Ok, I have a confession to make. For most of my life I admit that I have been mostly apolitical. I’ve called myself an Independent mostly because I didn’t pay enough attention to politics to actually choose a side. Pathetic, isn’t it?
Well, a few months ago I started opening my eyes to what’s been going on around me. I live in Wisconsin, it’s my adopted home state for more than a dozen years now. For the past few years, in the peripheral, I’ve notice little things about this wonderful state disintegrating; morals, ethics, the hard work ethic, etc. I’ve seen taxes go up and up and up and seen nothing in return. Some of the very reasons I moved from the east coast to WI were disintegrating before my very eyes and the more I tried to find out why, the more my research took me in the direction of the politicians, specifically the left leaning politicians of this state.
And The Education Begins…
Last November I decided it was time to stand up and show that I had a voice. I researched the political candidates; the platforms they were running on, their past records, anything I could find, then I made my decisions using the information I gathered and voted. I voted based on the principals that I myself practice; fiscal responsibility, don’t spend what you don’t have, smaller govn’t because I have a brain and am a reasonably intelligent person and can make my own decisions in my life. I also admit that I basically voted against most any incumbent on the ticket because obviously they weren’t doing the job for WI, they were only doing the job for themselves or for special interests or they didn’t have a position with enough strength to make any kind of change. Time to ring in the new. In the end Wisconsinites seem to be feeling the same way. Most incumbents out with Conservatives taking control and leading the way. Now it was time to wait and see what would happen.
It didn’t take long. Governor Scott Walker took office and hit the ground running! He inherited a state with a $137 million budget deficit with approximately a $3.7 billion shortfall in the 2011-13 budget. There’s also a $58.7 million payment to the State of Minnesota after the end of a tax-reciprocity agreement between Wisconsin and its neighbor; as well as an additional $200 million that the state is under court order to return to a medical malpractice fund.
NOTE – I’m going to try to do a brief overview here, way too much to go into detail on and there are so many details and so much that has happened here in WI since Gov. Walker took office. I hadn’t planned on even getting into this but day after day and week after week my frustration level has risen to the point that I need to speak out. The propaganda, misinformation and outright lies that are surrounding this debacle in WI are just mind boggling! I went into this open-minded and read and researched, talked to people and listened to differing opinions and as someone who has considered their self to be politically Independent, I have found myself moving further and further to the right!
As for Gov. Walker, one of his promises was to bring/create 250k jobs in WI and in his first step to do this he has implemented measures to make WI business friendly by offering incentives to bring new businesses in.
The first bill would provide a total personal income or corporate tax break for two years for businesses that relocate to Wisconsin. The incentive would be retroactive to Jan. 1 and would lower state revenue by an estimated $1 million over two years. Firms receiving it cannot have done business in the state for at least two years before moving here.
The second bill would add $25 million to the Economic Development Tax Credit program, bringing it to $98.1 million. The credits can go to businesses that locate or retain corporate headquarters in Wisconsin, create jobs, make capital investments or train workers. (JSonline)
Then the left starts throwing out accusations that Gov. Walker basically manufactured the budget deficit and handed out $140 million in tax breaks and spending which was proven to be blatantly false.
The Budget Repair Bill; The War is On!
Knowing that the upcoming budget was going to include massive cuts to balance WI’s budget shortfall, Gov. Walker unveiled his Budget Repair Bill. The idea behind the bill was to “balance the budget and lay the foundation for a long-term sustainable budget through several measures without raising taxes, raiding segregated funds, or using accounting gimmicks.”
The most obviously contentious provision of the bill was it’s aim to reign in the power of the public sector unions by eliminating collective bargaining for all but wages and increase public employees contribution to their health coverage and retirement by 12% and 5.8% respectively. This included all public sector unions with the exclusion of police officers and firefighters.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, has said he excluded the two groups from the bill—which curbs benefits and strips public-employee unions of nearly all collective-bargaining rights—to ensure that their critical public-safety work would continue free of disruptions or delays that such changes could cause. (WJS)
One of the components regarding unions included that no longer would the govn’t collect unions dues. Public employees would have the option of sending them in or not and you can imagine that this didn’t sit too well with the unions.
Sure, there was a lot more to the Budget Repair Bill but in Gov. Walker’s bid to limit the unions’ power and get their hands out of the pocket of the taxpayer, he had figuratively thrown down the gauntlet and the reaction was as if they, the public workers and unions, had been sentenced to death, and maybe, in a way, they had to a degree.
Let The Protests Begin!
First, 17 hours of hearings and it didn’t take long for the Capitol to be overrun with throngs of people. And then WI’s “honorable” Democratic Senators, instead of doing their job, decided to flee the state to IL on 2/17, ostensibly to give the public time to learn what was in the Budget Repair Bill. The 61 hours of debate in the Assembly to pass the House since the Senate Dems were holding the state of WI hostage by stalling the Bill in the Senate.
Three weeks later, after our beautiful Capitol had been occupied with people living and sleeping and protesting inside and out, the Democrat Senators were still refusing to return and do their jobs. During that time, all the while saying they would be willing to give in to the financial concessions, the unions were scurrying around negotiating new contracts and contract extensions (Just a few examples 1, 2, 3 ). Kind of makes you wonder the real reason the Dems were staying away, doesn’t it? Oh, and many, if not most of these contracts of course did not include the concessions that the unions said they would be willing to give… surprise, surprise! Some of them even included raises, even after the 2011-13 Budget was unveiled showing about a billion dollars in cuts!
And as our Capitol was awash in protesters, the MSM continuously portrayed the protests as civil and peaceful. You didn’t hear them talk about the damage, approximately $350k worth, to the Capitol. You didn’t hear about them defacing the Civil War Monument, you didn’t see the signs; vile and profane, to put it mildly, and much, much more.
Other interesting tidbits…