The television screen showed angry shouting demonstrators filling the streets of the city. At first I thought I was looking at Athens, Paris or Madrid, where angry civil workers fill the streets when their socialist governments suggest the retirement age be increased from 53 to 55. Oh the wailing and gnashing of teeth! The burning of cars! The breaking of glass! The stamping of feet!
Then I realized the streets filled with demonstrators were American and it was happening right here in the USA, the heartland of the country, Madison Wisconsin.
Where's the civility pledged so eloquently by the President at the Tucson gathering? How quickly things change as shouting protesters carry signs depicting the Governor of Wisconsin as Hitler. There have been arrests for violence and the government has been stopped from doing its business because of the demonstrators and also because the Democrat senators ran out of the state so a quorum couldn't be achieved.
Wisconsin is just first in a long line of states that have come face to face with the fact that the private sector (the goose that laid the golden egg) is in critical condition. It can't be forced to lay anymore golden eggs for awhile and when/if it does, they will be of smaller size. The private sector is tapped out and the public sector unions will have to give back some of the wage and benefits given them by their political minions. In other words unionized public employees will share the private sectors financial pain. They will have to reduce wages and benefits more in line with the private sector and there really is nothing to negotiate because there is no money left.
To complicate matters and take them to another level, President Obama has stepped into middle of this and proclaimed his support for the unions. Through his former community organizing group, "Organizing for America" busloads of protesters and organizers are descending on Madison to add to the volume and chaos. Unions from all over the country are converging on Madison. Will this be a modern day Battle of Gettysburg between the citizens of the United states and organized labor?
Governor Walker told Obama to stay out of Wisconsin and tend to his own federal budget which is wildly out of control with a 1.6 trillion dollar deficit. He said Wisconsin would take care of its own budget problems without his help.
The voters of Wisconsin overwhelmingly sent their resident tax and spend politicians packing last November and voted in a new majority of Legislators and Governor who promised to restore their state to fiscal discipline. This included dealing with the public employee unions. The newly elected officials are carrying out the will of the Wisconsin voters.
Whats lost in all of this, are the children of Wisconsin. Nowhere in the unions concerns are mentioned the welfare and education of the children. Wisconsin is # 44 out of 50 in the quality of education, almost at the bottom. Yet Wisconsin's unionized teachers are near the top in wages and benefits. Where's the cost to benefit analysis?
What happens in Wisconsin will have a powerful effect on the rest of the country.