Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Few Tired Thoughts About Wisconsin

I'm sure you've seen the news out of Wisconsin in regards to the mass protests (it's the new fad) over Gov. Walker's intentions to strip bargaining rights from teachers and public employees. I'm not going to say much about this story because I really don't care much for it. Public employees have far more benefits and incentives than any of us do in private industry. I don't care what they say or what they're screaming about. The numbers don't lie. Most people are lucky if they're holding onto a job as it is. I really have a hard time finding sympathy for people complaining that their health care & pensions are going to be cut. Boo fricking hoo. Ask me if I plan on ever seeing a pension? Better yet ask my father who had to take retirement from GM (pre-government takeover) after over 25 years about a "pension". Yeah...he never seen one either. Sorry teachers but you don't want to show up to school today? Fine. Your books will burn well in the fireplace tonight.

"Tenure". Psh...I wish I got tenure.

On the other hand if you decide to raise your taxes on the "rich" which always ends up being the scapegoat answer for people who don't like numbers and statistics and feel good about being part of a collective mob mentality--MI is looking to accept your fleeing business with open arms. Our governor is doing away with our business tax and already courting those with plans to move from Illinois after their 45% increase on corporate income taxes. Sure he's simply passing the taxes from businesses onto homeowners and retirees but the climate will for once be welcoming to outside industry.

Illinois seems to be following the path of our previous two governors with proposing big government solutions (in the real world we call these bad ideas) at the cost of the taxpayer. Basically it's more wasteful spending to solve problems caused by wasteful spending. You don't go to a doctor with back pain and expect him to shoot you in the foot. So why would one expect a deficit to be fixed by spending? That's as bad as when the Republicans cut taxes and then spend billions on rebuilding foreign infrastructure in Iraq. They lived in the stone age before we invaded. What are they going to do with westernized buildings and utilties? Blow them up.

You don't spend money you don't have. It's that simple.

So feel free to parade your screaming teachers and students (who the vast majority are probably showing up to the protests for extra credit) around from camera to camera to say the progressive solve-all sentence of our generation: "Tax the Rich". Just remember that for as many people that the unions can bus & fly into Madison to grandstand and make a scene; there are plenty more that elected those representatives and that governor to make the cuts that need to be made. There are plenty of people out there in Wisconsin that have lost their jobs (in far more productive and economically vital jobs than DMV workers & professors with tenure) that don't have pensions, government subsidized health care, bargaining rights, and benefits that are over-funded and in the current economic climate completely unaffordable and outlandish. We're out here trying to survive and do with less. Sorry teachers aren't special. If you paid any attention to your pre-education classes you would know that you're not going to get rich being a teacher. So you took less pay with the expectation that you'd get a bunch of special benefits upon retirement? Yeah? Well we're taking less pay with the expectation that we'll hopefully not lose our jobs and still paying taxes that inevitably pay for your benefits.

So if the rest of us have to face cuts and hardship--public employees can make some sacrifices too. Sorry it's not the media populist opinion or the progressive opinion but it's my opinion. Spending needs to be cut. It does not to be frozen. It does not need to be sustained. It needs to be cut. If the average private citizen has to live within their means then public employees and government should also have to live within their means. Madison. Washington. All of the above.


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