The Cowards of the county

Important legislation had to be put one hold in Wisconsin, not because of a terrorist attack, but because a group of gutless cowards refused to do the job they were elected to do. Yes boys and girls, the Dem’s did themselves proud. Instead of representing their constituents in the State Senate and debating the issue, they did the mature thing and ran. Not only did they run, they ran clear out of the state!

            Maybe I’m being ‘unduly harsh’ on them as President Obama stated yesterday. Not! I think gutless-cowards describes them pretty well (without using profanity).  One can only hope that the people of Wisconsin remember their actions when election time rolls around again. When they are at home, watching their children, and losing pay because a bunch of union cry-babies refused to do the job they are paid to do, they can harken back and recall that the elected official that was supposed to represent them in the Senate took the last bus to Illinois.

            Here’s a list of the cowards:

 TIM CARPENTER

TIMOTHY F. CULLEN

SPENCER COGGS

JON ERPENBACH

JIM HOLPERIN

ROBERT JAUCH

DAVE HANSEN

CHRIS LARSON

FRED A. RISSER

JULIE M. LASSA

LENA C. TAYLOR

KATHLEEN VINEHOUT

MARK MILLER

ROBERT W. WIRCH

            Here is a LINK with contact information if you would like to contact them.

            While in Illinois, one of these brave Senators (LENA C. TAYLOR) took time to Tweet an answer to a reporter who inquired of her whereabouts – she was “doing the people’s business. Power to the PEOPLE.” What the hell kind of reply is that? Is the ‘people’s business in another state? Or did she just borrow that line from the 60’s because she was busy hiding? 

            The cowards were even cheered on by fellow Dem’s from other states. Like Judy Eason McIntyre from Oklahoma. Nothing like rooting for a loser. But hey, ‘birds of a feather’ and all of that. All we need now is Joe Biden to show up and tell everyone what ‘a big f’ing deal’ this really is.

Union Whining in Wisconsin

As the union protests in Wisconsin continue, let’s sort through some of this and try to find out if they have a legitimate reason for their actions. Here’s the deal. The state of Wisconsin is $3.6 billion is in the red. The Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature have put together a bill to address this growing problem.

 One of the efforts to reduce this short-fall is to pass a bill that changes the contribution amounts state employees are required to make to their benefit packages. The short version; they are going to have to contribute more to their own nest egg. Another point of the proposed bill is a realignment of the cost of living raises. The protestors say they are fighting to keep their collective bargaining rights. Basically, they would not be able to get cost of living raises that exceed increases in the Consumer Price Index. What? That’s it? No pay cuts? No job elimination?

Anyone, with any common sense anyway, realizes that there are going to have to be sacrifices made to correct the debt. Those sacrifices, namely budget cuts, will affect local and state employees. But the sacrifices the unions are asked to make are no where near the same sacrifices that those of us who work in the private sector, have already made, and are still making. While private sector employees face pay cuts, job elimination, lack of health insurance, and no retirement, they are faced with contributing more their own benefits and the lack of pay raises. Wow, I really feel sorry for them. Welcome to the real world.

            Up until this point, government employees have been excluded from these sacrifices. They have not had to work longer hours or take on more work for the same pay. Nor have they taken pay cuts, or lost their jobs altogether.

            Why should they be excluded? Why should they continue to reap the benefits of our tax dollars, while everyone else has already made the tough choices? The answer is they shouldn’t. We have come to the end of the road. Government employees are going to have to take it on the chin just like the rest of us. If they are unwilling to take reductions in pay and/or benefits, then some of them will have to be placed on leave (without pay) or fired outright. The unions know these facts. They have to make the choice. Either all of their members give a little up, or some of them give it all up.

            Forget the ‘we’re fighting for the children’ dribble, and all of the other empty cliché’s. These protests are by Union members. Not just teachers. But members of other government protected unions. Plumbers, electricians, and garbage collectors joining in. I guess they are doing it for the children as well. No they are not. They are doing it to protect the union, children be damned. So what if the state of Wisconsin is facing a $3.6 billion defict this year. The union doesn’t care about the buget short-fall any more than they do about the children. Period. If the welfare of the children was a real concern, why were there mass  “I’m sick today” call in’s? This act of blatent arogance, once again forced hardships on many private sector families. The layouts by these teachers forced many schools to close, which forced working familes to stay home with their children and lose much need income. The teachers get to spend the day at the caitol with no loss of pay.

            What is the administrations position on this? Well President Obama stated Wed on the radio  “that Walker’s plan is unduly harsh on unions.” Unduly harsh? Give up some benefits, but keep your job is unduly harsh? Obama supports the Union position. No surprise there. On Fox and Friends this morning, the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, in lock step, refused to take a stand against this illegal work stoppage. And he was very careful not to say anything against the Union’s position. In fact he didn’t say anything. He was speaking, but he didn’t say anything. The administrations is certainly not going to suggest any cuts to the union population.  In fact their numbers have increased under this administration by some 200,000 in the last 2 years. This administrations support of Unions is a sad joke and reflects a total lack of leadership.

            While this administration does nothing but aggravate the issue, the elected officials in Wisconsin are willing to do the right thing and execute the will of the people. Yes, the majority of the people of Wisconsin support this legislation, even though the media has conveniently dodged that point. The bill was scheduled to be voted on today. But the vote cannot continue because all of the Democratic representatives failed to show up. How mature is that. Hey voters in Wisconsin, are you taking note?

What needs to be done? Pull a Reagan, and put those teachers envolved in this illegal work-stoppage in the road. And do it ‘for the children’.

The Audacity of Budgets

When President Obama introduced his proposed 2012 budget Monday it came with all of the familiar promises of budget cuts. An amazing $1.1 trillion over 10 years. And the usual mantra of the ‘tough choices’ and ‘sacrifices’ we are all going to have to make. Who is we?

With the haunting thought of a $1.5 trillion deficit, an unemployment rate in the 9 – 10% range, and an ever-growing government, I was anxious to learn about these ‘tough choices’ and who it was that was going to make the ‘sacrifices’ required to fix this problem.

Glancing through the $3.73 trillion budget for 2012 I was hoping to find these ‘cuts’ he was referring too. I didn’t find them. So I looked a little harder. To be fair, there are a few. But they are what I would refer to as ‘chump change’ when you are talking about 3.73 trillion bucks. None of those ‘cuts’ are reflected in the bottom line. So are they really cuts? There is some fuzzy math. And there are increases, a lot of them. They were not so hard to find. Looking at the total outlays (using their projections) we find this.

 Total outlays for 2010 are $3.45 trillion.

 2011 – $3.81 trillion. Ten years down the road. 2021 – $5.69 trillion.

 $3.45 trillion – $5.69 trillion = $2.24 trillion increase. That’s fuzzy math.

 Those increases made me feel  a little queazy. Couple that with the unknown cost of recent legislation (Health Care and Financial Reform), and I began to go from queazy to sick. The answer to the question: who. It is you, me, and every other tax paying American.

When you and I are faced with less income we sit down and decide what we can afford and what we have to do without. But this administration, faced with the same choice, operates under the delusion that they can continue to spend. As if the difference can just be made up or doesn’t exist.  When the budget goes up every year that’s called spending, not cutting.

We can no longer afford to ‘kick the can down the road,’ with the promise of cutting a trillion dollars over ten years (which I doubt will never happen anyway). We need to cut this year’s budget by a trillion dollars. Not in 2012, but in 2011. This of course is an unrealistic expectation. So let’s use Obama’s statement (cutting $1.1 trillion over 10 years) to do the math. $1.1 trillion / 10 years = $110 billion per year. Yet the total outlays for 2010 are $3.45 trillion verses the total outlays for 2012 are $3.73 trillion. Maybe he’s referring to the outlays for 2011 verses 2012. Which are $3.8 trillion (2011) vs. $3.7 trillion (2012). So, jack the spending up in 2011 by $300 billion, then, make us all feel better by trimming $100 billion next year. What a plan! We are going the wrong way.

Why is it so hard for these people to understand the words budget and cut?

You would have thought that the outcome of the recent elections would have made this administration realize that we are tired of out of control government spending. But such is not the case. They seem to be as oblivious to what ‘we the people’ want as they are to the reality of necessary budget cuts.

            In the next few articles we will look at some of the sections of this joke of a bill in some detail. The bill affords us the numbers from 2010 and proposed numbers from 2012. Get ready for a surprise or two. Say 5100 new IRS agents to be hired and paid for in the 2012 budget.