Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No Matter How Many Times A Lie Is Repeated, It's Still A Lie

Rick Esenberg, GOP operative and master of obfuscation, writes for the Bradley Foundation-funded WPRI stating that it was "necessary" for Walker to bust the unions if he wanted to save the state budget:
The unions were intensely interested, highly motivated and well-funded, stemming, in part, from legally compelled dues from state and local employees. And they had become an enormous obstacle to reform.

Public employees are not synonymous with their unions. The latter inevitably increase the cost of labor (that is their purpose) and, in the public sector, this can only increase the cost of government services over what they would otherwise be. In a high-tax state facing a huge budget deficit, that was a problem.
Sadly for Esenberg, we are an intelligent bunch that can see through his paltry lies. And we don't have to go far to prove those statements to be lies. We just have to look at the man Esenberg is trying to defend, Scott Walker himself, and his own sworn testimony in front of a congressional panel:

Here is the key exchange:
KUCINICH: Would you answer the question? How much money does it save, Governor?

WALKER: It doesn’t save any. [...]
So either Esenberg is repeating a lie in his article, he is utterly mistaken or he is accusing Walker of committing perjury. So as to not offend him by being presumptive, I'll let him explain it, if he wishes. Otherwise, the gentle reader is always welcome to make their own mind on the matter.


  1. We're being inundated with the "employee rights act" commercials. Rather heavily.

    The WPRI statement above helps me make the connection between the sources of things.

    No so much a "research institute?"

  2. So its your contention that the unions would have offered the concessions solely to balance the budget and been happy to do it knowing they still have their collective bargaining rights?
    If that is true why am I hearing that other state unions are angry with the Milwaukee teachers offering concessions while in a contract? maybe they would concede the first year, but then let the grandstanding continue every year after that.
    I think Walker thought it was necessary because of the obstructionism he found from the unions while trying to save Milwaukee county from democratic rule.
    Since we have Kucinich in the article we can take a look at Ohio and what balancing the budget without union concessions would look like. Seems they may be feeling more pain than even you.

    1. You know, the conservative, Walker-verse meme regarding "concessions" is really begininning to bug me. In collective bargaining, with a government that holds most of the cards (e.g., public employees are legally prevented from striking or staging other work actions), public employees in this state have been obliged to give concessions to government for many decades. In the past, government negotiators reciprocated by offering concessions of their own, which usually were not monetary. That's why state employees in Wisconsin earned fully five percent less on average than their private sector counterparts in total compensation (including benefits) BEFORE Walker said they should be made to pay "their fair share." It's all bullshit Republican politics, whose real aim is to suppress a political force that often supports Democrats (but not always -- see Teamster, see police and fire unions, the latter pair exempted from Walker's anti-collective bargaining law). In reality, governments in this state have been even more obstructionist than unions, under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

    2. OK, unions still have the right to bargain on wages so now they can concentrate on bringing their wages up to par with private sector.
      Capper would like us to believe that corporations are going to take over control of our government, and maybe his McCarthyism has some merit, but if we are on the lookout for special interests controlling government surely you cant deny that unions haven't had candidates in their pockets for decades, and will run another one in June. Capper is right, we dont want to replace one evil for another, but he seems blind to the damage that union influence on government has done already.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. What do you mean corporations "are going to" take over government? That's a fait accompli. The mining bill was written by a corporation that would benefit from it. Last year's wetlands bill was written precisely to benefit ONE corporation that wanted to build ONE plant. The telecommunications deregulation bills that prior legislatures approved several times were all written by telecom firms.

      Ordinary citizens and opposing legislators (and tribes, in the case of the mining bill) are shut out of the process while special interests that are the anticipated beneficiaries get an inside seat. And now, arguably, the Republican Party itself is, functionally, one of those same corporate interests benefiting from laws like Voter ID and Act 10.

      And why is this? Because thanks to Citizens United and other anti-democratic laws, corporations can lavish huge campaign sums, even anonymously, on legislators to persuade them to do stuff. Corruption is now rampant.

      Finally, it's true unions have political clout, but they are outspent by corporate interests on the order of 40 to 1. To imagine otherwise, and to imagine that unions are even balancing out the miscreant views of wealthy corporate interests, is to ignore the forest for the trees.

    5. Are these opposing legislators and tribes creating jobs? I can say Obama passed health care reform against the approval of all the opposing legislators , without input from doctors, so I guess this is what democracy looks like right?
      I do agree campaign finance laws are a joke. Maybe Feingold is hoping they are restructured before he runs again so he wont have to defend his only contribution to government. I agree with the idea to make them all wear pins showing their donors. With pin size related to donation size.

      That should bring on the one liners out there.
      Just remember though, Falk could use her pin as a shield!

  3. I think Walker thought it was necessary because of the obstructionism he found from the unions while trying to save Milwaukee county from democratic rule.

    Yes, because democracy is such a bad thing. It doesn't change the fact that it didn't save any money, per Walker, who was under oath.

    All you're doing is rephrasing the lie.

    1. I wasnt referring to democracy, rather politicians with a D after their name. You remember, Tom Ament. Ahh... the good ole days.
      To look back and say of course all the unions would have voluntarily gave the concessions is quite optimistic, as my example of other unions coming down hard on the Milwaukee teachers shows.
      No comment on how Well things are going in Ohio?

    2. > To look back and say of course all the unions would have voluntarily gave the concessions is quite optimistic ...

      And quite unrealistic, and, moreover, quite contrary to the entire point of collective bargaining. Unions are never guaranteed wage or benefit improvements. They have to negotiate everything; always have. It's a two-way street. And public labor unions always had many more hurdles than private unions. Walker simply -- and illegally, before Act 10 -- refused to bargain. The result has been a "shut up and work" policy.

      I know we're supposed to believe conservative propaganda that evil "big union bosses" are running politics in America and singlehandedly costing us balanced budgets, but while that may be a swell rhetorical device, it's obviously untrue.

      Indeed, the main thing labor unions have provided us over the decades is a middle class and generally higher standard of living for average Americans, all of which is now in jeopardy thanks to elitists like Walker. Nor has the Democratic Party (see Doyle administration) always been kind or forthcoming to state labor unions.

      Represented public employees had to work for everything they obtained, and convince the government's labor negotiation team (and the administration behind it) that what they have sought made sense, and could result in a win-win outcome.

      Ohio has its own problems, but they stem mostly from the current regime's unwillingness to fairly distribute the tax burden and taxpayer dollars, and its willingness to ignore the need to fund mandated expenditures while letting vital services go to hell. Just like Wisconsin's current regime.

      More and more, we are told to abandon the sensible, successful process of collective bargaining in favor of top-down, authoritarian, we-know-best government -- which I thought conservatives despised, until some of their very own implemented that very thing.

  4. The school districts in the state that are in the worst shape are the ones that signed union contracts before act 10 went into effect. That alone shows me that previous system has failed the taxpayer in the past. When the local governments are sympathetic to the union labor for whatever reasons it will only end up hurting the taxpayer. You know, the rest of the "middle class" that isn't working for government. Priorities shift from children to "middle class benefits" in the case of the schools and from providing basic services to "helping the middle class" in the case of city governments.
    It seems the unions like to use their bargaining power to increase their share of the tax collections but when the collections are down its not hard to see past the rhetoric of "its for a higher standard of living for average americans"
    I dont know details of Ohios problems, I do think the legislator from Ohio was showing the influence from his largest campaign donor.

    1. Perhaps your reading abilities are lacking. Perhaps you just don't want to face up to reality. But I expected such a lame argument from someone and made sure it was abundantly clear that this was a systematic failure on Walker's part. Reality can be a real pain, can't it?

  5. Did New Berlin say no to Walkers "tools"? I don't think so. So why did they close a school that everyone loved? They had the tools! They could have screwed the teachers like Walker wanted them to. But they closed a school that was working!

    Ament and the "good old days". C'mone racist guy. If they offered you a bonus on your retirement you would jump at it. Be honest now.

    Lets not forget Walkers exploding cigar of a budget in Milwaukee County. He did not negotiate in good faith with the unions as he is legally required to do. Now the citizens of Milwaukee County will have to find a few million dollars to pay for the furlough days that Walker forced on workers.

    Oh yeah. Lets not forget that when Walker first came up with the furlough idea he imposed it on all county workers, even his staff. When he realized that it would effect his staff he gave them all raises to compensate for the income that they would lose due to the furlough days.

    All Walker had to do was read the contract that stated the limit on work reduction hours. A fifth grader could have figured that out!

    Wake up!

    Walkers entire tenure as Milwaukee County Executive was not to help Milwaukee County! It was a campaign stunt.


    The entire time was spent to make Walker look like an executive who could actually make decisions. The mystery is how some people could think that running Milwaukee County into the ground was a good thing. Pay more, get less.

    Way to go Skippy!

    And way to go Skippy supporters. Look at what happened in Colorado Springs, Walkers birthplace. People ended up paying more for fewer services just because they didn't want to pay higher taxes. That's right. One guy actually paid $300 to have the street lights working on his block before he would pay $200 in higher taxes to have street lights, park maintenance and police protection. Yes, $300 for just the street lights while he could have paid less for more services.


    1. Thanks for the tip on CO Springs, I would not have known since I dont read the huffington post. I could live there, the things they stated dont seem to terrible.
      Walker did try to negotiate with the unions and got stonewalled. Like I said before, you guys must have really pissed him off.
      Apparently the union failed to get enough of its people on the New Berlin school board I guess. Sounds like they are pretty hard on the teachers there. I suppose that is one way to get the teachers out that might be there for the wrong reasons. I'll have to follow how that works out for them.
      Did I hear that we will be hiring more than 10,000 teachers in the state next school year due to retirements? That will be a boost in job numbers for Walker!

    2. Well, now that's a out and out lie. Walker never came to the negotiation table for three years. That alone cost taxpayers over $20 million in lost savings. Now add to that a cost of at least $6 million because he did the bad faith bargaining. They even had to hang up signs saying as much.

      It's also funny that you'd write that when the news just came out today that Walker is getting sued again for bad faith bargaining. Better break out your wallet, Skippy, this will cost you too.

    3. I guess tort reform will have to be next on the agenda. Maybe then these frivolous lawsuits will cease.

  6. Why not focus on what you would do that would make Wisconsin better, rather than vilify people you disagree with? That would be the c^Ho^Hn^Hs^He^Hr^Hmature thing to do.