Walker: Layoffs coming if budget not resolved

posted at 11:36 am on February 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The governor of Wisconsin doesn’t have many choices without a functioning legislature to cut spending and trim future liabilities as a credit crisis approaches on Friday afternoon.  If the budget doesn’t get restructured by the end of the week, Wisconsin cannot borrow more money, which means either defaulting on some of its bonds — which would destroy their bond rating and make future borrowing much more expensive — or cut spending in ways Scott Walker can control.  If Democrats don’t return soon to vote on the proposal, Walker told a local station this morning, he won’t have any choice but to start layoffs:

Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday morning the state could send out layoff notices to state workers as soon as next week if the budget standoff is not resolved.

Democrats had used the threat of the bond default as a means to pressure Walker into caving on the budget-repair bill.  Instead, they’ve forced Walker’s hand and now have their own pressure to get back to work.  Will they stay out just to see state employees pay the price for their obstinacy?

Byron York says the brinksmanship in Wisconsin may change the state’s politics forever:

For the lawmakers themselves, at least Republicans, this whole controversy has led to a surpassingly weird impasse. A number of them have known their Democratic counterparts for years. Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald speaks by phone with the hiding Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller. And Hopper has been on the phone with Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor, a colleague from Milwaukee. “I offered to give her a ride to work,” Hopper says, “but she said no.”

Hopper says he reminded Taylor that Republicans were out of power not too long ago, when Democrats controlled the state Assembly, Senate and governor’s office. “There were bills I was adamantly opposed to,” Hopper says, “and we didn’t run away.”

At the heart of all this, Republicans and Democrats are realizing there might be a gap between them that is bigger than they realized. To Republicans, the budget fight has involved the widespread shirking of responsibilities: teachers walking out on students, legislators running away from their offices, even doctors abandoning medical standards to make excuses for perfectly healthy teacher/protesters. To Democrats, the fight has touched a core issue; anything is justified to preserve union benefits.

At some point, the battle will be over. But it’s not clear Republicans and Democrats will ever look at each other quite the same again.

I’d say that this standoff has provided a much-needed clarification of commitment to constituencies and principles for both sides, and that will end up doing the most damage to those Democrats who attempted to hold the state hostage so that the minority could dictate to the majority.


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I was and am in favor of firing these “sick” teachers, not laing them off. If you are fired for cause there might be a bigger economic blow to these commie thug dirtbags. Fire as many as you can Gov. Walker!

clnurnberg on February 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

As much as I agree with your sentiment, Gov. Walker can’t fire any of them. Teachers are hired by local school boards.

P. Monk on February 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

And that’s very typical of the job-destroying Tea Farty politics. You’re all about immediate, self-gratification and political point-scoring rather than doing a damn thing to create decent jobs for Americans.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

And what, pray tell, has your president and the liberal Congress (before Nov. 2010) done since they’ve been in office to create decent jobs for Americans? Last time I looked, the effective unemployment rate was hovering around 20%.

Do, enlighten us all.

GrannyDee on February 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

And that’s very typical of the job-destroying Tea Farty politics. You’re all about immediate, self-gratification and political point-scoring rather than doing a damn thing to create decent jobs for Americans.

Does Walker “upset” me? At this point, I almost pity the guy. He’s destroying himself. His “principled stand” is turning out to look more and more like an ostrich with head planted firmly in rear.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 12:16 PM

If you’re coming here touting the value of the unionized PS teachers and such… Ummm… you’re the ostrich with your head firmly planted in the rear.

Public Schools suck and at least half of the teachers in them do too.

Time to make some cuts to the pork.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

People forget that this collective bargaining is really bargaining for OUR TAXES! The hell you say!

ultracon on February 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

And what, pray tell, has your president and the liberal Congress (before Nov. 2010) done since they’ve been in office to create decent jobs for Americans? Last time I looked, the effective unemployment rate was hovering around 20%.

Do, enlighten us all.

GrannyDee on February 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I don’t know about immediate, self-gratifying politicking … but Obama managed to take 18 grueling days to complete a revolution in Egypt… hey, think of all those flag burning jobs that were created!

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Look on the bright side, at least we’ve found an early front-runner for inaugural guest speaker at University of Arizona’s new civility institute.

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM


bifidis

How long do you expect all of us taxpayers to support the union gravy train?

Try answering that for once.

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Herman Cain.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I like Herman, but I’m afraid he will never make it out of the primaries. Same for Bolton. You need far more monetary infrastructure to compete again the Romney’s and Newts.

Indy82 on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

People forget that this collective bargaining is really bargaining for OUR TAXES! The hell you say!

ultracon on February 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how one morally justifies forcing people to pay union dues that they don’t want to even be a part of…

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

bifidis

How long do you expect all of us taxpayers to support the union gravy train?

Try answering that for once.

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Worth repeating

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Look on the bright side, at least we’ve found an early front-runner for inaugural guest speaker at University of Arizona’s new civility institute.

Christien on February 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

LMAO!

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

OT………….

Indiana House members are now going to flee the state to avoid voting on the same stuff as Wisconsin.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how one morally justifies forcing people to pay union dues that they don’t want to even be a part of…

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

The same way some people justify making others pay for ‘nation-building’ on a foundation of quicksand, probably.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Walker is digging his own political grave. Keep on diggin’, Scotty!

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Are you from Wisconsin? Just curious.

P. Monk on February 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Maybe the teachers’ strike is a good thing for the students:

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

Vashta.Nerada on February 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM

OT………….

Indiana House members are now going to flee the state to avoid voting on the same stuff as Wisconsin.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Rush is commenting on this right now.

The democrats are showing the voters what’s important to them, saith Rush.

Tru dat.

GrannyDee on February 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Chip on February 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM

OT………….

Indiana House members are now going to flee the state to avoid voting on the same stuff as Wisconsin.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Here’s to hoping they go to Chitown! Dem Reunion with Rahm!!!

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

The same way some people justify making others pay for ‘nation-building’ on a foundation of quicksand, probably.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Nation Building is a bad idea.

Legally imposing union dues is highway robbery and nothing but low ball thuggery.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Here’s to hoping they go to Chitown! Dem Reunion with Rahm!!!

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Maybe they’re coming here to stuff the ballot boxes for Rahm today.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Indianapolis – While some workers spent the day demanding their union rights, others went to work without any representation.

Herron High School is an Indianapolis charter school where the teachers are non-union by choice.

Whether instructing choir class or taking a page out of American history, teachers at Herron High School – a public charter school – are essentially “at will.” They work with only one-year, single-page contracts.

“If I continue to do a good job, I will continue to be employed. And I have confidence in my abilities so it really doesn’t scare me or bother me,” said Malcolm Gilchrist, history teacher.

Though they could be members of a teachers union, they chose not to be, instead resolving issues through personal conversations.

Something for Daniels to bring up…

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Next up?………the American Wrecking Ball goes after Indiana GOP and it’s Governor?

Hey you gutless cowards in D.C. GOP Whig leadership……THANKS FOR A BIG FAT MIDDLE FINGER (with those joke of “cuts” you can’t even get passed the House) to the voters that put you into office last November.

So far, thank goodness for the GOP governors in some of these states like Walker and Brewer.

698 more days of this Administration….will we survive?

PappyD61 on February 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Nation Building is a bad idea.

Legally imposing union dues is highway robbery and nothing but low ball thuggery.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Nation Building kills people, union dues just makes them a bit poorer.

Kind of a tossup; one idea is worse at its roots but the other has worse effects.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

That’s the only way those Wisconsin geniuses could get into Harvard.

either orr on February 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Actually, one of Joe Biden’s constituents not only successfully lied his way into Harvard, he lied his way thru almost 4 full years of Harvard. He was finally busted by an alert professor last year.

Said professor noticed he had plagiarized a written work he had claimed as his own. Uncle Joe would approve.

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Maybe they’re coming here to stuff the ballot boxes for Rahm today.

Knucklehead on February 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Oooo goodie

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

I’m still trying to figure out how one morally justifies forcing people to pay union dues that they don’t want to even be a part of…

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

The same way some people justify making others pay for ‘nation-building’ on a foundation of quicksand, probably.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Horrible comparison. You can do better.

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Nation Building is a bad idea.

Legally imposing union dues is highway robbery and nothing but low ball thuggery.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

“Nation building” is what the US does. It’s what it was created to do — initially on itself, but on other, dysfunctional states as well.

Count to 10 on February 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently

faraway on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Solution? Spend more money of course.
– crr6GrowFins

angryed on February 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Nation Building kills people, union dues just makes them a bit poorer.

Kind of a tossup; one idea is worse at its roots but the other has worse effects.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

1) Nation building does not necessarily kill people. I know, I know… you’re thinking Iraq and Afghanistan, yada yada yada… but a lot of “nation building” has been done without a drop of blood being shed. Think Haiti relief.

2) I hope you aren’t suggesting that nation building has worse effects than organized labor in the US. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are very expensive for the US, the bloated corporatist state that the unions have helped create is what’s really draining the US.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Sources have confirmed that Governor Scott Walker is considering suspending direct deposit for the “Wisconsin Fourteen.” In order for the missing Democratic senators hiding out in Illinois to receive payment, they might have to return to the office and pick up the checks on their desks.

Fourteen Wisconsin Democrat senators skipped town last week in order to prevent the State Senate from voting on Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill. In order to call a quorum to pass fiscal bills, twenty senators must be present to vote. With nineteen Republicans ready to vote in favor of the Budget Repair Bill, only one Democrat is needed to pass the bill.

As the showdown continues, might Governor Walker’s tactic lure at least one Democratic senator back in need of a paycheck? With salaries around $50,000 per year for state senators, it will be awfully tempting

mediatrackers.org

Hope none of the senators was counting on that check for the 3/1 mortgage payment….

Wethal on February 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Nation Building kills frees people and makes them better trading partners, union dues just makes them a bit poorer corrupt the system and support labor monopolies and extortion.

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Not exactly a toss up.

Count to 10 on February 22, 2011 at 12:44 PM

“Nation building” is what the US does. It’s what it was created to do — initially on itself, but on other, dysfunctional states as well.

Count to 10 on February 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Totally disagree.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Unless your definition of “nation building” is commerce-based, I think George Washington (a creator) would have disagreed with you too.

MeatHeadinCA on February 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

As if YOU really care? LOL. You would love to see the “commie-nazi-thug” teachers lose jobs.

bifidis on February 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Sigh… Teachers that lie about being sick to abandon their jobs and the children they teach in breach of their contract should lose their jobs. You and I would if we tried to pull a stunt like that.

You know, Obamacare got ram-rodded through over the strenuous objections and votes of the Republicans in DC but they didn’t run away and pout because they wouldn’t win the vote. Dems railroad legislation through when they are in the majority and shut down the government when they’re not. The people voted for Walker so the Dems need to grow up and respect the wishes of the majority. Sometimes you don’t have the votes and you lose.

inmypajamas on February 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The current generation of teachers are lazy.

Y-not on February 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Not necessarily, my daughter teaches,tries to teach, 6th, 7th and 8th grade math where she has been told to teach the State Test by administration(No Child Left Behind). She tutors at night, some of the same kids she teaches during the day. A few parents are concerned that their children aren’t being taught any ‘critical thinking skills’ in math, and they aren’t. The rest are too busy with their lives to be bothered with Johnny’s or Mary’s math skills, after all that’s what they pay those taxes for.

It’s too bad that another generation will be lost or dumbed down because the parents are too caught up in their own existence to see what is being dictated from the ‘gubmint’.

belad on February 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Sometimes you don’t have the votes and you lose.

inmypajamas on February 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Only Republicans are expected to be gracious losers. Granted, they’ve had much more experience at it.

SKYFOX on February 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

“Nation building” is what the US does. It’s what it was created to do — initially on itself, but on other, dysfunctional states as well.

Count to 10 on February 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM

What?! Can you point to the part of the Constitution that specifies that? I seem to have missed that particular part.

JSGreg3 on February 22, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently

faraway on February 22, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Yes, the shools have some big problems:

Menthar 3 minutes ago

It amazes me what I read here. I am a teacher and one thing I have learned is there are no absolutes. Are there bad teachers out there? Yes, but there are many many good ones. Should teachers be held aaccoubtable? Your darn straight they should. You keep throwing out per pupil expendatures. Do you really think that dollar amount is actually spent on the teaching the child? No it goes to paying for bloated central office pay rolls. Did you realize how much superientendents make? Between 89-152k a year. How much money does the shools pay for coaches salaries? How much money is wasted building these multimillion dollar stadiums. You know what I believe that teachers should be held accountable. Heres a crazy idea lets make the parents accountable for both the students progress as well as their behavior. There are times in my class I spend more time dealing with unruly students than I get to teach. Where is the accountability of the parent. I accept my accountability and I had better do my job the best I can. But you know so should you parents.

mudskipper on February 22, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Sometimes you don’t have the votes and you lose.

inmypajamas on February 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Amen. That happened to the Democrats last November big time. Now they’re subverting the will of the voters. Anti-democracy thuggery in action.

JSGreg3 on February 22, 2011 at 1:07 PM

bifidis: As has already been pointed out to you: Government…Does…Not…Create…Jobs.

Here’s another: Want a retirement plan? Pay. For. It. Yourself

alwyr on February 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Dark-Star on February 22, 2011 at 12:38 PM

nonJOKE: So what’s the difference between a nation-building country, and a public union?

One wants to free oppressed people and the other wants to oppress free people!

dominigan on February 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Heres a crazy idea lets make the parents accountable for both the students progress as well as their behavior.

I do. I homeschool. Now can I have just some of that tax money back to pay for my kids curriculum? It costs us personally several hundred dollars per child per year out of our own pocket.

dominigan on February 22, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Hey bifidis, I hear those pro-union docs in WI are offering people like you and the missing Dem legislators and any other pro union types a free treatment that could really help you all. It’s an operation. They implant a plexiglass stomach. That way you can see where you’re going when you have your heads up your butts like you normally do. AND you get a free note from your doc so you can claim more sick time.

shmendrick on February 22, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Will they stay out just to see state employees pay the price for their obstinacy?

Or Walker could be an adult and say “ok, you’ve given in on ALL of our monetary demands, so we will leave out collective bargaining for now and have a full debate on it in the months ahead.”

Instead, he’s saying, “ok, you’ve given in on ALL our monetary demands, but we also need to vote on the dismantling of ONLY teachers unions asap!!

Rainsford on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Or Walker could be an adult and say “ok, you’ve given in on ALL of our monetary demands, so we will leave out collective bargaining for now and have a full debate on it in the months ahead.”

Instead, he’s saying, “ok, you’ve given in on ALL our monetary demands, but we also need to vote on the dismantling of ONLY teachers unions asap!!

Rainsford on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Utter nonsense. Collective bargaining will remain intact for wages. The contributions to their health insurance and retirements are required only of state workers, and not of teachers. Those contributions for teachers are negotiated at the local level. Removing the power of the union to dictacte the outcome does empower the local boards and other entities to have more flexibility when negotiating with teacher’s unions and will likely result in the teacher’s asking to have their representatives look for lower-cost insurance plan alternatives, rather than not caring about the cost of these benefits because they’re not the ones paying for them.

Steel on February 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I’d say that this standoff has provided a much-needed clarification of commitment to constituencies and principles for both sides, and that will end up doing the most damage to those Democrats who attempted to hold the state hostage so that the minority could dictate to the majority.

Sunshine exposed the mold that the left are, when they are not winning.

Schadenfreude on February 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I’m all in favor of layoffs, lots of them. Why stop at balancing a budget, there must be hundreds of extra administrators and paper pushers that could be let go. Let’s go for a budget surplus and a tax cut!

clnurnberg on February 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Lay off anyone with ‘diversity’ in their job title.
Lay off any teacher that teaches classes to students segregated by sex, religion, or ethnic origin.

slickwillie2001 on February 22, 2011 at 2:23 PM

You know, if Wisconsin really needs to cut their education budget, I hear charter schools can save a good bit of money………..

tom on February 22, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Fire the illegally striking teachers and they may not need to lay off anyone else.

novaculus on February 22, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Instead, he’s saying, “ok, you’ve given in on ALL our monetary demands, but we also need to vote on the dismantling of ONLY teachers unions asap!!

Rainsford on February 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

I recommend one valium and two shots of bourbon.

darwin on February 22, 2011 at 3:19 PM

As much as I agree with your sentiment, Gov. Walker can’t fire any of them. Teachers are hired by local school boards.

I can think of a few reasons to have them arrested. Fraud – taking money without providing a contracted service, conspiracy to break a law, fake sick notes etc. Endangering a child might be another.Holding up funds until they return to work etc. Lot’s of options yet. My assumption is that teachers are state licensed/funded employees.

Don L on February 22, 2011 at 3:37 PM

GrannyDee on February 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Good one Granny Dee!

wi farmgirl on February 22, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Aren’t the people getting laid off members of the Union? Ask them how they feel about being martyrs to the cause? But then, everyone has to scarifice for collective bargaining…right?

jeanie on February 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

I hope the Republican Governors have met previously to all these events and have developed a strategy of their own to battle these issues. Just to say they must handle it and fire all the strikers, like Reagan did, back in the day, is not enough. There does appear to be a strategy and it’s very important that the Republican Governors and State Reps in each state are on the same page with what works.

If the Govs and Reps have not met, they need to do so very quickly. This is all about to get out of hand. Part of this Repub strategy needs to include our National Repub leaders including the RNC.

Funds need to be allocated for the promotion of Conservative ideas and reminding people constantly, that their particular state is in deep doo doo, financially.

This needs to be a nation-wide response, not just one on a local level!

If this turns out to be another ’1960′s anti-war movement’ type of attack on states, then we must have a united front.

These types of community organizers and union thugs are the terrorists. An effective defense and offense is vital.

And it needs to start yesterday!

scottjenn on February 23, 2011 at 9:51 AM

We need more states to take on difficult issues like this simultaneously to overload the liberal media and throw them into a tail spin.

It’s nice to see Arizona getting some breathing space now that Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio are tackling some big issues too.

scotash on February 24, 2011 at 4:59 AM

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