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Christian Schneider
It’s Working in Walker’s Wisconsin « Back to Story
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great article. we need more scott walkers in this country. andrew cuomo a democrat gov in ny has even followed similar path and so far has recieved high marks in polls for doing so.
Amazing article. Please get this message out to as many as you can! People need to wake up!
They did not contribute to their state pensions.

It sure would be nice if unions payed taxes. Think of all the poor people those taxes could help. Think of the cops, teachers and nurses we could hire if only unions paid taxes.

Oh ... finding random stories of people going nuts does nothing to advance your claim of Tea Party violence.
Man, this Julian Cicone character apparently can't read anything but leftist propaganda. He obviously didn't read the article because it states in the first few paragraphs people can retire at 50, or in some cases earlier.

Typical leftist ... ignore facts and reality as long as it pushes the agenda.
Darwin, the Public Workers and Public Unions and Unions in general ARE IN FACT PAYING INTO THEIR PENSIONS! Walker's bill is just forcing all of them to put in more even though they are putting in a huge amount already.
Again Darwin,_including_using_a_firearm_to_discredit_unions
Albigensian, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is not a liberal newspaper and the author is clearly biased and partisan if you look at his past stories.

He does not provide any evidence and sources that back his claims that the retirement age is 47 and that its going to hurt Milwaukee County.

It's a poor source, the guy isn't doing research at all either on it.

The retirement age is 65, if you have a disability or injury and you quality, you could retire at 55 or 60 not 47 and not 50.
"Walker's reforms are not reforms and they are much more than just having them pay more into their retirement which they are already paying a lot".

They weren't paying any you dope.
You're a liar. Virtually all threats and violence comes from the left ... especially Wisconsin unions.

And no ... unions don't pay taxes.

Public sector unions must go.
Julian Cicone said, "Albigensian, your article showing people being able to retire at 47 is a lie."

My sourCe is the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wich is widely viewed as a Liberal newspaper, with a POV similar to the Washington Post or the New York Times. It is MSM; it surely is not right wing.

It is surely a far more neutral and respectable source than those offered by you (e.g., Huffington Post, alternet, splcenter,, youtoube)

So, what union do you belong to?

The article is not an editorial, it is a news article. The author is a reporter, not a commentator.

The URL is:

I'd have to say my source is far less political than the pro-union
"It is the anti-union people who use threats, death threats, intimidation, harassment, and attacks. It is the anti-Union people who try to force in laws and impose laws that hurt public workers and public unions, all which are hard working tax payer blue collar citizens".

You're lying again.

Walker's reforms mean public sector union members must now contribute a paltry sum to their retirements, pay 12.6% of their health insurance, and may collectively bargain for wages.

In addition, the reforms stopped the tyrannical practice of the state taking dues directly from workers pay checks, whether they belonged to a union or not.
Public Workers AND Public Unions are both fine

Christian Schneider is a senior fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Yep....totally unbiased opinion. NOT.

I didn't even bother to read the article once I saw who the author was.
Darwin, you are an idiot. I'm not lying

And yea the tea-party has used and is using violence against Union members and making death threats against Union members because they disagree with them.
Public workers are fine. Public unions need to go.

Unions pay no taxes buddy.
Getting back to the main issue here, the recall, I believe that in Wisconsin you have a recall election, whereas in California you have a recall petition, which if successful is followed by an election. This means that in Wisconsin, Walker would actually be running a new election against someone yet unnamed, while in California that election takes place only after a successful petition. Walker would be in a better position, then, than Gray Davis.
Many public unions are public workers and we do need Public Unions just like we need public workers and they are in fact worth it.

Public Unions are not little mafia's at all. That is a load of BS. Unions PAY TAXES, they ARE taxpayers. Unions don't threaten anyone unless their lives are threatened first.

Unions and public workers have gone through several sacrifices, cuts, reforms, etc, when they are not even the problem.

It is the anti-union people who use threats, death threats, intimidation, harassment, and attacks. It is the anti-Union people who try to force in laws and impose laws that hurt public workers and public unions, all which are hard working tax payer blue collar citizens.

It is people like Walker and the anti-Unions that have always started the problems, ever since they very beginning when they were enslaving workers and using forced child labor and exploiting children and young men and women. And when people resisted that kind of brutal tactics, the crony capitalists decided to get aggressive and cause problems. That has led to countless conflicts all which are usually started by the Anti-Union crowed. And those Anti-Union people are the ones who use the violence and threats and they are the real thugs and mafia.

Everything from Union Busting, to Union spies, Goon Squads, Management violence, False flag operations, Frameups, etc.

"But again, the tea-party and other pro-Walker people have sent constant death threats and just traditional threats to Unions and Public workers".

Seriously, why do you need to lie?

Was it the Tea Party that threatened businesses if they dared show any support for Walker they'd be boycotted?

You're all thugs and liars.
"You deliberately attacked Public Workers and Unions, attacking them that they are not worth it and we don't need them".

Public sector unions aren't worth it, and we don't need them. They're nothing more than little mafias. If taxpayers don't concede to their outrageous demands they threaten, intimidate, harrass and attack.

Public workers are fine ... public unions are not.
Year Zero. I read your sources. There is no evidence that Unions were making those death threats. I'll give you the teacher one which has been proven. But the others have not. And also the teacher is an individual, not a Union. You are making claims that Unions were going around being thugs and threatening people. There is no evidence that anyone was really a union member accept for that one teacher.

But again, the tea-party and other pro-Walker people have sent constant death threats and just traditional threats to Unions and Public workers. Scott Walker brought in the National Guard and talked about shooting protestors. One friend from Indiana said that Walker should shoot and kill the protesters and another ally of Walker stated that Walker should plan a fake attack on himself and/or other people and then blame it on Unions.

And Phil is actually wrong. Scott Walker is one of the most hated Governors of Wisconsin and his approval ratings keep declining.

Year One I provide you with an actually dictionary term and you give me Jonah Goldberg? The most unreliable biased idiot on the planet?

Here are some sources debunking Jonah Goldberg's crappy and non-factual book.

Again here is the definition of Fascism from actual dictionaries and encyclopedia's

World English Dictionary
fascism (ˈfæʃɪzəm) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism
2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc
3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified: body fascism,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=483d8546248aac28&biw=2530&bih=1232


noun /ˈfaSHˌizəm/ 

An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization

(in general use) Extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice,_including_using_a_firearm_to_discredit_unions
Patrick MacKinnon January 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM
As an outsider to this debate(?) I can only say that I am astonished at the amount of heat rather than light that is generated here. Capitalism can only flourish where monopolies are broken up to prohibit price fixing and thus the strangling of the economy to the benefit of a few corporations. I think we all would agree with that.
Yet we don't seem to see that unions are in fact corporations that do conspire to fix the price of their labour and prohibit the employer from going elsewhere; as the unions members do when they go shopping for goods.
I would suggest that North American union leaders better get of their asses and get those Chinese labourers organized or it's the end of their hegemony.
So the outrage at Walker's "Union busting" and "attacks on Unions" and the huge crowd of "Union supporters" has nothing to do with Republicans being threatened.

And actually a couple of teachers were arrested for some of those threats.

But you obviously had no time to actually read anything.

That said, as Phil states, Walker has a lot of support in Wisconsin and it is growing. We are tired of out-of-state Union thugs telling us how to run our state after they have bankrupted others. All those recalls have failed to get the Union what they want and after picking up the price-tag for those recalls and the clean up after the big Union debacle on the Square, people are getting more and more pissed off at the childish temper-tantrums that Julian showcases.
That is hilarious.

There is no evidence that those were even Union members.

Its hilarious how you want to try to paint Unions as thugs when none of your sources say anything about Unions. You do realize that many Republicans also hate Scott Walker. You realize that these could just be crazy people making threats and have no affiliation with a Union

Your sources don't provide anything accept there are some people who hate Walker and the republicans there and made threats.

Plus all your articles cover the same thing, they are not different they are all the same story being covered on different websites.
I think one of the general misconceptions about this issue is that there is little to no support Governor Walker. Many seem to think it’s a forgone conclusion that Walker will be recalled because of the number votes collected. While he may be recalled, it would hardly be shocking if he remains in office. Wisconsin has one of the easiest to enact recall processes.

It’s important to remember that Republicans maintained their majority after the state senate recall elections, despite record spending from unions ( As long as the state is kept aware that the Walker’s legislation is working in areas where it’s in place (, you have to believe he should be able to stay in office.
Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

If you have an actual critique of this materful work, provide it.

Just because Fascists fought Communists doesn't mean they are not ideologically similiar. Hitler was a socialist as was Mussolini. But I guess a definition on Google proves me false.
Yep. No threats or thuggery here!
Year Zero, stop trying to play victim.

You deliberately attacked Public Workers and Unions, attacking them that they are not worth it and we don't need them. You used harsh terms like they were diseases and infestations. You hurt an entire group of people. Yes yours was a lot worse than using a cheap insult against you and your son, when it has been you the entire time that has attacked an entire group of people.
Fascism is not a leftist ideology you idiot. Fascism is a Totalitarian government ideology that combines Corporatism with Totalitarianism.

Fascism didn't start out as Socialism you jerk. There are many ex-socialists who ended up hated Socialism and therefore turned to Fascism but many Fascists weren't even Socialists.

That is a proven fact. What you are saying is not a fact, it is a proven 100% lie.

Sanger wasn't a Fascist and neither was Wells.

Here is what Fascism is and its a far right wing ideology.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&fp=483d8546248aac28&biw=2530&bih=1232


noun /ˈfaSHˌizəm/ 

An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization

(in general use) Extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice

Also too bad I never posted from Daily Kos but try an actual dictionary term.
Ummm... care to quote that "hate"? I stated facts and showed that public Unions are a drain on a budget as is needless bureaucracy and government bloat. Where is the hate?

But hey, totally worth calling a six year old a retard. I get it. I really do. Totally warrented. Excellent job.
Year Zero, who spoke out against Unions and Public workers. Stop trying to lie now and play the innocence card. What you said was filled with a lot more hate and was a lot more offensive than my cheap insult against you and your son.

You attack millions of people and make them seem like less than a piece of trash. You are the problem and the offensive one
Just because you live in Madison doesn't mean anything. I have friends and family who love in Madison and they say the complete opposite.

Unions did not use death threats or threaten people with injury. They did not once get violent and physical with people.

People on Scott Walker's team were planning on shooting and killing protesters and other people on Scott Walker's team after that came up with the idea of staging a violent attack and blaming it on Unions.

Unions did not do anything and they were never the start or cause of any kind of confrontation. It was also started by people like you and the Crony-Capitalists and Oligarchs an the politicians who supported the crony-capitalism and Oligarchs
Fascism is a leftist ideology. All good flows from the government. Fascism started out as Socialism and Progressivism. Proven fact. The Progressives loved Fascism (Sanger, Wells, etc.).

But hey, I am sure you got a post from the DailyKos that proves me wrong.
Liberalism and Progressism is not Fascism. In fact Fascism is a far right wing ideology that banned Unions and made them illegal.

But of course, I don't expect anything logical to come out of you.

And no, free-markets never worked because they don't. Same reason why true Marxist Communism never worked or been tried.

We are a capitalist society, we have markets and business's and business's are just as corruptible and are just as powerful as government and is able to manipulate government for their likings.

No, once again, anyone who makes anything critical about the private sector or Wall Street and corporations its somehow being anti-capitalist, anti-corporations and anti-business. I never once said that I hate the private sector.

It is just your ignorance and stupidity. I never hated on the private sector. I have the right to attack it sometimes but that doesn't mean I don't like it.

There is no circular logic, you just want me to be as small minded as you. I am speaking in logic and everything has to be two-dimensional with you.

I know how wealth creation works. I have the grasp, you don't
You insulted my child and called them retarded and you think that is valid discourse? How about calling those who don't believe as you do "hicks" and uneducated?

But damn! You had to whip out the Hitler comparison! I had such high hopes for you.

Also, I never spoke out against public workers. We need them. What I speak out against is the corruption favored by Unions.
Considering I actually live in Madison and watched the local news I can say with absolutely truth that Republicans were threantened with death and injury and that the protestors were violent (when not stoned or drunk). And yet, Union leaders talked of blood baths and ass-kicking but I guess those metaphors are only allowed when Progressives speak them.
I'm not insulting Children. I'm insulting you because you are insulting me. Can't handle fire on fire?

Yes, I am the terrible one for speaking an obvious truth about Year Zero.

While he wants to point me as the progressive. He is supporting the Administration that wanted to shoot and kill Union protesters and/or create a violent conflict to then blame it on Unions. This is who Year Zero is.

This is the guy who thinks public workers and Unions are human infestations, diseases. Guess who also stated that? Hitler did.

I am right, you don't need to tell me anything.
HA! In a non-free market that we have today a Liberal/Progressive/Fascist mindset is almost required to get ahead. That is how crony capitalism works.

"Facts and Demographics show that Liberals are not only the most educated Demographic group but also the most affluent and wealthy of all Demographic groups.

The people with the most money are Liberals in this country, the most educated people ARE liberals in this country."

So what you are saying is that Liberals caused all of these problems? They are the wealthy who have been stealing from the po' folk right?

Such circular logic you employ. Most dizzying! The rest of your post shows no real grasp of the concept of wealth and wealth creation.

Funny because there were no Unions threatening Republicans, nor was there Union leaders calling for Ass kickings (was using the term ass kicking as a metaphor for winning elections), and there was no Union hostage taking.

But there sure was Scott Walker's administration calling for people to start shooting and killing Union protesters. There was also a plot under Walker's administration to commit a violent attack during the protests and then frame it on Union protesters.

Anti-Union thuggery still exists just like it existed back in the early days, all the same stuff back then still happens today. Framing Union members, staging violent attacks to point on union members, death, threats, intimidation, union busting, union spies, etc.

Lets see, NASA, Federal Highway System, EPA, Industrial revolution, Public education, healthcare, scientific research and development, etc.

Look up the American System and how the Federalist system under Hamilton made the United States the strongest and largest economy in the entire world.

And I never attacked wealthy people and the rich and success, and business. I am pointing to facts that private sector and Wall Street played a part in the economic crisis and has the ability to be corrupt.

It is you who keeps using a ton of hatred towards Public employees and Unions like they are the lowest of all species.

And such a self parody of the Liberal mindset?

Facts and Demographics show that Liberals are not only the most educated Demographic group but also the most affluent and wealthy of all Demographic groups.

The people with the most money are Liberals in this country, the most educated people ARE liberals in this country.

Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc, they are all liberals. Please tell me one influential conservative who actually means anything?
Now insulting children? How enlightened. Everyone! Come see how enlightened discourse is defined by the noble and loving Progressive!

Like most of your ilk you blame others for having the prejudices you yourself harbor.

I have a feeling that these forums fulfill some need for you to be right. That you feel empowered here and not in reality. Let me throw you a bone Progressive: Sure, you are 100% right and righteous!

There. You feel better now?
Year Zero my post at January 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM is all 100% correct and factual. Once again you show your ignorance
"But yes, I am the tyical leftist. I guess that means Scott Walker and the right are typical rightists for wanting to shoot Union protesters and kill them on sight like one of Walker's people said."

What about the documented threats on Republican's lives? How about Union leaders calling for ass-kickings? How about Union hostage taking? Thuggery is alive and well in the Union sector.
Year One, it is you who is wrong, it is you who has no idea what you are talking about. You have no sources, you posted a couple biased conservative sources. My sources come from numerous studies and they debunk you and prove you wrong.

History is on my side, facts are on my side. Everyone agrees with me who knows the facts.

You are going to talk to your 6 year old child? Cool, go talk to your retarded child. He is just going to grow up like his own man. An inbred ignorant hick who has no clue on society and takes for granted everything public workers and Unions have done for him and this country.
"Which other governments are competing with the state and federal governments. They sure don't advertise."

Why don't you ask the corporations who are controlling the politicians and government?

"Do you understand the difference between elected and hiring/firing? It seems not. Try to fire a bad teacher or bus driver or cop."

Teachers and Bus drivers get fired every day. You have the choice on who you vote for. And you have the power to vote politicians out or recall them. Politicians are elected so its different than a standard hiring practice but public employees are fired all the time.

"But they can't force people to spend their money on their products. This is a strawman."

In some cases, yea they can. And corporations are able to control politicians through money that if government doesn't go by their demands, they won't get the money therefore its a way of control.

"Government in the hands of Union bosses is corrupt. It is also true that governments do not know how to run an economy. That has been proven time and again. Corruption is nothing compared to the damage caused by incompetence and/or good intentions."

You have no evidence on this, its just typical conservative talking points. Government in the hands of Union bosses isn't corrupt. Unions make up 8% of the work force. And governments have helped manage and run economies and have countless times have done it successfully

"Yeah, nothing like the successes of command and control economies or five-year plans right?"

I never said that 100% government is a good idea, but there has never been 100% privatization so before you start attacking public workers saying they have no purpose, realize that there has never been a land of pure privatization but there has been pure nationalization.

"History agrees with me. The facts agree with me. And yes, many an economist will tell you, and demonstrate, how Unions poison productivity and kill competition. NLRB anyone? Look around the Great Lakes and see the wonders that Unions have wrought."

No, history completely disagrees with you. You don't have facts, you have nothing but lies. And no, there are no credited economist that will tell you that Unions poison productivity and kill competition.

The NLRB didn't kill anything.

The areas in the Great Lakes and those towns are not because of Unions, it was because of companies having the right to attacking union labor and to outsource. It was outsourcing of industry that caused those areas to be that way and they outsourced because they had the ability to not because they were being hurt by Unions.

History is on my side, facts are on my side.
"A politician also has the power to create good, a government also has the power to create success."

Show me where government control of resources, production, and capital have created good.

I also find it funny that you demonize success and wealth and yet have the audacity to call another "partisan". Such is the self-parody of the liberal mindset.
Darwin, you have no idea who I am. Typical leftist? And I never even threatened you. You are offensive, you are the one name calling. You are the one that wants to make Public employees be the people who are the drain on society. Again, you are no better than a racist who thinks African Americans are the drain on society.

You are offensive and I called you out on it.

But yes, I am the tyical leftist. I guess that means Scott Walker and the right are typical rightists for wanting to shoot Union protesters and kill them on sight like one of Walker's people said.
A politician also has the power to create good, a government also has the power to create success.

You are incredibly partisan about all of this. The fact is that its money, not government and not corporations that are corrupt. People are corrupt and when you have money, anyone can control anyone.

Government has been controlled by corporations for several decades now.

It is not uncommon for that to happen either.

If you have a smaller government you are able to allow a private corporation to control and dictate policies. If you have a bigger government you have that same possibility of corporations dictating policies.

People with money have the ability to control people and that means government as well.
That last post (January 23, 2012 at 4:49 PM) shows exactly how out of touch you are Julian. Good job!
To sum up Julian: You're wrong. I got sources and yours suck. You're wrong. No one agrees with you. You're wrong. Shut up. Thinly veiled references to racism and bigotry. You're wrong.

But hey, at least he didn't call anyone a Nazi huh? Now that is restraint for his kind!

I'm going to go talk to someone with more intellectual capacity. My six-year old.
Year Zero, actually there was drilling in the Gulf. That has been going around for a year. Didn't know a temporary moratorium equals government controlling. The Pipeline was being pushed by big oil companies and the only reason why it got stopped as of now is because of the president who just had the balls to not want that to go as plan.

They ran GM temporary and they didn't fail at it, they saved GM and saved millions of jobs and now GM is the number 1 car company again.

Also GM leaders agreed upon that therefore they are just as guilty.

Solyndra, the company asked for it. Light-Squared, private sector required it.

Most of the stuff that you posted came to be because the private sector tried to get it passed.

Bailouts supported by private banks, tax cuts, supported by private business, citizens united supported by private business.

All this and more. Corporations and private business does control politicians.
"Yes they can get fired and take your money to another government."

Which other governments are competing with the state and federal governments. They sure don't advertise.

"In fact Walker is about to get fired so that just proves you wrong for one."

Do you understand the difference between elected and hiring/firing? It seems not. Try to fire a bad teacher or bus driver or cop.

"Also people with money have been able to get away with crimes and buy out the courts so it swings their way."

But they can't force people to spend their money on their products. This is a strawman.

"Again government and private sector is not corrupt, people are and money is what controls everything."

Government in the hands of Union bosses is corrupt. It is also true that governments do not know how to run an economy. That has been proven time and again. Corruption is nothing compared to the damage caused by incompetence and/or good intentions.

"I know how a free market goes. A free-market in the sense you view it has never been tried. And the closet things to free-markets have always led to tyranny and them taking control over the political process."

Yeah, nothing like the successes of command and control economies or five-year plans right?

"Public Unions are not an infestation. They are not the cause of any public problems. That is a lie and no economist agrees with you."

History agrees with me. The facts agree with me. And yes, many an economist will tell you, and demonstrate, how Unions poison productivity and kill competition. NLRB anyone? Look around the Great Lakes and see the wonders that Unions have wrought.
Year Zero, you are the only one using childish behavior. So please just shut it.

You are the one blaming people who had nothing to do with the economic problems. That is like blaming African Americans for everything bad in the world. That is exactly what you are doing.

And Walker has a record but its a record of failure. I already posted facts and sources showing Walker's failures and how his economic policies failed, his education, policies failed, his heathcare policies failed and he just failed altogether. People know this and he will get voted out.
Year Zero, CRA had nothing to do with the economic crisis. So stop talking about it because it is irrelevant. I know you want to blame a program that come out over 30 years before the recession but you are still wrong and you are still a fool.
"That is right, and you better keep paying and you will keep paying for the public workers. For ever and ever and ever. So deal with it asshole".

^^^ Typical leftist. We've gone from lies to name calling to threats.
What I can't stand about people like you Darwin is you assume tax payers are only those in the private sector like no other person is a tax payer.

Money originates from a central bank. Money is man made. It is created by people, and who has control over money, the central bank and government. So the only way for the private sector to ever get money is if the bank prints it and government approves of it.

The public workers are tax payers so therefore your argument that taxpayers are just somehow private workers is BS, Public workers pay taxes as well and the money comes from the people who pay taxes which includes but public and private sector and the banks who print the money.
"Money buys politicians".

Excellent! We might be getting close to a breakthrough.

Why do people or businesses give politicians money? Because they can do something for them right? Write some favorable legislation, pull a few strings?

Money also can stop a politician from doing something that could damage or destroy a business.

What does that all mean? It means the politician has power, the power to help or hurt a business. Businesses do what they have to to survive. If that means lobbying a Congressman or donating thousands to their campaign they will. If these politicians didn't have that power there would be no reason to give them money.

Get it?
I reckon Julian isn't up on things the last few years:

"Corporations and Wall Street are and can be just as corrupted as government and are in fact controlling politicians."

Actually, it is government controlling corporations. No drilling in the Gulf, no pipeline, running GM and failing at it, Solyndra, Light-Squared... Government seems all about picking winners and losers lately.
Yes they can get fired and take your money to another government.

In fact Walker is about to get fired so that just proves you wrong for one.

Also people with money have been able to get away with crimes and buy out the courts so it swings their way.

Again government and private sector is not corrupt, people are and money is what controls everything.

I know how a free market goes. A free-market in the sense you view it has never been tried. And the closet things to free-markets have always led to tyranny and them taking control over the political process.

Public Unions are not an infestation. They are not the cause of any public problems. That is a lie and no economist agrees with you.
I guess the foot-stomping and childish behavior wasn't far behind.

Walker won't be recalled because his successes are there for all to see. I am sure Union shills and thugs will flood Wisconsin like they did before but after all the money you tools have wasted on your hate what have you gotten for it?

Here's to more Union failure!
Darwin, anyone with power can be corrupted. Wall Street and the many huge corporations in many sectors have been able to manipulate politicians. Money buys politicians.

Its not that hard to see, this has happened before in the past. That is why they are called Oligarchs and Aristocracies.

Corporations and Wall Street are and can be just as corrupted as government and are in fact controlling politicians.
You are the one who wants to blame the entire economic problems on public workers and Unions. You are the one who is crying about crap.

Guess what buddy, Deal with it. Walker will be recalled, Unions will win, Most of the country supports Unions. Anyone with a brain knows that they are not the cause of the budget problems or the economic crisis.

You are the minority here. Most people support unions.

So how about you stop bitching and deal with it. In fact I hope they make the retirement age 40 so I can see people like you still get upset.

Ooooh Booo hoooo, the Public workers they are a drain. They have their good pensions and pay. Ohh boo hoo, we are paying for them.

That is right, and you better keep paying and you will keep paying for the public workers. For ever and ever and ever. So deal with it asshole.

Can Julian actually state how Bush weakened the CRA? Did he remove the securitization of risk? If he didn't then nothing you say means anything or disproves the horrid effects the CRA had on our economy.
"Tax payers are not the ultimate employees".

Since the taxpayer pays the salary of every public official and worker from the president on down ... yes, they are the ultimate employer.

Remember, the government HAS NO MONEY. Every cent comes from us (or China).
This is where Julian misses the point:

"People are corrupt, not government or private sector, it is people who are corrupt. And the biggest form of control is money. You think government controls your life? Every single thing in existence requires money. You need money to live, you need money for food, for water, for shelter, for school, for healthcare, for any kind of transportation."

Yet you can't fire or take your money to another government if it doesn't meet your wants and needs. You have a basic, fundamental, flaw in your understanding of free markets. You believe free markets got us to this point when it is government interference in free markets that is to blame.

Publilc Unions are a festering sore of corruption on federal and state budgets. The people can't seek another government and are forced to put up with Union corruption and poor service because of it.

But hey, I have learned that not liking government interference in my life makes me a bigot. Such a high level of intellect involved in that connection.
"No Darwin, you are just an anti-government bigot who wants to always blame everything on the public sector and on government. I am not saying government isn't corrupt but stop acting like the Private sector is perfect, I am sick and tired of it. You are completely wrong, delusional and out of touch with reality. So how about you stop talking to me about this because you are wrong and I'm tired of constantly repeating myself and proving it to you."

Holy smokes! You wanna stomp your feet too?

Dude, you're the victim of powerful propaganda. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. Plus, when you don't like the answers I give you get mad. That's the first sign you have no idea what you're talking about and are just repeating leftist talking points.

"All corruption doesn't start and end at government. People are corrupt, not government or private sector, it is people who are corrupt. And the biggest form of control is money".

Of course people are corrupt. What do you think the government is made up of ... antelopes?

Anyone with power over someone or something is subject to becoming corrupt. Government has power over business, therefore government officials are prone to corruption.

One more time, if they didn't have such power over business there would be no corruption.

Ever wonder why there are corrupt cops? Same principle. They have power over people and therefore and be corrupted.

Use your head. I'm getting tired of repeating myself.

Year Zero,it doesn't matter what that crappy partisan link says, its still wrong and so are you.

Fresh off the false and politicized attack on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, today we’re hearing the know-nothings blame the subprime crisis on the Community Reinvestment Act — a 30-year-old law that was actually weakened by the Bush administration just as the worst lending wave began. This is even more ridiculous than blaming Freddie and Fannie.

The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, requires banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they take deposits. Just the idea that a lending crisis created from 2004 to 2007 was caused by a 1977 law is silly. But it’s even more ridiculous when you consider that most subprime loans were made by firms that aren’t subject to the CRA. University of Michigan law professor Michael Barr testified back in February before the House Committee on Financial Services that 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision and another 30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations. As former Fed Governor Ned Gramlich said in an August, 2007, speech shortly before he passed away: “In the subprime market where we badly need supervision, a majority of loans are made with very little supervision. It is like a city with a murder law, but no cops on the beat.”

Not surprisingly given the higher degree of supervision, loans made under the CRA program were made in a more responsible way than other subprime loans. CRA loans carried lower rates than other subprime loans and were less likely to end up securitized into the mortgage-backed securities that have caused so many losses, according to a recent study by the law firm Traiger & Hinckley (PDF file here).

Finally, keep in mind that the Bush administration has been weakening CRA enforcement and the law’s reach since the day it took office. The CRA was at its strongest in the 1990s, under the Clinton administration, a period when subprime loans performed quite well. It was only after the Bush administration cut back on CRA enforcement that problems arose, a timing issue which should stop those blaming the law dead in their tracks. The Federal Reserve, too, did nothing but encourage the wild west of lending in recent years. It wasn’t until the middle of 2007 that the Fed decided it was time to crack down on abusive pratices in the subprime lending market. Oops.

Better targets for blame in government circles might be the 2000 law which ensured that credit default swaps would remain unregulated, the SEC’s puzzling 2004 decision to allow the largest brokerage firms to borrow upwards of 30 times their capital and that same agency’s failure to oversee those brokerage firms in subsequent years as many gorged on subprime debt. (Barry Ritholtz had an excellent and more comprehensive survey of how Washington contributed to the crisis in this week’s Barron’s.)

There’s plenty more good reading on the CRA and the subprime crisis out in the blogosphere. Ellen Seidman, who headed the Office of Thrift Supervision in the late 90s, has written several fact-filled posts about the CRA controversey, including one just last week. University of Oregon professor and economist Mark Thoma has also defended the CRA on his blog. I also learned something from a post back in April by Robert Gordon, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, which ends with this ditty:
Tax payers are not the ultimate employees. Stop acting like Public Employees don't pay taxes. A public worker has every right to get what they want and achieve their dream. You not happy? Then shut the hell up, and quit your dream and work in the public sector. You have the choice to work private sector or public sector. Stop bitching and complaining and trying to find all the blame on public employees.


Enough with the tax payer bull crap. Public employees are tax payers you ignorant buffoon.

Yea we the people, that is right, representative republic. That means 400 Americans shouldn't own more wealth than half of all Americans combined. That means that the entire economy shouldn't be in the hands of only 15 banks.

And no the private sector can't do anything the public sector can do. Its funny how you say that because there have been countries that have had 100% all government, and there has not once in history where there has been 100% privatization. So clearly, what you are saying can't even be backed up with any evidence because your stupid utopia has never been tried
horsecrap. those lavish salaries and benefits the writer so disdainfully frowns upon are basics in a civilized society. its clear the right wing politicians love to pit middle class blue collar workers against middle class white collar administrators. all the while their feeders and handlers, the kochs of the world are stealing the house blind. it's not the new world order people should fear, its the old world order that's been raping and pillaging for the last 2500 years...
No Darwin, you are just an anti-government bigot who wants to always blame everything on the public sector and on government. I am not saying government isn't corrupt but stop acting like the Private sector is perfect, I am sick and tired of it. You are completely wrong, delusional and out of touch with reality. So how about you stop talking to me about this because you are wrong and I'm tired of constantly repeating myself and proving it to you.

All corruption doesn't start and end at government. People are corrupt, not government or private sector, it is people who are corrupt. And the biggest form of control is money. You think government controls your life? Every single thing in existence requires money. You need money to live, you need money for food, for water, for shelter, for school, for healthcare, for any kind of transportation.

Every single thing is controlled by money. That is what Oligarchies are and Aristocracies, it is people with money controlling government and controlling the majority.

Even the founding fathers since you love to quote them so much, were just as violently critical to corporations as they were with government. Adam Smith who was the founder of Modern Economics and modern capitalism was just as critical towards corporations and big business and monopolies as he was with government.

All you are doing is shifting power and control. Less government so you give the few who have most of the money to then dictate what they want done.

The fact you say take the power away and the power disappears OVERNIGHT! Just shows how delusional you really are.
Here's a link to another article. From a guy who didn't think the CRA had anything to do with it until he actually investigated it.
Taxpayers are the ultimate employer. The state works for the taxpayer, and supposedly the federal government works for the taxpayer.

We the people? Remember? Representative Republic?

Again, there's nothing a public sector worker does that can't be done privately. Need sidewalks? Hire a contractor. Need some waterline laid? Hire a contracotr.

Lastly, unions PAY NO TAXES.
darwin, tax payers aren't their employers, the state is or whatever public agency they are working for is.

Whenever the private sector gets tax dollars which it always does, no one goes up to them and tries to stop them.

We live in a country that is filled with people, each sector has a purpose. Stop acting like the public sector is getting all of these things and is a burden like they are draining all the money away.

They provide a service that ends up usually making a business more money anyways. A public worker gets paid despite where it comes from its his labor and work therefore its his money. And that money is then put back into the economy when they spend it and the public workers pay taxes as well therefore the money goes back into the economy and much of it goes to the private sector.

You are not paying for a public workers paycheck no more than a public worker is paying for his own. Everyone pays taxes.

And the public sector doesn't typically get more than the private sector counterparts.

They get paid less, and public workers also tend to go to school longer.

Public workers don't retire at 50, that is not true, nearly all public workers retire at 60 to 65 which is what many private workers retire at as well. If you have a disability you can retire at 55 which can be done with a private sector job as well.

Public employees pay into their retirement, they don't just get it for free already paid for.

Unions also do pay taxes, that is a fact.
"That is not true at all, Money creates corruption. Right now corporations and Wall Street are controlling government".

Nope. You're wrong, as usual. You're so brainwashed your logic and common sense has fled you.

If the government didn't have the power to enrich or destroy what sense would there be in giving someone money if they can't do anything for you?

Corruption begins and ends with government. That's why the framers created a federal government with such limited power. Unfortunately, politicians have given themselves more and more power over the years until we now have a government on the brink of fascism.

Take that power away and corruption disappears overnight.
It doesn't matter what you post Year Zero because you are wrong. It doesn't matter what you copy and paste because its wrong. Seriously, nearly every economist and historian discredits that CRA caused the crisis.

If we want to minimize the chance of another financial crisis, it's important for us to understand how it happened. If we get the causes wrong, our attempts to fix the problems in the financial sector are unlikely to be successful.

That's why I was so disappointed to see the new book by Gretchen Morgenson and Josh Rosner, Reckless Endangerment, blaming the financial crisis on Fannie, Freddie, and Democrats. The book has been highlighted recently by George Will and David Brooks, and it joins a chorus of conservative voices promoting the idea that government policies to encourage home ownership among middle and low income households is at the heart of the financial crisis.

The dispute over the cause of the financial crisis breaks down along standard ideological lines. Democrats generally argue that the crisis can be traced to misplaced faith in the ability of markets to self-regulate. According to this view, economists, regulators, and politicians on both sides of the aisle came to believe that large, economy wrecking financial meltdowns were a thing of the past. This misplaced faith in markets led to deregulation of the financial sector, less enthusiastic enforcement of the rules that remained on the books, and government inattention to important market failures in the financial industry.

The second explanation, one pushed by free market advocates, is that government involvement in housing markets to encourage home ownership caused the financial market problems. In this story of the crisis, the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie and Freddie, Democrats promoting home ownership, and the middle and low income households that received home loans they couldn't afford are cast as the villains. Had government stepped out of the way and pursued laissez-faire policies, the crisis would not have happened.

However, the evidence does not support the second explanation. First, with respect to the CRA, the main culprits in the crisis were private sector financial institutions that were not subject to the requirements of the CRA. In the story being pushed by free market advocates, the CRA forced banks to make loans to unqualified, low-income households. When those loans blew up, it caused the financial crisis. But the largest players in the subprime market were private sector firms that were not subject to the CRA's rules and regulations. For example, "Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics." The largest losses had nothing to do with banks covered by the CRA.

Second, even if the banks themselves were subject to the CRA, not all loans that they made were covered by these rules. Even in banks where the CRA applied, most of the problems were in loans that did not fall under the CRA's jurisdiction.

Third, the CRA has been in existence since 1977. If the CRA was responsible, why didn't the crisis occur sooner? The timing simply doesn't match up.

Fourth, the CRA only applies to domestic firms, but the crisis occurred in many countries. If the CRA is the problem, why did countries that had nothing like the CRA experience similar problems?

Fifth, even if this story had any validity, both parties promoted an "ownership society," so blaming Democrats alone is about politics, not reality.

Thus, the evidence against the claim that the CRA was an important factor in the financial crisis is quite strong and, turning next to Fannie and Freddie, the evidence here is also compelling. First, during the important years in the build up to the crisis, from 2002 until late in 2006, Fannie and Freddie were losing subprime market share to private sector firms. For example, as noted by McClatchy News, "More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions," and "Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year." The loss of market share ended in late 2006, but by then the crisis was already set in motion.

Second, one of the reasons that Fannie and Freddie lost market share is that they faced more restrictions on their activities than firms in the unregulated shadow banking sector. Fannie and Freddie eventually found ways around these restrictions as they moved aggressively to prevent further loss of market share in late 2006, but prior to that time the restrictions were effective. If firms in the shadow banking sector had been subject to similar rules and regulations, and had the rules and regulations been enforced aggressively, things might have turned out very differently.

Third, the targets for home ownership that supposedly led to Fannie and Freddie's aggressive entry into subprime markets were set in 1992. If these targets were the problem, why didn't the crisis occur sooner?

Fourth, if Fannie and Freddie had never existed, securitization would have likely happened anyway. As Barry Ritholtz notes, "securitized credit card receivables, auto loans, small biz loans, etc. took place without GSEs. I assume there would likely have been a private sector version for conforming loans, the way there was a private sector securitizing response to the demand for non-conforming (sub-prime) loans."

The bottom line is that the case that the CRA, Fannie, and Freddie ?€" and by implication Democrats supporting these institutions ?€" were key players in the crisis is at odds with the evidence. Don't get me wrong, there are lots for reasons to be concerned about Fannie and Freddie, and I'm not trying to defend them or their choices, but the idea that support of these institutions caused the financial crisis is wrong.
All the money originates from a central bank. A public worker works for his money and his labor therefore he is entitled to his money. The private sector benefits off of public workers as do any citizen. Public workers money comes from the same area as the private sector.

But the main point is public sector unions don't negotiate with the people that are paying the workers. They negotiate with politicians, usually corrupt politicians paid off by campaign contributions.

Plus, they typically earn far more than the private sector. Add outrageous benefits and the taxpayer feels the burden. Why should I have to pay higher property tax, or pay additional taxes on something else just so Joe Public Sector Worker can retire at 50 with 90% of his pay and full medical?

It's unsustainable. On top of that you have states that literally force people against their wioll to pay unions dues. Why should people be forced to join a union?

I wonder if union workers understand that the millions and millions spent attacking Walker come from them. If the unions have so much money lying around they can spend millions then something is wrong.

Finally ... Unions pay no taxes. That is absolutely wrong.
Year Zero, money originates from a central bank. Citizens do provide the services that generate wealth and require money but the public sector also provides services that require money and are not profitable services but services that is important to all people. Therefore that needs money, so the money goes into the economy.

That is not true at all, Money creates corruption. Right now corporations and Wall Street are controlling government. Shrinking government is not going to do anything. Its just going to give the few people with money enough power to dictate and control politicians even easier.

Look at what an Oligarchy is, look at what an Aristocracy is. Its people with wealth controlling the majority. Government can become corrupt due to money just like any private sector can.

If you have the money, you have the control.

And stop acting like these private business's are forced to get all of these tax dollars and corporate welfare and they don't really want it. That is BS.

Private sector collects tax dollars all the time. And all of this is irrelevant because we all pay taxes even the public sector, and all the money comes from the same place. And the public sector provides its service that helps the private sector make money and vice versa.

If you work for your money that is all that matters, everyone pays taxes, the tax revenue is compiled into a system and they then give it out again and invest it in other things to help improve the economy.

Oh, so copying and pasting lies = truth? Well, let's copy and paste some truth! Hey, I win! At least by your low standards.

The thousands of mortgage defaults and foreclosures in the "subprime" housing market (i.e., mortgage holders with poor credit ratings) is the direct result of thirty years of government policy that has forced banks to make bad loans to un-creditworthy borrowers. The policy in question is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which compels banks to make loans to low-income borrowers and in what the supporters of the Act call "communities of color" that they might not otherwise make based on purely economic criteria.

The original lobbyists for the CRA were the hardcore leftists who supported the Carter administration and were often rewarded for their support with government grants and programs like the CRA that they benefited from. These included various "neighborhood organizations," as they like to call themselves, such as "ACORN" (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). These organizations claim that over $1 trillion in CRA loans have been made, although no one seems to know the magnitude with much certainty. A U.S. Senate Banking Committee staffer told me about ten years ago that at least $100 billion in such loans had been made in the first twenty years of the Act.

So-called "community groups" like ACORN benefit themselves from the CRA through a process that sounds like legalized extortion. The CRA is enforced by four federal government bureaucracies: the Fed, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The law is set up so that any bank merger, branch expansion, or new branch creation can be postponed or prohibited by any of these four bureaucracies if a CRA "protest" is issued by a "community group." This can cost banks great sums of money, and the "community groups" understand this perfectly well. It is their leverage. They use this leverage to get the banks to give them millions of dollars as well as promising to make a certain amount of bad loans in their communities.

A man named Bruce Marks became quite notorious during the last decade for pressuring banks to earmark literally billions of dollars to his organization, the "Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America." He once boasted to the New York Times that he had "won" loan commitments totaling $3.8 billion from Bank of America, First Union Corporation, and the Fleet Financial Group. And that is just one "community group" operating in one city — Boston.

Banks have been placed in a Catch 22 situation by the CRA: If they comply, they know they will have to suffer from more loan defaults. If they don't comply, they face financial penalties and, worse yet, their business plans for mergers, branch expansions, etc. can be blocked by CRA protesters, which can cost a large corporation like Bank of America billions of dollars. Like most businesses, they have largely buckled under and have surrendered to their bureaucratic masters.

Consequently, banks in every community in America have been forced to hold a portfolio of bad loans, euphemistically referred to as "subprime" loans. In order to compensate themselves for the added risk of extending these loans, many lenders have increased the lending fees associated with mortgage loans. This is simply an indirect way of doing what banks always do — and what they must do to remain solvent: charging effectively higher rates of interest on riskier loans.

But this is discriminatory!, complained the "community organizations." Thus, if one browses the ACORN web site, one can read of their boasts of having "predatory lending laws" passed in numerous states which outlaw such fees, prohibiting banks from protecting themselves from the added risk involved in making forced loans to "subprime" borrowers.

These are price control laws, and price controls always cause shortages. Normally, banks would respond to such laws by extending fewer riskier loans. But in this case the banks are forced to continue making the marginal loans by their bureaucratic masters at the Fed and the other three federal bureaucracies mentioned above. So-called predatory lending laws therefore force the banks to "eat" the losses. This is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the bankruptcy of dozens of mortgage lenders over the past year.

Then of course there is the issue of the Fed's monetary policy having created the housing bubble, characterized by a spectacular escalation of real estate values in every American city over the past decade or so. This created a further problem for the financial institutions that are victimized by the CRA. They are forced to make a certain amount of bad loans, but because of the Fed-created explosion in housing prices, many thousands of subprime borrowers no longer qualified, by a long stretch, for conventional mortgages based on their incomes.

The only way these borrowers could qualify for their mortgage loans (even ignoring their bad credit ratings) was to take out adjustable rate mortgages, some of which had astonishingly low first-year rates in the 3 percent range, and sometimes lower. This is what has largely fueled the subprime mortgage meltdown — the inability of thousands of subprime borrowers to afford their mortgages now that their rates have adjusted upward. Thus, the combination of the Fed's enforcement of the CRA (with the help of political pressure groups like ACORN) and its post 9/11 monetary policy in general are the reasons for the bursting real estate bubble and the "subprime" mortgage meltdown.

Don't expect to read about this in the "mainstream media," however, which generally views groups like ACORN as heroic champions of the poor, laws like the CRA as anti-discrimination laws, and places all of the blame for the subprime mortgage meltdown on greedy capitalists, especially mortgage brokers. Encouraged by such reporting, the odious Senator Charles Schumer of New York has promised federal legislation that will reign in these miscreants, while the Bush administration is proposing an indirect bank bailout by having the Federal Housing Administration cover many of the bad "subprime" loans. This will create what economists call a "moral hazard" by encouraging even more bad loans to be extended in the future. Every banker in America will be glad to extend loans (at high rates of interest) to the most uncreditworthy borrowers if he thinks there is no possibility of default with the FHA effectively guaranteeing the loan.
darwin, it doesn't matter because we aren't on the Gold Standard anymore. We aren't backed by Gold, and we don't require it to be backed up.

There is no central bank that prints money? Hmmm that is news to me. Because I was sure that for the last 110 years or pretty much half of American history we have had a Central bank printing money.

Sorry but you are wrong. All the money originates from a central bank. A public worker works for his money and his labor therefore he is entitled to his money. The private sector benefits off of public workers as do any citizen. Public workers money comes from the same area as the private sector.

The private sector gets tax dollars all the time. In some cases more tax dollars than public workers.

Everyone who works, deserves the income. Everyone who works pays taxes. Tax revenue is collected and put back into the private sector and the public sector.

Stop acting like the private sector is losing money and money is being stolen from them. They collect tax paying dollars like everyone else. All money originates from the same area which is the central bank.
Darwin, I never posted anything from the Center for American Progress/George Soros funded propaganda machine known as Mediamatters. So nice try.

Julian Cicone wrote "What do you think corporate welfare is, bailouts, tax incentives, grants, loans, subsidies, and all sorts of other things."

Who here is saying that is right? Government shouldn't be doing those things either. Nor should it allow public sector Unions.

You seem to be under the delusion that wealth is generated by the government. Although MONEY is controlled by the government it is private citizens who generate actual wealth.
"darwin, it doesn't matter where the public workers money comes from. They still pay taxes. All money originates from a central banking system. It all comes from a central banking system. A private business receives tax dollars all the time".

No, private businesses don't receive tax dollars all the time. They do when the government is powerful, corrupt and wants to control business and get them to give them money.

Understand this ... corruption stems from the government having the power to enrich or destroy. If the government didn't have such power over business, there would be no corruption or crony capitalism.

Government creates corruption. That's why asking for more government to fix the problems government created is insane. Anyone who believes that more government is the answer is either corrupt, a communist or stupid.
Year Zero, you have no comments. I just proved you wrong, regardless if it was copy and paste. I proved you wrong.

And yes, if you copied and pasted Communist Manifesto, that is what Communism is so posting it will be showing facts about Communism just like me posting what I posted about Wall Street is fact

Facts Show Private Lenders Who Were Not Subject To CRA, Not Government-Backed Ones Who Were, Drove The Subprime Mortgage Market
Private Firms, Not Fannie And Freddie, Dominated The Subprime Mortgage Market

2007: The Collapse Of The Housing Bubble And Widespread Defaults On Subprime Loans Triggered A Banking Crisis That Led To A Massive Recession. From Slate: "The only near consensus is on the question of what triggered the not-quite-a-depression. In 2007, the housing bubble burst, leading to a high rate of defaults on subprime mortgages. Exposure to bad mortgages doomed Bear Stearns in March 2008, then led to a banking crisis that fall. A global recession became inevitable once the government decided not to rescue Lehman Bros. from default in September 2008. Lehman's was the biggest bankruptcy in history, and it led promptly to a powerful economic contraction. Somewhere around here, agreement ends." [Slate, 1/9/10, emphasis added]

The Subprime Market Surged From 2004 To 2006. As reported by McClatchy: "Subprime lending offered high-cost loans to the weakest borrowers during the housing boom that lasted from 2001 to 2007. Subprime lending was at its height from 2004 to 2006." [McClatchy, 10/12/08]

From 2004 To 2006, Fannie And Freddie's Share Of Subprime Market Fell From Almost Half To Just Under One-Quarter. As reported by McClatchy: "But these loans, and those to low- and moderate-income families represent a small portion of overall lending. And at the height of the housing boom in 2005 and 2006, Republicans and their party's standard bearer, President Bush, didn't criticize any sort of lending, frequently boasting that they were presiding over the highest-ever rates of U.S. homeownership. Between 2004 and 2006, when subprime lending was exploding, Fannie and Freddie went from holding a high of 48 percent of the subprime loans that were sold into the secondary market to holding about 24 percent, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance, a specialty publication." [McClatchy, 10/12/08, emphasis added]

Fannie And Freddie Faced Tougher Regulatory Standards Than The Private Firms. As reported by McClatchy: "One reason is that Fannie and Freddie were subject to tougher standards than many of the unregulated players in the private sector who weakened lending standards, most of whom have gone bankrupt or are now in deep trouble." [McClatchy, 10/12/08]

2006: Private Firms Issued About Six Out Of Every Seven Subprime Mortgages. As reported by McClatchy:

Federal Reserve Board data show that:

More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.
Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.
Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics. [McClatchy, 10/12/08, emphasis added]

2008: The 15 Largest Subprime Servicers Were All Private Companies, Despite Large Drops In The Volume Of Their Subprime Business Compared To 2007. McClatchy prepared a graphic based on Inside Mortgage Finance data showing the 15 largest subprime service companies in 2008:

"Conservative Campaign That Blames The Global Financial Crisis On A Government Push To Make House More Affordable" Is Disproved By The Data. As reported by McClatchy: "As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail. Commentators say that's what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit. They've specifically targeted the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government seized on Sept. 6, contending that lending to poor and minority Americans caused Fannie's and Freddie's financial problems. Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis." [McClatchy, 10/12/08, emphasis added]

Fannie And Freddie Don't Issue Loans, But Buy Them From Private Banks So Banks Can Continue Lending. As reported by McClatchy: "Conservative critics claim that the Clinton administration pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make home ownership more available to riskier borrowers with little concern for their ability to pay the mortgages. [...] Fannie, the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., don't lend money, to minorities or anyone else, however. They purchase loans from the private lenders who actually underwrite the loans. It's a process called securitization, and by passing on the loans, banks have more capital on hand so they can lend even more." [McClatchy, 10/12/08, emphasis added]
The CRA Didn't Apply To The Private Firms That Inflated The Subprime Bubble

Conservatives Blame The Community Reinvestment Act Of 1977 (CRA) For The Subprime Boom Of The Early 2000s. From former Director of the U.S. Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision Ellen Seidman:

It has lately become fashionable for conservative pundits (Larry Kudlow, George Will) and disgruntled ex-bankers (Vernon Hill, for example, in his March 7 American Banker editorial) to blame the current credit crisis on the Community Reinvestment Act. This is patent nonsense. The sub-prime debacle has many causes, including greed, lack of and ineffective regulation, failures of risk assessment and management, and misplaced optimism. But CRA is not to blame.

First, the timing is all wrong. CRA was enacted in 1977, its companion disclosure statute, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) in 1975. While many of us warned against bad subprime lending before the turn of the millennium, the massive breakdown of underwriting and extension of risky products far down the income scale-without bothering to even check on income-was primarily a post-2003 phenomenon. To blame a statute enacted in 1977 for something that happened 25 years later takes a fair amount of chutzpah. [...]

Second, CRA does not either encourage or condone bad lending. Bank regulators were decrying bad subprime lending before the turn of the millennium (see Interagency Guidance on Subprime Lending), and warning the CRA-covered institutions we regulated that badly underwritten subprime products that ignored consumer protections were not acceptable. Lenders not subject to CRA did not receive similar warnings. [New America Foundation, 9/22/08, emphasis added]

The CRA Did Not Affect The Vast Majority Of Subprime Loans. From Businessweek: "The Community Reinvestment Act, passed in 1977, requires banks to lend in the low-income neighborhoods where they take deposits. Just the idea that a lending crisis created from 2004 to 2007 was caused by a 1977 law is silly. But it's even more ridiculous when you consider that most subprime loans were made by firms that aren't subject to the CRA. University of Michigan law professor Michael Barr testified back in February before the House Committee on Financial Services that 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision and another 30% were made by affiliates of banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations." [Businessweek, 9/29/08]

Subprime Loans Performed "Quite Well" When Enforcement Of CRA "Was At Its Strongest In The 1990s," But The Bush Administration Weakened CRA Enforcement. From Businessweek: "Finally, keep in mind that the Bush administration has been weakening CRA enforcement and the law's reach since the day it took office. The CRA was at its strongest in the 1990s, under the Clinton administration, a period when subprime loans performed quite well. It was only after the Bush administration cut back on CRA enforcement that problems arose, a timing issue which should stop those blaming the law dead in their tracks. The Federal Reserve, too, did nothing but encourage the wild west of lending in recent years. It wasn't until the middle of 2007 that the Fed decided it was time to crack down on abusive pratices [sic] in the subprime lending market." [Businessweek, 9/29/08, emphasis added]

"Only One-Third Of All CRA Loans" Were Subprime, And Default Rate Was Low. As reported by McClatchy:

In a speech last March, Janet Yellen, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, debunked the notion that the push for affordable housing created today's problems.

"Most of the loans made by depository institutions examined under the CRA have not been higher-priced loans," she said. "The CRA has increased the volume of responsible lending to low- and moderate-income households."

In a book on the sub-prime lending collapse published in June 2007, the late Federal Reserve Governor Ed Gramlich wrote that only one-third of all CRA loans had interest rates high enough to be considered sub-prime and that to the pleasant surprise of commercial banks there were low default rates. Banks that participated in CRA lending had found, he wrote, "that this new lending is good business." [McClatchy, 10/12/08, emphasis added]

Even Though They Weren't Subject To The CRA, "It Was The Lenders Themselves Who Were Pressing [Fannie And Freddie] To Buy These Loans." From Barry Ritholtz, who wrote the book Bailout Nation about the housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis: "It was the lenders themselves who were pressing the GSEs to buy these loans. The private sector lenders were pursuing this market due to fatter potential profits - not Fannie and Freddie. These facts don't stop the pundits; nor does an apparent lack of understanding of the actual causes of the housing boom/bust and the credit crisis. Their cognitive dissonance has also prevented them from acknowledging the role deregulation had in these events. [...] Only commercial banks and thrifts must follow CRA rules. The investment banks don't, nor did the now-bankrupt non-bank lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest that underwrote most of the subprime loans. Mortgage brokers, who also weren't subject to federal regulation or the CRA, originated most of the subprime loans." [The Big Picture, 10/23/08, emphasis added]
Yes I do know what I am talking about darwin, how hard is it for you to understand that money has to originate from some place. It doesn't just come out of your ass you imbecile.

Stop playing the victim, stop using the whole, they get paid by our tax dollars. Yes and they work for their money and therefore they deserve to get paid. They lose their income also in the way of paying taxes and a lot of their tax dollars goes into the private sector. That is what an economic system is.

Stop acting like Public Workers are just stealing money and every single thing done by the private sector is done on their own. Private sector gets just as much money if not more in the way of tax dollars than even public workers.
"Darwin, I do get it, its you who doesn't get it. It doesn't matter where the money comes from. It all originates from the central bank. Private sector gets tax payer dollars all the time. What do you think corporate welfare is, bailouts, tax incentives, grants, loans, subsidies, and all sorts of other things".

Look dude. With the gold standard money wasn't created by some "central bank". It was sitting in a vault. If the economy was flourishing and the demand for more notes required printing more they had to make sure they had the gold to back it up.

Get it? Some "central bank" doesn't create it.

Secondly, the government HAS NO MONEY. Every last cent the government spends is either borrowed from someone else or comes from the taxpayer.

Get that through your head. There is no "central bank" giving the government, or me, or you money.
darwin, it doesn't matter where the public workers money comes from. They still pay taxes. All money originates from a central banking system. It all comes from a central banking system. A private business receives tax dollars all the time.

So a public worker who pays taxes is still wrong because the taxes come from private sector taxes? every single dollar in both the public and private sector originates from a central bank. Each sector serves a purpose in helping the other sector. The private sector gets money from the public sector and the public sector uses the money they made and uses their paycheck to help the private sector.

Private Sector receive tax dollars in several ways, both work and provide services and both pay taxes, and both of their income originates from a central banking system.

The private sector gets its tax returns and gets money back.

Year Zero, you are just so ignorant. Bush tax cuts added over 3 trillion to our national debt. Public worker jobs are still jobs. You are such a pathetic excuse of a person.

It sure looks like Walker’s record as governor attacking the working class and rewarding his political contributors with tax loopholes and kickbacks isn’t working out for the people of Wisconsin. Walker does like to go on Fox News and CNBC when not being out of state going to swanky fundraisers to lie about how he is creating jobs. They smile and agree with him. Being friends with the Koch Brothers, they know just when to smile.

Wisconsin lost private-sector jobs for the sixth consecutive month in December, the same period in which the nation added jobs.

According to data released Thursday by the state Department of Workforce Development, the state lost an estimated 3,900 jobs in the private sector in December from November. The United States showed a gain of 212,000 for the month, outstripping expectations of most economists.

Both sets of data are seasonally adjusted to strip out recurring fluctuations due to weather and holidays. Both sets of data are also preliminary and subject to revision.

Nationally, the country is recovering with jobs being created. Walker, who appears to love touring the country begging for money at fundraisers, is making it worse for Wisconsin, which is now ranked at the bottom nationally.

The new labor market data shows that, while the nation as a whole added 212,000 jobs, Wisconsin continues to shed jobs at an astonishing rate. For the sixth straight month — every month since Scott Walker signed his destructive budget — Wisconsin has lost jobs, bringing the total to more than 35,600 jobs lost.

“While Scott Walker is off raising cash in New York and Texas to protect his own job, his inattention and incompetence is costing jobs right here in Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said. “For Scott Walker to even keep pace with his failed pledge to create jobs we would need to have added about 35,000 this month. Instead, we lost 3,900 private sector jobs, bringing the total number of jobs lost to more than 35,600. I know someone who can’t lose his job soon enough.”

Walker can go back on Fox News and lackeys like Gretchen Carlson can ham-hand the “conversation” and inject that he is creating jobs. Walker will just smile like a reptile and then go on with his “poor-little-me” schtick that they love so well. The sooner Walker is recalled, the better for Wisconsin.

"Wisconsin faces a $3.6 billion structural deficit, and Walker aimed to address the deficit by reforming the collective bargaining system. Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., commended Walker's initiatives in Wisconsin for serving as an example for other state governments."

There is a 3.6 billion deficit under Walker. There is no Surplus
Darwin, I do get it, its you who doesn't get it. It doesn't matter where the money comes from. It all originates from the central bank. Private sector gets tax payer dollars all the time. What do you think corporate welfare is, bailouts, tax incentives, grants, loans, subsidies, and all sorts of other things.

The money all comes from the same area. If someone works for their money, it doesn't matter where it comes from if its going to them legally.

The service is provided and the money made goes back into the economy which helps the private sector.

There is no drain, there is no burden, its not unfair, you want your life to be saved, you want nurses to help you, you want roads, you want bridges, you want all of these services then that is how they are going to get done and that is how the people who provide the services to help you will be paid.

Their boss is the state or some kind of public agency. The money all originates from the central banking system. Public workers pay taxes as well and the money goes into the private sector. Private sector receives tax dollars all the time.

And just so you know, that is a complete rubbish and lie to say that public workers aren't a necessity, the private sector can't perform most of the services that the public sector can let alone quicker, cheaper or better.

Yes Money does flow from a central banking system. You think private workers just crap out dollars. Where does that money come from? Where does it all originate from? Ir all originates from a central banking system. Money is printed and put into the economy, companies provide a service and that money is then give to them as an income, they pay taxes, money goes into the revenue poll and is used for public utilities and public purposes and then the public sector pays taxes and that money goes in as well and people get a tax return at the very end.

Public workers use their income that they worked for and they use it for the private sector.

It is not a lunacy made up by leftists.

Public workers are hired for a service as well, not vacation, retirement, etc.

You want to make public workers seem worthless, bad, corrupt, and more. You are incredibly ignorant on the subject of culture, economics, and history

Private sector gets their money from the same place the public sector does. A public worker gets paid to perform a service and with that money he uses it and puts it back into the economy which helps the private sector.

Everyone's money came from other people. That is what a economic system is like, its a system.

The benefits and wages aren't out demanding anything.

You need a more reliable source than the Center for American Progress/George Soros funded propaganda machine known as Mediamatters.

Spoken like a member of a conservative-run and conservative-financed sheltered workshop for otherwise-unemployable hacks:
Julian Cicone, the CRA was enacted in 1977 and revised by Clinton into the act that caused the housing meltdown. Because of his revisions to the CRA, the risk was spread throughout the economic system.

Your cutting and pasting skillz are awesome to be sure but it does not change the fact that the CRA, as revised by Clinton, was the cause of the meltdown and the recession.

If I cut and paste the Communist Manifesto into a post does that validate Communism?
"But tax payer dollars also come from and originate from the same place public workers money comes from which is the central banking system".

Do you have any idea of what your talking about?
"Everyone pays taxes, the public workers pay taxes just like private workers"

Yeah, except the taxes they pay come straight from the pocket of the taxpayer.

Public sector workers are paid with tax money, and take that tax money to pay their own taxes.
Julian Cicone

Let's see

2003&2004 deficits: Looks like he reduced the deficit by 50% after just being elected to the position. Good job! Maybe we could blame this on the guy before like a certain President of ours?

Lowers budgets for economic development divisions from $18-19 million to just over $1 million. Good job! Government shouldn't be in the business of funneling money to businesses they like.

Slashing funding for government and bureaucracy? Good job!

Liked the Bush tax cuts? Good job!

Eliminating government jobs? Good job!

If I may suggest it, you should refine your little screed to remove all the repitition. Merely saying the same thing over and over does not constitute a "fact".

Nothing you have posted shows me that Walker is wrong about much. Sounds like he cuts government waste and involvement in private business. How is that bad?
Julian Cicone,

You don't get it ... public sector unions are paid with taxpayer money, yet they don't negotiate with the taxpayer. The taxpayer is out of the loop. They deal with elected and sometimes unelected officials, many had union donations to their campiagns.

It's corrupt.

Secondly, public workers aren't a necessity. The same functions and services can be performed by private contractors, usually for much cheaper, much quicker and much better.

Money doesn't flow from a central location back to a central location. That's some lunancy dreamt up by leftists. People are hired to perform a service. That's why people get paid, they have a skill or knowledge that benefits the employer. They're not hired so the employer can provide them with a retirement, or health care, or vacation days ... they're hired to perform a specific service.

When I pay you for performing a service you take that money and pay others for their services to you.

When the benefits or wage demands outweigh the benefit of that service the company starts to run into the red. That's public sector workers.
Lyle in Indiana, it is you who is misinformed. I never said that public workers income comes from tax dollars. But tax payer dollars also come from and originate from the same place public workers money comes from which is the central banking system.

Private sector workers and private sector boss's don't just crap out money. All the money originates from a central banking system.

Every single person both public and private owes someone, something. Every single dollar has been around in circulation across the country.

The Private sector receives tax payer dollars all the time, from tax incentives, to subsidies, to grants, loans, and other forms of corporate welfare.

Everyone pays taxes, the public workers pay taxes just like private workers, public workers provide a service that helps everyone including the private sector. With that money that the public worker makes, then uses it for the private sector therefore you have a continuing motion of money going into and out of the economy.

Public workers are not draining America and are not draining the economy and are not putting a burden on things. They never were. So its a lie to say that they are doing that. Its a lie to use the whole, it comes from tax dollars. No it comes from a central bank which is the same area where private sector workers money originates and comes from.

We all pay taxes and we all get money back in tax returns. Public workers help private business's by numerous services giving private business's money and then public workers put the money they worked for into the private sector. That is how the system goes, its a continuous system. Public workers and Unions are draining or putting a burden or anyone or anything. They aren't the problem.
Year Zero, the CRA? Really? Wow you are unbelievable, you are blaming the entire economic crisis on a plan made in the 1970s?

Here are some facts for you.

Shah Gilani writes: No one person is responsible for the credit crisis, the failure of investment banks, the insolvency of commercial banks world-wide, the implosion of the world's stock markets, or for leading us to the precipice of another great depression.

The truth is there were many.

Fundamental and pragmatic banking regulations, which arose from the devastating financial collapses of the Great Depression , for decades strengthened U.S. banks and capital markets, making them the twin engines of American growth and the envy of the world.

The systematic dismantling of those same regulations by greedy bankers began in earnest in 1980, peaked in 1999, and finally climaxed with an insane Securities and Exchange Commission ruling in April 2004, a final decision that paved the way for the implosion of everything regulation was designed to protect.

Just how did we get here?

Wall Street bankers, their exorbitantly well-paid lobbying army of former congressmen and former regulators, their greatly contributed-to sitting legislators and, most egregiously, the self-righteous and still mega-rich “former” Street executives have systematically eviscerated the muscle and bones from the regulatory bodies charged with protecting us from banks' self-destructive greed. An inordinately powerful group of executive insiders from the once-deeply respected House of Goldman Sachs ( GS ) have served as U.S. Treasury secretaries and in innumerable other administrative capacities.

A Reflection on Reform

The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 , signed into law by President Jimmy Carter , was the first major reform of the U.S. banking system since the Great Depression.

While touted as a boon to consumers, the law was actually a gold mine for bankers. Among other requirements and banker “gifts” the 1980 Act's provisions:

Lowered the mandatory reserve requirements banks keep in non-interest bearing accounts at U.S. Federal Reserve banks.
Established a five-member committee, the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee , to phase out federal interest rate ceilings on deposit accounts over a six-year period.
Increased Federal Deposit Insurance Corp . (FDIC) coverage from $40,000 to $100,000.
Allowed depository institutions, including savings and loans and other thrift institutions, access to the Federal Reserve Discount Window for credit advances.
And pre-empted state usury laws that limited the rates lenders could charge on residential mortgage loans.

In 1980, in a virtual landslide, Ronald Reagan was elected and grabbed the conservative mantle. A year later, the shock troops of the heralded Reagan Revolution launched their attack and embarked on a massive, systematic de-regulatory campaign. President Reagan's first treasury secretary, former Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Executive Officer Donald T. Regan , became chairman of the Depository Institutions Deregulation Committee.

In a burst of deregulatory bravado in 1982, Treasury Secretary Regan ushered through the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act . Key provisions of the Act ultimately coalesced with Treasury Secretary Regan's protection of the lucrative “ brokered deposits ” business, in which Merrill was a major player, and paved the way for the future collapse of the savings and loan industry.

Some of the provisions in that 1982 Act would later be blamed for thousands of bank failures. The provisions permitted the following:

Allowed savings and loans to make commercial, corporate, business or agricultural loans of up to 10% of their assets.
Authorized a capital assistance program - the “Net Worth Certificate Program” - for dangerously undercapitalized banks, under which the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp . (FSLIC) and the FDIC would purchase capital instruments called “Net Worth Certificates” from savings institutions with net worth/asset ratios of less than 3.0%, and would theoretically later redeem the certificates as these shaky banks regained financial health.
And, most frighteningly, raised the allowable ceiling on direct investments by savings institutions in nonresidential real estate from 20% to 40% of assets.

The history of S&L greed and fraud - which resulted from brokered deposits and deregulation - wasn't forgotten by legislators. But it was steamrolled by bankers pursuing an even greater unshackling of the regulations that constrained their ambitions.

Shattered Glass

The ultimate prize was to be the undoing of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 . Glass-Steagall, officially known as the Banking Act of 1933, mandated the separation of banks according to the types of business they conducted. Investment banks, whose securities related activities resulted in relatively large risks, were to be separate from commercial banks, whose depositors needed greater protection. The Act created deposit insurance and the government wasn't about to allow taxpayer-backed insurance of commercial bank deposits to be exposed to securities related risks. It was a prudent and sensible separation. Bankers tried for years to undermine and overturn Glass-Steagall, but it took time.

In 1987, Alan Greenspan replaced Paul A. Volcker - the stalwart Federal Reserve Board chairman, national inflation-fighting hero and active proponent of Glass-Steagall (and now economic confidant of President-elect Obama).

In its twilight days, the Reagan administration was determined to further fertilize the seeds of deregulation and Greenspan's Ayn Rand -inspired “objectivist,” free-market philosophies would be the perfect embodiment of the deregulatory movement.

Securitization Enters the Scene

A year later - in 1988 - two very quiet revolutions sprouted that would ultimately hand bankers twin throttles to rain terror on us all.

That year, the Basel Accord established international risk-based capital requirements for deposit-taking commercial banks. In a byproduct of the calculations of what constituted mortgage-related risk (by nature of the loans' long maturities and illiquidity) lenders should be expected to set aside substantial reserves; however, marketable securities that could theoretically be sold easily would not require significant reserves.

To obviate the need for such reserves, and to free up the money for more-productive pursuits, banks made a wholesale shift from originating and holding mortgages to packaging them and holding mortgage assets in a now-securitized form. Not inconsequentially, this would lead to a disconnect between asset-quality considerations and asset-liquidity considerations.

Meanwhile, over at the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the appointment of free-market disciple Wendy Gramm, wife of U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm , R-Tex., as chairperson, would result in her successful 1989 and 1993 exemption of swaps and derivatives from all regulation.

These actions would not be inconsequential in the aforementioned reign of terror that was still to come.

In 1993, with her agenda accomplished, Wendy Gramm resigned from her CFTC post to take a seat on the Enron Corp. board as a member of its audit committee. We all know what happened there. Enron's fraud and implosion became the poster child for deregulation run amok and ultimately helped spawn Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, which has its own issues .

The constant flow of money to lobbyists and into legislators' campaign coffers was paying off for the banking interests. The Fed, under Chairman Greenspan, was methodically deconstructing the foundation of Glass-Steagall. The final breaching of the wall occurred in 1998, when Citibank was bought by Travelers. The deal married Citibank, a commercial bank, with Travelers' Solomon, Smith Barney investment bank and the Travelers insurance business.

There was only one problem: The deal was clearly illegal in light of Glass-Steagall and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 . However, a legal loophole in the 1956 BHC Act gave the new Citicorp a five-year window to change the landscape, or the deal would have to be unwound. If aggressively flouting existing laws to pursue a personal agenda isn't a perfect example of bankers' hubris and greed, then maybe I've just got it all wrong.

Phil Gramm - the fire breathing free-marketer, Texas senator, and chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs - rode to the rescue, propelled by a sea of more than $300 million in lobbying and campaign contributions. In 1999, in the ultimate proof that money is power, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act , at once doing away with Glass-Steagall and the 1956 BHC Act, and crowning Citigroup Inc. ( C ) as the new “King of the Hill.”

From his position of power, Sen. Gramm consistently leveraged his Ph.D in economics and free-market ideology to espouse the virtues of subprime lending, where he famously once stated: “I look at subprime lending and I see the American Dream in action.”

If helping struggling borrowers pursue their homeownership dreams was such a noble cause, it might have been incumbent upon the senator to not block legislation advocating the curtailment of predatory lending practices. From 1989 through 2002, federal records show that Sen. Gramm was the top recipient of contributions from commercial banks and among the top five recipients of campaign contributions from Wall Street. [Click here to read "How Subprime Borrowing Fueled the Credit Crisis."]

Since moving on from the Senate in 2002 to mega-universal Swiss banking giant UBS AG ( UBS ), where he serves as an investment banker and lobbyist, Gramm makes no apologies. “The markets have worked better than you might have thought,” he has been quoted as saying. “There is this idea afloat that if you had more regulation you would have fewer mistakes. I don't see any evidence in our history or anybody else's to substantiate that.”

The “New” Math

On April 28, 2004, in a fitting and perhaps flagrant final act of eviscerating prudent regulation, the SEC ruled that investment banks may essentially determine their own net capital. The insanity of that allowance is only surpassed by the fact that the SEC allowed the change because it was simultaneously demanding greater scrutiny of the books and records of what were the holding companies of investment banks and all their affiliates.

The tragedy is that the SEC never used its new powers to examine the banks. The idea was that Consolidated Supervised Entities (CSEs) could use internal models to determine risk and compliance with net capital requirements. In reality, what the investment banks did was essentially re-cast hybrid capital instruments, subordinated debt, deferred tax returns and securities with no ready market into “healthy” capital assets against which they reduced reserve requirements for net capital calculations and increased their leverage to as much as 30:1. [Click here to read "How Wall Street Manufactures Financial Services Products," an insider's look at how greed on Wall Street results in unscrupulous investment instruments]

When the meltdown came the leverage and concentration of bad assets quickly resulted in the shotgun marriage of insolvent Bear Stearns Cos. to JP Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ), the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holding ( LEHMQ ), the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America Corp . ( BAC ), and the rushed acceptance of applications by Goldman and Morgan Stanley ( MS ) to convert to Bank Holding Companies so they could feed at the taxpayer bailout trough and feast on the Fed's new Smörgåsbord of liquidity handouts. There are no more CSEs (the SEC announced an end to that program in September). The old investment bank model is dead.

The motivation for bankers to undermine and inhibit prudent regulation is inherent in banker compensation incentives. The September 1993 Journal of Financial Research sums up the problem on compensation by concluding: “Firm characteristics that influence managerial compensation include leverage (as a measure of observable risk) market-to-book ratio of assets, size and shareholder return. Evidence suggests that Bank Holding Companies may be exploiting the deposit insurance mechanism because leverage is a significant factor in our results for incentive-based components of compensation. Our results strongly support the view that fundamental shifts in business activities of Bank Holding Companies have influenced their compensation strategies”.

No one would tempt an alcoholic by putting one in charge of a liquor store and neither would anyone put a fox in charge of a henhouse. So why are greedy bankers being allowed to rewrite banking regulations to enrich themselves while leveraging taxpayers, destroying trillions of dollars of hard-earned savings and sinking us into a potential depression?

Until transparency sheds light on the backroom dealers and influence peddlers that aligned with Wall Street against Main Street, we will continue to be held hostage to the same greed and avarice that manifests itself in too many human beings who actually have the power to execute their personal agendas.
This is the story of how we got here. Where we are is actually even scarier than authorities are willing to admit. In the second article in this three-part series later this week, I will be the unfortunate bearer of the news of where “here” actually is.

[ Editor's Note : Money Morning Contributing Editor Shah Gilani, a retired hedge-fund manager and noted expert on the global financial crisis, will host a post-Inauguration " Web summit " that talks about the pending regime change in Washington and what it means for investors in the coming months.

The Jan. 22 session - entitled " The Regime Change in Washington Triggers War on Wall Street " - is free of charge to investors who register in advance. It will start at 7 p.m. EST.

Those who tune in can expect to get candid insights not available on your favorite cable-TV finance show or in the business section of your local newspaper.
"Wall Street doubletalk got us into this crisis; I hear more excuses than straight talk. Most of the dialogue is noise," said Gilani, the editor of the " Trigger Event Strategist " and a commentator who is known for his deep connections inside the investment-banking world of Wall Street. "The truth may be difficult to swallow, but without hearing it, there's not much hope for finding the right way out of the maze."

Gilani will show investors how to interpret recent moves by lawmakers and their cronies to unlock the credit markets, and what's really behind the recent machinations taking place in the power alleys of Wall Street and in the halls of government down on Capitol Hill. With this insight, investors will be able to proactively strengthen their investing portfolios in the face of an escalating credit crisis and deteriorating financial markets - whose ripple effects are only now manifesting themselves in Europe, India and other markets abroad. Investors should sign up early; those who do will be able to also submit questions in advance for Gilani's consideration. Click here for more information, including instructions on how to sign up for the free web summit. ]
Scott Walker's Record of Failure - Jobs

He made an empty campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs, but Scott Walker actually has a long track record of failure when it comes to promoting and stimulating economic growth. Dating back to his days as Milwaukee County Executive, Walker has consistently proved himself incapable of understanding the economic challenges facing Wisconsinites, and unable or unwilling to offer solutions of his own.
Scott Walker's Policies Cause Unemployment to Skyrocket

Despite calling a special session of the Legislature that was allegedly "all about jobs" as his first act as Governor, and then calling a second special session this fall, unemployment has risen to 7.9% in Wisconsin. What's worse, Walker's failed policies have put such a downward pressure on wages that the jobs that are available provide incomes at a nearly all-time low. ["Struggling Wisconsinites ask: where are the jobs with good wages?" The Capital Times, 10/5/2011]
Scott Walker Blames the Jobless For His Economic Failures

Even as unemployment spikes and his Legislature forces people laid off from their jobs to wait a week for the benefits they need to feed their families, Scott Walker contends that job-seekers would rather collect unemployment benefits than fill vacant jobs. ["Scott Walker to Look At Unemployment Comp Benchmarks," Wisconsin Public Radio, 9/28/2011]
Scott Walker's Jobs Center Boasts Thousands of Out-of-State Jobs

Nearly 20% of the jobs posted on Scott Walker's Job Center of Wisconsin, a resource for unemployed Wisconsinites, are actually located in neighboring states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.["6,000 jobs on website touted by Walker are outside of Wisconsin," Associated Press, 9/21/2011]
Scott Walker Calls Bogus Special Session

Some examples of Scott Walker's "Anything But Jobs" special session legislation:

The union-busting "budget repair bill" that stripped the rights of thousands of hardworking teachers, nurses and other hardworking Wisconsinites and cut vital protections to our public health programs
Rollback of auto insurance mandates
Killing green jobs by over-burdensome wind farm regulations
Rolling back protections for victims of drunk drivers to recoup losses
Transforming the Commerce Department into a public-private enterprise with limited, if any, accountability and oversight

Scott Walker Shuts Down High Speed Rail

Before taking office, then-Gov.elect Walker worked to shut down high speed rail in Wisconsin. He was ultimately successful, and Wisconsin saw the loss of thousands of family-sustaining jobs and millions of dollars in federal assistance. ["High speed rail funds scatter to other states," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/9/2010]

His decision cost Wisconsin the opportunity to be an innovator in the field of green technology and and ruined the state's chances to be at the epicenter of a Midwest jobs corridor. Additionally, the state is now facing at least $209.1 million in costs, which would have been covered by federal funds. These costs include at least two new locomotives and a maintenance base already contracted to rail manufacturer Talgo, which has said it will transfer its operation out of Wisconsin due to Walker's policies, as well as track upgrades, a train shed and related engineering and design costs. ["Without aid, Hiawatha is in a pinch," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/15/2011]

In rejecting the federal funds, Walker cited the state's burden of annual operating costs, originally estimated to be approximately $7.5 million. Revised estimates, coupled with the news that federal aid could cover up to 90% of the state's costs, reduced the state's annual costs to as low as $750,000. Using this metric, the state could have paid for up to 278 years of maintenance with the original federal rail allocation for less than what it will have to pay to upgrade the Hiawatha line. ["As high speed rail debate chugs along, revisit facts," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/5/2010]
Scott Walker Kills Wind Farm Plans

In March 2011, Invenergy LLC withdrew its application to build a 100-turbine wind farm in the Green Bay area, a direct result of Scott Walker's extensive plans to cripple the clean energy industry in Wisconsin. The wind farm would have generated $600,000 in revenue to Brown County and four municipalities. Invenergy was prepared to support a payroll of over $10 million during the construction process. ["Developer cancels wind farm plans," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/21/2011]
Scott Walker Derides Efforts to Promote Milwaukee-centered Regional Economy As Akin to "Putting Lipstick on a Pig"

Speaking before a panel of business and community leaders in 2005, Scott Walker derided the efforts of the M7 to foster economic development in Southeastern Wisconsin, promoting a Milwaukee-centered regional economy, as akin to putting "lipstick on a pig." ["Opinion: "Lipstick on a pig" applies to Walker record, too," October18, 2005,]
Scott Walker Eliminates Milwaukee County's Department of Economic Development

After years of de-funding and failed leadership, Scott Walker eliminated the county's Economic & Community Development department in the midst of the 2008 economic collapse. Former Walker campaign staffers, who many criticized as lacking the depth of experience to manage the county's development efforts, had run the department for years. ["Walker plan shifts development efforts," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/8/2011]
Scott Walker Proposes Using Stimulus Money to Provide a Sales Tax Holiday

Instead of funding road and bridge improvements and repairing and improving other vital infrastructure, which would also create jobs for Wisconsinites, Scott Walker instead proposed that the county's share of federal stimulus money be used to provide a sales tax holiday. ["Walker wants state to use share of stimulus money for sales tax holiday," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/15/2009]
Scott Walker Vetoed the Creation of an Economic Development Trust Fund

When the estate of a former Milwaukee County employee made a one-time gift of $2 million intended to create an economic development trust fund, Walker vetoed the County Board's proposal and instead used the funds to offset his budget deficit. ["Scott Walker's challenge," The Daily Page, 11/20/2009]

Scott Walker's Record of Failure - Education

The greatest tool for advancement for working families, education, is being threatened by Scott Walker. His agenda jeopardizes the tradition of empowering Wisconsin's children and rewarding ability and hard work.
Scott Walker's Budget Cuts $1.6 Billion From Public Education

Between direct reductions to school districts and reduced state aid to localities, Scott Walker's budget slashed nearly $1.6 billion from public education. Walker and his legislature have defended the cuts, arguing that by eliminating the right to bargain collectively and forcing through higher contributions for health insurance and pensions in the "budget repair bill," they had given school districts the so-called "tools" to offset these reductions. The problem for many schools is that these tools, which are really just cuts, are a one-time solution to a bigger problem. [2011 Wisconsin Act 32]
Some schools most negatively impacted by Walker's cuts:

Monona Grove: Monona Grove School Board President Susan Fox said her district lost a lot of teachers to retirement, as did many Wisconsin schools. Many of teachers were not replaced, and Fox said she's bracing for a $2 million revenue shortfall a year from now. "We don't know what else we can cut," she said. ["Schools feel the pinch of cuts in state aid," River Falls Journal, 8/24/11]

Pepin: Pepin Superintendent Bruce Quinton said his tiny district will have fourth through sixth graders in the same classroom this fall, and some students will have daily bus rides an hour longer than last year. Quinton said Wisconsin's school funding problems came over decades. It was unduly harsh to tackle them all in a single budget year, he said. ["Schools feel the pinch of cuts in state aid," River Falls Journal, 8/14/11]

Boyceville: Boyceville Community School District administrator Kevin Sipple weighed in on the budget situation saying, "This latest round of cuts really threatens our ability to offer quality educational services for our students," he said. To compensate for the losses, Sipple said that all measures to balance the budget could be used, including cuts in staff, cuts in programs, cuts in supplies and increases in taxes. [State aid drop affects area schools, Dunn County News, 9/15/11]

Elk Mound: Ron Walsh, district administrator for the Elk Mound school district, said, "This will likely impact the quality of the teaching force. Teachers in high need areas or areas of high and rare skills may be more able to select districts where they want to work with potentially higher income as they are more able to negotiate individually. With the loss of seniority, some educators may feel less allegiance to their employing district and might shop around and move more often than has occurred in the past." [State aid drop affects area schools, Dunn County News, 9/15/11]

Milwaukee: Milwaukee Public Schools, facing an $84 million reduction in state aid due to the Walker budget, is expected to lay off 519 employees, eliminate vacant positions and and cut back on spending for textbooks, summer school options and building maintenance. [Wisconsin Schools to Layoff 354 Teachers,, 6/30/11]

Scott Walker's Budget Cuts From UW System, Technical Colleges

Another cut in Walker's budget slashed $250 million in support for the UW system and made a 30% reduction in investments in the technical college system.
Scott Walker Cuts in Education are Highest per Student in the Nation

Scott Walker claims to be a leader in education, but where he has led is the single biggest step backward in the history of public education in Wisconsin and the biggest cuts to education per pupil in the nation, according to a recent study by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. [WI Act 10, The Capital Times]
Scott Walker Pushes to Shift Taxpayer Dollars From Public to Private Schools

Walker's budget took power and authority away from local school boards and slashed nearly $1.6 billion in state aid to local public school districts, while increasing funding for schools run by private organizations, including for-profit corporations, like those favored by the conservative American Federation of Children. The American Federation of Children, run in Wisconsin by longtime Republican operative Scott Jensen, a colleague of Scott Walker's in the Legislature, spent nearly $820,000 on independent expenditures and phony issue ads in the 2010 fall elections. Scott Walker himself was the recipient of $70,000 in direct contributions from so-called "choice" advocates. [WI Act 10, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Learning the Fitzwalkerstan Way: Wisconsin's Walker Pushes Privatization of Education, The Nation, 5/9/11]
Scott Walker's Budget Cuts Collective Bargaining Rights, Teachers Retire at Higher Rate

Due to the cuts in contracts, heath care payments and collective bargaining rights, teachers are retiring at a much higher rate than normal. This results in the loss of decades of in-classroom experience by dedicated teachers. According to the results of a survey of Wisconsin school districts conducted by The Capital Times, sixty-five percent of the respondents said their districts will have fewer full-time-equivalent positions for this school year compared to last year. [Uncharted waters: Public school superintendents may be facing 'perfect storm,' The Capital Times, 8/24/11]

Scott Walker's Record of Failure - Incompetence
Scott Walker Failed to Manage his Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex

Walker's privatization of jobs and overall mismanagement of the Mental Health Complex was marked by multiple reports of patient deaths, the sexual assault of mentally handicapped patients and the findings of a federal investigation, which Walker suppressed during his campaign for governor, that the county failed to manage the complex and protect patients.
Scott Walker Failed to Provide Real Security at the Milwaukee County Courthouse

Walker also saw a series of failures in his attempt to outsource security at the Milwaukee County Courthouse as a fix for an alleged budgetary emergency. In addition to putting a sex criminal in charge of security at the courthouse, Walker's sell-off of county services ultimately cost Milwaukee County money when an arbitrator ruled that Walker had overstepped his authority, there existed no budget crisis to justify laying off 26 county workers in favor of a contract with the ethically-challenged Wackenhut private security firm, and that Walker had significantly overstated the proposed annual savings.
Scott Walker Failed to Manage Milwaukee County's Public Assistance Programs

As Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker was tasked to administer food aid, childcare assistance and medical care programs designed to help the needy, some of the very programs he now seeks to privatize as Governor. However, in an unprecedented move following years of Scott Walker's failure to provide adequate services, the state was forced to take over Milwaukee County's public assistance program. Walker's mismanagement, under-funding and ineptitude, despite millions of dollars and thousands of hours in resources from the state, led to thousands deserving applicants being denied assistance for food and health care for weeks or months, if they received help at all.

As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The county's poor performance in the programs includes answering only 5% of the hundreds of thousands of phone calls to the county's public assistance call center every month.

The county fails to process 30% of its benefit applications within the required seven days, with some families waiting weeks or months for food or health care.

In 2007, 60% of county decisions to deny food or health care benefits were overturned within two months. That resulted in benefit delays and forced families to go through time-consuming appeals or a second round of applications.

The county's high food assistance error rate means nearly one in five deserving applicants were cut off from the program in fiscal year 2008.

Scott Walker Failed to Manage Milwaukee County Transit System

Walker's gross mismanagement of Milwaukee County's transit system ultimately required federal stimulus funds to address massive fiscal problems. ['Milwaukee County bus system to get one-third of stimulus transportation funds,' River Falls Journal, 3/9/2009]

Because of Walker's failure to control transit costs, Milwaukee County residents were forced to shoulder huge fee hikes, reduced routes and fewer services, all while faced with fare increases, including fares for seniors, students and the disabled, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noting in 2010 that, 'County officials have cut service, raised fares or both every year for 10 straight years.' ['County transit ridership falls 9%,' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/7/2010]
Scott Walker Failed to Manage Milwaukee County's Finances, Leaving it on the Verge of Bankruptcy

Eight years of Walker's feckless money mismanagement left Milwaukee County on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a report by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, with the structural deficit expected to climb to nearly $100 million by 2014. Walker's historic soaring budget deficits and his series of short term fixes passed the buck to future generations and amounted to nothing more than putting a band-aid over a bullet wound. ['County finances on, report says,' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/9/2010] [2011 Milwaukee County Budget Preview, Public Policy Forum, July 2010]
Scott Walker's Failed Budget 'Solutions'

Many of Walker's 'solutions' to budget problems have actually cost the county and state money in legal fees and corrective actions.

Scott Walker slashed custodial jobs at the courthouse, resulting in cockroach infestation.
Scott Walker implemented a 35 hour workweek for county employees, which the Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently declared an overstep of his authority.

Julian Cicone - sorry, but you are so misinformed. You explanation of where money comes from is closer to wishful thinking than it is to reality. You are completely wrong when you say that public sector unions are not paid by the taxpayers and that the unions are not draining the wages of the average Jane and John Doe. The very definition of a public sector union is that they are a union of workers who perform services for the public. As such, their wages are paid-for by the public; which is funded via taxes. There is no magic money tree or "economy" into which all money goes and from which all wages and payments are made. Unfortunately, too many people are not able to grasp how the whole incestuous relationship between unions and elected officials works. That is why the public sector union scheme has worked for so long. Now, finally, we are starting to have some politicians with enough strength and fortitude to take on these unions and rightly fight for the taxpayers to keep more of their own earnings and pay less to line the pockets of union bosses and crooked politicians.
Julian Cicone, look up the history of the Community Reinvestment Act and how it was revised under Bill Clinton.

Wall Street adjusted, or attempted to adjust, to the rules forced upon it by government. To say that Wall Street screwed people over is false. They were trying to maximize profits in an environment they were forced into. Clinton just gave them a legal way to do so.

It is only low to point out the truth in the liberal/progressive circles you seem to run in. Many of us know how we got here and are not willing to let you and your progressive ilk tell us black is white and white is black.
Year Zero here are some facts for you.

The state has not ended the year in red under Governor Doyle, yet under Scott Walker’s leadership, Milwaukee County has twice ended the year with budget deficits: 2003 & 2004. Like the state, Milwaukee County has frequently announced mid-year budget deficits, which they are required by state constitution to close by the year end.
2003: $3,553,990 budget deficit [Milwaukee County Executive Budgets]
2004: $1,573,366 budget deficit [Milwaukee County Executive Budgets]
2005: projected $10.8 million budget deficit [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/28/2005] 2006: projected $10.2 million budget deficit [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 06/19/2006] 2007: projected $4.2 million budget deficit [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/20/2007] 2008: projected $6 million budget deficit [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/25/2008] 2009: projected $14 million budget deficit [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 06/13/2009] 2010: projected $10 million budget deficit [WISN, 02/22/2010]
2011: projected $44.9 million budget deficit [Public Policy Forum, 07/13/2010]

A recent report issued by the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum, predicts five more years of county deficits, running totaling over $495 million

Walker lowers budgets for economic development divisions from $18-19 million to just over $1 million

When Walker was elected he had two divisions under his supervision that managed economic development programs in the county, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Economic & Community Development division and Executive Office was the Office of Community Business Development Partners. Walker slashed CBDP funding by half and totally eliminated DAS in 2009.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs. … As President Bush said on Friday, 'the American economy heads into 2006 with a full head of team.' Thanks, in part, to the tax cuts pushed by President Bush in 2001 and again in 2003, the economy is headed in the right direction. Most importantly, Americans' businesses are headed in the right direction." [Scott Walker Blog, 1/7/06]

On no other issue has Scott Walker provided less leadership than jobs. In 2009 alone, Milwaukee County lost over 30,000 jobs. Walker’s failure to prioritize job creation and economic development has devastated Milwaukee County’s workers. Walker has punted responsibility or mismanaged three job creation and economic development offices. After several years of cutting funding by almost 50 percent to the Office of Community Business Development Partners, the County Board took control of the division in 2006. In his 2007 budget, Walker first stripped millions of dollars from the Department of Administrative Service’s Economic and Community Development Division, and then completely eliminated the division in 2009.

In 2007, due to Walker’s inaction, the state was forced to strip authority from Walker over the Private Industry Council and give it to the City of Milwaukee after complaints about its effectiveness and loss of funding sources.

Milwaukee County lost over 30,000 jobs in 2009 alone

The County’s unemployment rate jumped from 5.5% to 9.2% in just one year.

When Walker was elected he had two divisions under his supervision that managed economic development programs in the county:
• Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Economic & Community Development division (a merger of Economic Development and Housing & Community Development),
• Executive Office was the Office of Community Business Development Partners (initially called Disadvantaged Business Development).
In his 2006 budget Walker moved the Office of Community Business Development Partners out of his office to the County Board after several years of reducing funding (in 2002 the program was funded at $680,454 and by 2005 Walker recommended funding of just $494,688).
[Milwaukee County Executive Recommended Budgets, 2002-2010]
After four years of recommending flat funding, Walker reduced funding for the DAS Economic & Community Development department by $3 million (2007 budget), and then followed that up in his 2008 budget by stripping the program down to just real estate management and federal block grant distribution. He fully eliminated it as part of his 2008 budget – in the midst of the financial collapse.
[Milwaukee County Executive Recommended Budgets, 2002-2010]
Walker reduced what had been $18-19 million each year in county spending on economic development (2002-2006), to just over $1 million in his proposed 2010 budget.
In his 2010 budget, Walker proposed a new economic development program that essentially creates a local “Recovery Act” style stimulus through accelerated borrowing and amped up construction:

Vetoed using a $2 million gift for economic development, instead used it to claim a “surplus” for 2008 budget year
Walker announced Monday that the 2008 budget would likely finish in the black. Earlier projections of an '08 deficit were partly offset by a $1.25 million donation, a lawsuit arbitration award to the county of $628,000, and $1 million from an earlier sale of a Park East parcel.

Walker vetoed using the money for economic and community development purposes
Results of May 21, 2009 County Board Meeting Votes
May 21, 2009,
11-8 Veto sustained (No: Borkowski, Broderick, Cesarz, Jursik, Rice, Sanfelippo, West, Holloway) to override the County Executive’s veto of a resolution to establish an interest earning trust fund for the purpose of depositing monies bequeathed by the estate of Frank and Maxine Allen to economic and community development purposes.
Fox Point Woman Bequeaths $3.1 million Estate to Milwaukee County, State
Posted: Jan. 23, 2009,
Allen, who died at age 85 in February 2008, left an estate worth $3.1 million - with about $2 million bequeathed to Milwaukee County in what may be the largest unrestricted gift ever given to the county. The State of Wisconsin will get the rest, after fees for lawyers and bankers are deducted.
One clue as to the reason for the couple's unusual charity: Frank Allen worked for 24years as a court reporter for Milwaukee County, retiring in 1973.

Failed to market job-creating financial aid and take advantage of federal lending programs
Milwaukee County supervisors faulted County Executive Scott Walker on Monday, saying he hadn't developed a plan or designated staff to promote financing aid that could boost local economic development.
Two major federal lending programs could be tapped by the county to assist private developers by lowering borrowing costs, but the county has been slow to market the aid, supervisors said.

Tim Russell, Walker's deputy chief of staff, said the county executive's staff had discussed the lending programs with developers in recent months. Contacts are made when news of potential developments is reported in local newspapers, Russell said.
Walker shares concerns about the potential loss of $18 million in lending authority earmarked for the county under proposed legislation, Russell said.
[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 1/26/10]

Hired inexperienced campaign staff to run economic development programs; Lowered profile of development efforts
The state and municipalities play larger roles than the county in shaping development, Walker said. They have access to more incentives that developers want and, in the case of cities, control zoning decisions. Often, firms interested in a deal mistakenly assume the county has a grab-bag of incentives, he said.
County Supervisor Toni Clark said she would oppose Walker's move, calling economic development "probably the most important division of county government."
The county needs to redouble its efforts at marketing its Park East holdings and hire more experienced development staffers, not downplay its development role, said Clark, the chairwoman of the County Board's Economic and Community Development Committee.
Walker's last two choices to lead the county economic development office, Bob Dennik and Tim Russell, came from his campaign and lacked depth in the development business, Clark said. Dennik left the post this week to become an executive with a Pewaukee construction company. Russell is now Walker's community relations director.
"Walker chooses folks who don't have (the necessary) experience," she said.

Took credit for jobs program he vetoed, County board overrode
Walker held a press conference in Milwaukee to tout the very same summer jobs program he tried to kill in his recent budget. Walker vetoed $100,000 of funding for the program in his 2009 budget, before the County Board overrode his veto, saving the 350 jobs.
[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/29/2009]
Walker held an outdoor ceremony at Washington Park to take credit for the 350 summer jobs that are being created in the county parks. However, the deadline to apply for the jobs had passed two weeks prior to Walker's ceremony, meaning that the sole purpose of the event was to get Walker's face on TV to boost his flailing campaign for governor. After being inundated with calls, the county was forced to remove the summer job application information from its Web site.
[Wisconsin Democratic Party, News Release, 6/1/2009]

Toes WMC Line on Green Energy Incentives & Mandates to Generate Green Jobs in Wisconsin
He's aware that Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is opposing proposed state legislation that would mandate energy reductions and greater use of renewable energy resources - such as wind and solar - versus reliance on other forms, including coal, the dominant source of fuel in Wisconsin.
"What I've repeatedly said is I'm for being green if it saves or makes green," said Walker. He said he's not sure if WMC's estimate of potential job losses from the so-called "Global Warming Bill" or "Clean Energy Jobs Act" (depending on one's perspective) is accurate. [Herald Times Reporter, 1/26/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is not promising that the state will become free of fossil fuels. But despite the current financial slump in bio-fuels, Walker says the industry can grow. He says he favors incentives for bio-diesel producers and would help them locate more plants in Wisconsin. [, 1/23/2010]
But just four years ago he opposed an ethanol mandate for some grades of fuel: Walker, who's facing U.S. Rep. Mark Green in the Sept. 12 Republican primary for governor, said Tuesday he opposes a bill requiring 10 percent ethanol in some grades of fuel; Green and Doyle are both in favor of the bill. [Daily Reporter, 3/10/2006]

Thanks J!

Enjoyed the discussion. Gotta go. The distorted image thing is giving me a bigger head ache than the failed Obama presidency. :-) Have a great day!

Year Zero, you are completely wrong. Governments did not force Wall Street to do anything. They did not force Wall Street to give loans to people who couldn't afford them. that is a complete lie and has been debunked numerous times. Both Clinton and the Republican congress supported financial firms to spread the risk by bundling it into securities and Financial Firms and Wall Street wanted that.

Wall Street was gambling with a bubble and decided to screw Americans over.

Really Year Zero, learn economics and learn reality before you start attacking people who are smarter than you.

The fact that you will stoop so low to go back to the tired Government forced Wall Street to give loans to people who couldn't afford them, just shows how out of touch you are. Not even many Republicans today agree with that statement and use that as a reason. Everyone knows the government didn't force anything on Wall Street.

Wall Street was intentionally making risky bets and selling bad loans to people for their own personal wants because they knew they could make more money foreclosing people.
GSM, no one is forcing you to have a Union job. Unions are formed by workers and a business then has the right to have the business form a Union agreement or not. People have the choice if they want a Union job.

Why should people be forced to be laid off because CEOs want to Maximize profits, why should people be forced to face cuts in their pay and benefits for all the hard work they put in even though most of the time its companies maximizing profits not trying to help the business.

That argument can be said about anything. Union dues are used to help provide numerous things for workers that benefit them and not just that but for things to help the business or organization in general. Even union members and leaders pay dues but out of that there are tons of benefits that come with it.

Wow, beautiful job Year Zero! Every voter in Wisconsin should read what you just presented.
The unnamed R who lost in the recall elections was not simply living with his mistress but had abandoned his wife and young children to do so . Moreover having taken up with her , he was no longer living in the district he was "representing ". The "man " was a disgrace and simple recall and "unnamed" oblivion is a far to lenient sentence on this bit of racaille . oh BTW , rock on Gov Walker !
darwin, Public Sector Unions are not holding tax payers hostage, they aren't draining the system and their benefits and pay are not coming from average Joe and Jane Doe.

All money originates from the central banking system. All money originates there and its purpose is to put money in circulation. The money and economy is like an eco-system. Public workers have their purpose and so do private workers. While a private worker's employer is a private boss, the public worker's boss is the state or some kind of public agency.

Money all originates from the same place. If someone works and provides a service, that is their money, they earned it and they worked for it. They pay taxes just like anyone and their tax money is then put into the economy and then it is given back through tax returns. All private sector business's receive tax payer dollars. All money originates from a central place, and people who work for their money should be able to have it if they worked for it.

The amount of subsidies, grants, tax incentives, and other forms of corporate welfare that comes from other tax payers is no different. All money is handled this way in the economy, we work for our money and we pay taxes like everyone else our tax dollars go into the economy and come back to us as well as other people.

A public worker creates the sidewalk and road and sets up the sewage and electrical systems at a McDonalds that public worker gets paid, he then uses his money for the private sector and goes back to McDonalds so he can get food, therefore giving money back to the private sector. You see how it works.

They aren't draining taxpayers and its not coming from average Americans.
To Julian Cicone:

Wall Street didn't destroy the economy. Government destroyed the economy by telling Wall Street to give money to people who couldn't pay it back. Then the Dems, under Clinton, revised the rules to allow financial firms to spread the risk by bundling it into securities.

Really Julian Cicone, learn some economics before you peddle your sophmoric representations here. Your OWS diatribes in no way reflect reality.
Right on, from a non-union worker who has always had to pay for my own retirement and benefits. I hope this is a beginning on changes to come.
Julian Cicone,

I would really be interested in how you would justify the "forced" payment of union dues. Honestly, it just seems like the most un-American concept I can fathom.
Walker has clearly failed:

Ashland School District - saved $378,000 on health insurance;
Kimberly School District - saved $821,000 by dropping WEA Trust Insurance;
Edgerton School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save at least $500,000;
Baraboo School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save at least $660,000;
Dodgeland School District - dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save $260,000
Elmbrook School District - changing health care provider, savings estimated at $878,000;
Mequon-Thiensville School District - saving $49,000 on dental insurance coverage;
Marshfield School District - saving $850,000 by dropping WEA Trust;
City of Sheboygan - Mayor Bob Ryan says collective bargaining reforms will provide enough savings to make up for the reduction in state aid;
Wauwatosa School District - tax levy decreasing, no programs will be cut, class sizes won't increase, thanks to the reforms in collective bargaining;
Manitowoc - Laid-off city workers may get their jobs back due to the wage/benefit reforms contained in Walker 's budget. Changes to overtime rules saving the county $100,000;
Pittsville - will see a 9% decrease in the school portion of their property tax levy. "This is the first year we have not needed to short-term borrow," stated Board President Strenn;
Appleton School District - will save $3.1 million just in health insurance costs due to being able to bid out the coverage and being able to drop WEA Trust;
Racine County - inmates can now be used to perform tasks such as landscaping, painting and shoveling sidewalks. Executive Ladwig states this is a win/win for the inmates and the county. It frees up county employees for other tasks, gives the inmates a sense of value, and helps the county maintain property that has been neglected."
Kaukauna School District - hiring additional teachers, reducing class sizes, enacting a merit pay system, and due to Walker 's Budget Bill, Kaukauna's operating budget has moved from a negative $400,000 to a positive $1,500,000. Much of this savings was due to being able to drop WEA Trust.
Hartland School District - switched from WEA Trust and saved $690,000;
Hudson School District - saved $832,000 on health insurance due to ability to bid the insurance.
KSTP did a study of the savings in Sheila Harsdorf's 10th Senate District. They found that Ellsworth, Prescott , Menomonie, Somerset and Hudson school districts are all reporting large savings due to the changes signed into law by Gov. Walker.

Keep in mind, WEA TRUST is Shelly Moore's union insurance company, a company that has obviously been ripping off the school districts for years, thanks to collective bargaining that prohibited school districts from seeking insurance coverage from any company other than WEA Trust. How much tax money would we have saved if school districts had been "allowed by the unions" to bid out their insurance over the years? I'd say probably many, many, many millions statewide. It's the union money train running off the tracks, finally, and Shelly and her union don't like it.

Aside from what the Union shills here are saying (besides trying to confuse Public sector Unions and Private sector Unions):

Walker signed an Unemployment Insurance extension adding 13 weeks of UC benefits.
Passed a state budget on time, without tax increases, that leaves WI in the black for the first time in over 10 years.
Turned a $3 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus.
Cut bonding by nearly 20%. Cut more than 1,000 government jobs, including 735 long-term vacancies. In the first 6 months of 2011 WI showed job growth more than twice the national rate.
Protected our votes by requiring a picture I.D. at the polls.
Became the 49th state to recognize our 2nd Amendment right to carry concealed weapons.
Paid off WI's $60 million debt to MN under the former tax reciprocity agreement.
Paid back over $200 million to the Injured Patients and Families Fund. This is money that Gov. Doyle unconstitutionally raided from the Patients' Compensation Fund.

It is good to be a Wisconsinite. Now to pummel those Union thugs in the recall!
God Bless Gov Walker. I sure hope that the Conservatives/Republicans/Independents in WI get out and vote in the recall. This recall election will be watched by all the other sates.If Walker loses, it will only embolden the unions across the United States use the same tactics. Wisconsin really needs to change our State Constitution to make it harder to recall someone. It's a shame that you can get recalled for your doing what you campaigned on.
GSM. Its amazing how you want to try to make it sound like my beliefs are crazy or wacky. Our debt and budget problems come from our militarism and defense budget, our corporate welfare system, medicare.

Don't try to make this about Unions and Public workers. Scott Walker is giving him and his stuff bonus's. 47% of the members in congress are millionaires.

Wall Street destroyed the entire global economy and yet its Unions who should be stopped? The absurdity in your statements is just so unbelievably mind boggling that its scary.

What excessive benefits are you talking about? My father is a teacher and is retiring at 65, he has been paying in for over 30 years. There is no excessive benefits. If you want to cry about benefits then how about you just quite your job and work a public worker job since you think its so luxurious. Enjoy a 45,000 to 50,000 dollar paycheck and work that job for 35 years or so. You'll see that the pension and retirement plan is nothing, luxurious, its like every other plan, you pay into it.

Don't even try to badmouth Unions and Public workers. They have done nothing wrong, they are not the cause of all the problems. We have over 900 military bases in 82 countries across the world, we are spending TRILLIONS of dollars on militarism, and 100s of billions of dollars on corporate welfare and subsidies.

Its just so unbelievable that people who make up 8% of the entire countries workforce, (unions) is somehow this terrible threat and the cause of all the woes.

And I will badmouth Texas, stop praising it like its the greatest thing ever. Being happy at ranking near the bottom in education and healthcare isn't something to be proud at. Having the most pollution out of any state and one of the highest poverty rates and homeless rates in the country is not something to be proud of. Having one of the worst inequality rates and GDP per-capita rates is not something to be proud of.

People aren't relocating to Texas. That is so 2008 and 2009. Where Texas wasn't like a Nevada, Mississippi, Alabama, California, or Michigan. It had lower unemployment and we were in a war and were war profiteering from oil in the middle east so people were going there because its market wasn't destroyed by Wall Street. Now Texas has high unemployment and the unemployment was increasing over the last few years and not only that but its budget deficit and budget gap is one of the highest in the country. And its drought is screwing the state up and that is causing people to leave Texas,
Julian Cicone - By any chance are you employed as an officer in a municipal union? If I were a suspicious type I might think you were dispatched to this website to make sure the comments here were filled with pro-union sentiments. That way, when someone asked, you folks could say the comments following this article were all in the union's favor.
It's good to see the PEU mouthpieces in full effect, today.

Julian ... if you work for a PEU, shouldn't you be doing something other than posting on a comments section all morning long?
Julian Cicone,

We're talking about public sector unions, not private sector. None of Walker's reforms affect private sector unions.

Public sector unions hold the taxpayer hostage. They keep demanding more money, more benefits, and the only pocket it can come out of is the average Joe and Jane Doe. Get it?

Public sector workers shouldn't be unionized to begin with, much less allow to collectively bargain. Most public sector unions jobs should be privatized. There absolutley no need to maintain public workers when private companies can do the same better, and for less.

Julian Cicone, I admire your ability to throw liberal mantra out to try to support your obviously twisted, liberal beliefs. I suspect you or someone close to you must have benefitted at some point from the forced payment of union dues. The whining and crying from union folk over having to "give back" some of the excessive benefits gained through union bully tactics is laughable. Don't even try to badmouth Texas. People are relocating to this state in droves.
Lyle in Indiana. This article is wrong. It doesn't state any facts. It states lies. It has no sources to back what it says. In fact Scott Walker's own words says that his state still has a 3.6 billion dollar budget gap. He reported that to the federal government on December 29th, 2011.

There have been more job losses in Wisconsin over the last 6 months than any other state.

And Indiana is trying to shove an issue. Just because there was a Republican legislature, doesn't mean that the people want what the Republicans are trying to pass. And just because you are a majority doesn't mean anything. The people aren't choosing to end union rights or making Indiana a right to work state. Conservatives and only conservatives are trying to do that in Indiana.

Republicans have not pushed for any reforms, not in the Washington Congress or any state congress including Indiana. Republicans are the ones refusing to work together.

You anti-Union people are just anti-Union because they mostly support Democrats. Well Wall Street mostly supports Republicans as does Big Oil.

Just because it supports mostly Democrats doesn't mean it has no purpose and doesn't mean its purpose is to support Democrats because it isn't.

Again 5 things Unions have done for you.

Show some respect!

You people are so delusional. What is wrong with you? Not once credited economic study has ever shown Unions and public Unions being the cause of any state economic and budget problems and no economic data shows that unions and public workers are the cause of any kind of countries overall economic problems and budget problems.

You guys want to make up terrible things about Unions, saying they are the cause of all the problems. It is pure propaganda. Unions make up 8% of the U.S. workforce. They are not the cause of budget problems, or the auto industry going bad or the steel industry eliminating.

The anti-Union people have tried to paint this propaganda that they are the cause but no legitimate economic data shows that nor does any scholar say that its the reason for the budget problems and economic problems and the cause of these industries collapsing. So the only thing anti-Union people can come up with is to keep pasting their biased sources that have been debunked or claim that there is some union leftist conspiracy to make scholars and economists support Unions.

Stop also acting like Unions have these great pension plans. They don't. That article that someone posted before is a complete lie and the article is made by a anti-union conservative and they don't provide any evidence. Union members and public workers all retire at 65, if you have a disability, you can retire at 55. Same can happen in the private sector. Not one person is retiring at 47% or 50%. Also no one is guarantee any kind of pension. Unions and public workers pay into their retirements like everyone else.

Stop also making it sound like Scott Walker was right. This article provides no evidence at all and is a pro-Walker article. It also goes against what Scott Walker actually said. Scott Walker told the Federal government that his state still has a 3 billion deficit. Wisconcin grew its deficit, its 3.6 billion under Walker. More early retirements than any other state. 6 months of constant private sector job losses and 6 months of public sector job losses as well. Overall when you count private sector and public sector. Studies and facts show that more jobs have been lost under the governorship of Walker than any other state and governor in the country. Wisconsin also has a surge in exodus and people leaving Wisconsin. And like I said, there is still a 3.6 billion budget gap. So not only has unemployment and jobless continued, but it happened in both private sector and public sector and there is also a 3.6 billion dollar budget gap.

And like I said even Scott Walker made these claims to the federal government. So a lot of it is his own words.

Unions are not the issue, the budget problems were caused by Walker himself and his tax cut plans. And it wasn't just that but it was also the poor spending in areas that don't need it and are not creating any kind of revenues and also corporate welfare. These three things caused the budget problems, not Unions.

I mean there is a comment down below stating that teachers are good for nothing. Yes, that is a great idea to say. Great influence on your children. Lets all be dumb and stupid. Its no wonder education is declining in America, its because of people like that who make those comments and believe in that stuff.

Union states are actually doing better economically and have the largest economies and most powerful economies.

And Walker won't win. Over 1 million recall votes. We got the recall. We are going to get a candidate and that candidate is going to win and defeat Walker.
We have similar cowardly Democrats in our state legislature here in Indiana. Rather than debate the issue of making Indiana a Right to Work state, most of the Dem House members ran away to Illinois last year until the issue was taken off the agenda. Now it has been brought back up on the agenda for 2012 session and the Dems are still refusing to show up for work so they can deny the legislature a quorum. I am so sick and tired of the spoiled-brat and bullying tactics of the Democrats and their union supporters. The voters elected a Republican majority into office and the Dems should respect the will of the people. In a representative form of government the lawmakers make the laws. The people just get to vote for the lawmakers. Now, the Dems just need to show up for work.
Well written. I hope Scott Walker is not recalled for the sake of Wisconsin, specifically, but also for the sake of conservatism in general. I am going to print out this article and share it with my 18-year old daughter who doesn't quite understand all the fuss about unions, public sector unions, union dues, and their connection to Democrats. Your article deftly explains all the issues and connections. Thank you.
Fact is, the people of Wisconsin don't like Walker's bully tactics thus the signatures needed to recall have been recorded. God Bless America!
"...and to double their health-insurance payments to 12.4 percent of their salaries."

Is this correct? I thought this was 12.4 percent of the COST of the insurance, not a percentage of salary.
Jon Boede, you are actually wrong.

# 1 Vermont: 17.58
# 2 Connecticut: 15.88
# 3 Massachusetts: 14.48
# 4 New Jersey: 12.55
# 5 Maine: 9.33
# 6 Minnesota: 8.97
# 7 Virginia: 8.47
# 8 Wisconsin: 8.45
# 9 Montana: 8.3
# 10 New York: 7.53
# 11 Pennsylvania: 6.76
# 12 Nebraska: 6.55
# 13 Kansas: 4.79
# 14 Iowa: 4.75
# 15 New Hampshire: 4.59
# 16 Rhode Island: 3.11
# 17 Wyoming: 2.39
# 18 South Dakota: 2.29
# 19 Maryland: 2.23
# 20 North Dakota: 2.06
# 21 Missouri: 1.93
# 22 North Carolina: 1.68
# 23 Colorado: -0.32
# 24 Texas:

Wisconsin is ranked higher in education than Texas. Your source is wrong.

Walker will win. Proof *IS* in the pudding, and Walker has made a large batch of it. We can't afford Democrats or unions any longer. We simply cannot kick this can down the road to our children, or even our grandchildren, much as Obama has done.

His method was crude, but telling. Better to take the medicine that tastes the worst but works the best. If he had declared it prior to doing it, the unions and democrats would have circled the wagons and mired it down in red tape.

Instead, 14 cowards ran away from their jobs, and still kept them? President Barak Obama said to the Republican party: "Elections have consequences, and I won."

In Wisconsin, Scott Walker was properly elected. Now the unions and Democrats want a "Do OVER!"? What are we, 7? Take your medicine. We are working, we are moving forward. You can't spin that, democrats.
Albigensian, your article showing people being able to retire at 47 is a lie. The article does not even state any facts. Its made by a biased conservative anti-union newspaper, the author is conservative and anti-union. It provides no actual evidence but just makes up talking points. No one can retire at 47, no one can retire at 50.

The average retirement age of most public workers and Union workers is 65 years old just like the private sector. If you are injured or suffering some kind of damage, if you qualify, you could potentially retire early at 55.

That article does not provide any actual source, showing that people are going to be able to retire at 47, its just a talking point with no sources to back it up. That is a fail article just like this one that I am commenting on.

Julian Cicone, you are incorrect. Texas outperforms Wisconsin in 17 of 18 measures of educational performance:

If you have the reverse impression, you're the victim of badly misrepresented statistics. Mark Twain would smile.
12.4% of health care premium, not salary
GSM , Texas has record high poverty, one of the highest than any other state. It has the worst pollution, one of the worst education systems, one of the worst if not the worst healthcare system., it has one of the highest homeless rates, it is the most polluted State in the country and it has one of the highest inequality rates and GDP per-capita in the country.

Texas is not a good state to represent and talk about. People are poor and in poverty in that state.
comment by Ted Pate: I believe there is only one choice available, Scott Walker for President in 2012!!!!!
EDOG66, the Big Three Automakers collapsed due to numerous things, none of them which are because of Unions and there is no evidence that shows that it was because of Unions.

The Big Three Automakers collapsed due to a Global Economic crisis that was all on Wall Street and the politicians that supported Wall Street and the tactics. Costing billions of dollars of shareholders money being lost. This caused major money loss across the entire globe for nearly all business's. Not only that but also just poor business tactics, high gas prices, and more.

Unions are not the cause of the problems just like they weren't the cause of the Steel Industry declining, that was due to modernization and outsourcing.

And again, stop claiming that Unions and public workers get guarantee retirement and pension plan that is given to them. All Union workers and public workers pay into their retirement and pension. Its not some grand pension plan.
Texan here. Love, love Scott Walker!! Neutered unions equals a stronger US economy. Excessive union pay, protection and benefits almost destroyed the American Auto industry. Hang tough Scott Walker and rational people of Wisconsin!
For all you people trying to attack Unions and calling them the most corrupt and evil thing around. Here is a reminder to why you should thank Unions for all your success and freedom.

1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.

2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income. It is also true that at the time when most Americans belonged to a union — a period of time between the 1940′s and 1950′s — income inequality in the U.S. was at its lowest point in the history of the country.

3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.

4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”

5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”
This is more than a Wisconsin issue. This is the pivotal issue for the entire country. Can the unions milk the treasuries at will regardless of the consequences? I pray that Gov. Walker wins by a landslide in the recall. He is a national hero.
If they actually manage to recall Walker he should put back into place everything he fixed and to hell with the idiots that recalled him. Morons.
Arguably the biggest problem here is that most government employees can retire at age 57 with full pension benefits. The actuarial reality is, this often means the taxpayer is paying for a year of retirement for each year worked.

Not surprisingly, many of these "retired" employees continue to work- indeed, they're sometimes rehired to do their old jobs, enabling them to collect full pension benefits even while earning the same high-seniority salary as before. Whether they're working or not, their taxpayer-funded pension plan pays for their medical benefits until they're old enough for Medicare.

Although 57 is the usual age for full retirement, employees of Milwaukee County have it even better, as at least one retired at age 47 ( ).

It is this pension cost that is breaking the taxpayer's back. The best reform would be to raise the retirement age to 67 or so but apparently that cannot legally be done with current government employees. Given that reality, requiring these employees to pay a portion of the cost of these benefits is the best-available solution as it not only reduces the taxpayer's burden but should restrain any further attempts to increase pension benefits.

"the Brown Deer school district in suburban Milwaukee can implement a performance-pay system for its best teachers" Indeed, we've not yet seen what school boards might accomplish now that they and not the teachers unions get to set work rules for school employees. Why, they might even put the needs of students before the demands of the district's union employees!
Saving money on the backs of those whose salaries are very low. How disgusting. Of course, we can't tax those people who have made tons of money and have prospered under these circumstances. Why didn't Gov Walker campaign on these issues of getting rid of collective bargaining---

I hope he leaves the State of Wisconsin.
Cute, quoting Gaylord Nelson to defend Walker. Gaylord must be spinning in his grave.
There is an inherent evil in public unions, when such unions are able to contribute money to the campaigns of the very people and party responsible for hiring, salary and benefits.
When there are public unions the entire political system is corrupted, especially since such unions only give only to Democrats, which in return for the money gives the unions whatever they want. It doesn't take a great deal of intelligence to see how destructive this is - as can readily be seen in solid blue states, which are plagued by a combination of poor educational achievement and high taxes.

In short - and I've never heard any response to this inquiry - if there has to be public unions (and there doesn't have to be, as the right of public employees to unionize is ENTIRELY statutory and what the legislature can give it can take away) why not forbid them to make political donations, or at the very least force unions to split donations between the parties?
After all, this is essentially taxpayer funds that are being given to the Democrats.

Of course, since the Democrats benefit from such a corrupt system the party - which I've referred to as the most corrupt organization on the planet - would never agree to forbid donations. It's not even talked about. But, hey isn't there is something inherently wrong with funneling tax money through public unions? Heck, why not skip the unions and have the money go right from the treasury to the Democratic party coffers? (that's sarcasm). After all it's not much different from what's happening in New York, California, Illinois and other blue states.

Don't count on major media to echo what is in this article - such media is most certainly already working on the story that Wisconsin Republicans have destroyed the local school system. That this story is false is irrelevant to Democratic media.

What's especially puzzling is the relative silence of the Republican leadership on the corrupting influence of public unions. Even Christie never discusses public unions in terms of its corruption of the political process. This silence confirms the expression that Republicans, when it comes to their own self interest, are truly the "party of stupid." One example among many, why else would the Republicans continue to fund public broadcasting when it is so hostile to Republicans, and looks at every issue from a Democratic point of view (and, with Pacifica a radical Democratic point of view)?

As for Wisconsin, it is but a small and fragile victory in a depressing political landscape. Well entrenched public unions will not be so easy to remove in other states, especially when the Republican leadership does not recognize this for the critical issue that it is. Without strong leadership support the voters will never be told how corrupting such unions are to the political process, and a difficult task becomes impossible.
The 6.2 or 12.4 percent of salary paid by employees for health insurance premiums does not sound right. That would be $3,100 or $6,200 on a $50,000 salary, far more than in many private firms.
Well now I see why the unions are so upset. My goodness, not being required to pay union dues. How will the unions now get there political pawns elected. Being required to raise there contributions to there pensions and Insurance, what an outrage, 12.6 percent of your healthcare, I retired from a small manufacturing plant where we paid twenty five percent of our healthcare, our retirement was a 401k plan where the company matched fifty percent of your contributions, up to four percent of your income. Times were rough and we had to matching money for four years.
Yea I can see why the unions are upset. But the tax payers should be more upset at what they were doing.
I read through this breathlessly as though I was running a marathon.I waited for the punch line when this read would collapse into defeat.It held it's own and I pray Gov Walker remains in office.Other floundering sates (Calif) take note.
So many union members here. Let's see how the unions do without forced dues payment. I believe union memebership dropped by 80% in Indiana after a similar law passed. Defined benefit retirement plans only work in the public sector because of the ability to tax the citizenry. As the "Big Three" automakers have learned, defined benefit pensions are a prelude to bankruptcy (or an Obama buyout). I pay 50% of my family medical insurance. This gives me an extra incentive to stay healthy. I should not, under any circumstance, be forced to pay all of yours. The fact is, and you have Illinois staring you in the face, higher taxes on corporations or producers in any sense are simply an excuse for them to find another state to relocate to. Please look at the success of Indiana and the failing of Illinois (lowest bond rating in the country, even lower than Cali, another excessively unionized public workforce). I am not here to denigrate unions. If you want to join, good for you, just be allowed to opt out of payroll deduction for dues paying. If it's so important to you it should be no problem writing a check. Frankly, if you need a union you are basically saying you aren't smart enough, you don't provide an essential service, and you don't have enough talent to exist without the help of the "collective". It's no wonder you all seem so angry.
The unions are like one of my three kids. He has no interest in reality or others around him. If he can't have Kaptain Krunch cereal, he has no problem torturing everybody in the entire grocery store until he gets it, especially if my wife caved in to his selfish demand last time. I still love him, but we are not doing him or the rest of the family any favors by caving in to his howling self-righteous blackmail.
Business is watching, mine included. A lot of potential future investment in Wisconsin rides on the recall election. If Walker remains, I see a lot of business coming to Wisconsin from Illinois.
Painting the Recall as a solely union cause is a mistake by Mr. Schneider.

The numbers speak for themselves. Wisconsin does not contain 1 Million+ union workers, yet over 1 Million signatures were gathered in support of recalling the governor.

Of great concern to the broader population is Walker's blind adherence to ideology, his continued lies regarding the nature of the protests, his administration's refusal to allow open hearings, the arrests of citizens for attempting to videotape Senate and House sessions... the list goes on and on.

The Governor has proven himself to be a zealot first and foremost, and zealotry of any stripe is inherently dangerous.

Governor Walker will be recalled and replaced by someone who understands that the Governor is there to carry out the wishes of the people, not dictate terms to them.
This article is so full of lies and distortions that it would take an entire point by point rebuttal to put the truth on record here.
Suffice it to say one million two hundred thousand Wisconsin voters signed recall petitions. More than his vote total in the last election. Yeah, he's a real hero.
The only people benefiting from Walker's regime are the multi-millionaires who received hundreds of millions in tax rebates from him. Wisconsin is losing jobs, infrastructure, and most importantly he has destroyed any sense of community that used to exist here.
Your opinion pieces should carry a disclaimer. Your writer and his employer are paid shills for the tea-baggers.
Contrary evidence means absolutely nothing to the left... The unions do not care at all about governability... they want one thing, MORE. Everyone knows this. Unions are supported by members (reluctantly) and by politicians seeking to buy votes. Fortunately for the country, the first group is getting smaller and smaller. Unfortunately for the country, the second group is becoming more overtly corrupt.
I guess when the Left said that they wanted everyone to pay their fair share, they forgot that that included Unions.
"lavish benefits". Yeah, that's journalism -- ooops, no, it's opinion.
So basically everything Walker was saying was the truth, and everything the Unions were saying was a lie.

Go figure.
yeah, its giving some tax breaks to some rich people screwing over workers. He is saving money on the backs of those that did not cause this crisis whiles he increases his own pay. Rubbish article.

If you were the teacher who had to take a pay cut, as well as loose your bargaining rights, you won't be writing thrash like that. The WS senate will flip. Just watch
Teachers are good for nothing. Go Scott Walker!!!!

First of all, Southern States are not getting most of the jobs. If that was the case than MISSISSIPPI, NORTH CAROLINA, and FLORIDA, wouldn't be in double digit unemployment.

If Right to Work laws were the cause of growth why is Nevada which has the most foreclosures and the highest unemployment rate out of any state which is 13% and is a right to work state, if that law is truly the cause of economic growth then Nevada wouldn't be like that.

And why is it that New Hampshire, Vermont, and Minnesota all have 5% unemployment and yet are Union states.

Also the states that have right to work laws have the most poverty, homeless, inequality, as well as the worst healthcare, education, etc.

And states with the most GDP and have the largest economies with the best education, healthcare, equality, infrastructure, and GDP per-capita are all union states.

Public Employees like Private employees should have the right to Unionize and no they are not the cause of budget shortfalls and poorer services to the citizens of the state, not in this situation and not ever.

Not once in all of U.S. history has Unions and public workers been the reason for budget shortfalls and poor or worsening services. Not one economist and study has ever shown this or said this.
edisonparks, you don't understand finances nor do you know what Union workers and public workers salaries and pension plans are.

Public workers pay for all of their retirement, they pay into it. Sometimes an employer will put in some money as well. But that goes for both private sector and public sector jobs.

Unions and Public workers don't get free pensions and again there are no guarantees like you keep saying.

Stop acting like we have a good idea because our Pension and retirement is not any better than anyone in the private sector. Only difference is that Union jobs and public workers tend to make less many than those in the private sector yet have to go to school longer.

Stop believing the right wing lies because that is what they are, nothing but lies.
Iluvtea, its not about right to work states. You have a right to look for non-union jobs. They are out there. Only 8% of the country is Union membership.

And it has nothing to do with Unions and Democrats since there are also a lot of Republicans who have Union jobs. You have the option to not have your money donated to politicians.

And no Scott Walker never cut his Salary when he was the Chief Exec. of Milwaukee County. He actually gave himself a raise. And he has been given his staff and himself raises as Governor.

There are no union lies, you are the one who is lying.
Brian Richard Allen January 23, 2012 at 3:02 AM
Let's pray and trust that Governor Walker fights the Good Fight.

Which is rather more than we can say about the quality of the fight recently fought by Ohio's Mr Kasich.
Property taxes went down for the first time in memory. There are no signs that say: "Jim Doyle - Miss me yet?"

What jobs are moving South, Anybody? Have you bothered to check the unemployment rates of the South? They're all suffering from extremely high unemployment rates.
Wisconsin has had six straight months of private sector job losses, and they've lost more jobs than any other state in the country since Walker imposed his budget. This is at the same time when the country as a whole has actually been creating jobs.
All I can say is EXCELLENT and thank you.
AnybodyButChicagoDemocrats January 23, 2012 at 2:31 AM
Sounds to me like Wisconsin should look into becoming a Right to Work state. That's the biggest reason jobs are moving to the South and will soon be moving to Indiana and Ohio when they pass their RTW legislation.

Public employees should never have been given the right to unionize. It has done nothing but cause budget shortfalls and poorer services to the citizens of the state.
Julian Cicone.

As stated in my last comment I used 70% of last salary as an example because it is somewhere in the middle of a typical PUC Pension Plan.

What is truly disheartening to me is that you honestly appear to believe everything you are saying.

I don't hate the PUC Unions, I just wish I had gotten in on the Scam back when I was young enough to change careers.

Nobody is making the claim that you will become fabulously wealthy when Employed in a Government Job. But the Fact of the matter is that you got a really good deal, and when you act as though you are getting screwed, those of us who understand finance wonder if you have your head on straight and worry about the mental capabilities of the people teaching our children.
I can't believe all the union BS being spouted here. This is the union bottom line, just as Schneider says. IT'S THE DUES, PEOPLE.

Unions lost the right to force people to join their unions and those who now belong can now opt to withdraw from the union. The state will not any longer deduct union dues from members' checks, they'll have to do that themselves and most important of all: The unions will have less money to funnel to the Democrat Party in exchange for power.

Scott Walker is as honest a man as I know. When he was Chief Exec. of Milwaukee County he cut his own salary because he thought it wasn't right that he was making more than the governor.

You people are so filled with union lies and hate, I should think you'd strangle on your own bile!
Haha CitizenHill, choke on what facts? This article has not stated any facts. In fact many sources that come from legitimate studies say the opposite and debunk a lot of the claims this article is making.

Public workers and Pensions are not the cause of the budget gap and the problems. They are not the cause of ANY kind of budget gap or problem. You end collective bargaining, and those kind of pensions and you are still going to get a 3 billion dollar budget gap like we have now. Its not going to do anything because public employees and Unions pay into their retirement.

0% of the budget problems come from unions, public workers, and pensions. In fact the reason for the budget gap is due to a lot of Walker's policies and tax cuts, poor spending on projects not creating any revenue, and corporate welfare.

Just wait, because I am laughing at you. Scott Walker will be recalled and thrown out of office. A new governor will come in. The budget problems will be fixed and public workers and private sector workers will not be harmed and the economy will pick up again. Because never in history has a states budget problems been due to pensions or public workers.

Hah Wisconsinites, choke on those facts. and if you're still to dense to realize that a broke state cannot pay your pensions... then go ahead with the recall, and if you succeed, you'll eventually lose ALL your pensions...not just SOME of it!
edisonparks, again what you are saying is completely wrong and false. Learn the facts before spouting off a bunch of BS. Let me state that there is no guarantee pensions and compensations. No one is given 70% or more. It all depends on what you do. For example if you never use your vacation time a percentage of that can be put into your retirement. There are ways of doing things and ways of getting a better pension plan or not. Nothing is ever guarantee so stop thinking that public employees or always guaranteed stuff or that they are expecting something for free. Public employee's pay into their retirement and pension/compensation. Public workers don't have any kind of better pension plan.

A private sector employee will be offered numerous plans depending on his field of study. There are 401k plans, there are also Profit-Sharing Plans, IRA-Based Plans, Defined Benefit Plans, etc. In fact here is a link showing the different types.,,id=155347,00.html

Public Employee's just like Private Employee's get different options depending on what kind of job they have. But no one in both public sector or private sector is guaranteed anything. Both sectors pay into their retirement and into their pension/compensation.

Its funny how you think teachers, law enforcement, or any kind of Public Sector job is lucrative. A doctor makes over 300,000 sometimes a half a million dollars a year. Engineers can make that same amount. A teacher on average makes about 50,000 a year in some places its less.

What you are saying is complete BS, you want public employees to somehow feel we have luxurious lives which is the biggest load of BS I have ever heard.

The only thing you can complain about is that public employee pensions just like their pay comes from the state which usually means tax dollars/printing/borrowing. Therefore you are upset. That is the only excuse that you can make about Pensions but the fact remains all money originates from the central banking systems and are then placed into the markets and the country so there is constant money circulation but when someone works for their money, it doesn't matter and shouldn't matter where it came from because all money both private sector and public sector originates from the same place.

But it is a complete myth and lie that public sector workers are guaranteed anything because they are not, it is false to say they still gets his continued 70% of annual salary. He is no guaranteed anything its 0% not 70%

Please edisonparks continue believing in the lies that public workers get and/or expect to get a guaranteed salary when we retire. Please continue to believe the lies and lie yourself that public workers get full benefits in our 50s.

Keep believing that we have this great pension plan, salary, benefits, life, etc. While people on Wall Street are making 100s of millions of dollars and flying in their own private jets but yes, its the 50,000 dollars a year as a teacher that is having the great life and pay and pension.

Keep believing the right wing lies and anti-union lies that Public workers and Union workers are GUARANTEED SALARIES AND PENSIONS. That is a lie and none of that is true. Public employees and Union employees work for their money and work for their retirement they pay into their entire retirement plan, there are not given anything and they are not guaranteed that they will get their retirement and/or all of it once retired.

My father is going to be 65 when he retires, his retirement plan has changed on him several times over the last decade.

Mostly everyone retires at 60 or 65 that goes for private sector workers as well. There are very few workers and jobs that are public sector jobs where you can retire at 55 unless you have a disability or some kind of issue.

And there really isn't any Union members or Union leaders/Boss's that are making six figure salaries.

Face the facts, and reality, check actual non-partisan data and economic sources. Public workers aren't guaranteed anything and there pension/compensation is not any better than the private sector. This kind of rhetoric is just people who hate Unions and are anti-Union and hate public workers. You are just a far right wing Fascist who can't see that you are destroying democracy and freedom.
Scott Walker didn't even balance the budget. More jobs have been lost in Wisconsin under Walker than any current governor as of right now in any other state. Job growth has gotten worse as well as overall economic growth in Wisconsin.

The state budget was not balanced under Walker. He claims that he and his team did and then they mentioned that there is still a 3 billion dollar budget gap. On December 29th he told the Federal Government that Wisconsin still had a budget gap and a deficit. Wisconsin has a budget gap and a deficit and Walker's own administration has now admitted to this and stated this.

Not only has all of that happened but there are record high early retirements happening under Walker and a massive exodus and more people leaving Wisconsin than at any rate in that state's history.

The economy has not gotten better, the budget has not gotten better and Walker has declared and staged class warfare while acting like he is the victim.

His policies are the ones that put Wisconsin in the budget gap and budget hole and now he wants to punish public workers who in many areas actually get less pay than their private sector counterparts and also do in fact pay for their retirement and compensation and pension and the public sectors pension and compensation is not better than the private sectors and its no different. Walker wants to cut it while giving giant executive bonus's to people.
Thanks Julian Cicone for clearing that Up.

The odds of anybody finding employment in the current job market where an Employer offers the employee a set dollar amount(ie:say 70% of ending salary ,typical PUC Pension some better, some worse, which is a Defined Benefit Pension Plan) when that employee retires is zero.

In the Private Sector the Employer will typically offer a 401k Plan which is a Defined Contribution Plan, where the Employee contributes a % of his own salary to his own retirement and the Employer may or may not make a contribution into the employees 401k. But the major difference between the the PUC pension and the Private Sector 401k is that when the PUC Employee retires he is guaranteed his continued 70% of annual salary(without regard to how much he or the muni/state put in or how much is actually in the Pension Fund itself) while the Private Sector 401k retiree has what's in his his 401k Fund and that's it.

I personally wish to God that I had opted for a Job in Teaching or Law Enforcement back in the early 80's when the choice was mine to make. Back then, we had no idea that these professions would become so lucrative (factoring in the present value of a Defined Benefit Pension).

So pretend all you want that having a guaranteed Salary when you retire regardless of your contribution into the fund is not a great deal, and pretend all you wish that retiring at full benefits in your 50's is not a very lucrative benefit deal, but those of us without any retirement arrangement resembling anything close to that, know for a fact that you are either too stupid to realize how good you have it,or you are on some Hard Left Political Kamikaze Mission because some Six Figure Salaried Union Leader told you that Scott Walker is Satan you appear to actually believe it.
Walker brags he's not raising taxes. True - he's just taking the money directly from public workers' wallets. An educational assistant making $25,000 after working for 25 years received an 8% cut. And without collective bargaining there's no end to how public workers will have save the poor wealthy republicans.
Check out this great song and video supporting Governor Walker. We will stand with Governor Walker!!
Smoke and mirrors

Jan. 22, 2012 7:56 p.m.

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker's administration has touted for months its efforts to balance the state budget, but now it also has acknowledged a significant way in which the budget isn't balanced.

Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay) said Walker's different statements on the budget amounted to financial doublespeak.

"On one hand, he claims he balanced the budget when he's raising money from special interests - on the other hand, he claims we still have a $3 billion hole when he's looking to drop health care for Wisconsinites when they need it most," Pasch said in a statement.

Ronald Reagan said: “Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.” : “Collective bargaining … has played a major role in America’s economic miracle. Unions represent some of the freest institutions in this land. There are few finer examples of participatory democracy to be found anywhere.”.
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What I find most interesting is this:

"The pay of Wisconsin's top corporate executives rose an average of 27% in 2010, a year when unemployment hovered around 8% and pay to the average worker in the state fell.

There was a time when masses of people (unions) demanded that all be made prosperous. That CEO's share the wealth with those who made it.

Then something flipped 180 degrees.

Now masses of people are fully supportive of the CEO's taking millions for them alone like Walker's corporate give-a-ways while demanding that all others sacrifice and share the pain.

I want no part of the loud mouthed in your face Kool-Aid drinking PAWNS who have been STUPIFIED into demanding that the CEO's be allowed to take millions for them alone while all others must give up what they have and get less.

This new battle cry is pure idiocy. Demanding that Scott Walker be allowed to continue decimating the middle class is just pure idiocy. Walker demanded that state workers give back 140 million (just for starters) and then tried to fill the pockets of corporate big wheels with 200 million plus (just for starters)

"State proposal would send $250 million to certified capital companies...The bottom line is this is a $200 million toilet Wisconsin is buying"
edisonparks, you are so incorrect and wrong on all levels. You don't have a single idea what you are talking about.

There are tons of private sector Pension plans that far surpass public employee pension plans. Lets not also mention that nearly all public sector jobs are not high paying jobs. They usually make around 45,000 to 50,000 a year. With some jobs getting a little bit more and others getting a little bit less.

Also public employee jobs always require more school and even when you are already hired, you are required again even throughout your career to go back to school or take classes.

It is a myth to say that public employees have great compensation. Every single public employee pays into their compensation and pays into their retirement. There are no free compensations and free handouts. Every single public sector job you have to work and pay into your compensation and purchase it.

Most private sector jobs require less school and give you a lot more money and paychecks. And in many cases the private sector compensation is better than the public sector's.

And its a lie to say there is No Defined Benefit Pension Planned offered to private sector jobs. There are just as many private sector jobs that have a No Defined Benefit Pension Plan as there is public sector jobs.

The private sector has less school to deal with, usually gets a higher pay and their compensation and pension plans are usually just as good and in some areas and in some cases better than the public sectors.

The fact is the public sector and unions and the left do look at the Private Sector compensation plans. Many public employees use tow or in the private sector or they have spouses and/or siblings that work in the private sector so they know what each sector has.

It is a complete lie and myth to think that Public Sector jobs and employees and Unions have these amazing benefits and pay. Nearly every public sector job makes less money than private sector jobs and those same public sector jobs require more schooling as well. And to say private sector plans are worse and the public sector has a better compensation plan that is a myth because the public sector pays into their pension and its not really anything that amazing and in many careers and in many cases the private sector actually has a better pension and compensation plan.

Stop randomly assuming that Public Employees have great pensions and compensations, they don't. We pay into it and we don't have great annual salaries. We have a purpose just like the private sector.

There has also not been any bribes in Alderman and other state polls.

why did he say no to the light rail project?
Your political bias is asstounding, not to mention your over-reaching belief that ONLY those who are involved with Unions are trying to recall the Governor. He has not contributed to the state in a positive nor financially lucrative way and your belief that he has simply demonstrates your support for the priviledged and not the majority of citizens in WI
Here is what really worries me about the intelligence level of the WI PUC Employees.

Ok....So now you have to contribute more into your Pensions and HealthCare Plans and your Collective Bargaining Rights have been significantly curtailed.

But guess what you NumbNuts it's still a significantly better Compensation Plan than you would ever see in the Private Sector...ever!!!!

What part of there is No Defined Benefit Pension Plan offered in the Private Sector do you Not understand.

Where I live in Chicago, getting yourself in a PUC Pension Program is like winning the Lottery. Alderman, and Other State Polls have been bribed in order to get a constituent a State or Muni job that includes a Pension.

You have a way better Compensation Package than you deserve or would ever get on the Outside in the Private Sector, how in God's name you Boneheads get off Screaming Bloody murder when you have it so good makes wonder if you are just plain Stupid or if you are so brainwashed by the Lefty WingNuts Running your Unions that you don't even bother to look into the Private Sector Compensation Plans you will be getting once you were to get laid off if the PUC Unions end up getting their way.
You seem to overlook the fact that the 10% contribution was negotiated in exchange for less compensation in the form of salary. Because the inflated stock market made this advantageous for the state this was a good deal for WI. Amazing how the state is so quick to renig on it's promises. You can't trust politicians. Never again should public employees accept anything less than full compensation in the form of salary.
This is such a load of crap. Filled with lies. And not only that but this article doesn't even explain and show that things are working or improving. All this article states is that according to certain people or groups (which are pro-walker groups) Walkers plans would do this or do that and so on. But it hasn't yet and so none of the reforms they are talking about in this article has happened but they are saying will happen, well lets see it before making misleading articles.

Lets also state some facts that Walker has caused the most early retirements out of any state around. Walker caused the most people to actually leave their state out of any other governor around. And there is still a deficit and still job losses. In fact more jobs have been lost under Walker than any governor around so far.

This a biased and partisan newspaper and its not even stating facts. Walker is a disaster and he will be recalled.
I am very pleased with all that Scott Walker has gotten accomplished for the State of Wisconsin. He has taken a stand and hasn't given up. I like the way he has been before the T V and radio media presenting to the people how his plans are working.
Have been and will continue praying for Gov.Walker. Sad that some people can't see the good that has been accomplished in our state. God bless you and keep up the fight.
I am very pleased with all that Scott Walker has gotten accomplished for the State of Wisconsin. He has taken a stand and hasn't given up. I like the way he has been before the T V and radio media presenting to the people how his plans are working.
Have been and will continue praying for Gov.Walker. Sad that some people can't see the good that has been accomplished in our state. God bless you and keep up the fight.
I am very pleased with all that Scott Walker has gotten accomplished for the State of Wisconsin. He has taken a stand and hasn't given up. I like the way he has been before the T V and radio media presenting to the people how his plans are working.
Have been and will continue praying for Gov.Walker. Sad that some people can't see the good that has been accomplished in our state. God bless you and keep up the fight.
Thank you, Scott Walker, tho' my children are homeschooled; making our State fiscally sound will be a great benefit to them (8 of 10 still live in WI) for years to come.
Thank you, Scott Walker, tho' my children are homeschooled; making our State fiscally sound will be a great benefit to them (8 of 10 still live in WI) for years to come.
Thank you, Scott Walker, tho' my children are homeschooled; making our State fiscally sound will be a great benefit to them (8 of 10 still live in WI) for years to come.
We can only hope reality trumps crazy.
This should be a full page ad in every newspaper in Wisconsin.