In Wisconsin, Democrat lawmakers have left the state to block voting on a budget repair bill that would take away some of the power of public employee unions. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of neighboring Minnesota has weighed in:
“Well, it’s a dereliction of duty on behalf of the Democrat state senators in Wisconsin. There was an election in 2010. The people spoke clearly in Wisconsin. They elected a new senator, Ron Johnson to replace Russ Feingold, a new governor, Scott Walker. And then they elected Republicans to run both the House and the Senate. This was a change election in Wisconsin. People wanted to get their fiscal house in order. That’s exactly what Gov. Walker and the House and Senate are trying to do, and now the Democrats are trying to thwart the will of the people by leaving the state? This is outrageous. and, plus, we have the president of the United States also weighing in with his campaign organization busing 25,000 protesters into Madison? It’s outrageous.”
It is outrageous. As discussed on Friday’s KaibCast, this bill isn’t an “assault” on unions, as President Obama would have you believe. Matthew Boyle of The Daily Caller actually looked at the bill and found that it’s not so bad for unions:
- Public sector employees would still be allowed to collectively bargain on wages, but not on health-care or pension plans.
- Raises would be tied to the inflation rate, unless the state’s voters deemed the employees worthy of larger raises.
- Public sector employees would have to pay slightly higher rates for their health care and other benefits, but those rates would remain lower than those of the average private sector employee.
- Public sector employees would be required to pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums; they currently pay about 6 percent.
- Public sector employees would have to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to their pensions under Walker’s plans; currently some pay nothing. From 2000 to 2009, public sector employees paid $55.4 million into a pension system that cost $12.6 billion.
- Police, firefighters and other public safety workers would be exempt from the new collective bargaining restrictions.
Hmm. I guess these stupid protesters can go home now. They look kind of silly, calling this “an assault on families.” What families are they talking about? Last time I checked, families pay taxes, which would have to be raised to get the budget in line (or layoffs would occur, which would hurt families too). Contributing more to pensions and health care doesn’t hurt families, it helps them from being crushed by job losses or higher taxes.
For more on the craziness in Madison, listen to “The KaibCast” from Friday: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/joshkaib/2011/02/18/fridays-kaibcast-21811