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Friday, February 18, 2011

Obama Acted Stupidly In Picking Sides Against The Taxpayers

The drama unfolding in Wisconsin has the potential to be a defining moment in the 2012 presidential campaign because Obama openly has picked sides against the taxpayers in favor of public sector unions:
President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.
Obama accused Scott Walker, the state's new Republican governor, of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.
The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.
Obama has cast his lot with unions which seek to perpetuate a system of benefits which is destroying state budgets.  The Governor of Wisconsin only wants to move these benefits more in line with the private sector and other states:
Mr. Walker's very modest proposal would take away the ability of most government employees to collectively bargain for benefits. They could still bargain for higher wages, but future wage increases would be capped at the federal Consumer Price Index, unless otherwise specified by a voter referendum. The bill would also require union members to contribute 5.8% of salary toward their pensions and chip in 12.6% of the cost of their health insurance premiums.

If those numbers don't sound outrageous, you probably work in the private economy. The comparable nationwide employee health-care contribution is 20% for private industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average employee contribution from take-home pay for retirement was 7.5% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
Obama acted stupidly.


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  1. "Obama acted stupidly." - THANK GOD!

    It will take many more instances like this for the American people to finally see past the showmanship/shiny lights and actually look behind the curtain. That can't happen soon enough.

  2. Obama is ensuring that enthusiasm will grow this year for all of the causes that prevailed in the 2010 elections. Obama has awakened a snoozing giant.

  3. Putting aside immediate acted-stupidly-summit beverage name concerns, I think this will, indeed, come back to haunt Obama. I've heard more than once that about 40% of union households disagree with their leadership on this issue (I am included in that 40%). If 40% of union households disagree ... imagine what the figure must be for non-union.

    I hate to say it, but in the interests of the long-term financial security of this nation, I would love to see Governor Walker up the ante by saying,

    "I fold under President Obama's and the unions' pressure. I will immediately bow to them and call for the doubling of public employee benefits in the state of Wisconsin."

    In 2012, the 2010 election would seem like a Democratic landslide by comparison.

  4. Rick said, "Obama has awakened a snoozing giant."

    Yep ... I feel even Admiral Yamamoto would be against Obama on this one.

  5. "like a dog t his vomit.........." He can't help himself. His mommy makes him do these things.

  6. Stupidly, indeed.

    This is getting very interesting.

    I recommend everyone carry a portable video camera at all times.

    If you come face-to-face with angry (I know, its redundant) leftists, do not engage.

    Let them make the asses they will surely make of themselves.

  7. "Obama has awakened a snoozing giant."

    He has awakened his personal fighting force and given them blank-sheet ROEs.

    This IS the 2012 election, already under way and already Megiddo.

    Let's see if he nationalizes the WI and other National Guards, or mobilizes the Army. DOJ and DOE should begin breathing fire soon.

    "Stupid"? Well yes from outside his agenda, but from inside it he doesn't have a choice, so it's not stupid, or at least, not outside what he thinks he has to do. He cannot let this stand. What are his choices? All he has are blunt instruments, which by definition lack subtlety and are therefore stupid. It's not stupid, from the inside, to deploy stupid when that's all one has to deploy. It's even a bit gallant in a piquant sort of way.

    Underlying his operation is manic depression, limiting operations and assets. That's not stupid, that's diseased or even possessed.

  8. The Republicans were quick to denounce Obama's budget, giving me hope they had finally learned how to communicate their message.

    They need to pounce when Obama makes mistakes. And this is a huge Obama mistake. Conservatives outnumber liberals 2:1. Republicans ought to be pounding Obama for taking a stand against taxpayers. It would be a winning message and an easy way to score political points.

    And we get mostly radio silence from the Stupid Party potential 2012 candidates.

  9. By shipping in all these protestors thru the DNC isn't he and the DNC actively working to over throw a duly elected government? at what point is this treason, at what point is this an impeachable offense? of course after the Clinton debacle will any President ever come up for impeachment? if not now, when?

  10. It feels like a line has been crossed: For Obama essentially to orchestrate lawless campaign of intimidation to prevent the democratically-elected government of one of the states from performing its legislative functions reveals number of important and disturbing things.

    First, it shows that Obama is not truly willing to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitutional scheme, as his oath of office declares. Rather he intends to conduct himself as Chavez-like strongman if that's what it takes to achieve his policy goals.

    Second, it shows that all of the power and prestige he already holds as president is not enough: He has, in addition to his role as president, assumed direct leadership of an army of leftists, unionists, and government hacks whom he will deploy as a Fifth Column against those state and national leaders who oppose his socialist agenda.

    Third, it constitutes an acknowledgement that the socialist agenda he is attempting to advance cannot succeed through normal democratic means. The support just isn't there among average working Americans. November 2010 was Waterloo. However, rather than retreat, Obama's forces have reconstituted themselves as a kind of guerrilla band. The good news is, they can't win elections. The bad news is, they no longer think they have to.

  11. Would someone please tell me what the Chief Executive of the Federal government has to do with a State government's labor relations with it's own workforce? There is NO Federal issue here whatsoever. As the head of the Executive branch of the Federal government, Obama has no Constitutional authority to do ANYTHING here.

  12. But Obama is not restrained by any of the old- fashioned concepts of the constitution or our culture. Rather, he wants to destroy all of that.

  13. Obama is a national disaster. It would have been hard for the nation to have found a less-qualified, more conniving, underhanded and egotistical individual for the office if it were actually TRYING to do so. This man is a menace to society.

  14. "The good news is, they can't win elections"

    They've always known that. They can win fraudulent polling, rather good at it, in fact.

    "The bad news is, they no longer think they have to."

    They never did. Either fraud or cancel the election, which is being announced today regarding primaries. Next step, cancel generals. That's where they've been going all along.

    The union members are canon fodder. Their role is to create chaos sufficient to make the oligarch families through their tool in the White House sound justified in "doing things differently," or, "creating the fundamental transformation we want." The "we" are those families, and they're not all Americans. It used to be called slavery.

    The scenario has been playing out in the minds of many since before NOV08 and many more since then, daily increasing in number.

    "It feels like a line has been crossed: ...." Yup. And as Bibby implies, the line isn't a new reality, it's just that now it is unequivocally revealed.

    That's good! Now the assessment of treason and the motivation for impeachment -- or declaration of incompetence or illegitimacy -- gain strength. And do those families and their tool believe US Armed Forces support them outside Constitutional structure, or do they even see their need that they do? I bet they don't.

    Burak Obama and mate and some of their sponsors are on their way to the Big House.

  15. We will be going to Madison tomorrow in support of Governor Walker, although at this time, we are being warned against it by the GOP. The Left has brought in their thugs and plan to generate a disturbance. I do not know if I am willing to risk my wife's safety in this endeavour, but I do know this is the most important point in the history of my state and a very important point in the history of my country.

  16. Deekaman
    Good for you. I agree with you assessment of the importance of what is going on in Madison. We are rooting for you from here on the left coast.

  17. Deekaman
    We agree with you assessment and are glad that you are going. We will be rooting for you from here on the left coast.

  18. Bless you and prayers going up for you and your family's safety, Deek.

  19. @Deekaman - email photos if you have a camera phone.

  20. If Walker has any stones he has easy and good comebacks.

    1. Issue a proclamation declaring that any senators who are not back in their chambers by sundown have abandoned their offices, which will thereupon be deemed to be vacated.

    2. If they don’t show up, issue writs of election for their vacant seats.

    3. Fire their staffs, move their stuff out of the capitol, change the keys to their offices, and void their parking passes.

    4. Pull his proposed legislation and replace it with a bill that bans unionization for public employees, voids any collective bargaining agreements with public employee unions, and terminates the employment of any public employee who goes on strike for cause and with a loss of benefits and seniority.

    5. Smoke a big cigar.

  21. Why is anyone surprised by what BH Obama does?
    We knew the Chicago teacher unions, representing the WORST school district in the country, was boldly behind the socialist messiah on his quest for power. No one should be surpised by the reptilian politician and liar that is Obama.

  22. I like what the FatMan said. Perhaps there needs to be talks of "clawbacks", since the many union contracts were sweetheart deals that the public really didn't know about. Teacher union contracts are usually negotiated in private, and rarely explained to the public. Leaving the unions to negotiate wages now seems lavishly generous. Don't wound the king. Change the bill so they lose that right.

  23. And now for a contrarian view: (in the spirit of full disclosure I am a private sector unionized employee)

    It is true (in as far as the number of people I spoke with) that a fair number over 50% of the rank and file union members disagree with the political leanings of their leadership. We are just like the rest of the country, mostly conservative. What has union members in Wisconsin up in arms, for the most part, is the provision that will basically destroy the union by taking away collective bargaining. Many union members understand the budget issues and would agree to the increased costs of health insurance and pensions. We have as much an interest as anyone in keeping the business (in this case the public jobs) running, as if it folds up, we are the ones out of a job. In the past my union has accepted wage cuts and increases in benefit costs in order to help the industry through rough economic times. The main driver of many unions is safety and job security. Much has been made about the job security provisions in many union contracts (nearly all of it bad). However those same people are the ones who complain about favoritism and nepotism in the workplace, the boss's buddies getting perks and plum assignments while everyone else toils away getting no recognition and less of a shot at raises and promotions. This is what the job security provisions in union contracts are designed to prevent.

    My point in all this is just to point out that many union members are not evil, we just want a safe, equal workplace. In fact a lot of us vote republican! We are not fans of Obama either, we just can't seem to get our leaders to switch sides. It wouldn't take but a few bones from republicans and the unions would switch sides!

  24. Ezra Klein is a moron:

    "What is actually being proposed in Wisconsin?"

  25. @stargazer: Wisconsin isn't a private business enterprise. The issue there is that public sector unions are purporting to dictate to the state the amount of pay and benefits govt employees receive. But in a democracy, it's up to the citizens, thru their elected officials, to decide the scope and size of government, which of course has to be paid for thru taxes.

    Even assuming the unions are willing to make concessions this time (in the face of GOP control of the state govt), it's anti-democratic to shift even partial control over the fiscal policies of the state to the unions of unelected workers. But that's what the unions are essentially fighting for: veto power over the legislature's spending decisions.

  26. IMO, this is a fight over the streams of union revenue that support progressive political activity including the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Union dues, even union dues from union members who support the GOP, in aggregate $100s millions, are completely controlled by the union bosses. This is the source of their power, and their ability to influence national policy. They, and their allies - Soros, Obama, the anti-capitalist, anti-American left, will make a stand here. If they win they keep their revenue streams intact and will use that money and these tactics to attempt to pull out a win in 2012.

  27. "My point in all this is just to point out that many union members are not evil, we just want a safe, equal workplace"

    Equal to what? To Whom? I haven't yet seen good from Union. Sorry, but it is just socialism in the industry setting. You demand what you want and shutdown things when you don't get your way. The rest of us just have to find a better job.

  28. I would cross the picket line if this happened in NY so the kids don't miss school. We pay ridiculous taxes in this state, I would be outraged if the schools were shut down for a week while the teachers continue to get payed. Obama has shown his thuggery by supporting the forced collectivism thuggery of public aemployee unions. I have no problems with voluntary collectivism, but there is nothing voluntary about them. They force the employees to join and pay dues. That money could be used to contribute to their benefits to reduce the financial burdens on te states and taxpayers. It is not too much to ask them to contribute a modest amount. Also if a public employee does not want to join the union, they should not be forced to do so. It is time to end this thuggery disguised as goodwill.

  29. "is the provision that will basically destroy the union by taking away collective bargaining." - gazer

    That's not the way I understand it. Their ability to collectively bargain benefits is being removed. They can still collectively bargain on wages.

  30. To address a couple of points that I forgot and folks commented on:
    Many times unions have accepted no raises (not even cost of living) or wage cuts in exchange for holding the line on some benefits. How would you feel if your boss told you "no raise this year, but we won't increase the cost of your benefits this year". Then the next year he comes back and says "no raise again this year, and now we are jacking up your benefits to make up for the increase we didn't do last year". You'd be mighty unhappy. This is the situation many unions find themselves in.
    That being said, the Wisconsin benefits do seem a bit extravagant, and should be more in line with what is common in the private sector. One of the things I agree with is that elected officials should not be negotiating with the public unions on thses issues because of the conflict of interest in gaining votes. A private negotiator should negotiate on behalf of the taxpayers.
    As for the no good coming from the unions, most workplace safety has come from unions. OSHA was pushed hard by the unions. Most benefits like sick pay and vacation, and yes even health insurance was pushed for by the unions. Today these things are commonplace in the workplace, but many people forget that they once were not. Thank the unions for all of those thigs, because employers would not offer them if the unions hadn't pushed for them. Non-union companies picked up these benefits in order to compete with the union companies for employees. I think we would all agree these are good things that came from unions.
    Again, myself and many of my union colleages support the ideals of smaller government and lower taxes. We simply want the right to negotiate with our employer for safety, wages, and benefits. This is the same thing that is done by many people when they apply for a job and hold discussions with their prospective employer over wages and benefits before getting hired.

  31. We haven't seen such maliciousness at the UN since Andrew Young's horrific tenure there. Too bad Israel wasn't an enemy islamist regime then this Administration would be bending over to give it everything it wanted. The animosity of this Administration to faithful allies and its friendship to our dedicated enemies is breathtaking.

  32. From the piece "Voices from Wisconsin" by Chris Bowers on the Daily Kos site, this snippet:

    "And today, I received this email from a teacher in Chicago:

    ... We've got two students we brought from our school, so this is their first time seeing actually political activism. They made signs and are ready for an adventure. This is the teachable moment you get into this work for."

    Good grief. Yes, I want my kids to grow up to be mindless progressive political activists like their teachers.