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Feb 24, 201411:08 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Wisconsin Act 10 plays New York (@Times)

(page 1 of 2)

The Sunday New York Times examined the aftermath of Wisconsin Act 10, the legislation that all but ended collective bargaining for government employees (except police and fire). It is well worth a read.

The lengthy article is fairly comprehensive except for a gaping hole in the donut.

It reports that the City of Oshkosh saved $1.2 million due to the flexibility Act 10 provided but lost $2 million in reduced state aid. It just leaves it there. The Times does not explain that that is the raison d’être of Act 10. State government had a $3.6 billion deficit that Walker inherited from the Democrats. Nowhere in the article is that reported. There was little money for shared revenue. The choice was either raise taxes (Wisconsin is already in the Top 10 most-taxed states) or permit the innovation that enabled Oshkosh to save the $1.2 million. Walker chose innovation.

There is another glaring error of omission. The Times barely notes in passing that “Mr. Walker survived a hard-fought recall vote two years ago,” but does not explain the significance. The June 2012 recall election was a referendum on Act 10; Wisconsin, voting more heavily than in the regular 2010 election, chose to retain Gov. Walker by a greater margin than when he was first elected.

Okay, one more objection. “Wisconsin’s Legacy for Unions” rightly visits the living rooms of the public sector workers affected. It’s not exactly news that they are unhappy. As the article notes, Act 10 required public employees to start contributing 6% of their pay toward their pensions and at least 12% of their health plan costs. “For many employees, that meant a 12 percent pay cut; on top of that, many faced a multi-year pay freeze.”

That is a real diminution of income.

However, there ought to have been some mention of the 232,000 unemployed workers that Walker inherited at his election in November 2010 from the Obama-Doyle regime. Those folks who had no pay to be frozen, no benefits to be cut. (The most recent count of jobless workers is 191,400.)


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Feb 24, 2014 01:50 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The most important talk of GOPers like Blaska: don't look over THERE, look over HERE.

Feb 24, 2014 03:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I haven't heard golden boy Walker talk about any issues other than himself.

Does he know the meaning of integrity ????

Bring it !!!!!!

Feb 24, 2014 05:03 pm
 Posted by  Leo

Mz Burke can twirl those short legs of hers like a Hummingbird on a Trek bike, but she's never going to be able to peddle her way to or around the obvious benefits of ACT 10 that have accrued to state taxpayers. Besides, if one can believe what they read in the Wisconsin State Journal, our Madison School Board member Mz. Burke is going to be mighty busy flapping her jaws trying to sell more snake oil to Madison taxpayers on the phony issue of diminishing space for Madison schools. In short, get ready for a Burke supported plan to waste millions more dollars on facilities taxpayers were told years ago would be sufficient to handle student populations well into the future. Rinse and repeat.

Feb 24, 2014 07:28 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, you teabaggin' chumps are doing the 1%'s work for them. Instead of asking why those darn, lazy public employees had it so good, you aren't asking the real question: "Why don't I have that?" The rest of the Western world seems to have figured it out; why haven't we? Germany and the Scandinavian economies seem to be doing fine. Cue the Ayn Rand free marketers railing against socialism (talk about cognitive dissonance)...
You buncha chumps. The Koch bros and the AFP aren't looking out for your interests. You're all being played. AnonyBob.

Feb 24, 2014 07:54 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

We state employees may have to pay a bit more for health care, but the tax cuts we received and the wasted union dues we no longer have to pay more than offset that. Our living room was visited by a brand new flat screen TV. Dave, don't forget the raise Gov. Walker gave us that Doyle wouldn't.

Feb 24, 2014 09:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

To keep the voting public's attention off the Obamacare train wreck, Democrats are desperate. So we have a make believe global warming crisis, a make believe investigation of the Governor, a make believe issue with redistricting.

Democrats love the land of make believe, so they found a make believe candidate to run against Walker in November, named Mary Burke. And when Democrats lose big in 2014, they'll make believe it never happened.

Feb 25, 2014 06:32 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Another glaring omission is that the 6% pension contribution now required of state workers has always been referred to as the "Employee contribution" which the state has been picking up for years. I am one of the few state employees who backed Walker throughout this struggle. I have no problem contributing to my generous state benefits. (My wife has been doing so in a private sector job for her entire career.) So I will back him again in the upcoming election.

Feb 25, 2014 08:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I was a manager for the state for about 30 years. Somehow I was able to survive and thrive those three decades without the assistance of a shop steward. I think the producers and achievers in state government are finding they can get along quite nicely without AFSCME and other union representation. The union leadership is just an overfed assortment of leaches extorting monthly dues payments. Good riddance.

Feb 25, 2014 11:39 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Now the trolls are claiming to be state employees, grateful for the hits they've taken under Walker. "Thank you sir, may I have another?!" I call BS on 7:54, 6:32, and 8:15. Well, as a manager, 8:15 could be real, but he's a fool to think he didn't benefit from the work of the unions raising the boats of all public employees.
Maybe this is a compliment to the growing influence of Blaska's blog that the GOP propaganda pros now have to take part, or at least back him up.
All together now: "Why don't I have that?" AnonyBob

Feb 25, 2014 11:55 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave does have it, retired state employee that enjoyed every state benefit. Interesting how he retired just in time to not lose any.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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