Protests grow louder in Ohio, Indiana
Protesters rally last week at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus against a bill curbing public workers' collective-bargaining rights.
March 1st, 2011
01:36 PM ET

Protests grow louder in Ohio, Indiana

As Wisconsin's pro-union protests rage, a huge crowd in Ohio is gathering Tuesday for the event "Rally to Save Ohio's Middle Class." The movement, which reportedly could draw 20,000 people, is being documented live on Facebook. The AFL-CIO also is tweeting the event.

Protesters are demanding lawmakers drop a bill that would end Ohio public employees' right to collective bargaining. An Ohio Senate committee has said it will revise and vote this week on the legislation that would affect about 350,000 state workers, teachers, public safety employees and others.

And in Indiana, lawmakers have stooped to name-calling in a debate that pits union forces against legislators who want to undo union rights.

Are you in the middle of any of it? Send an iReport.

Though the stakes are different in each state, what is clear is that a fight in Wisconsin has ballooned into a huge national debate pitting Republicans against Democrats. President Barack Obama voiced his support for public workers Monday, and the liberal activist group Moveon.org has been staging demonstrations across the nation in support of unions.

The debate is loaded with nuance and complexity, and informed by the history of unionizing in the United States, Slate points out. USA Today analyzed the numbers and on Tuesday reported that Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public workers earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state.

The Columbus, Ohio, City Council opposes legislation in its state because members say it would hurt families, CNN affiliate WBNS-TV in Columbus reported. The council said it wants more discussion on ways to fix the state budget shortfall.

"We want to sit across from our police officers and our firefighters," council member Zach Klein told WBNS. "We want them to know that we're supporting our teachers and other working families, to have an arms-length, reasonable conversation about wages and benefits, and that's exactly what collective bargaining has done."

In Mahoning County, Ohio, Democrat David Betras decried the bill as an "assault on middle class values," according to CNN affiliate WKBN-TV in Youngstown. He told the station, "It puts political patronage and cronyism back into our public employees. We want to keep that out. Public employees do a good job. ..."

E-mails from as far away as Germany and Scotland have been flooding the offices of House members, The Columbus Dispatch said. One office reported receiving more than 10,000 e-mails, according to the paper.

Protesting hasn't gotten as heated as the political rhetoric in Indiana. Lawmakers started the week by meeting behind closed doors at an Urbana hotel to negotiate legislation. It went downhill quickly.

State Rep. Charlie Brown, a Gary Democrat, called Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma a "windbag," CNN affiliate WRTV-TV in Indianapolis reported. "He's a 6-foot-4, 230-pound windbag," Brown said. "He doesn't know how to negotiate. He doesn't know how to move his ego aside and get down to the nitty-gritty."

Brown told the station that Bosma had "backed himself into a corner" and "doesn't know how to fight his way out of it." Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels referred to Democrats spending time in the hotel's pool and hot tub, WRTV reported.

In Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has threatened massive layoffs if his bill limiting collective-bargaining rights for public-sector employees doesn't pass. The bill also would force public workers to cover more of their retirement plans and health care premiums. Watch Walker discuss the bill and the state's projected $3.6 billion budget gap by 2013. Wisconsin's 14 Democratic senators have left the state and gone to Illinois to prevent a quorum of 20 votes needed for the budget repair bill to pass.

Passage of the bill would limit collective bargaining to wages. Any pay increases beyond the rate of inflation would be subject to voter approval.

Pro-union forces say the governor is trying to curb long-held labor rights under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

Post by:
Filed under: Illinois • Indiana • Ohio • Protest • Wisconsin
soundoff (1,061 Responses)
  1. T Diddy

    Unions are mostly comprised of weak minded, lazy people who wouldn't be able to get or keep a job without the help of a bunch of thugs. Good riddance! Unions are going down, down, down! There are many more non-union workers who are willing to do the work.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      AMEN T Diddy!

      March 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Scabs are so...useless.

      Thankfully, 2/3 of Americans disagree with this post of yours.

      Sorry about that. (Not.)

      March 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • PoliSciMon

      For less money, longer hours and no benefits...my aren't you the brightest bulb in the broken case of bulbs. You are obiviously a GOP/Tea Bagger.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roody

    I don’t feel sorry for them, because majority of them put republican in power.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Forrestal

    People should be concerned. Strikes and protests by unions always carry with them the implied or direct threat of violence.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Garbage.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • PoliSciMon

      You are ridiculous...obiviously you do not believe in America or Democracy.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jerry

    We could all just go burn our neighbor's house down and get it over with. That would pretty much end the housing downturn, too.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sonny chapman

    "They laugh at us",why are Repubs. so insecure about their own courage ? Little Penis Syndrome ?

    March 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Phil

    As the recent pro-worker rallies across the country show, the attack on public employee unions hasn’t gained traction. National polling shows public support for collective bargaining—including public employee collective bargaining—at two to one.

    The war on workers in Wisconsin is nothing new. It was tried in othre states. It failed. It will also fail in Wisconsin. Americans see these attacks for what they are: cover for the looting of the American middle class by Wall Street.

    The defense of public workers is a battle for all working families. It’s one we intend to win.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coldstar

      When you start paying taxes (instead of returning a small portion of the taxes you receive as a salary), then we'll listen to you...but demanding that we pay more for you will get you nowhere.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      That is pure Bovine Scatology. I have yet to see a single scientific poll that supports unions. Their time has come and gone

      March 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • T Diddy

      I would never defend public workers unions. Greedy and lazy!!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      It's called collective bargaining.

      And 61% of the country likes it.

      Get used to it.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Gallup/USA Today.

      62% in the US support collective bargaining, including that for public workers.

      Read much?

      March 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike Sa

    I'm a little confused. Obama and the democrats say the middle class is shrinking which implies the middle class has been in "trouble" for some time. If that's the case and we've had all these unions while the middle class has experienced all this trouble, how will unions save the middle class. Seems like an admission that they can't if you look at the Obama argument. Makes a case to dissolve unions and try something else.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vigla

      Oh, Mike let me spell that one out for you. Private sector unions have been decimated since 1980 thanks to pro business policies and southern states that do not have a strong union presence. Trust me, if unions were stronger, the middle class would be stronger. Your whole premise is based on no facts. Why do you think the public sector employees have it better than private sector workers? Unions.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Fact: A third of new teachers quit teaching after three years. One half of new teachers quit teaching after five years. Why? Is it because they have such cushy and well-paid jobs?

    Where are we going to get teachers–those with BS and Masters degrees and more– to teach our children when they are constantly vilified, abused and attacked, both in the classroom and from those ill-informed in the general public? You better start seriously thinking about home-schooling your child or having her in classes of 60 or more. I cannot see teachers staying in the profession as their working conditions continue to deteriorate, especially with so many disruptive students who operate on a “social agenda” and not an “academic agenda.” Far too many parents don't know how to parent or just don't give a damn. Too many of them expect teachers to raise their kids.

    This issue about taking away the collective bargaining rights of teachers and other public employees in WI and in other states has caught the attention of many, including the few high school and college students who aspire to become a teacher. Many of them are starting to reconsider whether or not they want to be in the profession. God help us all. I see America disintegrating and I am scared to death about our survival as a country. The wrong people are being attacked. The rich and powerful must be gleeful that one worker is pitted against another. Sometimes I think the rich and powerful, on both political sides, have a hidden agenda to keep the masses in our society less educated as they could be. That way the employer pays them a smaller wage and increases his profits, and the politicians have an easier job of controlling and “leading” their sheep.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    The time for unions to go the way of the dinosaurs has long since passed. Enough already – dismantle all unions NOW!

    March 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. FRANK LONGO

    The wealthy coporate Robber Barons want a large labor pool that has to accept low wages,no benefits and no safety standards. They want to take America back 100 years. But the good news is that poor houses will once again florish.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Anyone who hates the unions is simply jealous that they were not smart enough to decide to join a union, or talented enough to get in if they did try. The unions are a legitimate free market force, just like a company, and anyone who doesn't understand this is simply woefully incompetent on the subject of economics..

      March 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • LibsRliars

      The last "Robber Barrons" were all democrats like the Kennedy clan......or Hienz Ketchup ala Kerry......Being a private business that has a profit but also thousands of employees and enormous risk and cost is not criminal, using state tax money to fund unions to back door corrupt politicians and unions is...............to hell with them! IF you lie to miss work you are fired if you endanger lawmakers by illegal protests you get tear gassed and arrested and your employer informed where you are!!!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vigla

      Heinz was a Republican. All the uber wealthy supported conservatives, Democrat or Republican. Since there are no more conservative Democrats...

      March 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank S

    Can em all

    March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobrule

      the organizers obama sent sure are earning their pay.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Wolf

      We are forgetting history. I would not want to return to 7-day work weeks, and child labor. Corporations effectively own Wisconsin. Corporations' tax contributions to Wisconsin's tax base was 10% in 1999. Today, it is 5.6%. WalMart pays no taxes. WalMart's employees are well represented on Wisconsin's welfare rolls because of the low wages it pays. I am a lawyer. I operate my own practice. I would not have been able to pay for my education without my union jobs as I attended college and law school. Without strong unions, there is no middle-class. Without a middle class there is no democracy. I served a naval officer. I like my country. I do not like corporations owning my elected officials.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geez

      Gary Wolf, no ones forgotten about the real reason unions were started... most people just realize its out dated and now over serves it purpose. Welcome to the 21st century, sir

      March 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • sparky

      says an idiot named after a hotdog

      March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxpractical

      Go Ohio!!! of course you are never going to move past these fights until you get rid of all who want things to stay as they are.. especially Boehner.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      @Frank S
      "I do not like corporations owning my elected officials."

      Too late.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • C.Zossima

      Americans are preparing for the violence that is on the horizon. The govt is nothing more than a criminal enterprise. Americans will unite and fight when the time comes.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      How can you ever change if there is never room to change. If nobody wants to change nothing ever will, but you cannot stop the engine of change it will happen if you like it or not. Save your Oxygen.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brownie2

      You'd be singing a different tune if you had family members fighting to retain their voice in their political and professional futures. A true American would not allow the likes of the Koch brothers to turn them against public servants.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Unions are so out of touch, for years they defended the guy that came to work drunk or the guy who finds a place at work to sleep. They defend the incompetent or plain lazy worker and now they wonder why people have a negative image of them.

      Unions had a time when they did great things for the worker, for this country, but sadly those days are gone. A new contract negotiation never begins without more demands on top of what they got just two years prior. Unions forget that it is the tax payer that picks up the tab and we are tired of it. try cleaning up your ranks, show you have pride in the people who are in your organization. Why do you accept the drunk, the lazy and the incompetent in your ranks?

      I typically vote democrat, but I'll be honest, if the republicans can pull this off and protect the tax payer they will get my vote in 2012.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Oh yes canem all. And when they came to can me there was no one to speak up because all but the ultra rich were canned!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I agree

      March 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      @ Gary Wolf, unions are not keeping child labor at bay, federal laws are, unions had their purpose, they are now outdated. If htere were any atrocities towards workers in the work place the government gets involved, I have never used or needed the assistance of a union to fix problems in my workplaces.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wowser

      Wow, people have very short memories. Doesn't the Word "Bailout" or "Bernie Madoff" mean anything to you people? You let the unions gain so much power we are going to have a great depression again. You just dont get it, the country's main source of capital is Small Business, the unions want nothing more than to crush them. Also, unions should not exist in public service, you don't see the big picyure of what can happen, and BTW I am Public Service...

      March 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • RoseMcB

      @Geez Hehe... out of date and no longer needed? You just keep thinking like that, Buddy, and don't be surprised when whatever control you have over your live slowly erodes, as your benefits slowly erode, as your rights as a worker citizen slowly erode. They have already taken away huge chunks of non-union workers' pensions and insurance. Some pensions for those ALREADY RETIRED have been dumped altogether!!!

      They are slowly working their way around paid holidays – consolidating and calling them "personal days" and now you get X number of them (which are one day less than they were, then it was two days less, now it's three days less per year).

      Those are just a couple of things. If corporations truly, honestly had their way, you would have NO benefits, no protection against dismissal w/out cause, no pay raises, no holidays, no vacations, no paid lunches or breaks, etc., etc., etc. Believe it.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike kerns

      Can you

      March 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rdmtask

      The big issue with public sector unions is that they get better deals because everyone strikes, and instead of hiring new people to take over, the government capitulates. Case in point: Los Angeles Longshoreman. Its the epitome of nepotism, yours a longshoreman, so is your father, and so are your children. Its nearly impossible to get in. They only work 30 hours a week (supposedly this is back breaking work...but i think that the ups guy has real back breaking work). They get government backed pensions and health benifits. But they can strike whenever they feel like it. SO they have had 4 strikes in 10 years. The average longshoreman's pay is just under 6 figures. What part of middle class is that?

      March 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coach T

      Union people are nothing but thugs. Been that way forever. Always backed by organized crime and run by a bunch of lowlifes, (Jimmy Hoffa, etc). Unions served a purpose 40 years ago but they have definitely outstayed their welcome. Get rid of them all

      March 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Unions are part of the problem in the U.S., not a part of the solution (and yes I am a liberal).

      Car Industry = Fail. Steel Industry = Fail. Teachers Union = Fail. Notice a trend ? Unionized fields are all areas which have failed. At one time Unions represented the people, now they only represent political interests.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • derek

      My wife earned 74,800 as a teacher in NH not including benefits with 15 weeks off !!! and they want a raise this year and there union said it will not budge

      March 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • DennisC

      These are not your Dad's union's. These are goverment workers (I say that lightly – since we know that many are not earning the paycheck they receive). They do not care if they run their State's into the poor house along with the citizens that are not receiving free health care benefits. Let them wait for the great savior – he already has free health care coming – remember this is not costing any of us a penny. I believe earlier someone mentioned they don't want to be run by big corporations. I guess you don't mind being controlled by UNIONS. Having them hold our state and federal goverment hostage. Where have all the members of Union's gone that once had a great love for this country, I will tell you – to the bank! While the rest of us are taxed to pay for it. We kind of have a joke at the big corporations in PA, if you are retired by the age of 50 – then you must have been a Pennsylvania Goverment Employee.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jim

    I don't know if you guys had Iphone and used Barcodes that checks monterey food prices. They check and sends database to corporations to private government. Why are we in great economic danger to collapse?

    Well, we have people cheated some disadvantage people's future by stealing and false advertisement promotion. You are taking away some disadvantage people's inventions or new ideas for the world. If long term unemployed who haven't apply Government's welfare program. It's officially bankrupted and people have MARK THE BEAST sign which carried 666 for cheaters. It would create problems for society such as riots, etc.

    I know the future collapsed because some people broke tenth commandments.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      GO 666!! I love da devil...yes sir...!! THe devil for congress then the world!!! I am selling little red pitchforks with Satan 2012 any buyers!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Julie Labrouste

    This is, "The People v. Corporate America":

    Thus, rather than even trying to simply raise the taxes of WI corporations to make-up the budget short-fall in this time of crisis when taxing the people has become absurd due to their having been financially devastated, the Republican-controlled state government of Wisconsin is not only going after public employees, but is trying to add, on top of that, the removal of a major protection for public unions, collective bargaining, which doesn’t even have anything to do with making the money necessary for the budget short-fall.

    As if that weren’t bad enough, the recently released U.S. Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission report places the blame for this mess in the first place squarely on known corporate culprits. Yet, despite this, as far as we know, those villains will never be punished or even sued by “our” government for the horrendous damage that they have caused the people of this country. Yet “our” state and federal governments are all going out of their ways to protect corporate interests above all of us.

    Everything the U.S. government has done, aside from extending unemployment, has been to throw public money at and constantly enrich big business under the premise that this will "trickle-down"; well, corporate America still hasn't made good on what the people paid it to do; create jobs. When corporate interests collide with those of the people, the U.S. government serves the former. The interests of the people must be paramount, especially over that of business.

    Per Wikipedia: “Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.”

    March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      Same thing...yet another state.

      March 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Let me guess, you have a pension or retirement savings. What do you think they are invested in? Yes, corporations – and corporations that earn profits for shareholders like you.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean S

      Julie,
      Its really simple. Government jobs are paying far higher and the benefits are far more comprehensive than those offered to the people in the private sector who are paying for those inflated salaries. Its not fair, Its not sustainable and the governments cant keep deficit spending in order to maintain a status quo that will send the entire economoy into a tailspin.... Government exists to provide necessary services, roads, schools, sewers, defense. Thats it. It has morphed into an employment agency for the lucky and connected... Unions are only as strong as the support they have amongst the general populous and they simply no longer have their support.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      I have neither because we don't have a unions Dan! Corporate America, which already refers to us openly as its, "human resources", along with its minions, like YOU and the GOP are enslaving the people of this country. If We the People let big business keep doing this to us, then we'll be called their, "Eloi," their, "Copper-tops", and eventually their, "Soylent Green".

      March 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Facts can sometimes be an inconvenient roadblock. The fight in Wisconsin (which has opened the eyes of Americans in other states to the misdeeds of the Public Sector unions) is not about the people versus corporations. It's about the people standing up for their best interests against a political action committee that simply wields too much power.

      To say that the removal of collective bargaining has nothing to do with the future shortfalls is simply inaccurate. While the governor is trying to solve today's fiscal crisis, he's also looking ahead, as any good leader should do, and attempting to start to deal with future issues as well. If he allows collective bargianing to remain, he'll have to have this fight over and over and over again, every time the state is short of revenues, which it projects to be for the foreseeable future.

      As for the initial premise of your posting...you simply couldn't be more wrong. Are you aware that the average per capita income for an entire household in the state of Wisconsin is $36,822? (source http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0104652.html)

      The average teacher salary in Wisconsin is $46,390 (source http://teacherportal.com/teacher-salaries-by-state). When you add in the fact that that teacher currently pays $1 for every $56 that the taxpayers pay for their GUARANTEED retirement, as well as the fact that that teacher pays less than 25% of national AVERAGE cost for healthcare, that average teacher cost to taxpayers is over $60,000 a year. At their income tax rate, that means that 35 FAMILIES of TAXPAYERS of Wisconsin must work at the average salary just to pay the cost of one, single teacher each year.

      When that teacher retires after 30 years in, only 25 Wisconsin families will have to work to pay their costs.

      This fight has nothing to do with Corporations whatsoever. It has to do with what's fair and just. No taxpayer should have to work 10 years longer than a public sector employee just because that employee was a member of an organization that strongarmed the Democratic leadership of the state into giving away the taxpayers money.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      Sean S,

      It’s really simple. Make ALL jobs unionized and make the corporations pay for that and the budget short-falls; they’re the ones that caused this whole mess in the first place. It is sustainable if corporate America is made to pay what it should. All of you corporate imps say the same thing, “Touch our profits and the whole world will explode.” BS! It’s the corporate machine protecting its minions’ money. And the loss of support is due directly to corruption and attacks by big business. Without unions, we will become nothing more than the all singing, all dancing, human resources of the world.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bevans

      Who do you think pays corporations taxes? YOU DO... Tax corporations 100% and see what happens...your cost for their product will go up, they will lay off workers and / or relocate to a cheaper location (read outsource). Are you really that slow that you cannot tax corporations to pay for the payments on the union benefit packages...you have to attack the issue at its core and that is the out of control public employee's demands at the expense of the taxpayer....who do you think pays for the public employee? YOU DO.... Not sure why this is so hard to comprehend. The unions are trying to protect thier pay and benefits when they already make more than the average private citizen...but that is a fact, something the mainstream media fails to report.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      Jeff = Yet another corporate minion claiming to be correct when he's just spewing more corporate propaganda.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      @Julie, I couldn't agree more. I find it humorous that the same type of people who call for fair tax never mention that most large coorporations don't pay any or very small percentages in taxes. They are correct that we the people are shouldering most of the burden, but it is because coorporations don't shoulder even a fraction of what they should. Coorporation use more of the common domain, yet they get it almost free. If you want fairness go after the tax dodging coorporations.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      The "core" issue is corporate greed, Bevans.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      @JC: This is the third time I've thanked you, but my comments aren't showing-up.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Amen to that! You are right on!

      March 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thx

      Thanks Sean S. That was very well put.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Julie – you claim you have no retirement savings? Yeah, right. What do you think will happen when you retire and the government is bankrupt? You of all people should be supporting the government. The vast majority of working people do have retirement savings, including huge union pension funds that do own the corporations that demand a high return. Don't be so naive.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julie Labrouste

      Dan, I do not have retirement savings, which is irrelevant anyway. The government has become a flailing, dull-witted, servant of corporate interests. It is you who is naive and naively following the doomed philosophy of continuing to organize this nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.

      March 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HighDef

    As a small business owner and during the past couple of years I've learned a lot about having to cut back. Some decisions not at all popular with my employees, but if the money is not there or cookies in this case, I can't continue to borrow money from the bank and stay in business. What our wonderful government has created by passing out stimulus funds is a false security that the money grows on trees. People need to learn how to cut back including union members.

    March 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • spottingLies

      You mean... You are not exploiting dozens of poor put upon employees so that you can have all the perks of life? I don't believe it. A small business owner (or any business owner has the same issues as the rest of us? No way.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      The problem with people like SpottingLies is they have never run a business. You think business owners have it easy? Try it for a while and get back to us.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Allie

    I support Governor Walker! He's trying to make WI solvent again WITHOUT raising taxes. How many politicians are brave enough to attempt that?

    The unions in WI have pushed too hard to get the outrageous benefits that public sector employees have. This is not a case of jealousy on the part of private sector employees. Private sector employees want their public counterparts to have pensions/retirement accounts and health care benefits, but it's unfair that private sector taxes go towards it. The union has pushed too far. And, if you ask me, they've outlived their usefulness. Sure, they've had a positive influence in work place environments, but all those laws we have now were not in place when the union began asking for them. All the union does these days is get more money from a debt-ridden government. And, as all of us know, you can't spend what you don't have!

    Go Scott Walker! Way to tackle this ugly problem without raising taxes!

    March 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • kristen

      You are an idiot.....enough said

      March 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • spottingLies

      @Kristen brilliant rejoinder. You must be a public employee.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick San Diego

      Your sleigh of hand won;t work. They have already agreed to pony up more $$$. It's the collective bargaining we;re talking aboutl.
      Which proves the Gov. is deceifful.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramon

      Right on. Public sector employees need to feel the same stress as those working in the private sector.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • sparky

      You're an uninformed idiot. Walker cut taxes for everyone making over 300 grand a year as soon as he took office. Turned down federal money. Refused the highspeed rail project (costing jobs) as well as gave corporate tax break incentives. NOW wants to sell public utilities to the Koch Brothers. This only scratches the surface.

      The only reason why complete morons like Bush and Walker get elected is because pigeon brained dolts like you have the power to vote

      March 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Camxam

      You fail in every way.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      @kristen

      Nice, well thought out rebuttal. Nothing intellegent to say?

      March 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Los Angeles

      Why not just raise taxes? Really high taxes. People spend their money on stupid stuff anyway – cigarettes, alchohol, movie tickets, televisions. Really, the crap people spend their money on is needless and unjustified. The government should be making most the spending decisions for the ingnorant and dumb masses.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bevans

      You are going to take it on the chin with that comment..they will say that Walker cut taxes for his rich friends and stopped the railroad from going in...how many times have you heard anyone say that they wish they could take a high speed train to Wisconsin...that was nothing more than a temporary work order for 3 years so that Obama could say he did something...a train to nowhere...and it would end up costing billions to support due to low ridership and accessibility...see Amtrak's model and see how well that is doing. For the uniformed, they will call you names and distract you with things he cut, but in the end they only see short term money instead of long term solutions. Cut the Unions out and see how much money people have in their pockets to spend...and the last thing the Left will say is to raise taxes rather than cut spending....makes sense to give them MORE money to waste rather than giving them less to spend wisely.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Punkass

      Not that bright Nick. The union has not agreed to pay more for benefits....thats still one of the things they are fighting. Private employees should not be expected to pay more for benefits AND pay for the public.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zach Canada

      didn't the unions in WI offer to accept the loss of benifits and pay .. they just didn't want to lose they're collective bargaining.. sounds like trying to weaken the public workers forever if you ask me... also did i hear say gov't should only supply ESSENTIAL SERVICES, like roads, schools education etc.. the exact things these people provide... sheesh...

      March 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Really Kristin, is that the best reply you can put forth? Allie makes excellent points even if you disagree with them. Instead of providing an intelligent opinion as to why you think otherwise, you call her an "idiot" and leave it at that.

      March 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31