Are you feeling very On Wisconsin today?
This is truly the battle for America. The reason what’s happening in Wisconsin is so important is that it is a microcosm for the whole country. Can governors and other elected officials really do anything to scale back massive public spending, much of it wrought by public unions?
The American Majority is calling for a national day of support for Governor Walker tomorrow. You can go to I Stand with Walker for more information. The American Majority is asking you to organize or attend a rally in support of Governor Walker. You can also update your Facebook pages or just tweet support for Walker. ABC has taken note of the American Majority, speaking with Matt Batzel, executive director of the group:
“I think we’re in for something special,” Batzel told WISC-TV in Madison Friday. “We’re expecting to have thousands of conservatives and tea party people representing the majority of Wisconsin who stand behind Gov. Walker on this bill.”
“We did have an election and Scott Walker won,” Deborah Arndt, 53, of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., told The Associated Press. “I think our governor will stand strong. I have faith in him.”
In a way, the election of President Obama, who has called the governor’s attempt to get spending under control an “assault” on the public sector union, brought so much into focus. Walker’s take on public unions is diametrically opposed to the 1960s-style sentiment that animates the president (here is a video Andrew Breitbart has apparently uncovered of the president as a candidate vowing to “paint the country purple” with the public sector union):
“I am convinced,” [Walker told columnist George Will] , “this is about money – but not the employees’ money.” It concerns union dues, which he wants the state to stop collecting for the unions, just as he wants annual votes by state employees on re-certifying the unions. He says many employees pay $500 to $600 annually in union dues – teachers pay up to $1,000. Given a choice, many might prefer to apply this money to health care premiums or retirement plans. And he thinks “eventually” most will say about the dues collectors, “What do we need this for?”
Such unions are government organized as an interest group to lobby itself to do what it always wants to do anyway – grow. These unions use dues extracted from members to elect their members’ employers. And governments, not disciplined by the need to make a profit, extract government employees’ salaries from taxpayers. Government sits on both sides of the table in cozy “negotiations” with unions.
And about that civility thing: The pro-union protesters have distinguished themselves by boorish (I’m being polite) behavior but the president, who made an eloquent plea for civility in Tucson, notes Steve Hayes, remains silent on their actions. I have to say that I’ve been inclined to see in the pro-union demonstrators the anger of the women marching on Versailles-except that this time, instead of marching against a king, they’re marching against the middle-class taxpayers who must pick up the tab for unbridled union bargaining (if bargaining is the right word for a process that has government officials bend to a public union that then puts enormous sums of money into the reelection of said public officials).