, they have made things WORSE.


    WORSE as in "better"? Or WORSE as in "I don't like it when unions are busted"?

    I am trying to figure out your brand of "good" and "bad", Chad.

  • Tony||

    He is talking about debt. They have always made it worse. That's because they don't actually care about debt. They care about winning the next election and turning the country into a banana republic with nukes.

    Debt is the excuse they're using to pass policies they think will help further those goals.

    YOU on the other hand care about debt because you accept the Republican narrative of the world on every issue, and they have sucked you in with their bullshit factory.

  • ||

    Yes, they don't care about the debt. Which is why they won by historic proportions in November, because 'mericans WANT MORE DEBT!!!!

  • CommentARRRR||

    So more "tax refunds," paid for by cutting a program and then using those cuts to deflect debt payments for several more years, is considered "caring about debt?"

    Sounds like the only historic part of last November is that people ignored the history of how these asshats behave.

    Face it: They don't care about the debt, hence why they are just as bad.

  • Chad, simplified||

    "Rich people suck" IS an economic policy!

  • Libertarian||

    $5 taken from a rich person's pocket in taxes is a worse moral crime than letting a million people starve.

    A hedge fund manager's work is worth 5 million times that of a teacher.

  • Saddened||

    It's unfortunate that you probably think you're being sarcastic.

  • Chad||

    You are right, OM.

    Our low tax, medium spend system must come to and end...by making it medium on both.

    Oh, and politicians who can get punked by fake billionaires? LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Man, you guys sure vote for some losers.

  • ||

    Good thing that happened. It will be easy to use that to preempt "Joe Camel on Ice" when TDS comes on. Be sure to have your juice box ready, douchecanoe.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Chad,

    Our low tax, medium spend system must come to and end...by making it medium on both[.]


    "Low tax"? So you live OUTSIDE the US, then?

    Man, you guys sure vote for some losers.


    "What do you mean 'you people'?"
    "What do you mean 'what do you mean you people'?"
    "Huh!"

  • Chad||

    Depending on the year, our taxes are between third and fifth lowest out of the 30+ OECD nations. We are virtually tied with Japan and South Korea, and only Turkey and Mexico have consistently lower tax rates.

    So yes, we have low taxes. The facts are the facts, jack.

  • ||

    Yes, we have low taxes. I'm not sure why that is relevant. A lot of those countries that spend a higher percentage of their GDP also have a smaller overall GDP per capita, so we are often spending the same amount or more per capita than they are, even though we are using less of our overall GDP. But even this is besides the point.

    The government spends 20000 a year per man, womand, and child. I'm sorry, even without focusing the majority of those funds on the poor, we should be able to end poverty forever and ever amen, but alas they have yet to achieve that. Clearly they just need more money (sarcasm).

  • Tony||

    Yeah we could solve poverty if we spent less on a massive war machine and corporate giveaways.

    Resources have been misallocated away from safety nets and toward these sinkholes for decades, so yes there's not enough money for the problem.

  • ||

    Even if you separate out what is spent per capita on defense, debt, education, and infrastructure, you still have at least 10000 leftover. You'd probably have to institute some focusing towards the poor, but the government should be able to eliminate poverty right now, even without axing the military (which they should) or the other programs mentioned.

    I'll call your bluff. I'd agree to a massively redistributive budget if you close the budget gap without raising taxes. This shouldn't be that difficult since the government is spending plenty of money. The only problem that we have today is that most of the money the government spends is wasted on all sorts of retarded bullshit, yet anytime that people want to cut the government, the response is always, "What about the poor!?" The left has always used the necessary redistribution argument to defend governments that only redistribute wealth to those with the political connections. It's the statist two step.

  • Tony||

    If instead we gave that $10000 to every American, and took away everything it pays for, and I mean everything, do you think poverty would be solved?

    Your assertion that it should be enough isn't enough. We probably have to at least rescind the Bush tax cuts. Tax rates in the 90s were hardly oppressive, and the only reason to hang on to defending the rates the last guys left in is because you think they're right or because you really think taxes should keep going down forever because you don't believe in them.

  • ||

    I would raise taxes slowly over time to help close our budget gap, but this is besides the point. I'm simply focusing on spending. There is no "proper" tax rate. The tax rate should change with the needs of the citizenry, but the problem is not our tax rate. The problem is first and foremost the inefficiencies involved in government spending.

    I have never said that I am always against tax increases. Do I think taxation is theft? Yes, I'm not going to lie to myself, but I do recognize that in the short term taxation is a problem that will not be gotten rid of. I'd rather focus on tackling spending and getting rid of the deficit first.

  • ||

    http://www.usgovernmentspendin.....=c&local=s

    After defense, infrastructure, interest on the debt, and education, the government spends 10500 per capita. Why are there still poor people again? I'm sorry, but the government could simply mail 5000 a year to everyone making between 50 and 100 grand a year, nothing to those who make over, and 20000 a year to everyone who makes less than 50000 a year.

  • Tony||

    the government could simply mail 5000 a year to everyone making between 50 and 100 grand a year, nothing to those who make over, and 20000 a year to everyone who makes less than 50000 a year.

    Yeah but we'd have to do away with all the programs that pays for, and I'm not so sure people would find that they came out on the winning side of that value-wise.

  • ||

    Okay, after defense, police, education, debt interest, and transportation, I can't think of anything else that I've ever gotten from the government. What the hell else could government be for, even granting that the spending areas I mentioned above are 100% necessary in the current form (they aren't).

  • Tony||

    Okay, after defense, police, education, debt interest, and transportation, I can't think of anything else that I've ever gotten from the government.

    Think you could afford all that on $10,000 a year?

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 10:01PM|#
    "Okay, after defense, police, education, debt interest, and transportation, I can't think of anything else that I've ever gotten from the government.

    Think you could afford all that on $10,000 a year?"

    Uh, how much do unicorns cost? Can I afford them on $10K/year?
    WIH was *that* supposed to mean? Tony, get a brain transplant.

  • ||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 10:01PM|#

    " Okay, after defense, police, education, debt interest, and transportation, I can't think of anything else that I've ever gotten from the government.

    Think you could afford all that on $10,000 a year?"


    Uh, I said that we'd have 10,000 a year AFTER we spend on all of those areas.

  • Chad||

    " I can't think of anything else that I've ever gotten from the government"

    Then you have a thinking problem. You might start there.

    I bet I could list 500 things you have gotten from the government, if you are willing to pay me fifty cents each to remind you.

    I'll give you a freebie. How about "waking up in the morning, pouring my bowl of cereal, and being reasonably unconcerned whether the milk contains E. Coli".

    Which, by the way, kills FAR more Americans than terrorists.

  • sevo||

    Chad|2.23.11 @ 11:27PM|#
    "I bet I could list 500 things you have gotten from the government, if you are willing to pay me fifty cents each to remind you."

    I'm sure you could, and for every fifty cents worth of value I've gotten from the government, why it's only cost $5.
    And you want me to pay you fifty cents for you worthless opinion? Sounds like you work for the government.

  • ||

    So, you aren't in favor of more government power because you want to help the poor; you are in favor of government power.... well, because? Or do you just believe in the leviathan state? Maybe you want the government to mold the world in your ideal image? I can't understand why anybody would ever fall for the left's schtick for two seconds except for the desire to help the poor, which is something that I do believe in. You've completely lost me at this point...

  • ||

    You've heard it here folks, Tony doesn't actually believe in government power for the sake of helping the poor. I mean, I'm sure Tony believes that that is a nice side project, but Tony wants government power for "other" reasons.

  • Tony||

    Not sure where you're getting this one from.

  • You know where, Tone-Tone||

  • Chad||

    "Do I think taxation is theft? Yes"

    It isn't. The government invested massive amounts of money in you, continues to do so, and lets you live on its property. You are trying to stiff your landlord and business partner, not thwart a thief. If you don't like the deal, you are even granted a complete opt-out clause and allowed to leave at any time. As long as you stay on our property, though, you play by our rules.

  • ||

    "lets you live on its property."

    We're done here.

  • Chad||

    ""lets you live on its property."

    We're done here."

    Thanks for conceding. Boy, that was really easy.

    You have a choice: leave, or play by the rules while trying to change them. Either way, quit whining about the consquences of your choice.

  • ||

    "You have a choice: leave, or play by the rules while trying to change them. Either way, quit whining about the consquences of your choice."

    America, love it or leave it, am I right?

  • ||

    He just described North Korea, tkwelge.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As long as you stay on our property, though, you play by our rules.

    Except where those rules inconvenience YOU, right, Chad?

  • ||

    "Not sure where you're getting this one from."

    I'm not sure you even understood my point after re reading your comments....

  • Observer||

    At its core, the desires to have a large state take care of the people beyond force and fraud; is ease.
    It is easy to help someone when all you have to do is complain to your representative. It is easy to be empathic when all you have to do is rail about the lack of medical care for all. If your friend is denied, it’s a problem with the political/social/bureaucratic system. You did all that was required, you were a good friend, and decent empathic human being.
    But it is hard, when you have to devote time, and energy to helping another. It is hard to go door to door begging for dollars so your neighbor can get that life prolonging procedure. Then there is the constant nagging in the back of the head, maybe all my work won’t get appreciated, maybe I won’t raise enough money, maybe all my efforts will have been for nothing. What happens if my friend dies during the surgery, or if that poverty stricken man’s habits draw him right back into homelessness?
    In the end, it is about vanity.

  • ||

    Whether or not you like them, "safety nets" don't solve poverty and never have.

    For some people, winning the Powerball doesn't solve their poverty for long. Poverty is about more than simply having money in one's pocket right now.

    Those who think that's what poverty is about are destined to be poor, and to make others poor.

  • BigT||

    It's so much fun to watch you guys torture the brain-dead tony and chad. Almost like pulling the wings off a fly.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    KILL BILL MAHER.

  • ||

    KILL BILL O'REILLY, WE'LL TRADE.

  • ||

    So Bill O'Reilly is a libertarian?

  • ChrisO||

    It's not human nature to solve a problem before it becomes a crisis.

    When the shit really hits the fan, Richard Trumka and a bunch of overpaid state "workers" are not going to be the biggest problem we face.

    It's also worth noting that widespread riot by flabby bureaucrats and union goons is likely to be met with a different response in this country than it would in unarmed France and Greece. People will protect their property and persons.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: ChrisO,

    When the shit really hits the fan, Richard Trumka and a bunch of overpaid state "workers" are not going to be the biggest problem we face.


    Maybe they'll see it once we pass the Tarring And Feathering Amendment that Pro Libertate was mentioning a few H&R posts ago.

  • Trigger happy Jack||

    Actually, when the shit hits the fan, we can just go and shoot the fuckers. That's what they should be worrying about.

    NSA or FBI or whoever else is monitoring this: When I say we, I don't mean me personally.

  • Old Mexican||

    The mind of a Statist:

    Re: Tony,

    Ownership is not a concept that exists in the structure of nature. It has to be defined legally for it to mean anything but whatever is kept and held by force.


    Defined "legally"? And that's not circular thinking because....?

    Therefore, if government (whose law defines ownership) taxes you, those taxes are taken legitimately and not by theft[.]


    Because, you see, the same government that defined what's yours said it is not theft!

    Ha ha ha ha!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  • ||

    "Ownership is not a concept that exists in the structure of nature".

    Sorry, Mr. Lion, that gazelle you killed is NOT yours. We'll need to take that fr-

    NO! STOP!! GAAAA, THE BLOOD!!!!

  • jim maas||

    I ran unsuccessfully for the Wisconsin Assembly last fall as a Libertarian. Wisconsin has had a bi-partisan deficit problem for a decade. Solutions will take time and some pain. Primary problem: spending more than revenues. Areas of special concerns, compared to similar states: debt service, highways, police, and corrections.
    Gov. Walker chose to first go after collective bargaining, including municipal and schools district employees (which won't help the State balance the budget).
    Smells funny.

  • ||

    It probably does smell "funny" but that is besides the point. Public sector unions are illogical and wrong. I agree that this should not be our main area of focus, but as the article points out, you have to be for cost cutting measure wherever they exist. Being against a cost cutting measure simply because the person pushing it isn't also pushing some other cost cutting measures means that no costs will ever get cut.

  • ||

    To me, both sides of team red and team blue are revealing their cards here. The GOP is revealing the fact that they will not cut police, military, or the war on drugs and the Dems are revealing that they believe that the purpose of government is to transfer wealth from one group to another with the latter being a politically connected lobby.

  • AmericanExPat||

    Hear, hear!

  • ||

    They only call it class warfare when we
    fight back.
    Will Rogers said;"The working classes
    did'nt bring this on. It was the big boys that thought the finanial drunk was going to last forever and overbought,overmerged and overcapitalized." Oct.25,1931

  • ||

    What the fuck does this have to do with anything?

  • ||

    It has to do with us the middle class fighting back. Corporations are the blame for the state of this countries economy.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Public sector unions are not the middle class--they are the managerial class. Without the actual middle class, they don't exist. Get that through your head.

  • ||

    WHat the hell does this have to do with what we were talking about?

  • Old Mexican||

    The Economics Of Trade Unions:
    (by Gary North, Feb 23 2011)

    THE ECONOMICS OF TRADE UNIONS

    To understand what is at stake, you must first understand the economics of all trade unionism.

    1. Members assert the moral authority and legal right to use violence against any person who offers to work for less than the union is demanding. Usually, this violence is hidden: the government's threat of fines against employers who hire non-union members, but not always: violence against "scabs."
    2. Members assert that if they get a majority vote in favor of this legalized violence in one company election, they should continue to exercise it forever.
    3. The union decides who gets membership. It reserves the right to exclude people. This restricts the labor market, thereby raising wages for members.
    4. The members assert a legal right to "their" jobs in a strike. After the strike, they must be re-hired by law. All people hired in the interim must be fired.
    5. The unions claim to represent "labor," but at all times the vast majority of laborers are not members.
    6. Legislation favoring union members discriminates against the vast majority of Americans, who do not belong to unions.
    7. The goal of all trade unionism is to raise costs of production.
    8. The economic effect of higher costs is reduced output.
    9. The economic effect of reduced output is the reduction of wealth for most customers.
    10. Excluded workers must seek employment with firms that were their second-choice.
    11. This subsidizes firms that are not unionized: a larger supply of labor at a reduced price.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north950.html

  • ||

    Im going to disagree with Mr. North. I don't know how his bread is buttered but I know my experience with unions.
    I was raised by a single mother on welfare who also worked full time at minimum wage. I joined the navy at 17
    and learned a trade. After the service
    I went to work in a union shop in my trade. Where I was expected to keep my education up to industry par. With the edge that the union salary provided I was able to put my two girls through college. The union always worked with managment to improve product, quality and process. The union is a checks and balance system with corporations that are unconcerned for the blue collared worker.

  • ||

    Seen vs unseen, sir, seen vs unseen.

    Yes, I agree that a higher salary would allow you to do a lot of things, but that doesn't mean that there still aren't other economic effects. You got to put your daughters through college, and that's fantastic, but what about the other people that couldn't find a job, because the union raised the wage rate, and put in credentialistic barriers, thus removing the "competition" (ie everyone that is not part of the union).

  • ||

    Union wage equal competitive wage, top talent top pay/benefits. People who are not being hired into union shops is because they are not qualified to do the job and companies are not willing to spend money on apprenticeship programs. A union has no say on who or how many people a company hires.

  • ||

    "People who are not being hired into union shops is because they are not qualified to do the job and companies are not willing to spend money on apprenticeship programs."

    Credentialism and syndicalism tied up in one neat little package.

  • Dave||

    Yes but your company was less competitive and will ultimately die unless it rids itself of the union cancer. In the meantime, many people will have lost their jobs at the company due to the union cancer. And frankly, if you are hard-working, you would have done better without the union cancer.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The union is a checks and balance system with corporations that are unconcerned for the blue collared worker.

    Except the real issue isn't private sector unions, which I honestly don't have a problem with, since they only impact their respective business.

    The real issue is the public sector unions, who are as far from blue collar workers as you can get. We're not talking about Norma Rae here; we're talking about an entrenched white-collar managerial class that averages roughly $55K a year in salary and another $25-35K in benefits.

    The talking point that these public unions, particularly the teachers unions, are the last bastion of the middle class is a straight-up lie. Without the private sector middle class, these teachers don't have jobs--period. And one of the key things they and their supporters are crying about is that any raises they get over inflation would have to put up for public referendum. Well guess what? You can't spend more than you make, and to demand raises when the private sector has seen job losses on a massive scale and the employment to population ratio is around 57%, is nothing more than feudalistic thievery.

    The public sector unions have relied for the last 30+ years on a compound rate of return that has finally hit the wall. It's time for them to accept that the party's over, the housing bubble of the mid-2000s isn't coming back to sustain the ramped-up spending that took place in those years, and take their haircut along with the rest of the private sector that actually pays their salaries.

  • ||

    Teachers wages and benefits were negoiated in good faith by the represenitives (which we the people voted for) of the State and the teacher union. Teachers are required yearly courses that they pay for to be able to keep their license and their classroom supplies mainly come out of pocket. Yes fire them all and lets have the unqualified scabs teach our children.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Teachers wages and benefits were negoiated in good faith by the represenitives (which we the people voted for) of the State and the teacher union.

    It doesn't matter a bit what's negotiated if the middle class is broke.

    Teachers are required yearly courses that they pay for to be able to keep their license and their classroom supplies mainly come out of pocket.

    Perhaps you should rethink your support of this racket of annual credentialism.

    Yes fire them all and lets have the unqualified scabs teach our children.

    "OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM WILL GO COMPLETELY TO HELL WITHOUT CERTIFIED TEACHERS IN PLACE!" Please--who do you think gets kicked to the curb whenever cuts ARE made? It's ALWAYS the younger, less tenured teachers. So much for those union benefits.

    Your sense of entitlement to an ever-increasing amount of flesh from the middle class is duly noted, by the way.

  • Chad||

    "It doesn't matter a bit what's negotiated if the middle class is broke"

    The middle class isn't broke. If you think they are, you simply aren't paying attention. Stores are still selling 90+% of the toys, travel and entertainment of what they were at the peak of the bubble, and most people are sensible and have savings. Sure, *some* people are broke, but most of us ain't....and certainly not the oligarchy.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The middle class isn't broke. If you think they are, you simply aren't paying attention.

    Impressive that you managed to completely make shit up like that.

    Stores are still selling 90+% of the toys, travel and entertainment of what they were at the peak of the bubble, and most people are sensible and have savings.

    The savings rate has dropped to 5.3%--and keep in mind that the governent counts payment of debt as "savings." Despite this, overall household debt still hasn't dropped below $10 trillion.

    Sure, *some* people are broke, but most of us ain't....and certainly not the oligarchy.

    What gibberish. The employment rate of the population is at its lowest level in 30 years and is double-dipping(and given the current population numbers that means 85 million people of working age can't find a job), 1/5 of the nation is on food stamps, the long-term unemployment rate has been above 40% for months, and happy days are here again? If you think people aren't broke, you really aren't paying attention. Just because they might not be living on ramen noodles and easy mac doesn't mean they haven't overextended themselves in other areas--the housing bubble should have taught you that.

    Seriously, Chad, stop lying.

  • Invisible Finger||

    These reps should lose their positions as reps if they're going to flee. They have constituents who expect them to show up to represent them and they are purposely shirking their duties.

    (This is the same reason I detest Obama, he pulled the "present" vote shit all the time as a senator. Present, but not representin'.)

  • ||

    Ha ha. Scott Walker was caught on the phone discussing a multi-state conspiracy to wipe out unions. I'll just leave this here so you lonely titans of self-interest can have something to cheer about.

    http://motherjones.com/mojo/20.....-wisconsin

    Highlights:

    Walker talks about the baseball bat in his office. As we just read a few inches above, we all abhor violence here, right? Ha ha.

    Walker asks David Koch (who he thinks he is speaking to) for a quid pro quo, likely violating election law.

    Walker accepts an offer to get "shown a good time" by Koch at the same time he plots to pin felony charges on missing Democratic senators for accepting food and lodging.

    Walker admits to considering sending agitators into the crowd.

    A true glibertarian hero, he signs off about how this is all about "reclaiming freedom".

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    They may not be felons, but they're still criminals.

  • sevo||

    Orel Hazard|2.23.11 @ 7:35PM|#
    "...Ha ha ha ha ha ha...."

    I love it when brain-deads get hysterical. Could be something good is happening.

  • ||

    Wow, fuck face. I just wasted 20 min listening to that. It is interesting that Walker didn't bite on a single one of "David Koch's" gotcha lines. The closest that they came to "getting" Walker is when "Koch" asked if they should cause fake disturbances within the protest, and Walker mentioned that they had though about it, but decided that that would be counter productive. I can't think of any other statement that made Walker look bad. Yes, there was a little bit of political maneuvering mentioned, but nothing that was a real "gotcha!" moment.

  • ||

    "A true glibertarian hero, he signs off about how this is all about "reclaiming freedom"."

    Wow, in private he is actually believes what he is talking about in public, what an evil madman!

    This fake phone call is actually making me like Walker a lot more than I originally did. Sure, he's a conservative, but he seems to genuinely believe in certain principles, and he doesn't really seem like he wants to do anything that is unfair.

    The democrats fired the first volley by walking out of the legislature simply because doing their jobs meant that they weren't going to get their way. If Walker wants to use whatever methods he has to to get this bill passed, I see no problem with it.

  • Tony||

    The true believers are the scariest ones. He probably actually thinks the Kochs' interests are the same the interests of the people of his state. A real douchebag puppet would know when he's lost the round.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 9:15PM|#
    "...He probably actually thinks the Kochs' interests are the same the interests of the people of his state."

    love it when brain-deads get hysterical. Could be something good is happening.

  • ||

    Look, let's cut out all of the political bullshit. The meat of this issue is:

    Should government workers be allowed to form a closed shop and pump union dues into lobbying for higher pay from the taxpayers?

    Anything else is just politics.

  • Tony||

    Should government workers be allowed to form a closed shop and pump union dues into lobbying for higher pay from the taxpayers?

    Yes. Why not? Why are libertarians constantly looking for groups of people they can deny liberties to?

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 9:31PM|#
    "Why are libertarians constantly looking for groups of people they can deny liberties to?"

    "Liberties"!? That's funny.

  • sevo||

    BTW, Tony, if you *don't* work in marketing or PR, don't try.
    That sort of bullshit will get you a 'thank you for your thoughtful presentation', and a polite hustle to the door.
    And no returned calls.

  • Tony||

    Not you again.

  • sevo||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 9:52PM|#
    "Not you again."

    Keep bullshitting and you'll keep get called on bullshit. Tough, isn't it, bullshitter?

  • ||

    First of all, I'm against closed shops in general. Second of all, using taxpayer money to lobby for more taxpayer money is different than forming a union to protect the interests of workers who are employed by profit driven enterprises. The latter is collective BARGAINING, the former is collective EXTORTION.

  • Dave||

    WTF? The liberty to exort money from taxpayers?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Why are libertarians constantly looking for groups of people they can deny liberties to?

    Wow, you've said some dumb things in your time, but this ranks right up there with your worst.

    For someone who can't do math, you sure run your mouth an awful lot. Can't wait to see what happens when reality hits you and your fellow parasites right in the mouth.

  • Observer||

    A couple questions, if you would be so kind to answer. I will assume from earlier posts that Public Servants having the ability to Unionize have your approval.

    Would you also approve of the Military Unionizing? Why?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There's nothing wrong with the Koches.

  • ||

    Tony|2.23.11 @ 9:15PM|#

    The true believers are the scariest ones.

    Wow! You just REALLY have to appreciate the irony of this.

  • Libertarian||

    [insert pathetic excuse after pathetic pathetic excuse for cretinous Republican tyrant]... You team blue fucktard! Derp!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Ahh, now the brain-dead college students are weighing in.

    Have fun paying off those student loans when your worthless degree in comp lit and political science gets you a job washing trash cans for the city and cleaning up dog crap for society's real achievers.

  • Libertarian Derp!||

    I am writing my doctoral thesis on Womyns' Cervical Studies in a New World Order Macro-Environment. I assure you I will not be cleaning up dog crap.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I am writing my doctoral thesis

    You mean your dissertation?

    You might want to get that pooper scooper ready.

  • sevo||

    Libertarian|2.23.11 @ 8:09PM|#
    "[insert pathetic excuse after pathetic pathetic excuse for cretinous Republican tyrant]... You team blue fucktard! Derp!"

    I love it when brain-deads get hysterical. Could be something good is happening.

  • The Hamilton||

    TYwo words for the spineless, sniveling democrats who are ducking their RESPONSIBILITIES and skivving off on the public dime. Four Cue (or words to that effect).

  • Booze, drugs and whores||

    on the taxpayer's dime. What a life!

  • ||

    Everyone should support less spending by gov't at every level...and considerably less. You neglect so many of the facts in this story though. There was a budget surplus in WI, until Gov. Walker unilaterally cut taxes on corporations and rich in WI. NOW considering that Gov. Walker has unintentionally admitted that he has done these things to 1. crush unions, 2. enrich the Koch brothers and Koch Industries in many ways and 3. he has done these things illegally. I don't think you can defend THIS process of reducing expenses.

  • ||

    "Gov. Walker unilaterally cut taxes on corporations and rich in WI".

    Citation? 'cuz governors do not typically have the power to "unilaterally" affect tax rates.

    Or did this come from the Department of Makin' Shit Up???

  • ||

    Great article. Just to set the record straight, Liberty Pac didn't raise $700k in one day, that is the quarter total. the ticker was at $300k when the money bomb for Ron Paul began, so they raised a bit over $400k in one day.

  • puma soldes||

    yes.

  • ||

    What a piece of trash!

  • ||

    Well-written and inspiring. Great piece. Can't think of a thing that 'needs' to be added besides praise.

  • ||

    Another one of those articles … Let’s all ignore the insane, criminal spending by state and federal government. Instead of addressing the real issue, let’s take away the living wages of public employees and snatch back the social safety nets instituted for the elderly and the poor.

    Hey, how about instead of making Grandma eat cat food, we strip a few billions in boondoggle money from the defense budget? How about we do away with all the no-bid contracts politicos give to their buddies? How about we stop subsidizing the filthy rich execs and shareholders of Big Agribusiness, Big Pharma, Big Banking and all the rest of the “Bigs”? How about we quit worrying about corporate welfare and start worrying about human welfare? How about we introduce legislation to reverse Citizens vs United, so that corporations can’t legally bribe elected officials to screw the American public? How about those solutions? How about we put huge tax surcharges on companies that ship jobs oversees, and maybe Americans will be able to earn a decent living?

    All this blame on unions - both public and private - and the greedy, self-centered American worker who want a decent wage, good healthcare, and an adequate retirement, is nothing but a smoke screen. It’s a diversion to keep us from focusing on the real issue - the corporate and political rape of the very fabric of American life.

    These morons are actually threatening the survival of the Republic. See, they don’t care. The greater the crisis, the greater their profits. And, when, ultimately, it all crashes, they are quite willing and able to move to another area of the world where their luxurious lifestyle can continue unabated.

  • ||

    "Let’s all ignore the insane, criminal spending by state and federal government."

    Nice strawman. I think you'll find virtually everyone here would LOVE to do just that. It just so happens that fat public-sector contracts happen to be one of those items of "insane, criminal spending".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Christ, no shit. Is Big Dave actually arguing that these "living wages" and "social safety nets" aren't contributing to government spending?

    Hey Big Dave--you could strip the DoD to $0 and you STILL wouldn't pay off half the current federal deficit. Right now, ALL federal government tax revenue is going to pay off those "social safety nets"--everything else is pure deficit spending.

    Party's over, chump. You just can't accept it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Another fool arguing that THESE THIRD-TIER CLERK JOBS ARE THE LYNCHPIN OF SOCIETY! WITHOUT THEM WE FALL INTO CHAOS!!!"

    You'd think our country actually was Somalia before 1900 the way these people talk.

  • ||

    Here's the whole problem with the Dems parasites in a nutshell: 14 Dem senators walk off the job because they don't like a desperately needed change in company policy. They don't show up for work for two weeks but expect to get paid as if they did, and see nothing wrong with their actions. The parasites' supporters protest in the streets against the policy change, leaving their supposedly incredibly important jobs under false pretences to do so. Many of them obtain a falsified doctor's note as well. Again, neither the parasites nor their supporters see anything wrong with any of these actions despite the fact that they are, in point of fact, stealing from their employers.

    Here's reality: pull that stunt in the private sector and you'll be gone before the end of the second day, guaranteed. What is mindboggling is that it is the money of the private sector workers, extracted at gunpoint, that pays for the Dem parasites and their supporters. Worse, the people forced to pay the bill for this outrageousness now know that the Dem parasites/supporters actually get better compensation and benefits than do the people who so unwillingly support them.

    It's absolutely insane. The only real surprise is that the private sector has taken so long to make itself heard. That silence is over. They're awake and moving fast now.

    That's why canaille like Tony are so mouthy these days. He and his ilk are running scared and one can almost literally see the stench of fear rise from his posts. However, Tony, it's going to get a LOT worse for you and your side. Suck it up, buttercup, because you're about to drain the dregs of a bitter, bitter cup--for you.

    The rest of us call it a blow for freedom.

  • The Children||

    How are we supposed to grow up, go to college, binge drink and write on Facebook unless the teachers get a huge pension????!

  • ||

    Remove the automatic deduction from payrolls of any and all union fees.

    Make union government workers cut personal checks to the AFL and SEIU.

  • kc||

    ooo, ooo, while we're at it, let's do away with all payroll deductions! let's go back to the days (pre-WWII) when all taxpayers had to cut a check to the feds quarterly for income and SSI taxes. See how long the current tax system lasts when everyone experiences sticker shock writing big checks like us self-employed people do.

  • BigT||

    Plus 5

  • ||

    Brian,

    We are in the throes of a serious recession, so tax receipts are down, and expenses are up. This has created budget pinches at the federal and state level. This is unfortunate, but not unprecedented, and what we're seeing is exactly what you'd expect to see in this situation. There's no reason to suggest that the four horsemen of the (financial) apocalypse are nigh upon us. The current crisis, if 'crisis' is even the right word, is certainly not one that requires us to radically revise our understanding of the world, or embark upon wild experiments in social engineering ('bring back the gold standard!' 'get rid of the Fed!'). Our long term financial problems -- a separate set of issues requiring a very different set of solutions that those need to balance current budgets -- likewise don't require us to contemplate overturning our current world order. The claim that our democracy is "broke," "bankrupt," or "out of money" doesn't accord with what we know about modern capitalist economies, and is more misleading than helpful for political discussions about how deal with the present situation. The current system can and will go on, with a little tweaking here and there.

    Governor Walker gave a tax cut to his base and now, to balance the budget, is sticking the bill with the Democratic Party's base. Making matters worse, he's giving a little payback to his 'deep base' (the Koch brothers and their ilk) by engaging in a little union busting too. This is neither surprising nor admirable. Public sector workers didn't cause the current budget pinch (remember Wall Street?), and they shouldn't have shoulder all the burden. Yes, they have good benefits; that is the deal public workers typically get in exchange for accepting somewhat lower wages. The fact that some workers still make a decent living is not the problem. A problem is that so many others don't. Union busting isn't going to balance the Wisconsin budget, and your claim that we should support Walker because we need to support any cuts anywhere is without support.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    There's no reason to suggest that the four horsemen of the (financial) apocalypse are nigh upon us.

    If you think Bernanke's inflation-exporting isn't going to hit us here at home eventually, you're fucking high. Or haven't you noticed the rising cost of oil and other commodities lately? And on top of the structural deficits that are currently in place, a U6 that's been above 15% for years now, an employment to population rate that's double-dipping, and total debt across all sectors that's roughly 350% of GDP? Sure, Chip Diller, whatever you say.

    The current system can and will go on, with a little tweaking here and there.

    So you're in support of more can-kicking rather than facing reality. Duly noted.

    Governor Walker gave a tax cut to his base and now, to balance the budget, is sticking the bill with the Democratic Party's base.

    Yes, because God forbid that people who average $55K a year in salary and another $25-35K a year in benefits contribute more to their own pension. Keep in mind that this deficit was in place for the current fiscal year, before the tax breaks were even granted, so you're claim that it's due to "corporate payoffs" isn't even accurate.

    Stop special pleading for these people--if you think they should be shielded from the same pain that the private sector's had to experience, you're nothing more than an apologist for modern managerial feudalism.

    The fact that some workers still make a decent living is not the problem. A problem is that so many others don't

    No the problem is that those workers "making a decent living" are entirely dependent on a debt-ridden, increasingly unemployed middle class to pay their salaries. To actually see you arguing that the public sector should get shielded from that little bit of reality beggars the imagination.

  • ||

    "So you're in support of more can-kicking rather than facing reality. Duly noted." Nope. Not "support." Please read more carefully. Brian is claiming that business as usual must come to an end. I'm predicting that the future is going to look familiar. The sky is not falling.

    Public sector unions didn't cause the recession, and getting rid of them won't get us out of it. Walker is trying to use a 'crisis' to cram through a bunch of stuff for his allies. The bill is not the one you would write if you were serious about balancing the budget, much less if you were serious about helping the "increasingly unemployed middle class." Get serious.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I'm predicting that the future is going to look familiar. The sky is not falling.

    A claim you've given no evidence to support, other than seemingly blind faith. The only thing propping up the mere illusion of economic recovery is a current stock market bubble that's blown up despite nearly every employment indicator sucking ass for the last two years. Where exactly are the industries going to come from to take even half of the 1/5 of the population that's on food stamps off the dole? To raise up the employment to population ratio that's at 57% and falling? More deficit spending? That bullet was shot in the 1980s. Another economic bubble? Housing ain't coming back for a long time, if ever (and was the basis for states jacking up their spending to the skies in the 2000s), and the dot.com bubble was lightning in a bottle.

    And now that Bernanke's exported the only thing we have left--inflation--it's now resulted in massive upheaval in the ONE region that impacts our overall economy like no other. And you're claiming all is well? Based on what, precisely? Your magic 8-ball? A cursory look at history shows that ALL civilizations, regardless of location, begin unwinding when they've become far too complex in scale for their populations to sustain. What precisely makes you believe we aren't at that point? Specifics, please.

    Public sector unions didn't cause the recession, and getting rid of them won't get us out of it. Walker is trying to use a 'crisis' to cram through a bunch of stuff for his allies. The bill is not the one you would write if you were serious about balancing the budget, much less if you were serious about helping the "increasingly unemployed middle class." Get serious.

    You're lecturing ME to get serious? Fuck you, dillweed. Whether the public sector unions caused the recession isn't the fucking point. The point is that you are arguing that they don't deserve to suffer through the rest of the pain as the people who pay their salaries. And you're wondering why people are pissed? Wake the fuck up.

    We're talking about a privileged class that is ENTIRELY DEPENDENT on the middle class to pay their pension, and is screaming bloody murder because raises above inflation might require a public vote by the very people who they depend on to survive. You'd think they'd be treading a little more cautiously than to turn the state capital into a trash heap with the jibbering baboon college students right alongside them.

    Whip out your calculator and tell me how much people in the private sector will need to save to be able to create a guaranteed $40,000 pension for the rest of their lives. Where is THAT money going to come from, asshole?

    Instead of hollering "FUCK YOU IT'S MINE," what you and your union buddies should be saying is this:

    "We understand you - the guy who pays me my entire paycheck - has no pension, has to work insane hours with no ot, compete with foreign labor for $100/week and do all of that for a ****ty wage with few benefits and NO job security. So we'd just like to say THANK YOU for what you have given us and we would like to request a reduction of ALL our perks and wages so they may align perfectly with our fellow workers."

    Do that, and you just MIGHT get a little bit of public sympathy towards your position. As it is, you're nothing more than a feudal lord of the managerial class, demanding the same ration of wheat in times of reduced harvest. Wake the fuck up and get over yourself.

  • ||

    "Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic."

    First some comments regarding form, and then on to the content.

    "Fuck you, dillweed."

    If you are going to say, "fuck you," you've already crossed the line into profanity (not to mention incivility), so you may as well just call me "dickweed." But really, you would probably do better to just avoid the profanity, since it makes you sound like a crank. Which brings me to:

    "history shows that ALL civilizations"

    This is a phrase that signals to intelligent readers that you are a crank. You would do well to avoid it.

    "And you're claiming all is well?"

    Uh, no. What I said is that we are in the throes of a serious recession. Again, I suggest that you read more carefully, and reply to what I actually said.

    "Instead of hollering "FUCK YOU IT'S MINE," what you and your union buddies should be saying is this:"

    I didn't holler (caps text makes you look like a troll), and I didn't say "fuck you it's mine." I'm also not in a union. (Note: This is not about me. You would do well to avoid personal attacks--especially since you seem prone to rely heavily upon your imagination.)

    Ok, so now onto the substance.

    "Whether the public sector unions caused the recession isn't the fucking point. The point is that you are arguing that they don't deserve to suffer through the rest of the pain as the people who pay their salaries. And you're wondering why people are pissed?"

    Ok, so this thread, and my comment, is in reply to Brian's post, in which he claimed that we have reached the point at which we must no longer weigh good cuts vs. bad cuts, but rather, must support all cuts. I find this position to be deeply misguided; and since he doesn't offer anything in support of this claim, I don't have anything concrete to argue against here. (In any case, I figure that if you argue that there's been a radical shift in the world order, then it's incumbent upon you to make an argument for it.) I expect things to continue to look very much the same, and think that some cuts are better than others, both in terms of economic policy, and in terms of ethical considerations.

    And if Brian's wrong, and it does make sense to consider whether some cuts are better than others, then it _does_ make a difference, ethically, that public workers didn't cause the recession. Moreover, Walker is blaming the unions for the deficit, to justify the cuts. So if the deficit is the consequence of a recession caused by Wall Street, then this makes a _big_ difference. I understand why people are pissed, but I am disappointed that so many are dupes of the likes of Gov. Walker, who is trying to convince people that they should be pissed at public servants, instead of at the people who caused the recession, and who walked away with the loot, unpunished. The public workers deserve to receive the pay that they earned, under the terms of their contracts, for the services they rendered, and to be able to continue to exercise the same rights of free assembly and organization as are afforded to other workers.

    That Gov. Walker is trying to stick it to the public workers, or rather, to the subset of public workers to who tend to vote Democratic, has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with the budget. Your position, that public workers should suffer because other workers are suffering, is logically nonsensical and ethically repugnant.

    "Where is THAT money going to come from, asshole?"

    Wisconsin's budget problems are not 'end of the world' bad, and they could find the money they need to balance the budget in a variety of ways. I would suggest starting with corporate tax dodgers.

    Please keep in mind that we're still a very wealthy country, in no small part because we have a well educated, and motivated work force. It's true that the middle class has suffered as wealth has been redistributed upward, and suffers now more as a consequence of the recession. But measures can be taken to bring the economy back to a better balance, more in line with what in was a generation ago. We would be fools to let Walker and his ilk pit the middle class against itself in a race to the bottom.

  • Gregory Sadler||

    Some well-thought-out comments in this stream. Yes, the Wisconsin situation reflects some of the real problems with our democracy -- including people wanting to wrap themselves in the mantle of that term. I've written about this recently at length, bringing some classical political theory into the mix: http://gbsadler.blogspot.com/2.....-like.html

  • ||

    Whoever thought a camel could be coerced into figure skating on ice is an immoral, thoughtless thug. Where is PETA when you need them?

  • ||

    It may be true that Paul understands what most politicians and pundits can’t let themselves understand, even as fiscal realities should be waking them up: The current system cannot and must not go on. It must be rethought at its roots, from its monetary system to its foreign policy, if this country is to survive and thrive.

    But he's still a Jew-Hating Nutbar, so if you want to save the Republic, you better find a more palatable standard-bearer.

  • Observer||

    I've heard more "Jew-Hating" from Jon Steward. Paul (Sr) isn't the best speaker, admitted.

  • ||

    I just received a solicitation to subscribe to "Reason" magazine. Judging from the comments posted thus far, this is not a magazine I care to subscribe to. "Reason" is anything but reasonable. Thanks for saving me ten dollars.

  • ||

    DRINK!!

  • ||

    @Gringa: Wouldn't it be nice if you could just as easily opt out of paying your union dues and taxes, if you were dissatisfied with their "service"?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    HuffPoster brings the stoopid:

    jimtpat 2 minutes ago (10:32 PM)
    8 Fans
    Absolutely damn right!

    At this point, Americans have no option left except passage of the Flat Top Tax Act to put an immediate 100% tax on all incomes in excess of 10 or 12 times minimum wage. First off, think of all the bureaucrat­ic jobs at the IRS that would be eliminated­: everyone gets to keep the first $160,000 in income or so and everything over that gets plowed back into capitalism­. We can adjust the actual ceiling a bit lower or higher, but let's face it: anyone who thinks he's worth more than about 12 times the least of us is lying to himself and stealing from our economy! The super-rich are a closed club that colludes within itself to set such outrageous incomes and are lucky not to be facing prison!

    The debt will be paid down and the economy booming in no time!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Even if such a massively stupid policy was enacted, if homeboy there thinks there won't be a thousand "exemptions" and "credits" applied to said tax rates, depending on your connections or status with the regime, he's kidding himself.

    We can adjust the actual ceiling a bit lower or higher, but let's face it: anyone who thinks he's worth more than about 12 times the least of us is lying to himself and stealing from our economy!

    Anyone who thinks the least of us is even worth current minimum wage rates, is doing a far better job of self-deception than his opponents ever could. Most current university students aren't worth pocket lint, let alone minimum wage.

  • ||

    Why f'n bother with this drivel....Teachers are cause of the U.S. economic melt down..not the lobbiest from Big Ag..not the free BJ's provided by Energy giants to those idiots oft called American poiliticians.

    Reality check...seriously find a life....FOOL!

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