Welcome Ann Althouse readers!! While you’re here, you might want to check out my latest on the protests in the Badger State.
What’s happening in Wisconsin should be happening in California, with public employee unions upset at anticipated cuts in their benefits and legislation limiting their power. Both the Badger State and the (once-)Golden State have similar rates of unionization in their workforces, 16 and 17% respectively. Both face huge budget gaps.
Under Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal, almost every public employee would have to contribute 5.8 percent toward their pensions, and state workers would pay 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums. The bill received a legislative hearing on Tuesday amid criticism from public employees across the state, including the Green Bay area.
The Republican governor has put the legislation at the center of a budget repair bill that aims to save the state $30 million in the current budget and an additional $300 million over the next two years.
With the prospect of their gravy train running out, the public employee unions are up in arms, but methinks their juvenile stunts won’t have the desired effect. Instead, they should cause voters to rally round the Republican proposal. “The SEIU,” as Malkin notes, “has declared full-scale war on the Badger State over attempts to rein in bloated public union pay and benefits.”
So important is this protest that “Madison public schools are closed Wednesday because too many teachers are taking the day off to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to limit union bargaining.” They’re putting their benefits ahead of students’ education. Maybe Walker should fire ’em. Well, maybe not. I mean, as Ann Althouse puts it, the teachers are really teaching their charges a great lesson:
The kids won’t have school, but you can learn a lot of things outside of school. Some of these things are even taught by the teachers who are not there. For example, it’s okay to call in sick when you’re not actually sick, but you just have something that you think is really important.
(H/t: Instapundit.) Seems the teachers are also teaching the students the benefits of breaking the law as Michelle Malkin reports, “illegally striking teachers from Madison East High School students dragged hundreds of students to their union protests at the Wisconsin Capitol yesterday.”
Let’s hope these antics cause Governor Walker and Wisconsin legislators to stand firm. Should they succeed, they will provide an example to their counterparts in California on how to stand down the forces, according to the former Democratic Speaker of the state Assesmbly, responsible for “80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits“.
But that would mean aggravating those who most help California Democrats. And it doesn’t seem Governor Brown or his fellow partisans are willing to do that. Not yet, at least