Dee Perez-Scott ignores the realities of state budgets. Over the last several days, tens of thousands of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers have camped out at the Wisconsin State Capitol. She sees everything through a dark glass so it is not unexpected that she believes Republican Gov. Scott Walker wants to break the unions. It is true that he wants to break the unions’ iron grip on the legislature and its ability to dictate its own terms of employment and compensation. The governor’s plan does include asking state employees to contribute more to their pension plans and health care benefits. Although they have not told the governor so, the union bosses seem to be willing to accept those two changes. So the major issue remains the collective bargaining provisions of the old outdated law. Walker fully understands that without the part of his proposal designed to curb union excesses, any gains to help balance the budget this year will only be temporary and the state will be right back in the fiscal soup again next year as the unions use their muscle to try to win back what little they now offer to give up. Dee Perez-Scott just doesn’t get it. Walker has been forced to impose cutbacks because the state is broke. The teachers believe that he offered tax breaks to businesses that were equivalent to the value of the amounts they have been asked to contribute to their own pensions and health plans. That may be so but the governor has to worry about more than just the teachers. He needs to find ways to put Wisconsin workers back to work. If he has been able to encourage businesses to hire through tax incentives, he has done his job.
Dee Perez-Scott, rather dramatically, overlooks the fact that the governor’s proposal regarding collective bargaining does not extent to salaries. The unions will continue to be able to bargain on wages. Accordingly, any discussion of teachers’ salaries is irrelevant. Teachers may not have large starting salaries but they have a retirement plan second to none – usually a lifetime pension at 75% of their final average salary. How many in a 401k with no such guaranteed pension would like to have that deal
I stand with the Wisconsin’s courageous governor. His family is already being guarded against union thugs.
Several of my close relatives are teachers. Most teachers know and understand they will have low salaries. Perhaps that is in part because those who cannot do, teach. But most teachers are ordinary people in jobs that require extraordinary ability to succeed. Few have that ability, hence the lower salaries. Many care about educating our children. For others it is just a job for which they are not particularly well-qualified. They must be giving out Masters Degrees by the hands full these days.
Most of us had teachers that were influential in our lives. In the little high school where I went, there were only 50 students in total. The principal taught everything from business law to algebra to livestock to general science. Obviously, he was not qualified to teach all of those subjects but he did the best he could and supported the students who were interested in learning and kept the bullies in line.
I stand with the governor and the taxpayers in Wisconsin. When the teachers show us that they can stand and deliver, then let’s talk about salaries and benefits. When all of the public employees are willing to accept the retirement plans and average benefits accorded to typical or comparable employees in the private sector and when the budget is balanced, let’s reward them accordingly. Until then they have little to complain about. As one counter demonstrator pointed out, “You can always quit if you don’t like your working conditions, pay and benefits.” Fat chance of that and that is the bottom line. They know they have a sweetheart deal.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.