Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Obama Continues to Wade Into Wisconsin Protests

This is a line that jumps out for anyone following politics in our nation and understands the philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats:

A choice, not an echo: Democrats desperately defending the status quo; Republicans charging the barricades.

That one 15 word sentence sums it all up, the turmoil in the midwest over state budget balancing and demands of the public employee unions. The Democrats are now the party of the status quo. The Republicans are the party of thinking long term and insisting on fiscal sanity.

During his speech to the governors present at the White House today, President Obama again sided with the union membership over the governors. Make no mistake, Obama is nervous at how all of this shakes out. Without public employee unions holding state budgets hostage, the Democrats lose big time financial support. Thus, this affects the re-election of Barack Obama.

Barack Obama addressed the nation’s governors today with sympathy over budgetary crises, but a warning not to solve their shortfalls by infringing on the rights of public employees. He also scolded governors for vilifying and denigrating PEUs, which raises the question of whether Obama has bothered to look at the protests in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Besides, the governors in question are mainly fighting to limit collective bargaining rights to a standard that the federal government prohibits for its own employees.

Democrats are panicked and not hesitant to get into the fight through the union leadership.

Recognizing this threat to union power, the Democratic Party is pouring money and fury into the fight. Fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers are unionized. The Democrats' strength lies in government workers, who now constitute a majority of union members and provide massive support to the party. For them, Wisconsin represents a dangerous contagion.

Hence the import of the current moment - its blinding clarity. Here stand the Democrats, avatars of reactionary liberalism, desperately trying to hang on to the gains of their glory years - from unsustainable federal entitlements for the elderly enacted when life expectancy was 62 to the massive promissory notes issued to government unions when state coffers were full and no one was looking.

No one is "vilifying" public employees. Taxpayers, however, have decided that enough is enough. Gone are the days now of huge promises of full benefits and trumped up pension payments at retirement for public employees, given the huge explosion of costs to states without the funds to sustain them. There is no "right" to collective bargaining. The unions are a privileged class. The folks touted as regular people just making a living as they serve the public are privy to benefits and retirement packages that few in the private sector receive.

WI Governor Walker responded to President Obama's personal involvement with this statement:

“I'm sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I'm sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

“Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

“I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.”

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