tea party's Last Stand

By: SayNoToTea , 5:49 PM GMT on February 14, 2012

Ok, first question, who among those that read or post on this blog spend all day worrying over politics?

Second question, who among us here is a socialist?

Just two slams from desperate far right posters who after continuous failures feel the need to put down those who don't blindly bow to their beliefs. Truly sad people, might I suggest they seek therapy.

They're not the only desparate people as the following article shows that the tea party is just as desparate trying to save their man they supported as governor of Wisconsin, even to the point of outright lies.

Tea Party group goes all in to save Scott Walker
By Greg Sargent
In case you were wondering how high the stakes are for the national right in the battle over Scott Walker’s recall, consider this: The Americans for Prosperity Foundation, a branch of the conservative group founded by the Koch brothers, is sinking at least $700,000 into ads in Wisconsin defending Walker’s record.

A source who tracks ad buys first noticed the expenditure, which has now been confirmed by a spokesman for the group.

The spot is a remarkable minute-long defense of Walker’s budgetary policies, including the controversial rollback of public employee bargaining rights, and interestingly, the ad mounts this defense without mentioning Walker’s name once.

What’s more, it also claims that Walker’s policies have been implemented without any “mass layoffs,” sounding a pro-worker message, despite the fact that national conservatives see Walker as their number one hero when it comes to breaking the back of the national labor movement:

Americans for Prosperity Foundation spokesman Levi Russell confirms to me that the $700,000 ad buy will fund this ad in various Wisconsin markets, and another ad to be unveiled next week. The current spot, which has run previously, doesn’t mention Walker because the ad is being funded by the group’s 501c3.

AFP invested heavily in last year’s battle over the recall of GOP state senators who supported Walker’s rollback of bargaining rights. AFP took some heat after it emerged that the group had sent out absentee ballots, in the districts of at least two state senators, that ended up misleading voters about the date of voting.

The group’s massive investment in the Walker recall fight is another reminder that for national conservative and Tea Party groups, the battle to defend Walker against recall has emerged as their number one national cause celebre.

As Andy Kroll reported recently, the Walker recall is a crucial, make-or-break moment for the Tea Party. Walker’s initial election was a major Tea Party victory, and the Tea Party is currently shrinking and a bit adrift. If Walker loses, it will be a major blow to the national movement. In this sense, the battle to save Walker may end up being seen as the Tea Party’s last stand.

By Greg Sargent | 12:05 PM ET, 02/08/2012

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40. unclemush
8:08 PM GMT on February 18, 2012
Link Paul Babeu, Arizona Sheriff, Allegedly Threatened Gay Mexican Ex-Lover With Deportation (VIDEO)
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
39. unclemush
7:09 PM GMT on February 18, 2012
Link Being a Pill About the Pill? Santorum Vs US Views.BIRTH CONTROL

— Santorum: Says he wouldn't try to take away the pill or condoms. But he believes states should be free to ban them if they want. He argues that the Supreme Court erred when it ruled in 1965 that married Americans have a right to privacy that includes the use of contraceptives.
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
38. richteas
8:13 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Under educated, snickering adolescents with little if any knowledge of the subject they were called to speak on. That is what I saw on the Panel Yesterday, that was called to speak on Women's Health. And as we all know, there were ZERO Women on the panel. That alone should tell all U.S. Citizens just how Authoritarian this panel was about to be.
And What, if I may ask, was a man who's taken a Vow Of Celibacy doing speaking on the issue?
They might as well asked Him, "And Just How Does It Feel To BE A Woman?" And expect Him to be able to answer with Authority.
(And it was about Women's Health, not Religion???---Right!) Small Government is what they want, Right????----Wrong!

And to this I add The Virginian Governor who's about to become the First Sitting RAPIST Governor! By Choice! Yes, he's signing a law into effect that will "Force a Women to be penetrated Against Her (and her doctors') Will with/for a Trans-vaginal Ultra Sound.
Forcible, Against Her Will---Constitutes Rape In Court!
Way to go 'Small Minded, Small Government' Republican Gov. Bob McDonell!

Then there are these PersonHood Bills, Life At Conception...even before attachment?

If I may, (this will probably get me banned for life...) With All this concern about Abortion,(that IS what they're really talking about here), Contraceptives, Women's Health, Pro-Life, and yes, even Religion...
JUST WHY HASN'T ANYONE TRIED TO STOP, (Well, let me just call it 'Male Play Time?) Yes, Just think of all those "Living, Swimming, Potential Babies" being MURDERED each and everytime?
Face The Facts Guys...You're Murderers!
So, Where's The Laws Protecting All Those Swimming 'Potential Babies'???

Oh, I understand, It's ONLY Womens' Bodies You Want Us To Regulate.....
Member Since: July 10, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 667
37. unclemush
6:01 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Ruin Their Future
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
36. unclemush
5:57 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Exclusive Timeline: Bush Administration Advanced Solyndra Loan Guarantee for Two Years, Media Blow the Story
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
35. unclemush
3:38 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Cheney's Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, senator finds
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
34. unclemush
2:31 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Rick Santorum’s mysterious, paradoxical manifesto, ‘It Takes a Family’: Character Sketch
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
33. unclemush
6:22 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
32. unclemush
6:18 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
31. WeHaveHadIT
6:18 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
The Ugly Truth Behind Michigan's Budget Surplus
Member Since: March 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 124
30. unclemush
6:17 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Conservatism Thrives on Low Intelligence and Poor Information
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
29. WeHaveHadIT
6:14 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Member Since: March 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 124
28. unclemush
6:10 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link The 5 Stupidest Things GOP Presidential Candidates Said...In Just One Day
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
27. richteas
4:42 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
The Tea Party base, and the Republican Party base, are both suffering from the same problem.
It's called 'Fox-holm Syndrome'! Just as Stockholm Syndrome affects it's victims,
the victim of Fox-Holm have heard the Mis Information, The Twisted, Distorted Truths,
and Out Right Lies, For So Long, they can neither distinguish between truth and fiction,
nor can then even recall what Truth is.
And most damaging of all, is their deep held belief that FOX, their very source of ALL Information,
is actually telling them Truths that are intended to benefit them, the victims.
The Victims are unable to realize that they are merely being used, lead by FOX for groups
like ALEC and Others who seek to control 'their bases' And America in it's entirety
for Their Sole Purposes.
And in the end, the 'base' will be only the chattel beneath their feet.
Member Since: July 10, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 667
26. unclemush
3:21 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Santorum: Satan is Systematically Destroying America
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
25. unclemush
1:58 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Rick Santorum suggests opposition to public schooling
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
24. unclemush
1:12 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
Link Obama poised to win 2012 election with 303 electoral votes: The Signal Forecast
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
23. unclemush
1:46 PM GMT on February 16, 2012
Link Rick Santorum Insults Men, Women And Everyone In The Military (VIDEOS)
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
22. unclemush
1:36 PM GMT on February 16, 2012
Link Rick Santorum Cast Himself As 'Progressive Conservative,' Non-Reaganite In First Campaign
Member Since: July 7, 2001 Posts: 59 Comments: 13186
21. originalLT
8:48 PM GMT on February 15, 2012
Tea, is not a Marxist! He is a Republican in the same vein as, I believe, Nelson Rockerfella was, slightly, left of center, if you must label him. Just my opinion.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8012
16. SayNoToTea
3:07 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
And there you go, "man up" if that isn't one of the most bigoted sexist statements I've heard, then i don't know what is. It won't be tolerated here.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
14. SayNoToTea
2:52 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
An actual debate, one that you won't accept the facts? One that you can't read or comprehend? Show me where Walker did anything to cut that budget deficit and then we can debate something. I'm tired of dealing with fools. Post something valid or be banned.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
11. SayNoToTea
2:20 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
Hey Spathy, seeing that you're into facts, not a bad thing, maybe this will help:
Wisconsin’s Baffling Budget Battle
The truth about the budget gap, collective bargaining, teachers' salaries and test scores. Posted on March 2, 2011 , Corrected on March 4, 2011

The budget battle in Wisconsin has generated much confusion and misinformation, as we have seen in e-mails from our readers in recent days:

■The state is not on track to end this fiscal year with "a slight surplus." It is facing a $137 million deficit this fiscal year and a $3.6 billion deficit in the next two-year budget cycle.
■It’s also not true that "the average Wisconsin teacher’s salary is $100,000." Salaries vary by school district. It’s true, however, that the total average compensation — salary and benefits — exceeded $100,000 for Milwaukee teachers in fiscal year 2011.
■It is true that Gov. Walker’s plan would strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from teachers and many other state and local employees, and University of Wisconsin employees would lose those rights altogether. But police, firefighters and state troopers would be exempt.
■Wisconsin is one of 35 states where teachers have mandatory collective bargaining rights. But it’s not true that only five states do not have collective bargaining. Five states ban it, while 10 others don’t guarantee it.
■A claim that Wisconsin ranks second in combined SAT and ACT scores is based on 12-year-old data and flawed methodology. Even the author of that report says it shouldn’t be taken "too seriously."
Read on for more complete answers to reader questions on the Wisconsin situation.

Newly elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, introduced a state budget repair bill on Feb. 11 that has attracted national attention because it seeks major changes to the state’s collective bargaining laws. The bill, which is needed to close a $137 million budget gap in the current fiscal year, would allow most state workers to keep their bargaining rights on salaries — but end collective bargaining on all other issues, including health care costs, pensions and workplace conditions. The AFL-CIO and other unions see this as an attack on unions, while the governor sees it as a necessary way to control future labor costs and avoid another budget crisis.

The budget repair bill has led to a showdown between the Republican governor and Democratic state lawmakers — some of whom fled the Capitol in an attempt to prevent a vote on the bill. It has also caused some confusion among people trying to follow the budget crisis.

How Bad Is Wisconsin’s Fiscal Condition?

One reader asked us to sort out conflicting information about whether Wisconsin had a surplus or a deficit:

Q: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin claims that the state is broke with a $3 billion deficit projected. I read an article that claims a budget shortfall double that size was projected last budget cycle but the gap was closed to the point of a slight surplus for the cycle. What are the facts related to this intense battle in my state?

Wisconsin is facing a potential $3.6 billion shortfall for its next biennium, or two-year budget cycle, according to figures released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January. The budget period begins on July 1, 2011, and ends on June 30, 2013. That figure is more than $2 billion less than the $5.9 billion projected deficit that former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle had to tackle at the beginning of the 2009-2011 fiscal cycle. So, that was not quite "double" the deficit that Walker is potentially looking at, as our reader was told.

Doyle was able to erase a large portion of his projected gap through a series of spending cuts and tax increases. But funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — known as the stimulus act — also played a significant part in easing the state’s budget woes. More than $2 billion in stimulus funds were used to narrow the budget gap for the 2009-2011 cycle. That’s money the state will have to do without this time around, since those funds run out at the end of June, according to Robert Lang, the fiscal bureau director.

And the state’s financial business hasn’t been completely settled for the current fiscal cycle, either. Walker is trying to find a way to fill a projected $137 million gap for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year. His controversial budget repair bill seeks to do so, in part, by increasing state worker contributions for pension and health benefits, among other things.

A false claim that the state would end this fiscal year with a surplus stems from a misreading by some — including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow — of a memo issued in January by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau showing a $121 million gross balance in the state’s general accounting fund. That figure, however, doesn’t factor in more than $170 million for Medicaid services, or $21 million for corrections programs, that haven’t been funded. It also doesn’t include more than $58 million Wisconsin owes the state of Minnesota for a tax reciprocity deal involving income tax collected from Wisconsin residents who worked in Minnesota. Lang told us in an e-mail that those amounts were not reflected in the January memo, because they would require further action from the Legislature and the governor. Dealing with those costs before the end of June would push the general fund into the negative, he said.

The fiscal bureau says the bill being pushed by Walker would address funding for the Medicaid and corrections shortfalls, but wouldn’t address the outstanding payments to Minnesota, or an additional $3.5 million shortfall in appropriations for the state public defender’s office.

How High Are Teachers’ Salaries?

Teachers’ salaries also have become an issue in Wisconsin. One reader asked:

Q: It has been stated (I believe by [Pat] Buchanan) that the average Wisconsin teacher’s salary is $100,000. Can this be true?

It’s not true that the average Wisconsin teacher earns $100,000 in salary. In fact, no Wisconsin school district had an average teacher salary of $100,000 during the 2009-2010 school year. But don’t blame conservative commenter Pat Buchanan for the misinformation. Buchanan, who wrote a recent op-ed on the topic for the Union Leader, was referring only to Milwaukee public schools, and he was including both salary and benefits.

Buchanan, Feb. 23: According to the MacIver Institute, the average teacher in the Milwaukee public schools earns $100,000 a year — $56,000 in pay, $44,000 in benefits — and enjoys job security.

Buchanan cited a MacIver Institute report that included a video clip of Deb Wegner, manager of financial planning for the Milwaukee Public Schools. In the video, Wegner said the average Milwaukee teacher in fiscal year 2011 will earn a total compensation of $100,005 — including $56,500 in salary. But Milwaukee is not representative of the entire state of Wisconsin — and that’s where some, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have gone wrong. On the "David Letterman Show" on Feb. 24, the Republican senator made a misleading claim when discussing the "generous" average teacher pay in Wisconsin. (Paul’s comments start at 9:40 in this video.)

Paul, Feb. 24: But I guess the argument is, is you have to look at the details and say: Have we been generous with teachers in Wisconsin? The average teacher in Wisconsin is making $89,000 a year to work nine months.

There is no official calculation of the average salary of Wisconsin public school teachers, according to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction spokesman Patrick Gasper. The National Education Association estimates the average Wisconsin teacher’s salary to be $51,121. The state Department of Public Instruction only calculates average teacher salary and benefits on a district by district basis. As of fiscal year 2010, none of the school districts in Wisconsin had an average teacher salary of $100,000 (as our reader asked) or even $89,000 (the amount Paul said the average teacher in Wisconsin "is making.")

Of the 425 public school districts in Wisconsin, only one had a salary and benefits package in 2010 that exceeded $100,000; the Nicolet Unified School District average total compensation was $103,315. And only 22 school districts — about 5 percent of the total — paid average total compensation that topped $89,000.

Does Wisconsin Rank Second on SAT/ACT Scores?

One misleading claim that has been circulating through Twitter, reader forums, blogs, Facebook and e-mail suggests Wisconsin’s SAT and ACT test scores are high because the state’s teachers can bargain collectively. Several readers asked us if this is true:

Only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for teachers. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th

North Carolina – 49th

Georgia – 48th

Texas – 47th

Virginia – 44th

Wisconsin — WITH its collective bargaining for teachers — is ranked 2nd in the country.

It’s true that Wisconsin students do well on standardized tests relative to students in other states, but this e-mail is misleading in several ways — thus exaggerating the state’s success:

■There is no accepted standard of combining SAT and ACT scores to rank states. Ranking states by even one of the standardized tests can be misleading, depending on participation rates.
■It’s true that five states specifically ban collective bargaining for teachers, but it is also true that 10 other states do not have collective bargaining laws — giving school boards the final say in salary and working conditions in 15 states, not just five.
■The rankings appear to be based on test scores from 12 years ago.
We’ll go through the claims one at a time.

First, the e-mail claims "only 5 states do not have collective bargaining for teachers." That’s not true. There are 35 states that have laws that give teachers mandatory collective bargaining rights, and 15 states that do not. That’s according to the Education Commission of the States — a nonpartisan interstate compact formed by 49 states, three territories and the District of Columbia. Of the 15 states that do not have collective bargaining laws, five of them ban collective bargaining. So what does that mean for the 10 other states that don’t have collective bargaining laws but do not ban it? Stanford University professors Susanna Loeb and Luke C. Miller at the School of Education wrote a 2006 paper on state teacher policies that said schools boards have the final say in those 10 other states.

Loeb and Miller, December 2006: Five of these States – Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia – explicitly prohibit teachers from collective bargaining activities. In the other States, teachers may organize for the purpose of contract negotiations. However, school boards are under no legal mandate to bargain in good faith. Rather, “meet and confer” practices are generally followed with the school board having the final decision on all teacher salary and working condition matters.

As for the standardized tests, the SAT and ACT differ in content, both measuring students’ aptitude in a variety of subjects and skills. The e-mail shows a ranking of states based on the combined average SAT and ACT scores, but it’s not clear who ranked the states, what methodology was used or what year it was done (more on that later). Regardless, the College Board — which administers the SAT test — says there is not an accepted method for combining SAT and ACT scores into a composite ranking. A more common method (also discouraged by the College Board) is to look at the average SAT and ACT scores for each state separately. But even then, not all students take the tests, so comparisons can be skewed by differing participation rates.

The Commonwealth Foundation, a nonprofit educational research group in Pennsylvania, created a chart ranking states by average 2010 SAT performance. The data came from the state reports from the College Board. Wisconsin ranked third among all states and the District of Columbia. But only 4 percent of Wisconsin students participated in the SAT in 2010, so the ranking isn’t very meaningful.

In 2010, 69 percent of Wisconsin students took the ACT. And what did those results show? The state-by-state composite ACT scores for 2010 show Wisconsin students scored an average of 22.1, which is higher than the national average of 21 and better than 32 states and the District of Columbia. Seventeen states scored higher than Wisconsin; one had the same score. But, again, such comparisons are dicey. Only four states had higher composite ACT scores than Maine, but only 10 percent of its graduates took the test. The College Board warns against making such comparisons. In an e-mail, Katherine Levin, a College Board spokeswoman, called such comparisons "invalid" since the students taking the test are self-selected.

Levin, Feb. 25: Media and others often rank states, districts and schools on the basis of SAT scores despite repeated warnings that such rankings are invalid. The SAT is a strong indicator of trends in the college-bound population, but it should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other nonschool factors can have a strong effect on scores. If ranked, schools and states that encourage students to apply to college may be penalized because scores tend to decline with a rise in percentage of test-takers.

It appears that the rankings circulating in viral e-mails and on the Internet come from a project at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on "state enlightenment" that ranked states based on several factors, including combined SAT/ACT test scores. The state rankings in that report, which was authored by law professor Douglas O. Linder, are the same as the rankings in the e-mail. But Linder’s report is based on 1999 test scores. Linder told us in an e-mail that his rankings were not scientific and not intended to be taken "too seriously." Although he added that he has "all the confidence in the world, for example, that students in #2 Wisconsin knew their stuff better than, say, students in #50 South Carolina (at least in 1999–though I’m quite sure also today)."

What Would Happen to Collective Bargaining?

We were also asked who would be affected by Walker’s plan to limit collective bargaining:

Q: Is it true that Wisconsin’s governor is proposing to eliminate collective bargaining rights for only some public unions? Why only some and not all? Is it true that the firemen and police unions would not be affected by the bill?

Yes, some unions will be treated differently than others. Under current law, municipal and state employees are allowed to collectively bargain over wages, hours and employment conditions. Walker’s proposal would limit the bargaining ability of some union employees, and eliminate it altogether for others, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau.

Most public safety employees at the county and city level, for example, are completely exempted from the proposal’s bargaining restrictions. That would include police officers, firefighters, state troopers and sheriff deputies, although there are some public safety officers — such as state criminal investigators, park wardens and university police officers — who are not exempted. Those few public safety workers and all other public employee unions — including teachers and transit workers — would see their bargaining abilities limited strictly to issues concerning wages. A cap would also be instituted so that employees could not — unless approved by a voter referendum — bargain for wage increases larger than the change in the consumer price index.

And University of Wisconsin System workers, and employees of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, would no longer be permitted to collectively bargain at all. Neither would certain home care and child care providers.

In addition, Walker’s proposal would ban deductions for union dues from the paychecks of state and municipal employees, except for public safety workers. And it would permit those employees to remain members of the collective bargaining unit, even if they do not pay union dues.

Correction, March 4: An alert reader points out that the 2009-2010 salary information contained in the Wisconsin Department of Instruction database for the Kenosha Unified School District is different than the 2009-2010 salary information provided by the school district on its website. The state database says the average teacher salary at Kenosha was $18,983 in 2009-2010
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
10. Patrap
1:57 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
Full Speech: Governor Scott Walker at CPAC 2012

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 438 Comments: 136316
9. Patrap
1:38 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 438 Comments: 136316
8. SayNoToTea
1:38 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
Well Spathy, if that was indeed the case and Walker was responsible for cutting his states deficit nearly 90 percent then to heck with him as governor, he should be running for president. The fact of the matter is that when he called for his special session in January the state was already expecting a surplus of about 120 million;
In fact, it particularly doesn't work for what Walker is attempting in Wisconsin. The Badger State was actually in pretty good shape. It was supposed to end this budget cycle with about $120 million in the bank. Instead, it's facing a deficit. Why? I'll let the state's official fiscal scorekeeper explain (pdf):

More than half of the lower estimate ($117.2 million) is due to the impact of Special Session Senate Bill 2 (health savings accounts), Assembly Bill 3 (tax deductions/credits for relocated businesses), and Assembly Bill 7 (tax exclusion for new employees).

In English: The governor called a special session of the legislature and signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it helped turn a surplus into a deficit [see update at end of post]. As Brian Beutler writes, "public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda."

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
5. Patrap
8:11 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
.."we're actually hanging pretty tough", and so on and so forth.

You'll get da picture after about 30 seconds.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Uploaded by tcs042 on Feb 23, 2011

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 438 Comments: 136316
4. SayNoToTea
7:17 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
WOW, 137 million shortfall and 140 million in new spending. Any questions?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
3. SayNoToTea
7:17 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
Oh yes, let's look at that budget shortfall. remember, this is the tea party's favorite. How's that limited government working for you now?

share close StumbleUpon Instapaper Reddit digg Brian Beutler- February 17, 2011, 1:47 PM 165764Wisconsin’s new Republican governor has framed his assault on public worker’s collective bargaining rights as a needed measure of fiscal austerity during tough times.

The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.

Mad In Madison: Wisconsin Workers Protest Against Governor’s Budget Proposals
Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.

“Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”

“The state of Wisconsin has not reached the point at which austerity measures are needed,” Norman adds.

In a Wednesday op-ed, the Capitol Times of Madison picked up on this theme.

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.
To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
2. SayNoToTea
6:57 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
Walker, Van Hollen: Chunk of mortgage settlement going to state budget

What, the state can use the money better than the people it was intended for?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 243
1. Patrap
6:19 PM GMT on February 14, 2012
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 438 Comments: 136316

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The tea party is is made up of puppets being run by an elite group to serve their needs and not the needs of the people

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