Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #226 2/21/2011

#226 - The Party of No (Watt Thoughts)

We constantly heard last year from Democrats that the Republicans are the party of no fro opposing certain bills in Congress. Although the Republicans filibustered those bills and tried to introduce amendments at times, they were in Congress and meeting.

Now we see in Wisconsin that they are in a fiscal crisis also and the Republican governor has made a drastic proposal to bring a number of state employees expenses for benefits and to stop collective bargaining, not only have the democratic senators taken a united position of opposition, (which we have seen political parties take different positions as a party in recent years after the complaints back in the 1970s that it made no difference if a Democrat or Republican was elected they all took same positions in Congress and many wanted a more British parliamentary approach where legislators vote by party line) but they have refuse to do their job as representatives of the people and fled out of state to keep the legislature from voting on the bill.

The collective bargaining seems to be part the Democrats oppose, but they seem unwilling (see accusations by Democrats in Washington the last 2 years about Republicans) to meet wit their colleagues and governor on this. The benefits change has the unions and others upset also, but if the teachers in Wisconsin will look at other states and private industry, what the governor has proposed is still better than those other groups. The governor wants then to contribute about 5% of salary to retirement and 12% of health benefits. In Georgia the teachers have for at least 30 years I have known contributed between 5 and 7 % of full time salary always (retirement in Georgia based on highest two years pay) and pay about 25-30% of the health benefit premium for the teacher.

Given a choice of a large number of teachers and other employees being laid off or all having to pay more of benefits when not above and out of line with what other employees in public and private jobs pay, I would think the employees would be looking out to take care of all. The issue of collective bargaining by public employees has been an issue for many years and is still a disputed area. Look back at Reagan and air traffic controllers in 1980s and Truman and the railroads.



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