Where charm is concerned Gov. Walker needs a transfusion. Compared to jolly Richard Trumka, who also once again stated the concessions Wisconsin state unions already made, Walker looked unyielding and elitist. But considering he was put in power by wealthy interests it’s expected. But they won’t have to pay their fair share, so they got their money’s worth.
That’s exactly what Wisconsin’s governor refused to do on “Morning Joe” today, saying that raising taxes on the super wealthy is something he cannot afford to do. Raising taxes on the richest Americans is not fair, while making unions give more than their fair share is. Are you seeing Walker’s plan now? It’s typical of Republicans, making the little guy pay more.
After Walker’s disgraceful performance on “Morning Joe,” Richard Trumpka once again made the point that unions “told the governor that last week” they’d concede 5.6% on pensions and 12% on health care.
Gov. Walker not only blew off those very real concessions, but expects public workers to give up more, their collective bargaining rights, which the public unions have already proven are flexible when things get tough.
Wealthy corporate interests not only helped fueled his campaign for governor, but these people are helping fuel and fund Walker’s break the union scheme. Enter the Koch Brothers’s money yet again:
Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.
Will the governor’s war on public employees’ collective bargaining rights sweep the nation?
The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.
“We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.
What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.
State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.
After hearing a lot of positive things about Gov. Walker from fans across cable, today on “Morning Joe” not only was I unimpressed with his rigidity, but got the impression that it really doesn’t matter what the state’s unions do. Walker is out to break them at all costs.
Gov. Walker is waging an ideological fight with a specific goal having nothing to do with the budget.
What no one should forget is that it was Pres. Obama and the Democrats who helped solidify the No Shared Sacrifice from the Wealthy tax message in December when they extended the Bush era tax cuts for the top 2%. It sent a terrible signal that is coming back to haunt public workers in Wisconsin.
However, that in no way excuses Gov. Walker’s unfair demands. At least the White House has stated unequivocally that asking union members to give up their collective bargaining rights is wrong.
With AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka coming on after Walker confirming the unions have already offered concessions that Walker dismissed, it simply unmasked Gov. Walker’s bad faith effort, while preening it’s about the budget.
If Gov. Walker really wants to balance the budget he should not only ask the unions to give in, but the wealthiest in Wisconsin to pony up their share too. Of course he won’t do that, because the wealthy helped put him in power.
Oh, and one more thing. This whole situation is made worse by more bad polling from Rasmussen, which Nate Silver took apart yesterday. It’s instructive just how hard Republicans are working to cement the false notion that unions are evil and Americans agree. Looks like Rasmussen is working overtime to make that case stick. There is no doubt that teachers’ unions have helped this along over decades, because they can’t get their public PR act together to fight back against the avalanche of negative publicity aimed at weakening their power. But the lengths to which Rasmussen went to demonize unions in their last polling makes Rasmussen polling suspect.
However, the other reality is that the austerity atmosphere helped along by Pres. Obama, which began with his destructive deficit commission, has emboldened the Right. I’d say I told you so, but I’m getting tired of repeating myself.
House Democrats are leaving the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation, The Indianapolis Star has learned. A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky. They need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana.