This is my opinion on Walker’s bill concerning Public Employees. This bill is not just about teachers as some would have you think. This bill is for ALL public employees with the exception of the Police and Fire Department.
I have heard rumors stating that there is no budget crisis. People can skew the numbers a dozen different ways to make things look how they want it to look. When I was thinking about this I realized that it really doesn’t make a difference to me. I am having a problem with the amount that we are spending. Whether the amount brings us above or below a budget is irrelevant. Our government is too big and there are too many obsolete social programs that need to be cut and discontinued. The state government needs to be cut down to a more manageable size.
According to Walker, the state of Wisconsin is facing an immediate deficit of $137 million for the current fiscal year which ends July 1. In addition, bill collectors are waiting to collect over $225 million for a prior raid of the Patients’ Compensation Fund. Unlike his predecessor Diamond Jim Doyle, Walker is not stealing monies from Peter to pay Paul. All that does is make things look good on paper for a year or so which does not change the fact that there is no money in the budget to pay for the things we must pay. In effect it is just kicking the can down the road to deal with it later. That is what Doyle has done his entire time while he was governor of Wisconsin.
Some say that Walker created this by offering tax incentives to “evil rich” companies. It is the “evil rich” companies that will build businesses and hire people to work for them. Jobs are a cool thing. The tax climate in Wisconsin was pretty darn bad and it needed to change if you want to have companies move or stay in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has lost a lot of manufacturing jobs over the past few decades and the unemployed people scar the landscape. The bottom line is that if you cut business expenses by offering tax incentives they are more willing to build and grow in Wisconsin and hiring more people to work for them.
So, in my opinion, we have a budget problem. Government is too big and costly and making incentives to business to operate here will create jobs.
Next… Walker’s budget will require state employees to pay about 5.8% toward their pension (about the private sector national average) and about 12% of their healthcare benefits (about half the private sector national average). I don’t see anything wrong with this at all. What they are asking is half of what the private sector employees are paying. To argue about this is infantile and immature. I have to pay over 25% of my health insurance premiums and as a tax payer they feel that I should pay all of theirs? I won’t agree with that. If they want the insurance they should be willing to put something towards it. They work for me, not the other way around.
This side note on the teachers union (WEAC) when it comes to the health insurance. If WEAC would allow competitive bids on the costs for their insurance instead of forcing them to buy high-priced insurance from the union would probably help with some of the costs.
The people that we elected to represent us have gone AWOL. How does that make you feel? I know it pisses me off. I pay them for a reason and that reason is not to go on vacation. Here are the names of OUR representatives who decided that they would run away from their duties. These people are not doing their jobs and should be ashamed for letting us constituents down. They need to go back to work and debate the issues and offer amendments to get what they feel would be a better deal. They are acting childish and come November should be replaced with new people who will want to work and fight for the people they represent. Not only is the will of the people not being done but then we are expected to pay their salaries and expenses while they all sit at the Tower Resort in Rockford Illinois? If I don’t like my job I sure as hell am not able to just hold up in a motel somewhere and still get paid. In the private sector they can fire me for doing something as stupid as that. If you’re smart and if your representative is listed below I suggest that you contact them and tell them you are tired of paying them for doing nothing.
Walker’s Plan will take away Collective bargaining. So if you take away “Collective bargaining” employees will be assessed on their own merits. So that good employees will be able to get pay raises and promotions depending on their own performance and the poor employees can be disciplined and weeded out. This to me sounds like a win-win situation. If you work hard and do a good job you can be rewarded. If you do a poor job you don’t belong working there and will be kept behind and/or terminated. It seems to me that the only people who benefit from Collective Bargaining are the lazy and inept employees. Why would I want dead beats working for me? In general, Collective Bargaining slows down efficiency and production. In the real world those that work hard get the perks and those that don’t should practice the phrase “Would you like fries with that?”. It will also give the choice to the employees whether they want to give the union their hard-earned cash to do almost nothing for them. I personally would not want to be forced into paying hundreds of dollars a year just to have a job. I was a Teamster years ago and they did absolutely nothing for me.
The Walker Bill cuts benefits for the limited term employees. That means that part-time employees won’t be able to get state health insurance or be allowed to participate in the retirement system. Maybe they should look for full-time work if they want benefits just like I had to. Why on earth would I want to pay for this stuff?
If the Governor has declared a state of emergency, the bill authorizes appointing authorities to terminate any employees that are absent for three days without approval of the employer or any employees that participate in an organized action to stop or slow work. If you think that forcing people to go to work as part of their job description is a bad thing I question your sanity. I feel that if you want to get paid you need to go to work and be productive. If you’re not then you are a waste of space, time, and money.
I think that I have touched on the main areas of the proposed bill. Let me know what I forgot or if any of my information is incorrect. As for now I support the bill and hope that the poor representatives can find their way home soon. But maybe they won’t have to. Can you smell a recall in the future?
If you want to see the bill in its entirety click on this link: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?prid=5622&locid=177