Rachel Maddow Reveals the Hidden Truth Behind the Wisconsin Protests (Video)

WisconsinSays Rachel Maddow:

Wisconsin is on track to have a budget surplus this year. I am not kidding. I’m quoting their own version of the congressional budget office, the state’s own nonpartisan assess the state’s finances agency. That agency said the month that the new Republican governor of Wisconsin was sworn in, last month, that the state was on track to have a $120 million budget surplus this year. So then why exactly does Wisconsin look like this right now? Why is there a revolt in the American Midwest tonight?

The main headline that you are seeing right now about this remarkable thing — look at these images — this remarkable thing that’s going on in the American Midwest, the headlines you are seeing about this are mostly wrong, because what’s going on right now in the American Midwest is about Republicans versus Democrats. It is about politics. It is about who wins the next election and the elections after that. That’s what’s going on right now in Wisconsin. This is about the survival of the Democratic Party. There are parts of the story that actually don’t make any sense unless you understand that.

What’s happening in Wisconsin right now is not about a budget. This is about elections. This is about the Republican Party going after the institutions that make it possible for Democrats to win elections in America.

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  • Anonymous

    Honestly, as much as it pleases me to see people off their asses the way events are turning, and the rate at which they are turning implies that civil unrest may be very hot soon, globally.

  • MoralDrift

    Honestly, as much as it pleases me to see people off their asses the way events are turning, and the rate at which they are turning implies that civil unrest may be very hot soon, globally.

  • justagirl

    wisconsin sucks.

  • justagirl

    wisconsin sucks.

    • Bucky

      another bitter Packer hater. World Champions for the year. Get used to it.

      • justagirl

        i don’t give a fuck about sports bucky. but now that you mention it, i do love cheese. i take back what i said about wisconsin.

    • 5by5

      Wisconsin sucks after losing Russ Feingold in the Senate. In fact America’s gonna suck a whole lot more without him. He was one of the few people gutsy enough to stand up against the un-Patriot Act.

      • justagirl

        and don’t think that i don’t care about that. it’s just that i am losing faith in the design. the last presidential election i made a sacrificial vote for someone with voters remorse. it didn’t even matter to me. i don’t even want to vote anymore – and i hate doing things that i don’t want to do – especially for people i don’t even like.

  • Bucky

    another bitter Packer hater. World Champions for the year. Get used to it.

  • justagirl

    i don’t give a fuck about sports bucky. but now that you mention it, i do love cheese. i take back what i said about wisconsin.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I think its awesome that todays TV pundits suddenly woke up and noticed a thirty year long corporate/conservative tactic that has reached its endgame. It might have been helpful if they’d noticed that the steepest cuts and most violent attacks have always been against state and government workers, civil servants, teachers, and damned near any union left afloat. This isn’t a surprise tactic that arose last month in Ohio and Wisconsin…this is the parting shots and coup de graces in a battle that started decades ago.

    Unions may suck…especially when they become entrenched piles of lawyers searching for justification to keep their retainers high…

    …but the alternative to having unions is not having unions…and history saw unions come into being because ‘it really was that fucking bad’ before people bargained collectively. We’ve had generations to get all fat and sassy without fighting for basic things like a ‘workday’ that isn’t actually more like 2 days and the right to not be fired if you wind up in the hospital…our great grandparents risked death and hunger for these basic assumptions we now take for granted. Its taken this long to erode everything to the point where people finally notice “Shit! I can’t even argue with the boss about what I get compensated with? I just get what they give me and no more? And thats it? FUCK THAT!”

    Now the battles have to be fought all over again…and for the same reasons…and mores the pity…because if our media had been less of a pack of tools from day one…a lot of this wouldn’t be necessary.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I think its awesome that todays TV pundits suddenly woke up and noticed a thirty year long corporate/conservative tactic that has reached its endgame. It might have been helpful if they’d noticed that the steepest cuts and most violent attacks have always been against state and government workers, civil servants, teachers, and damned near any union left afloat. This isn’t a surprise tactic that arose last month in Ohio and Wisconsin…this is the parting shots and coup de graces in a battle that started decades ago.

    Unions may suck…especially when they become entrenched piles of lawyers searching for justification to keep their retainers high…

    …but the alternative to having unions is not having unions…and history saw unions come into being because ‘it really was that fucking bad’ before people bargained collectively. We’ve had generations to get all fat and sassy without fighting for basic things like a ‘workday’ that isn’t actually more like 2 days and the right to not be fired if you wind up in the hospital…our great grandparents risked death and hunger for these basic assumptions we now take for granted. Its taken this long to erode everything to the point where people finally notice “Shit! I can’t even argue with the boss about what I get compensated with? I just get what they give me and no more? And thats it? FUCK THAT!”

    Now the battles have to be fought all over again…and for the same reasons…and mores the pity…because if our media had been less of a pack of tools from day one…a lot of this wouldn’t be necessary.

    • 5by5

      Yeah, I mean people DIED getting you the right to have a weekend, and to abolish child labor, and to secure worker safety, and rational pension plans to care for workers in their old age, for the minimum wage, and just for the simple right to bargain collectively against entrenched, monied interests who would happily keep them down as slaves if we gave them the chance.

      Go look up the Ludlow Massacre, for instance, where the mining companies literally hired out the National Guard from the corporate hack governor of Colorado to literally go out and SHOOT workers who dared stand up for themselves. Or the Seattle Strike, where hired corporate goons were sent out to beat up workers.

      Those people put their lives on the line for you to have at least some small part of the American Dream. And it really torks me off that some people are so willing to just give away those rights.

      The people of Wisconsin should be proud of themselves for getting out there and fighting this BS.

  • 5by5

    Well, while she’s right, he is trying to kill unions because they are major organizers for the Democrats, and because they do things like present their members with actual legislation so they become informed voters (something the Wrongwing detests, because when people actually know what’s going on, they never vote for Cons), this DOES have SOMETHING to do with budget.

    Namely, it has to do with the fact that this Teabagger governor is a crappy Conservative, ironically. (If you’re still someone deluded enough to believe that Conservatism stands for restrained spending.)

    The reason WHY they have a budget problem, is because within the first MONTH of him taking office, this asshat overspent $140 million dollars in giveaways to the rich people in his state.

    Now he wants to pay for his inability to balance a budget on the backs of the public servants.

    So the corporate hack media is desperately trying to spin their standing up for themselves against this goober as some kind of bad thing. Some rightwing hack on L.A. radio even sent out one of his ambush reporters to try to harass doctors who’s gone down to the state capital to write doctor’s notes for the teachers, firefighters, cops, and EMT’s who are basically blue-flu striking. Well personally, I’m PROUD of the doctors who are helping out, and I hope they continue to do so. That’s an example of people sticking together to fight corporate hackery, and I’m down with that.

    I’m also especially proud of the Democrats in the state legislature who refused to come in to the state house, thus denying the governor a quorum to approve this idiocy.

    Rush Limpballs was actually on the air calling teachers “pigs” and firefighters “parasites”.

    I watched my mom STRUGGLE to teach some 6,000 kids over the life of her 49 year career as teacher, dealing with poor pay, poor community support, busting her butt to go out and buy school supplies with her own money so that she could properly educate people’s kids, working Saturdays on extra-curricular activities for her students — and I don’t have the WORDS to explain how much that fat ass, drug-addled gasbag’s comments pissed me off.

    A man who’s never sacrificed anything for anyone a single day in his life, preaching about public service workers like that? Who the hell does he think he is?

    And aren’t firefighters supposed to be our “heroes”? The kind of people we admired for their actions on 9/11? The kind of people who run IN to a burning building to save other people?

    But Rush would deny them a pension if they manage to survive till they retire? What a selfish prick.

  • 5by5

    Well, while she’s right, he is trying to kill unions because they are major organizers for the Democrats, and because they do things like present their members with actual legislation so they become informed voters (something the Wrongwing detests, because when people actually know what’s going on, they never vote for Cons), this DOES have SOMETHING to do with budget.

    Namely, it has to do with the fact that this Teabagger governor is a crappy Conservative, ironically. (If you’re still someone deluded enough to believe that Conservatism stands for restrained spending.)

    The reason WHY they have a budget problem, is because within the first MONTH of him taking office, this asshat overspent $140 million dollars in giveaways to the rich people in his state.

    Now he wants to pay for his inability to balance a budget on the backs of the public servants.

    So the corporate hack media is desperately trying to spin their standing up for themselves against this goober as some kind of bad thing. Some rightwing hack on L.A. radio even sent out one of his ambush reporters to try to harass doctors who’s gone down to the state capital to write doctor’s notes for the teachers, firefighters, cops, and EMT’s who are basically blue-flu striking. Well personally, I’m PROUD of the doctors who are helping out, and I hope they continue to do so. That’s an example of people sticking together to fight corporate hackery, and I’m down with that.

    I’m also especially proud of the Democrats in the state legislature who refused to come in to the state house, thus denying the governor a quorum to approve this idiocy.

    Rush Limpballs was actually on the air calling teachers “pigs” and firefighters “parasites”.

    I watched my mom STRUGGLE to teach some 6,000 kids over the life of her 49 year career as teacher, dealing with poor pay, poor community support, busting her butt to go out and buy school supplies with her own money so that she could properly educate people’s kids, working Saturdays on extra-curricular activities for her students — and I don’t have the WORDS to explain how much that fat ass, drug-addled gasbag’s comments pissed me off.

    A man who’s never sacrificed anything for anyone a single day in his life, preaching about public service workers like that? Who the hell does he think he is?

    And aren’t firefighters supposed to be our “heroes”? The kind of people we admired for their actions on 9/11? The kind of people who run IN to a burning building to save other people?

    But Rush would deny them a pension if they manage to survive till they retire? What a selfish prick.

    • Lick your wounds

      Republicans WON!!!! Remember when Obama said, “I won.” Now the shoe is on the other foot. Obama can do anything, b/c he won??????

      • Marc

        Rebubs haven’t won sh*t! Your gonna be cryin in 2012 with the rest of the repub douchebags on the Hill when you see exactly how aware people have become that repubs are the reason that the economy is in the tank; that they are the handpuppets of the rich, the corporations and completely self serving. And Obama has been able to do very little of the things that WE (his base) sent him to do because of your parties total obstructionism in the past 3 yrs 

  • 5by5

    Wisconsin sucks after losing Russ Feingold in the Senate. In fact America’s gonna suck a whole lot more without him. He was one of the few people gutsy enough to stand up against the un-Patriot Act.

  • 5by5

    Yeah, I mean people DIED getting you the right to have a weekend, and to abolish child labor, and to secure worker safety, and rational pension plans to care for workers in their old age, for the minimum wage, and just for the simple right to bargain collectively against entrenched, monied interests who would happily keep them down as slaves if we gave them the chance.

    Go look up the Ludlow Massacre, for instance, where the mining companies literally hired out the National Guard from the corporate hack governor of Colorado to literally go out and SHOOT workers who dared stand up for themselves. Or the Seattle Strike, where hired corporate goons were sent out to beat up workers.

    Those people put their lives on the line for you to have at least some small part of the American Dream. And it really torks me off that some people are so willing to just give away those rights.

    The people of Wisconsin should be proud of themselves for getting out there and fighting this BS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Garman/1247551500 Gene Garman

    Why would any union in Wisconsin endorse a Republican? Hello! Have the three unions who are reported to have endorsed the election of the Republican Governor learned anything? Where was the leadership when those three unions endorsed a Republican?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Garman/1247551500 Gene Garman

    Why would any union in Wisconsin endorse a Republican? Hello! Have the three unions who are reported to have endorsed the election of the Republican Governor learned anything? Where was the leadership when those three unions endorsed a Republican?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Garman/1247551500 Gene Garman

    Why would any union in Wisconsin endorse a Republican? Hello? Have the three unions who are reported to have endorsed the election of the Republican Governor learned anything? Where was the leadership when those three unions endorsed a Republican?

    • quartz99

      The Republicans in WI are really good at distraction and division and most of all, at spin. WI has been sliding into the mire of corporate overlord-ism for a while now.

  • 5by5

    Seems that Republican Gov. Scott Walker is also funded by hard-right billionaire wackjobs, the Koch Brothers. The story on that is over at Raw Story:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/19/billionaire-oil-tycoons-financed-wisconsins-anti-union-governor-election-campaign/

    It’s basically billionaires trying to kneecap any leverage regular workers might have to stand up and protect themselves against abuses by management.

  • 5by5

    Seems that Republican Gov. Scott Walker is also funded by hard-right billionaire wackjobs, the Koch Brothers. The story on that is over at Raw Story:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/19/billionaire-oil-tycoons-financed-wisconsins-anti-union-governor-election-campaign/

    It’s basically billionaires trying to kneecap any leverage regular workers might have to stand up and protect themselves against abuses by management.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Garman/1247551500 Gene Garman

    Rachel needs to explain to those Wisconsin unions who endorsed a Republican Governor why they were out of step with common knowledge, let alone unionism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gene-Garman/1247551500 Gene Garman

    Rachel needs to explain to those Wisconsin unions who endorsed a Republican Governor why they were out of step with common knowledge, let alone unionism.

    • Louie C

      Walker got less money from unions than any other special interest. They didn’t support him.

    • vic

      The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (one of the unions that backed Walker) has actually retracted their endorsement.

      “I SPECIFICALLY REGRET THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE WISCONSIN TROOPER’S ASSOCIATION FOR GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER. I REGRET THE GOVERNOR’S DECISION TO “ENDORSE” THE TROOPERS AND INSPECTORS OF THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL. I REGRET BEING THE RECIPIENT OF ANY OF THE PERCIEVED BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOINTING.”

      “I assure all of you the real problem isn’t any of us!! Like barbarians at the gate the Governor has swept in with his entourage and turned us all against each other. We are at each other’s throats like something out of a science horror thriller.”

      http://www.wlea.org

      Too little too late perhaps? At least they wised up despite being exempt from Walker’s wrath.

  • Roalston

    The American Right Wing are hate filled Fascists who have always hated the working class. What is the most disgusting thing about the Republifuk party is how they proclaim to be a party of “christians”. But they behave like a bunch of hate filled evil fucks with concern about one thing and one thing only: money!!

  • Roalston

    The American Right Wing are hate filled Fascists who have always hated the working class. What is the most disgusting thing about the Republifuk party is how they proclaim to be a party of “christians”. But they behave like a bunch of hate filled evil fucks with concern about one thing and one thing only: money!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RFPDLXZVA43SOIZOIENFPXYAQQ Charles

      Fascist isn’t quite the right way to put it. Republicans are more like Augusto Pinochet (Chile’s laissez-faire dictator from 1974-1990) than Mussolini or Hitler (who, to varying degrees, believed in regulating business).

  • justagirl

    and don’t think that i don’t care about that. it’s just that i am losing faith in the design. the last presidential election i made a sacrificial vote for someone with voters remorse. it didn’t even matter to me. i don’t even want to vote anymore – and i hate doing things that i don’t want to do – especially for people i don’t even like.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RFPDLXZVA43SOIZOIENFPXYAQQ Charles

    Fascist isn’t quite the right way to put it. Republicans are more like Augusto Pinochet (Chile’s laissez-faire dictator from 1974-1990) than Mussolini or Hitler (who, to varying degrees, believed in regulating business).

  • Louie C

    Walker got less money from unions than any other special interest. They didn’t support him.

  • vic

    The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (one of the unions that backed Walker) has actually retracted their endorsement.

    “I SPECIFICALLY REGRET THE ENDORSEMENT OF THE WISCONSIN TROOPER’S ASSOCIATION FOR GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER. I REGRET THE GOVERNOR’S DECISION TO “ENDORSE” THE TROOPERS AND INSPECTORS OF THE WISCONSIN STATE PATROL. I REGRET BEING THE RECIPIENT OF ANY OF THE PERCIEVED BENEFITS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNOR’S ANNOINTING.”

    “I assure all of you the real problem isn’t any of us!! Like barbarians at the gate the Governor has swept in with his entourage and turned us all against each other. We are at each other’s throats like something out of a science horror thriller.”

    http://www.wlea.org

    Too little too late perhaps? At least they wised up despite being exempt from Walker’s wrath.

  • Screamingpossum
  • Screamingpossum
  • enki

    This is honestly the worst article… it’s like it was written by a Middle School student.

    None of this is about politics. Democrats made it about politics by running away from debating the bill. The “surplus” you’re describing is a “let’s pull this out of our ass” number created by the protest organizers and unions to blanket the State in sympathy. Facts don’t lie. Walker is trying to get Dems to return to the state and table the bill, but they’re to chicken**** to do that. They’d rather run away and let the protesters take the brunt of the situation. This is a joke. It’s not even about union busting, it’s about everyone doing their fair share for the State of Wisconsin instead of getting a free ride while the rest of us who make 1/10 their salary get the shaft.

    It’s not about politics, people are sick of seeing state workers / county workers get a free ride on our dime while we have to pay for the same health care and benefits, and can’t afford it, and or get denied Badger Care because “we make too much money”. Yeah… 12 k a year is too much money???, but a teacher that pulls down 80k a year gets it free? When that same teacher doesn’t give a crap about the students and follows a textbook? How about the guy flipping a STOP sign back and forth at road construction that makes 103k a year to do absolutely nothing more than what you can train a monkey to do… free bennies, free health care, free free free. Dems are a joke and a laughing stock in this state, they are raping the State’s economy, and somebody needs to clean house. Something is very rotten in Wisconsin, that’s for sure… Walker is sniffing it out.

  • enki

    This is honestly the worst article… it’s like it was written by a Middle School student.

    None of this is about politics. Democrats made it about politics by running away from debating the bill. The “surplus” you’re describing is a “let’s pull this out of our ass” number created by the protest organizers and unions to blanket the State in sympathy. Facts don’t lie. Walker is trying to get Dems to return to the state and table the bill, but they’re to chicken**** to do that. They’d rather run away and let the protesters take the brunt of the situation. This is a joke. It’s not even about union busting, it’s about everyone doing their fair share for the State of Wisconsin instead of getting a free ride while the rest of us who make 1/10 their salary get the shaft.

    It’s not about politics, people are sick of seeing state workers / county workers get a free ride on our dime while we have to pay for the same health care and benefits, and can’t afford it, and or get denied Badger Care because “we make too much money”. Yeah… 12 k a year is too much money???, but a teacher that pulls down 80k a year gets it free? When that same teacher doesn’t give a crap about the students and follows a textbook? How about the guy flipping a STOP sign back and forth at road construction that makes 103k a year to do absolutely nothing more than what you can train a monkey to do… free bennies, free health care, free free free. Dems are a joke and a laughing stock in this state, they are raping the State’s economy, and somebody needs to clean house. Something is very rotten in Wisconsin, that’s for sure… Walker is sniffing it out.

    • Andrew

      It is about union busting. Why else would Walker reject the unions’ concessions?

      If you think government employees get a “free ride,” that’s because you haven’t been one. The problem is that private corporations don’t compensate their employees enough, again because of union busting.

      • enki

        How did he reject their concessions? He already compromised and agreed on the ones that were most important to them, and everyone knows it. That’s academic. Private corporations are only effected by Union Busting if it relates to them fiscally. Again, not an issue here, and certainly a minor issue in Wisconsin when taken into the perspective of any kind of balance. All for spreading the wealth around – provided there’s no sanity, logic or balance to it, right? That anyone should be glorified and carried on the backs of the working class without desert is asinine and ludicrous, when it’s pushed by thugs that refuse to be denied and the taxpayers have to foot the bill, that is INSANE. – this is how the Dems work in Wisconsin. Doyle sure did a number on this state. If they want to use it as a stepping stone, they’re going to find it’s in the wrong direction, because other States are looking at the same kind of legislation with vigor. Getting the Nation back on track isn’t a political issue – it’s an obligation we have to this country and ourselves – It’s the crapbags that think everything should be FREE FREE FREE that want to make it a “political issue” by refusing to table the issue while the rest of the State suffers. It must be nice to be satisfied with your state being broke. Here’s a protip for you: If your state is broke, guess which system they go after first: Education. But to the Union, the teacher that can’t concede to fair salary, fair benefits, etc is more important than the students that will suffer if they don’t? You don’t think that’s in the least bit wrong? Here’s another protip: When Jesse Jackson starts supporting you, it’s time to hang it up, because it’s wrong. He’s not a champion of anyone’s rights, he’s an attention whore. Being black doesn’t give you any special magical powers of arbitration. Being a jackhole is pretty colorblind.

        You obviously don’t live in Wisconsin, or are clueless of the issues at hand (I’m guessing it’s both).

        • quartz99

          You obviously aren’t paying attention. The public workers make less in total compensation than their private sector counterparts. And they were willing to take yet another pay cut and benefit cut (after doing so for years already) even though the only reason they need to is so that Walker could make even more tax cuts for people who already aren’t paying any taxes. Wisconsin had a SURPLUS in the budget. He CREATED a false “crisis” specifically with the intent of busting up the unions and trying to break workers, who are also, you may have forgotten, taxpayers and citizens of the state. Explain exactly how giving them the right to bargain for their workplace safety rules and whether or not they get sick days has anything to do with balancing the budget? It doesn’t. It’s indefensible.

          Additionally, this bill includes spinning off UW-Madison and another UW campus and makes sweeping changes to Medicaid. And Walker tried to ram it through without even taking public hearings or taking amendments or compromises from anyone who wasn’t, well, him.

          I have to ask, why are you a ok with the wealthiest corporations skating off without paying even a dime in taxes while the workers, you know, the people who need to have discretionary income in order for the economy to run, have to keep taking lower and lower wages, across both private and public sectors? That’s what this is about. Bringing us down to where they can pay us less than $2/day with no benefits. If you ever have a day off or get weekends, or ever work a day shorter than 12-16 hrs, if your kids aren’t forced into factories at 5 or 6 years, if you ever have taken a sick day without getting fired for it, even if you were in the hospital, you can thank a union.

          Your salary figures up there are way more than what people are actually making in those jobs when they’re in the public sector. You are seriously misinformed.

          Here are a few links for people to get their head out of the sand:

          Dirty tricks used by the republicans to try to vote on the bill by calling quorum and voting before the time they called the meeting for and told dems to be there: http://thedailywh.at/2011/02/20/fiery-rhetoric-of-the-day/

          “The study looks at total compensation — pay and benefits together — and found that public workers earn 4.8 percent less than private sector employees with the same qualifications and traits doing similar jobs…Yet the typical Wisconsin public sector employee with a bachelor’s degree makes less than $62,000, compared to more than $82,000 in the private sector, Pollack said.” http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_d4093848-3c92-11e0-ac18-001cc4c03286.html

          http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_9a0c8e82-4f80-57d6-8025-e456d29b04a4.html

          “The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.

          Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.

          “Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”" http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/republican-governor-deliberately-spen

          Your true lords and masters if you’re swallowing the tea party nonsense: http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

          GE and Exxon paid NO TAXES last year: “The most egregious example is General Electric. Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Tax/ge-exxon-paid-us-income-taxes-09/story?id=10300167

          And in the “refusal to understand that all actions have consequences” bin, I pass along to you…
          Walker proposal could result in $7.1 million cut in federal aid to Madison Metro Transit
          http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_b374eb56-3ac9-11e0-9045-001cc4c03286.html

          “Walker’s budget repair bill, introduced last week but stalled by the protests, would give the state Department of Health Services the authority to restrict eligibility, modify benefits and make other changes to Medicaid with less legislative review than required now. If the federal government didn’t grant permission to make some of the changes, the state would drop at least 50,000 people from Medicaid next year.” Basically, it lets him take control of it with almost no oversight. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health_med_fit/article_4415fff0-3d4b-11e0-b869-001cc4c002e0.html

          Walker lies again? Funny, none of us who lived in Milwaukee while he was County Exec are surprised that he lied yet again. http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-his-budget-repair-/

          • enki

            Go back to fantasy land, Alex Jones.

          • quartz99

            *shrug* Your willful ignorance doesn’t change the facts. I hope you are forced to come face to face with the consequences of your ignorance someday.

          • Lucifer Rex

            It must be exhausting to be you. Cognitive dissonance can be so draining…

    • Bud Bundy

      Your lies are hilarious, but this isn’t a comedy site.

  • Andrew

    It is about union busting. Why else would Walker reject the unions’ concessions?

    If you think government employees get a “free ride,” that’s because you haven’t been one. The problem is that private corporations don’t compensate their employees enough, again because of union busting.

  • enki

    How did he reject their concessions? He already compromised and agreed on the ones that were most important to them, and everyone knows it. That’s academic. Private corporations are only effected by Union Busting if it relates to them fiscally. Again, not an issue here, and certainly a minor issue in Wisconsin when taken into the perspective of any kind of balance. All for spreading the wealth around – provided there’s no sanity, logic or balance to it, right? That anyone should be glorified and carried on the backs of the working class without desert is asinine and ludicrous, when it’s pushed by thugs that refuse to be denied and the taxpayers have to foot the bill, that is INSANE. – this is how the Dems work in Wisconsin. Doyle sure did a number on this state. If they want to use it as a stepping stone, they’re going to find it’s in the wrong direction, because other States are looking at the same kind of legislation with vigor. Getting the Nation back on track isn’t a political issue – it’s an obligation we have to this country and ourselves – It’s the crapbags that think everything should be FREE FREE FREE that want to make it a “political issue” by refusing to table the issue while the rest of the State suffers. It must be nice to be satisfied with your state being broke. Here’s a protip for you: If your state is broke, guess which system they go after first: Education. But to the Union, the teacher that can’t concede to fair salary, fair benefits, etc is more important than the students that will suffer if they don’t? You don’t think that’s in the least bit wrong? Here’s another protip: When Jesse Jackson starts supporting you, it’s time to hang it up, because it’s wrong. He’s not a champion of anyone’s rights, he’s an attention whore. Being black doesn’t give you any special magical powers of arbitration. Being a jackhole is pretty colorblind.

    You obviously don’t live in Wisconsin, or are clueless of the issues at hand (I’m guessing it’s both).

  • Anonymous

    Typical (well, not really with her) pundit trying to make every issue partisan. The real issue with what’s happening in Wisconsin is about workers’ rights. Democrats and Republicans are merely the same entity. Ask Obama about reducing Pell Grants or not significantly decreasing the defense budget. Ask about how we allowed to extend the Patriot Act. STFU, Maddow.

  • StillAtMyMoms

    Typical (well, not really with her) pundit trying to make every issue partisan. The real issue with what’s happening in Wisconsin is about workers’ rights. Democrats and Republicans are merely the same entity. Ask Obama about reducing Pell Grants or not significantly decreasing the defense budget. Ask about how we allowed to extend the Patriot Act. STFU, Maddow.

  • John

    this article is rediculous and a waste of anyones time. it isn’t about future elections at all… I live in wisconsin and almost everyone I know is impacted in one way or another by the situation, right or left. please stop passing this off like it is just some silly game between parties.

  • John

    this article is rediculous and a waste of anyones time. it isn’t about future elections at all… I live in wisconsin and almost everyone I know is impacted in one way or another by the situation, right or left. please stop passing this off like it is just some silly game between parties.

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans in WI are really good at distraction and division and most of all, at spin. WI has been sliding into the mire of corporate overlord-ism for a while now.

  • Anonymous

    You obviously aren’t paying attention. The public workers make less in total compensation than their private sector counterparts. And they were willing to take yet another pay cut and benefit cut (after doing so for years already) even though the only reason they need to is so that Walker could make even more tax cuts for people who already aren’t paying any taxes. Wisconsin had a SURPLUS in the budget. He CREATED a false “crisis” specifically with the intent of busting up the unions and trying to break workers, who are also, you may have forgotten, taxpayers and citizens of the state. Explain exactly how giving them the right to bargain for their workplace safety rules and whether or not they get sick days has anything to do with balancing the budget? It doesn’t. It’s indefensible.

    Additionally, this bill includes spinning off UW-Madison and another UW campus and makes sweeping changes to Medicaid. And Walker tried to ram it through without even taking public hearings or taking amendments or compromises from anyone who wasn’t, well, him.

    I have to ask, why are you a ok with the wealthiest corporations skating off without paying even a dime in taxes while the workers, you know, the people who need to have discretionary income in order for the economy to run, have to keep taking lower and lower wages, across both private and public sectors? That’s what this is about. Bringing us down to where they can pay us less than $2/day with no benefits. If you ever have a day off or get weekends, or ever work a day shorter than 12-16 hrs, if your kids aren’t forced into factories at 5 or 6 years, if you ever have taken a sick day without getting fired for it, even if you were in the hospital, you can thank a union.

    Your salary figures up there are way more than what people are actually making in those jobs when they’re in the public sector. You are seriously misinformed.

    Here are a few links for people to get their head out of the sand:

    Dirty tricks used by the republicans to try to vote on the bill by calling quorum and voting before the time they called the meeting for and told dems to be there: http://thedailywh.at/2011/02/20/fiery-rhetoric-of-the-day/

    “The study looks at total compensation — pay and benefits together — and found that public workers earn 4.8 percent less than private sector employees with the same qualifications and traits doing similar jobs…Yet the typical Wisconsin public sector employee with a bachelor’s degree makes less than $62,000, compared to more than $82,000 in the private sector, Pollack said.” http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_d4093848-3c92-11e0-ac18-001cc4c03286.html

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_9a0c8e82-4f80-57d6-8025-e456d29b04a4.html

    “The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.

    Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.

    “Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”" http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/republican-governor-deliberately-spen

    Your true lords and masters if you’re swallowing the tea party nonsense: http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

    GE and Exxon paid NO TAXES last year: “The most egregious example is General Electric. Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” http://abcnews.go.com/Business/Tax/ge-exxon-paid-us-income-taxes-09/story?id=10300167

    And in the “refusal to understand that all actions have consequences” bin, I pass along to you…
    Walker proposal could result in $7.1 million cut in federal aid to Madison Metro Transit
    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_b374eb56-3ac9-11e0-9045-001cc4c03286.html

    “Walker’s budget repair bill, introduced last week but stalled by the protests, would give the state Department of Health Services the authority to restrict eligibility, modify benefits and make other changes to Medicaid with less legislative review than required now. If the federal government didn’t grant permission to make some of the changes, the state would drop at least 50,000 people from Medicaid next year.” Basically, it lets him take control of it with almost no oversight. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health_med_fit/article_4415fff0-3d4b-11e0-b869-001cc4c002e0.html

    Walker lies again? Funny, none of us who lived in Milwaukee while he was County Exec are surprised that he lied yet again. http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-his-budget-repair-/

  • Big Daddy

    (1) the future of the Democratic party is in PUBLIC unions existence? Really?

    (2)
    “if you were a Republican polticians and you had the chance to dismantle an organization…that was helping the other side (referring to the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada), wouldn’t you do it?”

    No, I would NOT. This country is made BETTER by its diversity. Let those batshiat crazy unions exist, and we conservatives can bitch about them. This is a FREE COUNTRY, and I don’t HAVE THE RIGHT to dismantle unions like that.

    Rachel Maddow is being patently dishonest when she compares public unions to private unions in this comparison.

    (3) “the ONLY problem with ACORN is that they were really good at registering poors and minorities”

    UTTER BULLSHIT! My wife’s Republican registration, along with hundreds of other ONLY REPUBLICAN REGISTRATIONS, were STOLEN in a set-up break-in in 2004. ZERO Democratic registrations were stolen. ACORN is guilty as hell!

  • Big Daddy

    (1) the future of the Democratic party is in PUBLIC unions existence? Really?

    (2)
    “if you were a Republican polticians and you had the chance to dismantle an organization…that was helping the other side (referring to the Culinary Workers Union in Nevada), wouldn’t you do it?”

    No, I would NOT. This country is made BETTER by its diversity. Let those batshiat crazy unions exist, and we conservatives can bitch about them. This is a FREE COUNTRY, and I don’t HAVE THE RIGHT to dismantle unions like that.

    Rachel Maddow is being patently dishonest when she compares public unions to private unions in this comparison.

    (3) “the ONLY problem with ACORN is that they were really good at registering poors and minorities”

    UTTER BULLSHIT! My wife’s Republican registration, along with hundreds of other ONLY REPUBLICAN REGISTRATIONS, were STOLEN in a set-up break-in in 2004. ZERO Democratic registrations were stolen. ACORN is guilty as hell!

  • Ironaddict06

    There was a time when America needed unions. Times have changed. Honestly if there was a corporation taking a huge advantage of workers-those workers would have so many lawyers willing to take the case. Why do you think Toyota moved out of California to a right to work state? Why do you think the American auto Companies went over seas? Mr. Scott is asking the teachers union to pay about 5% of their retirement and about 12% of their health care. If you work in the private world-i’m willing to bet you pay more than 12% of your pay towards health care.

  • Ironaddict06

    There was a time when America needed unions. Times have changed. Honestly if there was a corporation taking a huge advantage of workers-those workers would have so many lawyers willing to take the case. Why do you think Toyota moved out of California to a right to work state? Why do you think the American auto Companies went over seas? Mr. Scott is asking the teachers union to pay about 5% of their retirement and about 12% of their health care. If you work in the private world-i’m willing to bet you pay more than 12% of your pay towards health care.

    • quartz99

      State workers take a substantially lower take home salary in exchange for better benefits. If we’re going to cut their benefits again (as has happened every year for several years now) then it’s time for the state to start paying a competitive wage, something at least approaching what their private sector counterparts are making (hint: that’s about $20k/yr more than they’re making now). And that’s something the unions would bargain over… except Walker wants to make sure they can’t. Is this really so hard for you to understand?

  • Ironaddict06

    Two other points.
    1. All these teachers walked off their jobs and bused the kids to the capital. If you had children in school and were expecting the teachers to teach you children-wouldn’t you be a bit upset?
    2. The Dems literally skiped town. They all went out of state so they couldn’t vote.-
    Honestly think about this. If a group of Republicans left the state in any state in America, what would happen?
    All of these State Reps. were voted in by the people. Republican or Democrat your job is to show up to work and do you job

  • Ironaddict06

    Two other points.
    1. All these teachers walked off their jobs and bused the kids to the capital. If you had children in school and were expecting the teachers to teach you children-wouldn’t you be a bit upset?
    2. The Dems literally skiped town. They all went out of state so they couldn’t vote.-
    Honestly think about this. If a group of Republicans left the state in any state in America, what would happen?
    All of these State Reps. were voted in by the people. Republican or Democrat your job is to show up to work and do you job

  • Anonymous

    Great job Rachel – smite those Republi-cunts….
    Truth and clarification are a beautiful thing…..

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Great job Rachel – smite those Republi-cunts….
    Truth and clarification are a beautiful thing…..

  • Anonymous

    State workers take a substantially lower take home salary in exchange for better benefits. If we’re going to cut their benefits again (as has happened every year for several years now) then it’s time for the state to start paying a competitive wage, something at least approaching what their private sector counterparts are making (hint: that’s about $20k/yr more than they’re making now). And that’s something the unions would bargain over… except Walker wants to make sure they can’t. Is this really so hard for you to understand?

  • Bud Bundy

    Your lies are hilarious, but this isn’t a comedy site.

  • enki

    Go back to fantasy land, Alex Jones.

  • Ben

    What if you were FORCED to financially support the Republican party? Would you be happy?
    Public Workers Unions (who you admit are the leading supporters of Democratic candidates) automatically take $ from public employees (subtracted from their paycheck). I have NO choice but to pay those employees through my tax dollars. At least the NRA is voluntary.

    As a side note:

    Collective bargaining is great when there is a direct give and take. I will support the right to form private labor unions until I’m in the grave…don’t intend to be part of one though. Collective bargaining a method of building consensus. However, in public unions, A and B are bargaining with assets from C (Where A is the union, B is the law making body, and C is the constituency.) C is already at a major disadvantage, because it can only make indirect decisions about B once every 2-4 years. Even if you look at B as a moderator, it has an incentive to support and enlarge A; as A is a huge voting block. This is especially true when A asks for additional compensation from a very small percentage of C (tax the rich mentality).

    I really question whether public sector unions are ethical.

  • Ben

    What if you were FORCED to financially support the Republican party? Would you be happy?
    Public Workers Unions (who you admit are the leading supporters of Democratic candidates) automatically take $ from public employees (subtracted from their paycheck). I have NO choice but to pay those employees through my tax dollars. At least the NRA is voluntary.

    As a side note:

    Collective bargaining is great when there is a direct give and take. I will support the right to form private labor unions until I’m in the grave…don’t intend to be part of one though. Collective bargaining a method of building consensus. However, in public unions, A and B are bargaining with assets from C (Where A is the union, B is the law making body, and C is the constituency.) C is already at a major disadvantage, because it can only make indirect decisions about B once every 2-4 years. Even if you look at B as a moderator, it has an incentive to support and enlarge A; as A is a huge voting block. This is especially true when A asks for additional compensation from a very small percentage of C (tax the rich mentality).

    I really question whether public sector unions are ethical.

  • Anonymous

    *shrug* Your willful ignorance doesn’t change the facts. I hope you are forced to come face to face with the consequences of your ignorance someday.

  • Lucifer Rex

    It must be exhausting to be you. Cognitive dissonance can be so draining…

  • Lick your wounds

    Republicans WON!!!! Remember when Obama said, “I won.” Now the shoe is on the other foot. Obama can do anything, b/c he won??????

  • Marc

    Rebubs haven’t won sh*t! Your gonna be cryin in 2012 with the rest of the repub douchebags on the Hill when you see exactly how aware people have become that repubs are the reason that the economy is in the tank; that they are the handpuppets of the rich, the corporations and completely self serving. And Obama has been able to do very little of the things that WE (his base) sent him to do because of your parties total obstructionism in the past 3 yrs 

  • Marc

    Rebubs haven’t won sh*t! Your gonna be cryin in 2012 with the rest of the repub douchebags on the Hill when you see exactly how aware people have become that repubs are the reason that the economy is in the tank; that they are the handpuppets of the rich, the corporations and completely self serving. And Obama has been able to do very little of the things that WE (his base) sent him to do because of your parties total obstructionism in the past 3 yrs 

  • Marc

    Rebubs haven’t won sh*t! Your gonna be cryin in 2012 with the rest of the repub douchebags on the Hill when you see exactly how aware people have become that repubs are the reason that the economy is in the tank; that they are the handpuppets of the rich, the corporations and completely self serving. And Obama has been able to do very little of the things that WE (his base) sent him to do because of your parties total obstructionism in the past 3 yrs 

  • Marc

    Rebubs haven’t won sh*t! Your gonna be cryin in 2012 with the rest of the repub douchebags on the Hill when you see exactly how aware people have become that repubs are the reason that the economy is in the tank; that they are the handpuppets of the rich, the corporations and completely self serving. And Obama has been able to do very little of the things that WE (his base) sent him to do because of your parties total obstructionism in the past 3 yrs