WaPo: Battle on between gov’t workers and taxpayers

posted at 10:55 am on February 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Give the Washington Post credit for putting the fight over state budgets in the proper perspective.  Union protesters attempted to cast the debate as one of the rich against the middle class, but that presumes that the entire middle class works in the public sector and that everyone else is “the rich.”  Elected officials — even some Democrats — see it more as a battle over control of public policy between public-sector unions and the taxpayers, and have begun to understand that the taxpayers and voters should prevail:

At least some elected officials normally sympathetic to industrial unions were questioning whether they should side with government workers.

“I believe in what unions do, but as an elected official I represent the taxpayers,” said Jeff Berding, a registered Democrat on the Cincinnati City Council who ran as an independent after he opposed the party on a union issue. “I’m trying to get the best deal for them.”

The divide between government worker unions and their opponents, playing out now in several state capitals, highlights a critical aspect of the evolving labor movement.

The teachers union attempted to explain why union representation should matter to taxpayers:

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, was in Columbus this week for protests. She said in an interview that the argument that public unions are fighting the taxpayer is misguided.

“You have long-standing history in Ohio of using collective bargaining to do transformative things in education,” she said.

Transformative?  Let’s take a look at the results in Ohio for students.  Ohio barely outscores the national average in science and writing, and the gap narrowed in mathematics and reading over the last several years.  What percentage of students have demonstrated grade-level proficiency by the 8th grade in Ohio?  The results are hardly transformative:

  • Mathematics: 36%
  • Reading: 37%
  • Science: 41%
  • Writing: 32%

How about Wisconsin, the scene of this month’s protests?

  • Mathematics: 39%
  • Reading: 34%
  • Science: 41%
  • Writing: 36%

But what is transformative in Wisconsin is the amount of money that the teachers union can squeeze out of the state through collective bargaining on benefits, which the Walker budget-repair bill would disallow.  The WEA Trust, explains a report from reform group Public School Spending, makes a fortune for the Wisconsin Education Association by imposing a Cadillac health-care plan (which would be immune from the ObamaCare tax) at Lamborghini pricing:

WEA Trust, an insurance company established and closely associated with the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), siphons millions of crucial dollars from K-12 schools and their students every year.

WEA Trust has grown very fat on public school dollars, with a net worth of $316 million and a team of 12 administrators all receiving compensation packages worth six figures per year.  …

The problem is state law, which makes the identity of a school district’s employee health insurance carrier a topic of collective bargaining. That means school boards and local school employee unions must agree on the insurance company that will provide health coverage.

So most unions have traditionally come to the negotiating table demanding expensive WEA Trust insurance coverage, and the strategy has been effective. About 64 percent of Wisconsin’s 426 districts carry WEA Trust insurance, despite its prohibitive costs.

What “transformative” result do taxpayers get from this added expense?  None at all, except for a wealth transfer from taxpayers to the WEA and its dozen administrators making six-figure salaries. In fact, the WEA Trust looks like a racket to fund union activities rather than provide responsible health-care coverage to public employees.

It’s the clearest example of the need to end collective bargaining.  If states and localities don’t have the ability to find cost-efficient coverage for their employees, then it will be impossible for government to maintain any kind of cost control while unions control public policy.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Buh-bye unions

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM

“You have long-standing history in Ohio of using collective bargaining to do transformative things in education,” she said.

Sweetheart deals for public sector workers providing unsustainable wages and benefits are not “transformative things in education”. Where I come from, we call those kickbacks.

Doughboy on February 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Dallas, just three days ago, avoided this by giving each of 500 teachers $10,000 of taxpayer money to go away. Nevermind that Dallas is broke.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Transforming a once prosperous nation into a bunch of debtors.

pedestrian on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Dallas, just three days ago, avoided this by giving each of 500 teachers $10,000 of taxpayer money to go away. Nevermind that Dallas is broke.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

WTF, I missed this – what?

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

This Wisconsin Teachers Union fiasco appears to be a textbook case of union sweetheart deal making; everyone benefits at the expense of the taxpayer.

Skandia Recluse on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

If teachers are so unimpressed with their compensation, let them work in private schools. Or in any other profession.

Who’s taking bets that they’ll do it?

Oh, and this is all about “the children,” remember.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Actually, what WI is trying to do is very weak tea.

faraway on February 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Oh so true, unfortunately.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

The trajectory for education is always upwards. Unfortunately, the more $$ spent doesn’t ‘transform’ into better scholastic outcomes, despite the caterwauling. For these guys, the problem is always lack of funds–more money means more opportunity (to enrich their coffers).

It is high time to cut this practice out. It is fallacious to continue thinking and acting as if more education spending results in smarter kids—it does not. Liberals are all about having ‘dialogue’ and ‘discussions’ and ‘conversations’….well, let’s start right there between the (lack of) correlation between public education spending and scholastic outcomes.

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I simply can’t understand how this is even an issue.

Public sector unions give big money to Dem politicians.

Then they turn around and “bargain” with the same people they put into office (with other people’s money).

States under long time Dem control have the largest deficits.

Is it that hard to connect the dots?

reaganaut on February 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

private unions = unionized against management/owners of a corporation

public unions = unionized against you and me, the taxpayer

They seem to think that government is a for-profit business.

I wonder what party ever gave them that idea.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Instead of incurring sympathy, Wisconsin has shone a bright light on the criminal organizations known as “public sector unions”.

darwin on February 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Dallas, just three days ago, avoided this by giving each of 500 teachers $10,000 of taxpayer money to go away. Nevermind that Dallas is broke.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

10 grand?! HISD(Houston ISD for the layperson) has been pushing an early retirement program the last couple weeks, but I think the most they’re offering is 2500 bucks. And that’s only for employees who’ve been here 21+ years!

Doughboy on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Let’s also note that this is being carefully crafted by the democratics and the old liberal media as those evil Republicans vs the middle class/unions. The greedy unions chose Wisconsin as the battlefield, vs one run by democratics: Blue State Dems Turn on State, Local Workers

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

American taxpayers should really be ticked off at teachers’ unions. For years we have been told that teacher salaries and benefits are less than with the private sector. We have been told that in order for our children to receive excellent education we must pay the teachers and administrators more money.

Amjean on February 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

ffs.

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

erican taxpayers should really be ticked off at teachers’ unions. For years we have been told that teacher salaries and benefits are less than with the private sector. We have been told that in order for our children to receive excellent education we must pay the teachers and administrators more money.

Amjean on February 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

And I’d be happy to be paying them well if there were some excellent education results to show for it. Unfortunately we have the typical liberal policy results to show for it – increased spending with deteriorated results.

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

What “transformative” result do taxpayers get from this added expense?

Shafted!

GarandFan on February 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM

We have been told that in order for our children to receive excellent education we must pay the teachers and administrators more money.

Amjean on February 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

so much for that lil’ theory right there. Looks like the light of truth is shining down on it and it ain’t pretty for the home team.

Homeschool.

ted c on February 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Let’s also note that this is being carefully crafted by the democratics and the old liberal media as those evil Republicans vs the middle class/unions.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Long standing communist tactic. In fact the only one they ever use … Bourgeoisie vs Proletariat.

darwin on February 28, 2011 at 11:19 AM

WEA Trust has grown very fat on public school dollars, with a net worth of $316 million and a team of 12 administrators all receiving compensation packages worth six figures per year. …

WI taxpayers should be screaming for the AG to recover this money. This is outrageous.

BuckeyeSam on February 28, 2011 at 11:20 AM

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Michael Barone provides a helpful response.

http://www.creators.com/print/conservative/michael-barone/voting-for-the-national-interest-not-self-interest.html

BuckeyeSam on February 28, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Obama finally found his war.

Tried race – that didn’t work.

Tried class – that didn’t work.

However, third time is the charm!

Public Sector v. Private Sector – Now, THAT’S the ticket!

Brang it!

Flyboy on February 28, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Ed, unions have been transformative in education. They took one of the best education systems in the world and in a few short decades transformed it into one of the worst.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Great analysis Ed.

WisCon on February 28, 2011 at 11:25 AM

It’s dangerous to let public sector unions, or other types of organized crime, become an institution. New York City let the Mob demand kickbacks for every service under the Sun, and of course the Mob overreached, had to be stopped, but it’s a hell of a job to root it out once established.

RBMN on February 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Is it that hard to connect the dots?

reaganaut on February 28, 2011 at 11:06 AM

For a liberal it’s hard to tie one’s shoes without govt aid.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

WTF, I missed this – what?

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM

From the land of Robin Hood school financing:

Dallas ISD readies $10,000 temptation for teachers to quit

Peri Winkle on February 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

This racket is coming undone and that is why they are fighting so hard…they know what is at stake for them here. They are fighting for their continued gravy train, not for any children. I guess we should all get in the saltmines and really get to work so they can have their money and benefits. I expect this to eventually get violent (moreso than right now).

NJ Red on February 28, 2011 at 11:27 AM

The greedy unions chose Wisconsin as the battlefield, vs one run by democratics: Blue State Dems Turn on State, Local Workers

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM

A bright, ray of sunshine.

Vince on February 28, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Thanks to the collective bargaining practices of the teachers unions, school text books used in most high schools these days are either out of date or are not in use, mostly due to the fact new materials are not being purchased because the schools cannot afford them, again thanks to the salary increases of most union teachers, the bulk of which do not even deserve a raise because they are not doing their jobs to begin with!

On the other hand, most high schoolers can’t read above a fifth grade level these days, and again, you can thank some of these overpaid, underworked union teachers for this.

This is why American students are woefully behind other countries, India especially, when it comes to such standards as math and science.

And this is how teachers unions are destroying the education system in this country. They are literally creating a generation of the dumbed-down.

pilamaye on February 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

What “transformative” result do taxpayers get from this added expense?

That is easy. Our children are “transformed” into statists. Statism: The principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.

IowaWoman on February 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Obambi talking to Governors live right now, the camera just panned the audience, Christie shaking his head back and forth…priceless..

Tim Zank on February 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

And this is how teachers unions are destroying the education system in this country. They are literally creating a generation of the dumbed-down.

pilamaye on February 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

And the more dumbed down one is, the more likely one is to vote Democrat. More Dems = more union money = dumber kids = more Dem voters. The circle of life for the left.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Needledick is pushing for more investments right now.

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Needledick is pushing for more investments right now.

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM

I admire the Governors for not laughing out loud, this speech is hysterical.

Tim Zank on February 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

President Pantywaste is telling the Governors that we need to spend more money. Why is his face always on the boob tube?

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Every government worker is a net NEGATIVE to the GDP. Every non-government worker is a net POSITIVE. It’s as simple as that. No terrorist, communist, international drug cartel, OPEC or illegal alien horde could bring this country to its knees faster than the future trillions needed to fund salaries, benefits and pensions to vastly overpaid and even more vastly overpopulated public service union workers.

MaiDee on February 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Somebody needs to hand him a copy of the 10th Amendment.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I admire the Governors for not laughing out loud, this speech is hysterical.

Tim Zank on February 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Another “Pull my finger” speech.

Does anyone besides me find it un-presidential and juvenile to say ‘bucks’ instead of dollars?

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Obambi talking to Governors live right now, the camera just panned the audience, Christie shaking his head back and forth…priceless..

Tim Zank on February 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

What I wouldn’t give to see that on a split-screen during a Presidential debate(minus the Al Gore sighing of course).

Doughboy on February 28, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Does anyone besides me find it un-presidential and juvenile to say ‘bucks’ instead of dollars?

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Every thing he does and says is un-presidential, why should saying “bucks” surprise you or are you just all wee wee’d up because you’re excited to hear him speak again?

Gotta love how they turned the camera’s off now that he has to take questions from Governors.

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Another “Pull my finger” speech.

Does anyone besides me find it un-presidential and juvenile to say ‘bucks’ instead of dollars?

darwin-t on February 28, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Did little Bammie give anyone in the audience the finger per his usual style?

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The results are hardly transformative:

Hate to disagree but they are transformative. Just in the wrong direction from good to terrible.

Herb on February 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Well, of course Hollywood’s neo-communists are down with the union thugs: ‘Wally Pfister’s Union Call Out at Academy Awards’.

Donald Douglas on February 28, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Just heard there are 4 moderate gop who will side with the wi sen dems

%$#@&%#

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Just heard there are 4 moderate gop who will side with the wi sen dems

%$#@&%#

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Great. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

BuckeyeSam on February 28, 2011 at 11:59 AM

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Wow. Just when you thought the GOP was getting its act together, the RINOs come home.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

If it hasn’t already the information that the WEA trust insurance overcharges $200-300 per teacher/per month above comparable health care needs to go out on the tweet wires and FB pages. We have to win the tweet/FB war. I don’t tweet but I do FB and it is there.

Get uncomfortable with your families and friends.

journeyintothewhirlwind on February 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Just heard there are 4 moderate gop who will side with the wi sen dems

%$#@&%#

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Where did you hear this? Why would they cave in now? Are they that afraid of forced layoffs? If this is true, they can kiss their reelection goodbye.

Doughboy on February 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Absolutely shameful

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Heard it on msdnc when surfing through….

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Protesters exploded with cheers when it was announced that Sen. Dale Schultz, a Republican who represents southwest Wisconsin and had tried to come up with a compromise budget-repair bill, would not vote for Walker’s plans. Calls to Schultz’s office Sunday night were not immediately returned.

And so it begins….

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

WaPo: Battle on between gov’t workers and taxpayers

Does this imply that government workers don’t pay taxes ??

LODGE4 on February 28, 2011 at 12:09 PM

:(

Sad day

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Wow. Just when you thought the GOP was getting its act together, the RINOs come home.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:02 PM

RINO is too much of a compliment for such a weasel. Traitor is a word that somehow seems a better fit.

JSGreg3 on February 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Actually the 4 Republicans are the 4 that voted against the bill in the WI house. So far, as best I can tell, only that RINO POS Shultz has caved in the senate. Even with him it’s still 18-12 support for the bill. There would have to be a 3 more GOP caves for the communist thugs to win. Could happen, but hasn’t yet.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Thanks angryed

Msdnc was giddy to say the least

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

LODGE4 Government employees are a net NEGATIVE to the GDP. Their ENTIRE salary, benefits and pensions are borne by the the taxpayers (including themselves) but if you have, say a $100,000 government employee who, pays $70,000 in taxes and groceries, clothing, etc, the economy still has LOST a net of $30,000. NO government employee, therefore, can be economically productive, but, hopefully (a few good teachers?), some can be socially and moralistically productive and, in the case of the armed forces, can create can environment which is safe enough to nurture economic growth.

MaiDee on February 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

MaiDee on February 28, 2011 at 12:26 PM

That’s something Americans need to understand, that all government workers at all levels do not produce anything of value, they are all overhead. Every dollar that goes to government overhead is a dollar that is no longer available to create real productive jobs in the private economy.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM

In fact, the WEA Trust looks like a racket to fund union activities rather than provide responsible health-care coverage to public employees.

I say it’s time to use RICO against these extortionist public unions. Republicans need to stop being “nice guys” and get these guys our of our collective pockets. Taxpayers have paid too much for too long; the education results show that the tax dollars are not helping education. Those dollars are being funneled to “fix” election results. Time to end the racketeering!

DINORight on February 28, 2011 at 12:36 PM

At the outset I say that I do agree with Walker and not the Unions…so don’t pounce please. Having said that though, when I see those 8th grade percentages, I wonder about the tests. Surely more than 35+ or- of our kids are not representative of our kids as a whole. There has to be somethng wrong with the expectations on those tests. Most of our kids, while not academic geniuses, are managing okay in the big world and they are doing it against heavy odds in today’s world. Truly wonder if the tests are unrealistic. WI kids are probably doing okay…maybe not thanks to their teachers, but okay for the most part. Do not want to think otherwise, it’s too discouraging and probably not accurate anyway.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

There is nothing the govt does that couldn’t be done more efficiently in the private sector. Therefore every single economic transaction performed by the govt is a net economic loss to the overall economy.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I wonder about the tests. Surely more than 35+ or- of our kids are not representative of our kids as a whole. There has to be somethng wrong with the expectations on those tests.

Except that children in other countries taking equivalent tests are outperforming our kids – with a fraction of the cost per student we have here.

Raise the bar and let kids come up to it – lowering it hurts everyone.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Don’t worry, guys. One day, we can aspire to be Germany or Brazil or China – the models for humanity.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Most of our kids, while not academic geniuses, are managing okay in the big world and they are doing it against heavy odds in today’s world. Truly wonder if the tests are unrealistic. WI kids are probably doing okay…maybe not thanks to their teachers, but okay for the most part. Do not want to think otherwise, it’s too discouraging and probably not accurate anyway.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM

SHUT UP RINO TROLL!! Just kidding.

Kids doing OK? Have you ever been to a McDonald’s where the cash register breaks and the person behind the counter has to make change manually? It’s like asking them to solve a calculus equation when making change out of a $10 for a $5.50 meal.

I have a friend who teaches at a community college. He’s shown me some of his students’ essays. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I wrote more comprehensive sentences in the 5th grade.

Teacher unions have annihilated public education. Even calling the system education is ridiculous. Public schools are full time daycare centers for minors. Nothing more.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Public schools are full time daycare centers for minors. Nothing more.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Isn’t it comforting that teachers complain that they’re merely “babysitters” these days, with the implication being that they need more money and better bennies before they even consider teaching you kids?

FOR THE CHILDREN.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

“You have long-standing history in Ohio of using collective bargaining to do transformative things in education,” she said.

That is so dishonest. Once again, unions exist ONLY to further their members’ interests. Those interests are more compensation and benefits for less work and accountability.

If a union ever placed any other issue above those things, the union could be sued by any of its members for failure to represent, among other things.

The idea that a union would ever place some “transformative” new educational program above increased pay and decreased accountability is laughable. And, i’m not saying that as a huge ding against unions – that is what a union is formed to do, that is its very purpose. To claim otherwise – that a union is somehow acting out of benevolent interest of some third party (in this case, students) is hogwash.

If one can believe that a union is willing to act against its members interests and in favor of a third party, why not believe a corporation does the same? A union is formed to protect its members interests (again, pay and accountability) while a corporation is formed to increase its shareholders profits.

why can a leftist believe that a union ignores its own interests in the furtherance of “helping” society but a corporation can’t. A union, after all, just like a corporation, is nothing but the joining of individuals for a specific purpose. the individuals making up a union are inherintly more “good” than the indidivuals making up the corporation? What about when union members also own corporate shares (IRAs, pension funds, mutual funds, etc)?

Stop selling us on how “good” for society unions are. Yes, arguments can be made that unions managed to acheive things that happened to be good for society in the past. that does not make unions inhereintly “good” or “good for society”. A union is an entity out for its members, nothing more.

In today’s world, every time a public union gets more for its members, taxes go up, or services somewhere else are cut, or the deficit goes up. the benefit a union gets has to come from somewhere – unlike in teh corporate world where the overall pie can be increased, gov’t is moslty a zero-sum game.

Monkeytoe on February 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

private unions = unionized against management/owners of a corporation

public unions = unionized against you and me, the taxpayer

They seem to think that government is a for-profit business.

I wonder what party ever gave them that idea.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Which party has the slogan, “Workers of the World – Unite!”?

That would be the Communist Democrat Socialist Party.

DINORight on February 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I do not know what tests other countries use. Do know that in the average 6th grade classroom of yesteryear, a few of the kids were always below grade level in the old tests,most were here and there in the middle and a few were at the top. I suspect it’s still pretty much the same today and the tests are not calibrated to to reflect this. Kids may have changed superficially, but basically, I’d put my money on a large part of the problem being the tests because intelligence percentages are probably pretty much the same. As for the quality of teaching, perhaps it has lessened but on the other hand, curriculums have expanded to the point where covering it all effectively is nearly impossible yet the kids are tested as if there has been in depth coverage. Much time is wasted on stuff better left to other agencies.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Dallas, just three days ago, avoided this by giving each of 500 teachers $10,000 of taxpayer money to go away. Nevermind that Dallas is broke.

Limerick on February 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Well, to clarify, it’s the DISD, not the City of Dallas. The DISD is a joke, and has been for many years. From the district credit card scandals, to the $69 million shortfall that slapped them upside the head, it’s been one screw-up after another. And to think they last year give superintendent Michael Hinojosa a new contract, after he lost out on the Clark County, NV (Las Vegas) superintendent job. Unbelievable.

Ward Cleaver on February 28, 2011 at 12:59 PM

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Sorry ed, just cannot buy that. Think more highly of our kids than that. They are our future–like it or not. I think they’ll do okay. Look at some of our young Congress people—they are pretty saavy, look at our young entrepreneurs et al. No, these kids are not perfect, but neither were we. Do think that the Unions do more harm than good these days and teachers are not as dedicated as they might have once been–but the kids will, for the most part, turn into decent adults whether because of or in spite of the schools.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

I think this whole thing is backfiring on the Unions. They are just shining a light on themselves and when people are out of work it infuriates them to see public employees carrying on as they have. I’d lay low and quietly and professionally do my work and just thank God I have a job!

CCRWM on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

When is Walker going to order the state police to remove the flotsam and jetsam from the state house?

Akzed on February 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Sorry ed, just cannot buy that. Think more highly of our kids than that. They are our future–like it or not. I think they’ll do okay. Look at some of our young Congress people—they are pretty saavy, look at our young entrepreneurs et al. No, these kids are not perfect, but neither were we. Do think that the Unions do more harm than good these days and teachers are not as dedicated as they might have once been–but the kids will, for the most part, turn into decent adults whether because of or in spite of the schools.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

You are right. They are the future. Which is why the future of this country is beyond repair.

The kids may turn into decent adults but they will by dumb as rocks. And dumb as a rock doesn’t usually translate into financial success. Not when Chinese and Indian students will be the competition in the global market for labor.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

I’d lay low and quietly and professionally do my work and just thank God I have a job!

CCRWM on February 28, 2011 at 1:15 PM

LOL. A union member professionally doing anything. Now that’s funny.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

If the teachers are so good then:IF student reading scores go above 55%, school district pays for every thing, below 55%, teachers have to pay for everything. {pensions,health care,etc.}.Put up or shut up!!!!

BruceB on February 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I am growing to deeply resent the anti-public-worker rhetoric. I provide educational technology training and support for at a community college with a student population of about ten thousand. I’m not in a union, though my benefits are the same as those the unionized full-time faculty get. I haven’t had a raise in years, and I don’t expect one anytime soon. I work *very* hard to provide top-quality service, and to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of instructional technology. If I’m ever able to afford to retire, my state pension will be reduced by my Social Security benefits. As a result, I’ll be penalized for having worked in the private sector for decades before taking this job.

skydaddy on February 28, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Seriously these people are just “communist light”. They need to be defeated period.

mmcnamer1 on February 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

You’d think it is a mistake or some kind of contradiction, there is none – all government workers I met consier private sector workers overpaid/rich. It is totally groundless, but it is the culture in government worker circles. So when they are saying middle class, they mean government workers, and rich – are private sector.

anikol on February 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM

It’s more general than that. This isn’t just between taxpayers and government unions.

This war is between net taxpayers and net tax-recipients.

REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION IS UNFAIR!

logis on February 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Nice article, Ed!

Pablo Snooze on February 28, 2011 at 8:38 PM