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Posted at 6:45 AM ET, 02/23/2011

Wonkbook: Will Wisconsin spread?

By Ezra Klein

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A few days ago, Gov. Scott Walker's effort to end collective bargaining for state employees looked almost certain to spread to other GOP-led states. And there has been some interest, notably from Ohio's John Kasich and New Jersey's Chris Christie. But over the last 24 hours, we've also begun to see some pushback from Republican governors. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott told a radio program that he wouldn't be pursuing a plan similar to Walker's. "My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine,” he said. In Indiana, where Republican legislators have introduced a bill mirroring Wisconsin's and Democratic legislators have responded by fleeing the state, Gov. Mitch Daniels has asked his allies to table the legislation. "For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised," Daniels argued.

There are a couple of possible reasons that this effort isn't spreading further and faster among some of the GOP's gubernatorial class. The unions have made clear that attempting to take collective bargaining rights will be, if nothing else, a huge hassle. The various governors have a lot they want to get done over the next couple of months -- Daniels, for instance, is pushing legislation that'd bring vouchers to Indiana's school system -- and don't see an interminable fight over ending collective bargaining as the best way to spend their political capital. And some might have sensed what a Gallup/USA Today poll found yesterday -- that more than 60 percent of Americans opposed ending collective bargaining, and they're not even that friendly to cutting pay and benefits for state workers.

It's still too early to say what will happen in Wisconsin. The Democrats can't hang out in Illinois forever, and Walker has left himself very little room to negotiate a compromise. But at this point, it seems clear that the unions have, if nothing else, conveyed the message that ending collective bargaining wil be a difficult, exhausting, and polarizing fight wherever it is tried. And that might prove enough to get other governors to think twice before trying it.

Top Stories

Harry Reid has unveiled his stopgap spending proposal, reports Corey Boles: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said he would bring legislation to the Senate floor next week to keep federal government funding at current levels for a month while lawmakers work out a longer-term deal on this year's federal budget. Mr. Reid's strategy instantly ran into difficulty when his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), said the measure was unacceptable because it didn't cut government spending. House Republican leaders also quickly rejected Mr. Reid's proposal...Unless the Democratic-led Senate and Republican-led House can agree to a funding extension, the federal government would be required to shut down on March 5, when the current temporary measure expires."

Indiana lawmakers have followed Wisconsin senators by walking out, report Michael Fletcher and Brady Dennis: "Democratic lawmakers in the Indiana House followed the lead of their counterparts in Wisconsin, refusing to show up at the capitol and thus preventing Republicans from having the two-thirds quorum needed to vote on numerous bills, including a controversial measure that would curtail private-sector union rights. At issue is a 'right to work' bill that would no longer require private-sector workers to belong to a union or pay for union representation. Union officials have called the effort an attempt to weaken workers' collective bargaining power. The bill's author, Republican Rep. Jerry Torr, has said it is an effort to draw employers to the state and create jobs."

But Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, is taking a very different approach than Scott Walker, reports Evan McMorris-Santoro: "Members of the Democratic state House caucus in Indiana have found an unlikely ally in their quest to stop the GOP majority from pushing through a bill that critics say would destroy union organizing in the state. Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) took to the airwaves today to call on members of his party to drop the controversial 'right to work' bill that led to Democrats going AWOL. Daniels' statement: 'I'm not sending the state police after anybody. I'm not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public. I trust that people's consciences will bring them back to work..For reasons I've explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.'"

Obama has not met with unemployed people on his economic tours, reports Perry Bacon: "President Obama has traveled across the country since the November midterm elections to tout his economic vision and rebuild relationships with the business community, meeting with executives, community college presidents, students, venture capitalists, plant workers and others. One group has been left out: the nearly one in 10 working-age Americans who are seeking a job but can't find one. In eight trips outside Washington since Election Day, Obama - who frequently says he uses such travel to better understand the lives of Americans - has held almost no formal meetings with groups of unemployed people or organizations that advocate for them."

The earmark ban is causing some lawmakers to rethink their roles, report David Fahrenthold and Philip Rucker: "Is Rep. Harold Rogers the right man to break Congress's addiction to spending? One might ponder that question...during a drive on Hal Rogers Boulevard. Or Hal Rogers Drive. Or Hal Rogers Parkway. Rogers, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is the point man for GOP budget slashing...One of Rogers's top committee deputies is Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R). In Florida, his name adorns a drawbridge, a marine science complex and a military depot. Their stories reveal the larger struggle behind the current spending debate in Washington. It's not just about money. It's about Congress's DNA - and changing the definition of what a Congress member is."

Shoegaze interlude: Blonde Redhead plays "Spring And By Summer Fall" live.

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

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Still to come: We're getting pretty near to the debt limit; a federal judge has tossed out an anti-health care reform lawsuit; the White House is telling agencies to prepare for a government shutdown; the Energy Department is losing staff due to looming budget cuts; and cats who look like Ron Swanson.

Economy

We're getting pretty near to the debt limit, writes Pete Davis: "On January 6, Treasury announced it would hit the debt limit no later than May 16, but it modified that to May 31, 2011 on February 2. It will issue another update during the first week of March. Then there's the question of how much leeway Treasury may have to postpone exceeding the debt limit. 'As of August 31, 2010, the extraordinary actions available to Treasury could provide about $147.5 billion in additional borrowing capacity without a DISP and an additional $7.7 billion per month based on the length of the DISP declared.' [Page 10] Treasury could also run down its cash on hand and cash at the Fed. Altogether that might give Treasury an extra month or two."

Credit card reform is showing good results: http://wapo.st/dNSLDY

The Senate will hold a year's worth of hearings on tax reform, reports John McKinnon: "Overhaul of the tax code got off to a strong start in the Senate Finance Committee, with the announcement late Tuesday of a lengthy series of hearings. Still, it remains unclear whether any serious tax changes will get through before the 2012 political silly season begins. And the timetable laid out on Tuesday suggests that lawmakers are in no particular rush. Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and the committee’s top Republican, Orrin Hatch of Utah, said the first hearing, entitled 'How Did We Get Here?' will look at the economic and policy changes that have occurred since the last big reform in 1986, and how U.S. tax rules have and have not kept up."

The Treasury Department is running out of ways to avoid the debt limit, reports Andrew Ackerman: "The Treasury Department's ability to take 'extraordinary measures' to avoid tripping up against the federal debt limit may not be as effective as in the past because of ballooning federal debt levels, a congressional watchdog warned Tuesday. As a result, Congress will have much less time to debate increasing the debt limit to prevent the federal government from hitting the fast-approaching $14.294 trillion debt cap, the Government Accountability Office said. 'Treasury's past success at managing cash and debt when near or at the debt limit is no guarantee that it can continue to manage successfully in the future and may be misleading,' GAO said in a 55-page report. The Treasury recently notified Congress that the current debt limit could be reached as early as April 5."

Germany's economic miracle isn't looking so good, asks David Leonhardt: "Germany’s economic growth surged in the middle of last year, causing commentators both there and here to proclaim that American stimulus had failed and German austerity had worked. Germany’s announced budget cuts, the commentators said, had given private companies enough confidence in the government to begin spending their own money again. Well, it turns out the German boom didn’t last long. With its modest stimulus winding down, Germany’s growth slowed sharply late last year, and its economic output still has not recovered to its prerecession peak. Output in the United States — where the stimulus program has been bigger and longer lasting — has recovered. This country would now need to suffer through a double-dip recession for its gross domestic product to be in the same condition as Germany’s."

Social Security isn't part of our deficit problem, writes OMB director Jack Lew: http://usat.ly/f9UfQ8

The Republican war on unions is broader than Wisconsin, writes Harold Meyerson: "For a more comprehensive view of the Republicans' war on unions, we need to focus on what Republicans in Washington did last week. In the House, Republicans passed, as part of their continuing resolution to fund the federal government through September, a provision that slashed the funding of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by one-third. But the truly breathtaking measure was an amendment by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to defund the NLRB - closing it down altogether - until the fiscal year ends in September. The measure failed Thursday because 60 Republicans joined every Democrat present in voting no, but three-quarters of House Republicans - 176 of them, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) - voted yes. In other words, the House leadership supported abolishing the right of American workers - in the private sector no less than the public sector - to bargain collectively."

Scott Walker is overreaching, writes Steven Pearlstein: "One old trick is to suggest a thought experiment that asks readers to consider the mirror image of what is going on. In this case, you'd be asked what the reaction would be from Republicans and business interests if a newly elected Democratic governor and legislature proposed to deal with a budget deficit by first raising unemployment benefits and then pushing through a big corporate tax increase for all but the Democratic-leaning tech sector. For good measure, the package would also contain a ban on corporations making political donations without getting the permission of each shareholder...This is analogous, of course, to what Gov. Scott Walker has proposed for dealing with Wisconsin's budget gap."

Baking interlude: A playable Angry Birds cake.

Health Care

A federal judge has tossed out an anti-health care reform lawsuit, reports Nedra Pickler: "A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit claiming that President Barack Obama's requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans who can afford health insurance but have chosen for years not to buy it...Kessler is the third Democratic-appointed judge to dismiss a challenge, while two Republican-appointed judges have ruled part or all of the law unconstitutional."

A Supreme Court case on Congressional powers offers limited guidance as to the Court's eventual health care ruling: http://nyti.ms/hMdgit

Budget cuts are ending a Pennsylvania program for low-income adults, reports Jenny Gold: "Pennsylvania's adultBasic insurance was created in 2001 and is one of only a handful of health plans funded entirely by states to provide coverage to low-income adults who do not qualify for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance for the poor. Such individuals will be eligible for either subsidized private coverage or be covered by an expansion of Medicaid under the new federal health law, but those provisions do not kick in until 2014...Shortly after taking office in January, however, Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, announced that the program was out of money and coverage for all participants would end Feb. 28."

Domestic Policy

The White House is telling federal agencies to prepare for a shutdown, reports Ed O'Keefe: "Federal agencies are preparing to operate at reduced levels if a government shutdown occurs, but the Obama administration hopes to strike a deal with congressional Republicans to avoid one, the White House said Tuesday. By March 4, lawmakers must pass a short-term resolution to continue funding the government, or President Obama and congressional leaders can strike a deal on how to fund government operations for the final seven months of fiscal 2011. Failing to do so would prompt at least a partial shutdown affecting various agencies and functions... OMB would not provide details Tuesday of individual agency plans, but most workers might stay on the job if a shutdown occurs.

Senators are still asking for de facto earmarks: http://bit.ly/evxyiX

There is no correlation between unionization and state budget deficits, writes John Sides: http://bit.ly/eiA0Pv

The Democratic party has abandoned the union movement, writes Kevin Drum: "Organized labor requires government support to thrive--things like the right to organize workplaces, rules that prevent retaliation against union leaders, and requirements that management negotiate in good faith--and in America, that support traditionally came from the Democratic Party...As unions increasingly withered beginning in the '70s, the Democratic Party turned to the only other source of money and influence available in large-enough quantities to replace big labor: the business community. The rise of neoliberalism in the '80s, given concrete form by the Democratic Leadership Council, was fundamentally an effort to make the party more friendly to business."

Parks and Recreation interlude: Cats who look like Ron Swanson.

Energy

Cuts are spurring heavy turnover in the Department of Energy, reports Stephen Power: " The third-ranking official at the Department of Energy is leaving the Obama administration next month, becoming the latest in a series of high-level departures from an agency whose budget is increasingly at the center of partisan clashes... The DOE is at the center of a growing battle between President Obama and Republicans in Congress involving the agency’s spending levels and priorities. Mr. Obama last week proposed increasing the department’s budget for the fiscal year that begins in October nearly 12%, to $29.5 billion, partly to pay for big increases in spending on wind, solar and geothermal projects at the department. Republicans in the House have proposed cutting support for some of those projects.

Harry Reid will not allow EPA climate rule defunding into the Senate spending bill: http://bit.ly/ei94zy

Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews and Michelle Williams.

By Ezra Klein  | February 23, 2011; 6:45 AM ET
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Next: Fair point

Comments

Since the Democrats control the NJ Legislature Governor Christie can't attack collective bargaining rights like other states have and I don't know that he'd want to even if he could but he certainly put the legislature in the tough position of either doubling the property tax rebate or re-negotiating the pension and benefit system. Interesting to see how this plays out from here but sad that he has to bribe the legislature to do the right thing. They could have done pension reforms for years but they'd rather build up this unsustainable pension payments that can't be made. Until NJ deals with the number and scope of municipalities that it has nothing will be reformed. I heard on the radio that NJ has 611 school districts. Delaware has 23. New York City has ONE. Its that bureaucracy that needs to be fixed. Each of the 23 counties in NJ should have a school board. That consolidation will streamline education and save NJ's taxpayers tons of money but no one has the stomach to say it much less do it.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 23, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Any person holding declining stocks or mutual funds yesterday can thank the GOP for their debt limit sabotaging tactics as being the cause.

We are all a little bit poorer today for them. And I shudder to think what will happen if this behavior of theirs continues.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

@lauren,

oh please. Everyone knows who pays attention that the stock market tanked because of the issues in Libya and not the debt limit but again that's impossible to prove so you'll continue your rants. Its amazing that some liberals will complain about corporatocracy when companies have profits that get those positive stock market results but then deride them when markets go down. The hypocricy is hysterical.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 23, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

I am astounded that the online media is not splashing the Federal Judge Upholds Healthcare Law in its headlines -- remember Florida? What's the reason for this omission? Politico doesn't even have an article amongst its dozens of breathtaking pro-GOP and even uncritical Limbaugh pieces. Could it be media bias??

Posted by: chicago11 | February 23, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Oh, so it's due to our dependency on oil, which the GOP refuses to do anything about.

But "everyone" you say?

I mean, prominent Republicans are declaring the end of America as we know it due to this issue. The media is replete with analysis of threats to financial markets and bond crisis if this issue is not resolved.

Anyone who pays attention knows ANY major uncertainty always affects the markets.

And libya is certainly one of those, but it is out of our hands.

The debt ceiling issue also poses major uncertainty but IS IN THE GOP HANDS, and this uncertainty certainly affects the markets and did so yesterday.

And you generalize my beliefs. I am not opposed to capitalism or corporations or profits. I've never said or implied that. It's just that I understand there are people who are serial murderers and corporations who have either predatory business practices or undue influence. THIS I have explained before. So there is no hypocrisy on my part.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

@lauren,

sure the debt limit needs to be addressed and both sides need to come together with an agreement that balances the major cuts made by the House and the status quo pushed by Senator Reid. That being said you specifically said "YESTERDAY" which again when you look at oil prices rising to over $95 a barrel and oil companies stocks rising somewhat and refinery stocks slipping points directly to the US' dependence on light sweet crude that Libya produces. It couldn't be more obvious that every I get it and I don't follow the market regularly.

So if i asked you to say give a percentage in your opinion how much of the market's downturn yesterday was due to the debt ceiling issue and how much was due to Libya what would you say becuase you didn't mention Libya at all in your first post and only mentioned the debt ceiling which makes me think you expect most of it is due to the debt ceiling issue, no?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 23, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"There are a couple of possible reasons that this effort isn't spreading further and faster among some of the GOP's gubernatorial class"

and here are a couple more....

~~ the more rational and astute GOP gubernatorial class,realize that at its very heart, what walker is doing is essentially un-american.

~~walker has used extremely poor judgement, and his recalcitrance is making him look foolish and dangerous.

~~the other governors see that he has overstepped his bounds, and what must have felt like an exhilarating and dandy powerplay, has now strategically turned into a huge headache for him.

~~ he has humiliatingly painted himself into a corner.

~~they see that, despite what this action appears to look like in the short term, he is going to pay a VERY heavy political price for what he has done, in the longterm.

~~he has now made martyrs out of the democratic senators, and he still will have to find a way to work with them in the future.

~~like several other recent political icons, bad judgement and self-importance, will be his undoing.

~~they dont want their states coming undone, with demonstrations and situations that may bring chaos and complicated decisions.

Posted by: jkaren | February 23, 2011 9:08 AM | Report abuse

A large chunk of yesterday I believe is due to debt ceiling uncertainty. How much? Hard to say. Somewhere between 25% and 75%.

We've known for a week or so that Libya and Egypt, etc, might affect oil prices. I think Libya is mostly priced into the market over the last few weeks. I read stories early last week that western oil companies were planning withdrawal from Libya.

Dems or Repubs have no control over market forces regarding Libya.

Repubs however are causing the uncertainty with regards to debt ceiling. It is therefore valid to call them on their behavior.

It is more clearer now in recent days that the GOP will not compromise on the debt ceiling. Their coordinated effort to bust unions and avoid compromise should prove to everyone this is the case. As such, investors are now certain as to the uncertainty of this issue and that is being priced into the market starting yesterday.

I predict a similar market upswing when it becomes clear the debt ceiling issue is solved, and that upswing will occur before the public is made aware of that solution.

And you know what? My analysis of this market is as valid as anyone elses, including professionals, most of whom have dismal track records. Indeed, as my bank accounts show,I have had a good track record of predicting major market trends since 1999.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

"Any person holding declining stocks or mutual funds yesterday can thank the GOP for their debt limit sabotaging tactics as being the cause...The debt ceiling issue also poses major uncertainty but IS IN THE GOP HANDS, and this uncertainty certainly affects the markets and did so yesterday."

That must have also been why government bonds rallied yesterday.

Posted by: justin84 | February 23, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

"A large chunk of yesterday I believe is due to debt ceiling uncertainty. How much? Hard to say. Somewhere between 25% and 75%."

Why did treasury bond yields fall yesterday?

Posted by: justin84 | February 23, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

25 to 75% is quite a window there.

That being said what came out yesterday specifically on the debt ceiling that wasn't already known the day before? Or are the markets going to tank by a couple hundred points per day in your opinion until its resolved one way or the other because if that's the case I'd better get out of the markets now while the getting's good.

How can you make a claim that its "starting yesterday?" Will the market in your opinion stabilize more if the Republicans get their way or the Democrats (ie the debt level is raised at current spending of drastic cuts in spending?)

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 23, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"We've known for a week or so that Libya and Egypt, etc, might affect oil prices."

We've known for months that the GOP was likely to hold the debt ceiling hostage for budget cuts which Obama and the Democrats would find unacceptable.

Posted by: justin84 | February 23, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

bond market has its own set mysteries.

May or may not be related to market volatility.

I dont buy bonds so can only guess.

So you tell me why bond market did what it did?

If it is related to debt ceiling issue, that would imply less uncertainty.

What private knowledge did they have the market didn't have? After all, bond holders tend to be wealthier and have closer ties to insiders.

Before Iraq War, market was volatile until it became certain it would happen, and then market rose even before the invasion.

Maybe similar thing could happen in bond market. Perhaps, they are now certain about the debt ceiling outcome and can plan accordingly.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

vision

I already answered your questions. Go back and read more closely

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

"Since the Democrats control the NJ Legislature Governor Christie can't attack collective bargaining rights like other states have and I don't know that he'd want to even if he could but he certainly put the legislature in the tough position of either doubling the property tax rebate or re-negotiating the pension and benefit system. "


Yep. I'm skeptical as to whether the Republicans can win the NJ Senate/Assembly but if they do, we will break the unions as well, hopefully.

The Democrats have a history in this state of fleecing the poor in order to pay for their union largesse. Hopefully the poor stand up for themselves.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 23, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

"So you tell me why bond market did what it did?"

My guess would be that concerns about Libya and its impact on the oil market reduced expectations for near term economic growth and profits. All else being equal, it was somewhat more attractive to be bonds yesterday than it was the day before, relative to stocks.

It's only an educated guess - for all I know, China bought a lot of Treasuries yesterday for reasons unrelated to the news.

At any rate, lower government bond yields makes it difficult to claim that the debt ceiling issue was what drove down stocks yesterday. If there was additional uncertainty surrounding the government's finances, bond prices should fall and yields should rise.

Concern about the debt ceiling should and probably will weigh on stock prices, if it isn't already, but it should also depress bond prices as well.

Posted by: justin84 | February 23, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

investors involved mainly with oil price uncertainty will not suffer volatility, so the market is re-priced on a daily basis starting with tunisia, and some comfort for these elite investors is gotten back due to higher oil prices.

non-oil institution investors are willing however, to not jump out of market on debt ceiling issues until it becomes CERTAIN it is a problem AND the correct trigger point arrives to maximize profits, because there are advantages to stay in as casual investors continue adding more money to mutual funds and 401ks, etc., and then at the right moment the experts start bailing when the trigger point comes. Then after millions of ordinary investors pull out, and after the debt ceiling issue drawbacks and consequences are fully understood by the experts, they will jump back in to the correct sectors. Non-expert portfolios will be hurt though.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

bond market may have already long ago priced in debt ceiling issues.

I dont know

And any day to day rise or fall in bonds, as yesterday's, may have nothing to do with debt ceiling issue.

Trigger points where markets suddenly change can be different for different markets, though the issues may eventually cause similar outcomes or trends.

Anyone who thinks stock investors aren't rattled by debt ceiling threats and their consequences, and they are wondering whether to pull out or not, or perhaps acting on those fears, is not being realistic.

And just because analysts say one thing on a given day, it doesn't mean they accurately reflect the opinions and fears of average people or don't have an agenda. We've seen how inaccurate pros have been in recent years.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 23, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Boycott kock bros products and services and let your merchant know why...everyone buys toilet paper---etc!

http://www.worldofkoch.com/

Posted by: jetlone | February 23, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Good morning all!

Slightly educated guess on Treasuries. Bond guys are bond guys, they don't switch out to equities or currencies at the drop of a hat. Europe and especially Italy's bonds have taken a hit, because Libyan oil means far more to the European market than to the American. The euro has been reaching new highs recently, and there are a series of meetings coming in March that expected to either resolve European debt issues, or, more likely, exacerbate them.

Considering all of the above, Treasuries are temporarily the place to be. Note the dollar however is actually falling when it should be rising, indicating that this is probably a temporary move and not a long term committment to the US. No definitve prediction from me however, other than unwinding positions in the dollar. Current worldwide conditions are too crazy to make any accurate guesses!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 23, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Public sector unions are bad idea. Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government. The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 23, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

illogic:

Your comment makes sense when applied to entities such as police and fire, and possibly public transport. Teachers don't really fall into that category.

If Walker was only taking away the teachers' unions right to strike, he would probably have more support. He is trying to destroy unions in general as part of a national broad based GOP plan. Don't confuse the two things.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 23, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

End game ...

Do you realize where this is going? You'll need a quorum to pass any laws. At some point, government will shut down and the only people who benefit then are the rich and comfortable.

Ugh; clowns.

Posted by: Commenting1 | February 23, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

commenting wrote:

" . . . the only people who benefit then are the rich and comfortable."

and who do you think beneifts from the drive to destroy unionization in this country?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 23, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Rich and comfortable, politically-connected and protected. Two sides of the same coin really.

Posted by: cprferry | February 23, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

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