Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wisconsin Governor Plans On Using More Expensive National Guard To Replace Union Workers

Amanda Terkel wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
State workers in Wisconsin are protesting a statement by Republican Governor Scott Walker that, union reps say, amounts to a threat to use the National Guard to help break the public union.

Citing a $137 million budget deficit, Walker announced a plan last week which would essentially take away the public union's collective bargaining rights and slash benefits for state employees. Meanwhile, the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981 and, according to Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes.

In the case of a walkout, Walker has put the National Guard on alert. Last week, he told reporters that the guard is "prepared" for "whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for," such as staffing prisons if guards go on strike.
Terkel indicates in her article that Walker's plans are not financially necessary and may be politically motivated.
But some questioned whether his proposal is really financially necessary. The governor himself claims that Wisconsin can save $165 million by the end of next June simply by restructuring existing debt. Additionally, the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981 and, according to Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations pay no taxes.
Another aspect of Walker's plans to attack the public sector is worker pay.

The average salary of a correctional officer in Wisconsin can range anywhere from $30,000 to $48,000 per year.   In comparison, the average active duty pay for the National Guard can range from $20,000 to $86,000, and that number does not include officers.  In addition to pay, National Guard soldiers receive various other benefits, housing allowances, money towards education, and not to mention only their base pay is taxed - not their bonuses or pay upgrades.

Consider the fact that there are 175,000 public sector employees in Wisconsin with union representation, and of those workers, 39,000 are state employees and 106,000 are teachers, imagine the costs of placing the National Guard on active duty for more then just substituting prison guards.

Do you think Walker's plan is a politically motivated attack against public workers and collective bargaining, or just a fiscally responsible thing to do for a state that needs to fill a budget gap?


  1. He's definitely out to break the unions. All the other Republican Governors will immediately follow suit if he's successful. If they succeed in breaking the Public workers unions, all the private workers unions will be next.

    Reagan started the ball rolling with the Air Traffic Controllers and they've just been waiting for the opportunity to break all unions ever since. They've convinced the RW sheeple that union workers are the enemy & have been consistent with that message since the Reagan days or even further back than that! They've got to be stopped NOW!

  2. I think many Republicans saw an opportunity with the emergence of the tea party and they took it to gain power, but now the tea party is seeking to overturn the Republican party and reshape it in the myth of Reagan. Their view of the future is very scary. I read an article where one state legislator stated we will not run out of natural resources - God will help us out.

    Rick Scott scrapped the long-desired high speed rail lines in Florida to send a message to his right-wing supporters.

    This breed of conservative is dangerous - they will place business interests over all else - including the public good. I don't think that was the vision of the founding fathers, and this is where Democrats fail.

    How many times do you hear a conservative talk about the founding fathers? Then think of Democrats. The right-wing have been redefining this nation for years, breeding ignorance. Once enough people believe their "facts," things will start hitting the fan...

  3. And sadly - these idiots in office are the result of Democrats relying on an unreliable demographic and not being able to combat the right-wing dirty fighting...

  4. No, Kevin, these idiots are in office because Obama never explained to the American people what caused the economic crash. Additionally, he never explained that most of the money used for the sub-prime mortgage mess came from China and that Bush had borrowed nearly one trillion from China to finance the Iraq war. As a result, when the sub-prime mortgage market crashed and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had billions of dollars in Chinese debt, the U. S. government had to guarantee the debt or China would call in their loan. All the American public saw was a big spending bill which benefited some, but not them.
    As a result, they voted Republican and the persons who had emerged from the Republican primaries were the haters of Obama and not interested in doing what was best for this country.


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