Obama says Wisconsin conducting “an assault on unions”

posted at 12:15 pm on February 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama spoke with Wisconsin television station WTMJ earlier this morning to weigh in on Governor Scott Walker’s efforts to force unions to accept restructuring of the public sector to solve long-term budget crises in the state. Wisconsin Republicans swept the state elections in 2010 in the aftermath of large budget shortfalls. Obama conceded the need for action, and claimed credit for his federal pay freeze as an example of his own leadership, but accused Walker of conducting “an assault on unions.” Eyeblast provided this clip:

He told TODAY’S TMJ4 in an exclusive interview that sacrifices should be made to deal with fiscal changes, but that public employees should not be vilified.

“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,” Mr. Obama said to TODAY’S TMJ4’s Charles Benson in a one-on-one talk.

“I think everybody’s got to make some adjustments, but I think it’s also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

This is yet another meaningless cliche from Obama.  Everyone contributes to someone, either customers or communities, or both.  Public-sector workers get compensated for their “contributions,” and they do so with a great deal less accountability, more job security, and in most cases better compensation than employees in the private sector do.  Walker’s efforts intend on rectifying that balance by bringing pension contributions and health-insurance costs in line with the private sector and making it easier to terminate those employees who waste taxpayer money through incompetence, non-performance, and insubordination.

Taxpayers want more accountability and less bureaucratic entrenchment from their government.  Unions have conducted an assault on those concepts for decades.  All that Walker, Chris Christie, and even Andrew Cuomo have done is to stop retreating and start fighting back for fiscal sanity and public-resource accountability.  For Obama, that is apparently one retreat too few.

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Good for the governor . . . it’s about time somebody assaulted those union thugs.

rplat on February 17, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Fire them all.

gdonovan on February 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

From the sounds of things, it looks like the government is effectively shut down until they return.

Walker released a pretty weak statement asking the Dems to come back out of respect for the process.

He better plan on bringing out more than that. If they are being taken care of by SEIU in Chicago, I think they could hold out for quite a while.

WisCon on February 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Does this guy ever keep his trap shut? This is a state issue. There are more than enough problems on the Federal level that should occupy this clown. He is acting stupidly.

SPGuy on February 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM

First Arizona, now Wisconsin. Eventually, he’ll attack the other 55 states.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on February 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Scott Walker to Obama: “We won”

Common Sense on February 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM

“hard-working Federal employees”… it’s now a trademark and every time someone uses the term Federal employee(s) the prefix phrase “hard-working” must be included. By Executive Order.
Anyone else need to be reminded of the appropriate obeisance due to “(hard-working) Federal employees.”

ExpressoBold on February 17, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Should we tolerate language like this? If there’s any violence, Obama is to be blamed for using words like assault.

mmoran0226 on February 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM

I imagine it’s already been said, but it can’t be said too much….

The unions are waging an assault on the taxpayers.

flyfishingdad on February 17, 2011 at 8:53 PM

They should be assaulted – the unions that is.

Sporty1946 on February 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Next Obama will be suing the state of Wisconsin.

Alana on February 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Seems like I remember our president saying something like “We all need to do our part and sacrifice”. Or something along those lines that he really didn’t mean.

rockerpeople on February 17, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Nice state you’ve got there – Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

JFS61 on February 18, 2011 at 12:51 AM

The MEDDLING continues. The 10Th Amendment is just some scribbling on an Old Piece of Paper to this Punk Pretender.

States, Cities and small towns in All of His 57 States are facing budget shortfalls and He does not understand that printing more money and borrowing on Our Grand Children’s future incomes will not bring solvency to the Republic.

The Fiscally Prudent vs the most Economically Illiterate POTUS ever. It would be funny if this was NOT My Country.

old trooper2 on February 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Walker’s response:

We are focused on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the [United States] government and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budgets, which they are a long way off from doing.

unclesmrgol on February 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM