Misjudging Wisconsin

February/27/2011 18:55PM
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Recent polls show the majority of Americans support the unions in Wisconsin. I’ve read several editorials that suggest the situation in Wisconsin is hurting the Republican party. All of this suggests voters in Wisconsin and across the country support laying off workers rather than adjusting benefits. It says we want higher taxes, bigger benefits to public union workers, and more state deficits. It supports the idea that we want to give more and more to teachers while watching American test scores go down against other countries that spend less per pupil for education. It means several states, as many as 12, are on the wrong track and the Democrats will be back in power in those states.

Come on, no one with a whit of common sense believes any of this. Even one person with no common sense doesn’t believe it, Barack Obama. Since his first comment about Wisconsin attacking unions, he has been mute on Wisconsin. His advisers must have a different poll. If the so-called polls that show support for Wisconsin are right, why wouldn’t Obama be making political hay from piling on the Republicans and the governor of Wisconsin? His polls must show this is working in favor of the Republicans and he needs to distance himself from the Democrats who are coming out in support of the unions.

There is a reality hitting the public in this country. That reality is seeing the damage politicians have done by giving too much to public workers. From the city of Bell, California, to your city, public workers have been overly rewarded during boom times. Boom times are gone and the reality that we can’t afford to pay what we are paying pubic employees is the new reality. In Wisconsin, for example, for every dollar we pay a public employee we pay 75 cents in benefits. In the private sector that number is 26 cents. Somehow, Wisconsin has to get 50 cents per employee back not to mention pay increases that have put pubic employee wages above the private sector.

Just as the voters want the Federal budget balanced and the deficit back under control, they want the same at the state and local level as well.

Let me put it this way. If you support the protesters in Wisconsin, you support higher taxes. It’s that simple. You want to over-reward public workers and you are willing to pay more taxes to keep that going. Let’s try that poll question.

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