Change coming to Wisconsin? Hopefully Washington is paying attention.
The people of the State of Wisconsin made a decision this past election cycle. Not only did they give the boot to long-term Senator Russ Feingold (D), they elected a Republican Governor, a Republican-controlled state Senate, and a Republican-controlled state Assembly. They voted for change. They wanted accountability. They demanded that their government stop spending their money like it was emanating from a never-ending spring of cash. Well, they’re getting what they asked for, and now some are reacting like my kid when I tell him no candy before dinner.
Protesters clogged the hallways of the Wisconsin state Capitol on Thursday as the Senate prepared to pass a momentous bill that would strip government workers, including school teachers, of nearly all collective bargaining rights.
It never ceases to amaze me just how blind some people choose to be. We’re circling the drain here folks. Our governments: local, state and federal, are spending too much. In fact, they’re spending more than they have. It’s no longer a question of “is government too big?” Now it’s “how long ’til it dies from obesity?” Some states, like my lovely Illinois, have decided the people need to pay more in taxes to make up for their drunkness. Other states, like Wisconsin, have said the opposite. They’ve decided that the government’s days of simply grabbing more money from the people for pet projects, entitlements, or other nonsense, are over. In Wisconsin, that means the days of most public employees receiving pensions that the rest of us don’t have are likely over.
‘I’m sad. Scared. Disappointed,’ said Kelly Dzurick, a 31-year-old fifth-grade teacher in Elkhorn, who came to the Capitol on Wednesday night. ‘Nobody’s listening to what people say.’
‘The story around the world is the rush to democracy,’ said Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar. ‘The story in Wisconsin is the end of the democratic process.’
No one’s listening to the people? The end of the democratic process? All of you need to be committed! In case you hadn’t noticed, the people of Wisconsin voted. And they voted for this.
In an interview with Milwaukee television station WTMJ, President Barack Obama said he was monitoring the situation in Madison and acknowledged the need for budget cuts. But, he said, pushing public employees away from the bargaining table ‘seems like more of an assault on unions.’
No Barry, it isn’t an assault on unions. It’s an assault on government spending. And it’s a long time coming.
Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of people yelling about what they think they’re entitled to. I’m tired of being taxed through the nose for a whole lotta crap I never asked for and/or will never use. Social Security? I promise that I can take better care of my money than the government. Public schools? Forget about cutting back on funding; shut every single one of them down. Instead of forcing people to send their kids to schools they don’t want, give people their property taxes back and let them choose where to send their kids.
Here’s a message to every single one of you public employees raising a ruckus in Madison, Wisconsin: don’t complain to me about Democracy and freedom and picking on the most vulnerable. You’re not entitled to a lifetime job in a government office with a full pension. Not when your neighbor, who just lost his 401(k), is working at McDonald’s to pay for it.
It’s time we have a real discussion about the role of government in this country, because it sure seems like everyone failed civics class in elementary school. America isn’t Western Europe. If it were, it wouldn’t be America. Unfortunately, until we find our government defaulting on its loans and the value of the dollar in the toilet, it seems that no one in Washington, on the left or right, is going to have to stones to actually fix the problem. It seems like Wisconsin might though, and that’s a start.