Friday, February 18, 2011

Hold the Cheese



Looking back over the past two years, it's hard to say what the very lowest point has been for our country and our alleged president. But even so, Hope n' Change is going to boldly state that we've officially reached a new, all-time low with the insanity in Wisconsin...and the execrable reaction from Barack "I Hate Democracy and America in General" Obama.

Here's the uncomplicated scenario: voters in Wisconsin realized that their state government had lied to them about expenses, revenue, and the state's ability to pay its obligations. So the voters, last November, voted in representatives who would bring fiscal responsibility to the state.


Which means, unsurprisingly, that
cuts are necessary. And the first place to cut is in the bloated salaries and benefits packages of public employees. The Republican governor is backing a bill that says those public employees will no longer be able to engage in collective bargaining, and they'll have to make small (less than ordinary citizens) contributions to their own healthcare and retirement plans.

Sound reasonable? Well, it didn't to the Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate, who unanimously
jumped on a bus and left the state to prevent a vote on the fiscal responsibility measures from taking place.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama (who claimed to have inspired the "freedom fighters" in Egypt until they started sexually abusing women suspected of being Jews) declared that this simple and undeniably necessary cost control measure is "an
assault on unions" which "vilifies" public workers. In other words, he's not satisfied with a shutdown of the Wisconsin legislature...he wants riots to prevent even minimal cost-cutting.

And he's getting them. Overpaid (and under-performing) teachers called in sick, young people (who are, to put it mildly,
stupid) have taken to the streets, and protestors are carrying signs showing Wisconsin's Republican Governor with a Hitler mustache or in the same kind of crosshairs which - two weeks ago - Democrats claimed were an overt call for assassination.

So what we have here, thanks to the president's inability to keep his mouth shut, is a perfect microcosm of the difference between the way Conservatives and Liberals intend to deal with the fiscal crises which will soon cripple (if not outright destroy) our nation. The Conservatives want to address the problem honestly, and take necessary - albeit painful - steps.


The Liberals refuse to deal with the financial issues in any way whatsoever and, if the voters are against them, they'll
leave their posts rather than cast a vote for fiscal responsibility. And all while Barack Hussein Obama raises the level of anger and hate, attempting to turn simple budget-balancing into class warfare and, quite possibly, violence.

The defection of the Wisconsin Democrats and the reaction of the president seem to indicate that if America's budget is ever to be balanced it won't be through the actions of bills, bookkeeping, and legislation (all of which are unacceptable to the Left)...but will instead be the result of fighting in the streets.


That's not what
Conservatives want. But it seems to be what the Liberals and the president of the United States are insisting on, and are trying to provoke.

God help us all.

-

42 comments:

JustaJeepGuy said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Demo_rats do the same thing in Oklahoma not too long ago? Is this how the Demo_rats intend to deal with legislation they don't like now? Actually, I kind of hope so. Maybe the voters will decide to grow up and stop electing Demo_rats.

DavidD said...

@JustaJeepGuy: Texas Democrat lawmakers fled to Oklahoma in 2005 to avoid having to vote on a GOP redistricting plan (http://articles.cnn.com/2003-05-13/politics/texas.legislature_1_house-speaker-tom-craddick-democratic-walkout-texas-house?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS).

DavidD said...

...sorry, 2003.

Jim said...

Hey Jeep guy, the cheesehead Democraps hopping on the little yellow bus and scurrying out of state like the cowards they are reminded me of when our Democrap House members did that here in Texas back in '03. Makes me wonder how much better off we would be as a state and as a nation if all Democraps would pack up and leave now. I'm just sayin...

John the Econ said...

This is just a preview of the coming "class war". It's not going to be between the "rich" and "poor" like the Progressives have always advocated, but between the taxpayers (net producers) and the dependents (net consumers) of state largesse.

In places like California, literally half of the population is either in school, on welfare or some form of assistance, in jail, or is a state employee or living on a state pension. How can a "democracy" survive when 51% of the people are almost entirely dependent upon the productivity of the other 49%? What happens when the productive minority decides that they aren't going to put up with it anymore?

Earl said...

Talk about selfish. Rather than sharing a little fiscal pain, 5,500 of these cheeseheads will have to be layed off. Stay strong Governor Walker. You got voted in last November by the citizens of Wisconsin to clean up this mess.

Earl said...

And I meant to add that Mr. Obama ought to be ashamed of his rhetoric. He owes us an apology.

alan markus said...

Hey, this is my state!

If anyone is interested, best pictures & running commentary can be found at: http://www.althouse.blogspot.com/

Althouse

By the way, John the Econ - your comments are right on.

Buzz Bannister said...

If the Paul Wellstone memorial had been a protest this is what it would have been.

Suzy said...

They should make a new law that says if you are not present to vote, the vote occurs anyway. These people shouldn't be allowed to just run away if they see a loss coming. There's something really unfair about that.

Besides all that, I feel like people in our country are giving Egypt a wary eye....its hitting home more than we'd like to believe possible.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Put the shoe on the other foot and imagine the reaction of Republicans in WI if their legislators fled the state to avoid a legal vote in that chamber. They would be calling for heads and lining up recall petitions (if that was an option) immediately. The Democrats, not so much. One of the most glaring examples of why the two parties are not the same, even if there are too many big-government pu$$ies in the Republican party. What's even worse, if that's possible, is that those scurrying rats probably consider themselves courageous for their Sir Robin impersonation.

Joaquin said...

What these union state employees are arguing/protesting is the abolition of the RIGHT to collectively bargain.
First off, it's not a RIGHT. C B was granted by the legislature and it can therefore be taken away.
And why do state employess have to have a union? To be protected from evil capitalists?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Hoosier - Sir Robin - excellent analogy!

Here in MI, the new Gov (businessman Rich Snyder) has released a budget that effectively cuts business taxes $1.8B, balancing it w/ income taxes on pensions and IRAs, and massive spending cuts. The upshot is that MI 'should' become competitive again, drawing in business, lowering unemployment, and beign good for everybody.
Eventually
Natch, all the folks who've been lied to for years are upset that THEIR ox is getting gored, and can't see that ALL oxes are getting gored... The Usual Suspects are billing it as "tax cuts for business at the expense of the poor / elderly / kids"

John the Econ - Any time you're in a place where the parasite infestation is too high, you a) leave b) exterminate
See also "Atlas Shrugged"
In fact, I'd like to recommend that everyone who has not read that book recently Do SO! It is quite frightening to compare the action in the book w/ recent headlines.

As far as what to do about elected officials unwilling / unable to do their frikkin' JOBS, well - there's a list of boxes, to be used in the following order - soap, ballot, ammo. Hate to think that it would come to that, but it did once before. Ergo, the 2nd amendment.

Anonymous said...

Picking nits, I know, but the plural of bus is "buses" not "busses". Other than that, I enjoyed not only the comic but also the commentary.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Pete(Detroit):
As you alluded to, we must avoid dipping into the ammo box until every other option is completely exhausted and we see our liberties circling the drain for the last time. Until then, there is always hope in our republican system. I still believe that Obama is hoping for a level of violence that would allow him to suspend the constitution, especially if the constitutionally mandated election in 2012 looks to be going against him. Why else would he be encouraging the idiot leftist protestors in WI? Alinsky must be smiling from his corner of hell.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@DavidD: Thanks for the correction. It was longer ago than I had remembered.

If I were writing a constitution, I would be sure to limit the vote to those who actually PAY taxes.

TheOldMan said...

JohnTheEcon: Democracy will survive just fine with >50% living off the productive ones. In fact, it is democracy that allow such situations to occur. What cannot survive is a thriving economy. I have always supported a concept similar to JustaJeepGuy's idea. I would still keep one citizen/one vote but I would add an extra vote for every $10K in fed taxes for example. The parasites who claim that the evil wealthy don't pay taxes would be happy because if that were true, then the evil ones would not get any extra votes. The rest of us who know better could direct our tax money to where it should go. I know, it's a dream but a fellow can dream, right?

Andrew said...

The original Constitution did exactly that. Voters had to be 25 or older (no 'youth vote') and LANDOWNERS...ie, tax payers with skin in the game and roots and stakes in their community.

Colby Muenster said...

I guess I don't understand... Is it Wisconsin law that the entire Senate has to be present for a vote to occur? If so, this is one of the stupidest laws on the planet. What if somebody is sick?

I was listening to Rush a little bit ago. I didn't catch the whole thing, but I believe he said the average salary in WI is $61k (including benefits, and the average TEACHER salary is $89k! (including benefits). OK, so these jack wagons are raking in $28k per year more than John Q. Public, and they are pissed that they have to pay part of their friggin' health care and retirement. Can anyone say "France?" I know a couple of teachers that can't find work here in NC and would move to Wisconsin in a heartbeat to make that kind of money. I think the Gov. should fire all their asses and go hire some people who are willing to work for a living. Remember when all the air traffic controllers went on strike? POW! Weren't expecting THAT, wre they?

Pete(Detroit) said...

Andrew, beat me to it!
Also, let's not forget White, and Male
Those two I don't mind giving up. Universal enlistment, or raising the draft age would justify raising the voting age back up to at least 21. However, bottom line is the 18-25 demo is substantially smaller than 25 up, so they really "should" not matter so much...
Still, would definitely get behind limiting the vote to taxpayers (and their spouses) and let the parasites suck air. You want to participate? CONTRIBUTE!!!!
Also tempting to dis-enfranchise anyone on a gov't payroll, but that would include the military, and not sure that's fair... (ok, pretty sure it's NOT fair)
In Starship Troopers, Heinlein suggested that ONLY military get the right to vote (and possibly retired mil at that). Theory being that if you were not willing to put it on the line, you were not worthy...

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Andrew,

Remember, the "youth vote" came about because people who were "only" 18 could be in the military and die for the country. Why couldn't they vote too? Well, Richard Nixon gave the vote to anyone 18 and over when it perhaps should have been anyone 18 and in the service.

Earl said...

Colby - They need a quorum which is one more person than they have at the Wisconsin capitol at present. It's a sensible part of most organizational bylaws to prevent a small number of people from highjacking a vote.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers- Really interesting and well expressed opinions here today. It really seems like some things are coming to a boil in our country.

Anonymous- Thanks for the correction on "buses" versus "busses." Since its in the cartoon (and hard to change) let's pretend that Obama just had it spelled wrong on his teleprompter!

John the Econ- You're right on target. It seems we've reached a tipping point in which the majority wants things which will destroy our economy. Democracy without personal responsibility, self restraint, or respect for others is not only meaningless...it's dangerous.

Colby Muenster- As Earl points out, not everyone needs to be present for a vote to take place, but there needs to be a numerical quorum. So the Republicans have enough votes to pass the bill... but there needs to be one more state senator present to make up a legal quorum. So if even one Democrat can be dragged kicking and screaming back into the chamber, the vote can take place. A vote could also happen if even a single Democrat suddenly grew a conscience, a spine, or a pair of balls... but I'm thinking the "kicking and screaming" scenario is more likely.

Pete(Detroit) & JustaJeepGuy- I'd definitely like to see change in our voting laws so that voters truly DO have "skin in the game." A vote shouldn't be a license to steal. Nor should deadbeats who can be gathered in vans and dragged to polls sway elections.

pryorguy said...

Sounds to me as if the way its always been done is not working anymore, not with the mindset of our culture present day....Andrew and Pete make good points, but you know once the guvment gets something rolling, it takes an act of Congress to turn it around......and a buncha them high-tailed it rather than be responsible!
Great cartoon as always, lotta astute commentary too!Glad Im in good company when I visit here.

Bobo said...

I am a retired state employee AND I still pay federal, state and county taxes every year. Is that an anomaly? From what I have read above, it sounds to me like folks think retired government employees no longer pay taxes, so aren't entitled to vote or have a say in government.

I also paid taxes when I worked, thus I contributed to my own salary. I also paid into my retirement plan. I also saved my money, made wise investments, and planned for my own future. I am and was responsible for me.

I worked 30 years as a police officer. I didn't get rich. Yes, I made a good living and I also willingly put my life in jeopardy everyday I put on my uniform, badge and gun and went to work. I did so because that is what I believe in. I had quite a few friends who died in the line of duty and never made it to retirement. One of them was shot to death with 28 years of service by some punk a**hole gangbanger. Another with around 27 years of service burned to death when a drugged driver crashed into his patrol vehicle. Several others where shot to death or killed in collisions at various years in their career. Those deaths made me pause to think "what the hell am I doing?

Public Safety personnel and military personnel do the jobs most people can't or don't want to do. How many people do you know run toward the sound of gunfire? How many run into burning buildings to save others? Would they do it for free? Would you? Should they expect something from society at the end of their career or is the money they were paid along the way supposed to be all they deserved?

Anyway, my point is this: just because someone is retired from government service doesn't mean they don't still pay taxes and shouldn't have a say in government - same as everyone else. Also, just because they work for the government or some form of quasi-government entity, doesn't make them the dregs of society. Is government reform needed, ABSOLUTELY YES.

Just my thoughts and not necessarily those of others like me.

Bobo said...

And, one more thing. I am a Republican and vote Republican.

Harvey said...

Bobo - speaking for myself, I don't include public safety personnel (police & firefighters) when I curse the worthlessness of public employees. I mean to aim just at the paper-shuffling bureaucrat-types who get paid twice as much as a private-sector secretary for doing half as much work.

Earl said...

Oh Bobo- This is not at all about being anti-public sector. I worked my entire life in the public sector and found many of my co-workers to be the most hard-working, civil-minded, good-willed people I know. And this especially applies to the emergency personnel who put their lives on the line every day. And here's a shout out to Jim. The gay people I worked with were the best of the best. At the same time, we all saw the worst of the worst that comes with seniority rules, affirmative action, work to rule, nonsense grievances, etc., etc. These are not strictly union or public sector problems; they are the misguided product of trying to guarantee equal outcomes when there are HUGE differences in people's abilities, work ethic and morals.

robert said...

@Bobo, Thank you for your service. I've always considered the FD's and PD's the local or home front military if you take my meaning. That being said I agree with what Harvey said.

I'm in a private sector union and I'm appalled at the entitlement attitude of those I work with. And they don't exactly bust their ass. An unavoidable conclusion I have drawn working with these people is that were it not for the union they would have been fired years ago. NOBODY would hire people with their attitude and skill set. Or more correctly, their lack of skills. Other than bitching. They excel at that.

pryorguy said...

I was in two unions once upon a time....not sterotyping, but wow what crying for having to 'work', and get paid pretty good with benefits. Many SHOULD have been fired, but they were union. I feel the unions served a purpose way back when, but theyve gotten outa control here and there...just an obsrvation.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Bobo- Harvey and Earl have both made very good points, but your post is one I wanted to respond to myself.

It is the Left (and very specifically Barack Obama) that has chosen to describe the events in Wisconsin as "villifying" public employees. That's how they want this to be seen... and it just isn't true.

What IS true is that there isn't enough money to pay all the bills...not in Wisconsin, and not in the United States. And cuts have to be made. Not just to public sector employees, but also in entitlement programs, military, and everything else. People who have "paid in" for their entire lives are going to get less than they've been promised. Not because they're bad people, not because they're being villified, not because they aren't deserving - but because the money was stolen and spent long ago...and the politicians who made the original promises were lying.

We're ALL going to get burned. But if we don't try to spread the pain equally (and soon), the entire system will collapse. Which is why the Wisconsin Democrats - and Barack Obama - are flirting with the sort of dereliction of duty that stops just short of being treasonous.

So Bobo, thanks for your unique and valuable perspective - and a special thanks for the service you and your brother/sister officers have delivered. When the nation is going nuts, it's really nice to be reminded that there are heroes among us.

Pete(Detroit) said...

Agreed, all, w/ Thx to Bobo - Good cops are a treasure.

I've never been union, but when I was contracted to Chrysler a number of years back, I was criticized by one of my associates. "Don't work so hard, man, you make the rest of us look bad." To which, my reply was, "it ain't the dress." He looked at me kinda funny, and I said "your girlfriend ever ask you if some outfit makes her butt look big, and your first thought is "it ain't the dress"?
He was not happy about that, but picked up his slack, for a while.

SC said...

I also agree with Earl & Harvey. Way to go Stilt, another great comic & perspective on these interesting events.

I have an idea for Gov Walker:

Rent a few big-screens for the Rotunda & post the following:

“If the proposed bill does not pass, 5,500 union workers may get laid off. “
Then list the names of the teachers and other public sector employees that called in “sick” this week.
Continue the message:
“If you know one of them, please thank them for losing their livelihood, possibly their homes and disrupting their families so that you don’t have to make minor contributions to your healthcare & pension.”

If you think that they are outraged now, I can only imagine the initial reaction to that. But, then, maybe just maybe they would actually think about what their actions are doing to their union brothers & sisters, not to mention the people that ultimately pay their salaries, the private sector workers (this is where the real firestorm is coming...the private sector union members)

Colby Muenster: Also note that most teachers only work 8 out of 12 mos a year. Whereas most private sector employees get 1-3 wks pd vacation & 6-10 paid holidays. So, the pay difference is even more dramatic.

The easiest way for everyone to have some “skin in the game” is for everyone over the age of 18 to pay income taxes. No matter how much your income is. A flat tax & no deductables. You're in.

Bobo – Thanks for your service. You are right, not many would do those really tough jobs. They should be compensated generously enough along the way for the risks that they take & so that they can save for retirement.

Earl said...

Amen.

John the Econ said...

Again, how can a "democracy" survive? What is it called when the minority is made to work solely for the benefit of the majority?

Isn't that "slavery"?

Bobo said...

@ Above - I wasn't seeking a pat on the back with my posting, but I thank you for your thoughts, I do appreciate them.

My opinion about what the city and states and the USA are going through are largely because of what our so called leaders in D.C. have done in the past decade or more to change the laws on banking, Wall Street, mortgages, on and on. So, when the housing market and Wall Street hit the crapper, everyone's money was lost. Then the government bailed them all out at the expense of you and me without getting anything in return, except big-ass bonuses for the very same CEO's who caused this disaster. That's partially why the pension systems are underfunded in most states. Too much money was invested in High-Tech stock by fund managers and not diversified as it should have been in the event something like what happened occurred. Not the entire cause, but a big part of it.

I know the retirement system that funds my pension was overfunded 125 - 130% just a few short years ago. Now, they are at around 65% funded, meaning they have a 35% un-funded liability for its members. However, that under-funded amount is ONLY IF all liabilities came due at the same time. The system is solvent, but because it is under-funded, there is concern and a need to look at it and make corrections to bring it back to at least 80% which the fund managers say is sufficient and sustainable.

That means changes to how the system works, increased contributions by members and employers, increased years of service before retirement eligibility, older age before a person can retire (which I don't quite understand...does anyone really want a 62 1/2 year old or older policeman or firefighter trying to save your life or the life of a loved one and battling a person high on drugs, or carrying you out of a burning building? I guess if I were in need, I'd be happy to have anyone who wanted to help me.)

Sorry to say, and I never thought I would say this, but its a young person's job now. Gone are the days of the wise old street cop or kindly old fireman who saves a cat out of a tree now and then. Public safety personnel are suffering heart attacks at a much younger age now and at a greater incidence. Stress of the work involved, toxic chemicals at collisions and fires fill the air. Lung disease and rare forms of cancer are showing up primarily in firefighters and now some police officers. The average life expectance of a police officer after retirement is a little more than 5 years. Firefighters are probably in the same boat, but I'm not sure. A fair number of my brothers and sisters in public safety commit suicide after retirement due to a variety of circumstance (loss of family, divorce(s), loss of self esteem [their work defined who they were, not what they did], illness, emotional loss of friends and co-workers upon separation from employment, etc. My wife was my best friend when I worked and is my best friend in retirement.

I will be retired 4 years the end of June. I am determined to beat the average.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers- I just want to say that I'm both proud and humbled at the level of discourse here today. Getting the varied opinions, perspectives, and life experiences makes Hope n' Change bigger and more relevant than I could ever do on my own. I'm just one guy with a set of beliefs, a cranky outlook, and a buttload of clip art.

But the goal of this site is to connect with others, and to let this become a place where we can mutually inspire and support one another... which then hopefully translates into more of us taking political actions which can make a longterm difference.

Long story short, I think all of you are great.

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Bobo,

I was mostly thinking that in order to vote, one should provide a photo ID and one's most recent tax return. This would weed out the welfare queens and princes who are going to vote for whomever gives them the most from the taxpayers' pockets. Also the Boston and Chicago and Philadelphia (and other cities) dead voters.

On another note, three of the hardest-working guys I've ever seen were union workers from Chicago, believe it or not!

Pete(Detroit) said...

Jeep - and dip a finger to prevent repeat voters. It works in Iraq...

Bobo - sad to say, in MANY professions there is a large number of people who don't survive retirement, for exactly the reasons you name. Granted, it's probably not as intense for an engineer, or what ever, but the whole 'oh, crap, who am I NOW' thing hits everyone, so I hear. One of the keys seems to be finding something else to do that has meaning for you - for instance, my father is now an ordained Catholic Deacon - and I'm sure it's added years to his life. Good luck in finding your 'niche'.
All of you.

Bobo said...

@ Jeep - You are right about many professions being affected by their jobs. I wasn't trying to imply it only occurs in public safety current and retired employees. As is with most things, we tend to know more about subjects we are interested in than those we don't, so we talk about them. Our (yours and mine)comments could likely be expressed across the board by any profession or occupation,and even those who don't have jobs or careers.

Jamie said...

Apologies for my earlier post which got deleted: I meant to include more then a link but was so pissed off my brain wasn't fully functioning.

I'm not going to include a link now, because I don't want to give this asshole any more traffic then he's already gotten, but basically: an idiot radical made a "prank-call" to Governor Walker in an attempt to, to, I don't really know, to catch him admitting he ate puppies. He pretended to be noted political activist and philanthropist David Koch. They talked about the union situation for a bit - a conversation in which ABSOLUTELY NOTHING "secret" or outrageous was revealed.

And now the ENTIRE LEFT (well, maybe not ALL of them, but it sure as hell SEEMS that way)is acting like we've all caught Walker red-handed now. He should just go ahead and resign before they impeach him for...trying to balance the budget, I guess. Trying to help your constituents is a crime now, as far as the left is concerned.

The entire episode is pathetic - the person who made the call is a radical idiot, Walker is a dumbass for not realizing it wasn't Koch, and the media is treacherous for presenting the situation the way it has. And I'm betting it's only going to get worse as more and more memebers of the media get ahold of it.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Jamie- Thanks for the clarification. The phonecall to Walker was unfortunate in the sense that the PR looks bad when you take calls from potential big money donors...and I assume that all politicians do.

Happily, Walker didn't say anything bad...and the notion that he wants to take a baseball bat to anyone is preposterous. Here at Hope n' Change we strongly support Walker.