Thousands of protestors have been clogging the Wisconsin state capital building ahead of an attempt to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan. Local WISC-TV reporter Jessica Arp uses a pixelvision camera to show the action:
What are they all het up about? Walker's budget fix would slow the growth of benefits and restrict some collective bargaining powers for government workers. Taxpayer-funded workers are determined to protect these advantages.
Which is why this is merely an attempt to vote, not a vote. Taking a cue from the Texas state house, Wisconsin Senate Democrats have fled the scene, with some reportedly having left the state, in order to prevent the measure from coming to the floor.
The teachers union in a state whose public schools get solid C-minus grades in state-by-state rankings have decided to take a break from failing to teach children and bring busloads of Ms. Krabappels up to Madison as well. At least 15 school districts around the state reportedly cancelled classes today as teachers declined to show up.
Wisconsin's budget standoff is drawing national attention, and like so many states where demands for increasing public largesse and special privileges for government employees are getting louder, the Badger State is out of money. Before taking office, Walker, a Republican, was told by his Democratic predecessor Jim Doyle that without spending cuts beyond what Walker has proposed, the deficit could go from $2.2 billion to $3.3 billion.
Inevitable on-the-one-hand-this-on-the-other-hand-that editorial.