Unions 'toast' after failed Wisconsin recall election against Gov. Scott Walker, pundits suggest

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  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    June 8, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Midwest Mom - Most of us in the private sector have no retirement, unless we fund it ourselves. Taxing others to fund your retirement far beyond what we ourselves have doesn't seem fair on this side of the aisle. As it is, the changes Walker implemented still have Wisconsin public employees funding far less of their retirement and benefits than do comparable private sector employees who do have such benefits. For example - we have decent health insurance - not great, but decent. We pay 30% of the premiums. We have a 401K - and my husband's employer will match up to 1.5% of what he contributes.

    Quit whining and look outside your own household. The rest of the country can't afford to subsidize you.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 8, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    Re: Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI

    May I suggest reading "Noonan: What's Changed After Wisconsin". You can find it in Real Clear Politics or the Wall Street Journal. Things are a changin, taxpayers have seen the light, and there is a rocky road ahead for public employee unions.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    June 7, 2012 8:19 p.m.

    Midwest Mom-

    If your husband is upset with his current salary predicament come on out here to the public sector and see how you like the benefits. We need more of you to help pay for the years of retirement that is given to the government workers after they can retire at 50 years of age.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 7, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    Much has been made about the "fleeing Democrats." The "Wisconsin 14" left the state in order to prevent a vote from taking place without the ability of interested parties to testify. Those of us who had Republican state senators could not get them to meet with us, either. If you have a representative government, and the representatives refuse to be accountable to their constituents, the only power left is to buy time. Some use the filibuster. In our case, temporarily leaving the state to negotiate from across the boarder was a strategy to force dialogue. After introducing the legislation on a Tuesday, the Republicans wanted to vote before the weekend, without allowing any testimony. This was a huge bill. The unions had already requested a meeting with the governor. He had refused. They had already agreed to cuts to help balance the budget. The governor refused to listen or allow access to his staff. Some people spend millions of dollars to get their political voices heard. The working man only had the integrity of a few, brave senators. I am grateful for their courage. Freedom isn't just for Tea-party Republicans.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 7, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Re: Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    "We had to give back $50,000 of our retirement, as well."

    Things are tough for everybody right now, and with Obama steering the ship of state it is only going to get worse. Probably why Democratic strategist James Carville had just one word of advice for President Barack Obama: "Panic."

    What we need is someone like Mitt Romney to do on a national level what Gov. Walker did on the state level.

    Congratulations to Gov. Walker on his victory over big labor.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 7, 2012 6:56 a.m.

    Re: Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    "Excuse me, but what do any of you know about Wisconsin? We have a proud tradition of good schools and progressive, bi-partisan, clean government."

    We know that Democratic legislators fled to Illinois to try and stop Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan border. I don't see anything relate the Democrats in Wisconsin with "bi-partisan, clean government".

    We also know that public employee labor unions in Wisconsin were defeated.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 7, 2012 1:02 a.m.

    wer, Have you been a union member? Have you been following Wisconsin's struggle, or do you merely filter all information through your favorite, conservative talking heads? Even the "all-powerful" teachers' unions, in Wisconsin, were under the QEO, or "Qualified Economic Offer," for 13 years, before Walker became governor. Through Republican Tommy Thompson, the QEO granted each district a 3.8% increase in state funds to cover salary and benefit increases, each biennium. Since younger teachers had lane changes and step increases on the salary schedule, that meant that older, experienced teachers, like my husband, have had an almost completely flat compensation package for over a decade. Virtually all was eaten by medical insurance increases. Now, thanks to Governor Walker, my husband's pay has been cut by $5,000 a year and that's off of the net, not the gross. We had to give back $50,000 of our retirement, as well. When a government imposes a charge of money on a citizen for public purposes, it is called a tax. I dare say if a government raised your taxes as much, you would have demonstrated at your capitol, as well.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    June 6, 2012 11:27 p.m.

    Way to go Wisconsin voters!!

    Unions still need to have a say in politics, but they can no longer be the engine that drives government spending or be the final determining factor that keeps inept employees (including teachers) from being fired.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 6, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    Excuse me, but what do any of you know about Wisconsin? We have a proud tradition of good schools and progressive, bi-partisan, clean government. Wisconsin's fully-funded pension program is the envy of the nation, that was with union support and cooperation. Wisconsin created public employee unions and Mitt Romney's father supported the same, in Michigan.

    Scott Walker said that he was fighting the big, powerful union bosses. This article says that the election was "more evidence of [union's] inability to reverse their own structural decline." Which is it? It cannot be both.

    Scott Walker outspent his opponent by seven to one, 70% of which came from outside donors. The voice of the people or government for sale?

  • SLC BYU Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 6, 2012 9:31 p.m.

    Unions were once upon a time a much cherished and needed institution within the U.S. labor force 75-80 years ago when the country was in the depths of the depression and not even a generation removed from the gilded age when so much wealth was concentrated in so few. Organizing collective bargaining in the Iron and steel, auto assembly and coal mining industries was crucial to creating a tolerable working environment and eliminating abuses. But despite all the hot air from the class warfare activists, we're nothing now compared to that long ago era. Franklin D. Roosevelt despite being the most pro-labor U.S. president in history was adamantly opposed to the union movement becoming institutionalized in government employees. Good logic behind this since unions typically oppose modernization and associated position reductions coming from technological gain. As a result the collective bargaining rights in government can and should be restricted by federal, state and municipal/local government. In too many instances over the years the unions have looted the government treasuries in all too many cases when they obtain too much power.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 6, 2012 8:31 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal

    "America is fast becoming a nation full of haves and have nots."

    The alternative is that we can keep voting for liberals so we ALL become have nots.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 6, 2012 8:06 p.m.

    Re: LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    "America is fast becoming a nation full of haves and have nots."

    Especially California where the budget deficit for 2012 went from $9B in January to $16B a mere 5 months later. The voters in Wisconsin said they are no longer willing to pay excessive retirement benefits to public workers while they live on peanut butter and jelly.

    The Republican victory in Wisconsin isn't a good omen for Democrats who think the world owes them a living.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    June 6, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    We now have a ruling class in the US and its not working people. We have let corporations take over our country and destroy our rights. When we actually VOTE to allow them to destroy us we deserve what we get.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 6, 2012 4:00 p.m.

    Too bad --

    It was the labor unions who created the Middle class and broke down the Iron curtain as well.

    Conservatives are reverting America back to the 1800's -
    and America is fast becoming a nation full of haves and have nots.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    June 6, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    Great news. Unions dues should not be requireda and should come out of the workers pockets. I don't understand how good teachers sit back and let unions pay bad teachers the same amount. Get rid of tenure and allow the hard workers to reap the benefits. Unions breed mediocrity.