Tuesday :: Feb 22, 2011

Walker, Christie Ultimate Class Warriors

by Deacon Blues

What does Wisconsin GOP governor Scott Walker have in common with Hosni Mubarak? They both blocked access to the Internet to quash political opposition. In Walker's case, he used taxpayer dollars to do so, and subsequently backed down. This after he complained that the State was broke and needed to eliminate collective bargaining, even after the unions have agreed for days now to give $30 million in concessions towards a total $137 million shortfall caused by far more things than public employee contracts.

And how out there is Walker with his approach? Well despite media coverage which seemingly gives legitimacy to Walker's union-busting efforts, what does the public really think?

The public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law.

Even if Wisconsin public workers reached agreement with Walker on concessions allegedly aimed at dealing with the state's budget problems, what guarantee do they have that those concessions will go to reducing state costs and therefore the deficit? Well, if another right-wing star governor is any guide, public workers should expect to have their concessions turned into right wing political candy.

Take a look at what New Jersey governor Chris Christie is doing today:

But the governor, who has confronted public-sector unions in an attempt to reduce expenses for salaries and benefits, expects to help balance the budget in part by asking state workers for sacrifices.
Christie, who skipped a $3 billion payment to the pension fund last year, promised to make a $506 million payment to the state pension fund only if the state legislature approved a plan that would increase the pension and health care contributions required from state employees.
Christie's budget plan calls for using about $300 million of increased contributions from state employees to help pay for an estimated $1 billion in property tax relief for homeowners.

You read that correctly. Yet on the same day of the Gallup Poll and the same day that Christie suggests taking money from state employees to give homeowners a tax cut, Joe Scarborough tells us that Christie shows "real leadership" and the public has turned against unions.

Bad timing Joe.

Update: It gets worse. Christie is making state employees pay for tax breaks for homeowners, corporations, and the wealthy.

With state revenues beginning to thaw, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey nonetheless proposed a tightfisted $29.4 billion budget on Tuesday, calling for sharp cuts in benefits for public-sector workers that would pay for a modest increase in property-tax relief and even more in tax breaks for businesses and the wealthy.

That's right. Christie, who is the darling of the GOP these days, is the ultimate (and quite conspicuous) embodiment of a class warrior, taking money from working class residents of his state and giving it to corporations, the wealthy, and homeowners. Exactly how difficult is it for Democrats to respond to that?

Deacon Blues :: 10:53 AM :: Comments (10) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!