Myth #1: The legislation before the state senate would take away all collective bargaining for public sector unions.
Whether you agree or disagree philosophically with the idea of public sector unions possessing the so-called "right" to collectively bargain, the perception that has been pushed in the media is that Gov. Scott Walker is seeking to abolish all collective bargaining. That is simply not true. The proposal would keep in place the ability for public sectors to bargain in regards to their wages, despite the fact they are already receiving a dream boat deal in regards to their defined-benefit pensions and their health care premiums. The idea that they still have ability to get more tax payer money into their pay checks, yet union leaders are claiming foul play (might have something to do with the fact that in Wisconsin, dues our deducted automatically out of workers paychecks and go toward union political operations to elect public officials more favorable in negotiations), shows the growing arrogance of public sector union structure.
Myth #2: This fight over collective bargaining is not really about the budget, but rather "union busting" on the part of conservatives.
This has to be the most outrageous of the narrative beginning to take hold in the mainstream media. As Gov. Scott Walker has articulated, time after time in each and every interview he has done up until this point, this is about untying the hands of local municipalities, who must balance their very own budgets at the local level and negotiate their own contracts with the public sector unions. This is one of the reasons I remain pretty skeptical about the so-called concessions offered up by Wisconsin state union leaders. As the state moves in the right direction towards fiscal responsibility and closing their 3.7 billion dollar deficit (yes that's billion with a b), state funding to local municipalities is logically going to lessen. Under these tight financial constraints, local municipalities will have to find a way to cut costs. Don't believe that? Look at Gov. Mitch Daniels record of fiscal restraint in Indiana. He chose to limit collective bargaining in his state by executive order in his first year in office. Gov. Daniels turned a 600 million dollar deficit into a budget surplus of 370 million dollars, in just one year. In his second term as governor, he has amassed an Indiana state rainy day fund of over 800 million dollars. That's leadership. By limiting collective bargaining, municipalities will be able to have the power and tools they need to lower costs and get the state finances right on track. After all, Scott Walker would know. He was a county executive.
Myth #3: State Senators hiding out in neighboring states is just....fine!?!
Apparently the media has decided that it's okay to block democracy. It's okay to mitigate the results of an election. While yes, I'll concede that there have been a couple of questions here or there about the behavior of those 14 Democratic state senators who fled Wisconsin a couple of weeks ago in order to avoid a vote on the proposal in question (and who still have not returned), the lack of media attention has been jaw-dropping. Why has their not been outrage over this blatant disrespect to a fundamental principle to this county? Democracy means playing in the arena. It means elections. It means that you argue your point of view, you take a vote, and you either win or you lose. Can you imagine if it had been conservative Republican state lawmakers that had fled the state? There would have been pure outcry by the mainstream media and liberal cable outlets. But nothing. Barely a whisper. But that's not what I'm worried about. We should all be cognisant of the dangerous precedent that has been set by these irresponsible lawmakers. The precedent of whenever one side simply disagrees with the other side and a policy that they are about to enact, they stop debating, they don't vote. They just leave. Like small children trying to get their way. The minority, after the democratic process of elections, halts the entire process. This is dangerous thing to do on both sides, and I would be just as critical if Republicans did it. Oh, and the final straw for me? They still have the audacity to take tax payer money for their pay check. I guess it is no surprise that these lawmakers staunchly support the public unions and their willingness to grab more of our tax payer dollars.
My personal opinion, I think that Scott Walker has the right idea. Almost. I think for the next couple of years this steps are needed to restore fiscal sanity. But I generally don't agree with totally doing away with collective bargaining. I think Gov. Walker should some leadership, and take into close counsel what some of the Republicans in the legislature have considered. The idea of a sunset provision, essentially putting an expiration date on the bill and its effects on the unions. And then approach it again in a couple of years. That's compromise. That's governing.
Fellow Red Light District readers, I ask you to find the facts for yourself and question, question, question, the mainstream media constantly. There's bias in everything, including my posts, so it's important that we as citizens take in as much information as possible and evaluate the sources of that information.Whether it be ABC News, or CNN , or Fox News, it's up to us to find the truth and come to our own conclusion, whatever they may be.