Fenty Endorses Walker

March 8th, 2011 at 2:46 pm David Frum | 43 Comments |

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This seems to me a hugely important fact: Adrian Fenty, the Democratic former mayor of the District of Columbia says he agrees with what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin.

Let’s say that again, to let it sink in: Adrian Fenty, the Democratic former mayor of the District of Columbia says he agrees with what Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin.

From the Washington Posts description of Fenty’s appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this AM:

[Co-host Mika] Brzezinski asked Fenty if he agreed with what Walker is doing.

“The substance of it, I do,” Fenty said. “Most governors and mayors would love to be able to manage their team without the interference of collective bargaining. … I believe that managers have the ability to set fair wages, and to set fair hours, and to reward people or hold them accountable. I think it’s a new day. I think a lot of these collective bargaining agreements are completely outdated.”

You have to wonder: how many other Democratic mayors and governors quietly agree? Starting with California’s Governor Jerry Brown?


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43 Comments so far ↓

  • jerseychix

    Let’s see, one person who was in an executive position, agrees with another person that is in an executive position about diminishing the rights of the people he has to work with.

    Is it easier to govern from a position of absolute control? Of course.

    Is it necessary or even desirable? No.

    Does the party affiliation matter? No

    Oh, yeah, and hello sour grapes Fenty.

  • ottovbvs

    It may be hugely important to you DF, it strikes me as hugely unimportant. After all you still think it hugely important that Joe Lieberman enthusiastically supported the Iraq war. If you can find one manager who likes to deal with the bargaining rights of unions I’ll buy you a ticket to Canada.

  • Brazen

    Yes unions do get in the way of what managers want to do, but I believe that is partly necessary. Managers want to make as much profit as possible, and profit comes from a low operation cost (low wages for workers, a bad working environment for employees). Yes managers would be able to, “manage their team without the interface of collective barganing” and, “have the ability to set fair wages, and hours”, but just because they have the ability to doesn’t mean they would do it. If a company wants to stay competetive, they have to keep production costs down, thats business 101. So, to say that they have the ability to set fair wages and hours actually isn’t entirely true, because if they tried to do this they would be snuffed out by the other guys who pay their employees less.

    I do think that America does need to become more competetive with the rest of the world, because that would bring jobs back to America. Maybe the best way to become more competetive is to get rid of unions and collective bargaing, but I strongly believe there needs to be another system in place to protect our workers.

    • tommyudo

      “Maybe the best way to become more competetive is to get rid of unions and collective bargaing, but I strongly believe there needs to be another system in place to protect our workers.”

      You are out of your mind. Yeah let’s become more like India and Malaysia and we can get rid of unions and pay $1.50 an hour, and bring back the 12 hour days. While we are at it, how about bringing back child labor. The rise of unions in this country corresponds to the rise of the American middle class. Prices for goods and services here aren’t going to get cheaper, so how are the workers in this more competitive economy going to afford the necessities, to say nothing of luxury items? Maybe we should just “think small.” The 20th century was the US Century, the 21st century has already shown that we can pass over that title to someone else. While we’re at it, let someone else police the world while we manufacture their guns.

      • Brazen

        whoa man cool your jets. I said, “I strongly believe there needs to be another system in place to protect our workers”. I agree with you that it is necessary to have protections for our workers. Maybe not in the form of a union though.

        • tommyudo

          “I agree with you that it is necessary to have protections for our workers. Maybe not in the form of a union though.”

          If not a union, then what? Shold we rely on the paternalism of the employer whose labor costs have been unsustainable for so many companies that the jobs have gone overseas, where pay, benefits and worker safety are not impediments for them making money for their stockholders?
          I’ve taken it as a given that a whole generation of US workers (mainly mid 40s to mid 60s) have been screwed. Our best days are behind us, at least for the next 20-30 years.

  • Saladdin

    You have to wonder: how many other Democratic mayors and governors quietly agree? Starting with California’s Governor Jerry Brown?

    Unlike Fenty, who’s loss was directly related to the teachers unions, both Brown and Cuomo have accepted lower wage and benefits from the unions. Unlike Walker and the new GOP governors, they aren’t trying to cloud elimination of unions with budgetary issues.

    This article reeks of sour grapes to me.

    • ottovbvs

      It’s not just Brown and Cuomo you can add Dannell Malloy to the list of governors who are negotiating benefit cuts with the unions. Of course to DF destruction of the unions freedon to bargain makes much more sense. Now he has to leave us because he’s off to make a speech about freedom. Unfortunately, DF’s definition of freedom is entirely personal and political.

  • Rob_654

    So if Democrats agree that makes it right?

  • Smargalicious

    Fenty is right, but he has an agenda.

    Voters are beginning to realize, thanks to governors like Chris Christie and Scott Walker, that thuggish public-sector unions have negotiated unsustainable levels of pensions and benefits — and that public-sector unions are a mechanism for involuntary transfers of money from taxpayers to the Democratic Party.

    Just remember–non-union private-sector companies have thrived, while unionized companies have gone under. And public-sector unions, teachers included, with their bought-and-paid-for politicians, have produced public-sector workforces that are unresponsive, unaccountable and impossibly expensive.

    • COProgressive

      Dumb…. just dumb.
      One could also say that union private-sector companies have thrived, while non-unionized companies have gone under. It seems that both your statement and mine are equally correct.

      So, what’s your point?

      Oh, BTW, you left out Governors Jerry Brown (D-CA) and Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)

    • Brazen

      @Smarg
      What you are saying makes some sense. That’s why I believe there needs to be changes made, but do you think we would be better off without unions all together? Who would protect the workers? Also, Republicans have their large sources of money in people like the Koch brothers just like the democrats have their money in the unions.

      • Smargalicious

        @brazen

        Yes, to be fair Republicans have ‘sponsors’ who lobby for their interests.

        Do I think that we would be better off without unions? I believe thay have run their course, and government protections now substitute well for them.

        Who’s to blame for the unions’ plight? I blame a guy way back named Frederick W. Taylor. You can google him.

        Taylor, the supposed pioneer of scientific management, was an influential man in his day and long after. He conducted time and motion studies aimed at getting workers to perform most efficiently single tasks on long assembly lines.

        Workers, he said, should be regarded as dumb animals, incapable of initiative, inefficient when they are not compelled to perform the same simple task in the same single way over and over.

        Taylor was also a creep. He faked a lot of his time and motion studies. Nevertheless, he had huge influence on the managers of assembly-line industries like autos and steel.

        Their workforces consisted of off-the-farm and immigrant hordes with little education and often little English. They thought the best way to profits was to use Taylorite methods to squeeze maximum production out of their low-skill workers.

        The industrial unions — the United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers — that succeeded with government help to organize industries in the 1930s understandably saw their main task as combating Taylorism.

        They would prevent management from ordering dreaded speedups, based on Taylorite analysis, by insisting that every change in work rules must be negotiated between shop stewards and foremen.

        They would prevent management from rewarding speedy workers by insisting that promotions be based on seniority and preventing any hint of merit pay.

        All that made a certain sense — in the 1930s and in decades afterward, when auto and steel managers, full of contempt for their workers, clung to Taylorism. Unions in turn clung to an adversarial model that assumed that workers’ interests were diametrically opposed to management’s.

        Today, many liberals look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh from high school and military service could get a unionized job on the assembly line and be guaranteed a lifetime job. However, we all know how the UAW drove GM in to the ground.

        Walker understands the public sector union’s greed…his state is broke. I just wish BHO and the Democrats would understand that we will collapse as a nation if we don’t get this fixed.

        • zephae

          @Smarg

          “Do I think that we would be better off without unions? I believe they have run their course, and government protections now substitute well for them.”

          What kinds of government protections do you mean here? Are you talking about protections like the minimum wage and OSHA? Or are there other protections that you have in mind?

        • carinthia

          “Do I think that we would be better off without unions? I believe thay have run their course, and government protections now substitute well for them.”

          And who owns the Government? Corporations, that’s who. In lieu of this fact, how long do you think it would take them to erode the laws that would substitute for Unions? The reasons the Unions formed in the first place was because Governments have no real power in a capitalistic society.

    • Saladdin

      thanks to governors like Chris Christie and Scott Walker Umm Christy isn’t eliminating CB, instead wants to negotiate with the Teachers unions who are balking. Not the same as Walker. What you meant was Daniels, not Christy.

    • hisgirlfriday

      I must’ve missed the news about Caterpillar filing for bankruptcy amidst all these reports of continuing record profits even at the same time they just negotiated a new six-year deal with UAW.

    • ottovbvs

      This would explain why every poll including one conducted by Rasmussen believed govt workers should not have their collective bargaining rights removed.

  • zephae

    “I believe that managers have the ability to set fair wages, and to set fair hours, and to reward people or hold them accountable. I think it’s a new day. I think a lot of these collective bargaining agreements are completely outdated.”

    It annoys me when people speak about collective bargaining and unions as though they have some kind of expiration date. They imply that unions had a goal, fulfilled it to the point that they will never be relevant again, and should be done away with. I think eliminating unions or collective bargaining rights simply invites a slow erosion of their gains. I would agree with that there needs to be some reform with regard to unions and the way they interact with management, but the solution is certainly not to simply eliminate them. Workers still need a tool to leverage their labor.

  • KBKY

    @tommyudo
    I think Brazen was pretty clear that he wanted some sort of protection for workers, it’s in his quote that you reposted. I doubt you’ll find anyone, of any political stripe, wanting to bring back $1.50 wages and getting rid of weekends. I disagree, however, that it has to be one or the other. Only 6% of private sector workers are unionized and you don’t see those kinds of conditions in the vast majority of private sector jobs. We need to be willing to consider all options to find solutions that are fair for both workers and taxpayers (who are the main stakeholders in most public sector union issues).

    I think Frum is misstating a little what this entire debate is about (for me at least). My problem with Governor Walker was not his proposal or his plan to limit collective bargaining, it was the rushed, non-transparent way that he went about getting the legislation passed. As I’ve said before, it is shameful for a public official to attempt to pull one over on the citizens that elected him. Voters should have the opportunity to give feedback and inform their representatives how they feel about certain pieces of legislation. I think you’ll find a lot of Mayors and Governors that agree with the substance, this would be no surprise, but I think you’ll find few beyond Fenty (who I was a huge fan of, but was also infamous for his poor voter communication skills), approve of Governor Walker’s methods.

  • hisgirlfriday

    Considering Adrian Fenty foisted upon America Michelle Rhee and her meme that teachers unions are the root of all evil in our educational system, why is this surprising?

    It’s not new that urban liberals have common cause with conservative Republicans in seeking to create an authoritarian top-down approach to education that weakens local control and community participation in schools. This has been going in places like Chicago and New York for the last 10-15 years.

    Fenty, after all, is like almost all elites in our society (liberal or conservative) in that he is a product of private schools so why would he see any value in the existing public education system or the teachers unions that exist in that system?

    I would ask… is it really a credit to Walker that a politician like Fenty, who also became unpopular due to an authoritarian dicatorial approach to governance and demonization of public workers, is in his corner?

  • tommyudo

    “Only 6% of private sector workers are unionized and you don’t see those kinds of conditions in the vast majority of private sector jobs.”

    The diminution of unionized jobs go hand in hand with the destruction of the middle class , which started when Reagan was President. While he was asleep or trying to retrieve what brain cells he had left, his GOP cohorts went to work dismantling the middle class. You can’t have a robust middle class, imo, with a service based economy. This country no longer produces the goods that the world wants, especially when those goods can be produced cheaper elsewhere. This wasn’t the case from the period of time from the late 19th century to the 1980s.
    I’ve just reached the conclusion that we are screwed, and any politician that says that “America’s greatest days are ahead” should choke on their words. The muliti-nationals own the government and they won’t give up without a fight.

  • valkayec

    Something, too, that has been missed in the discussions about unions is how much effort they put into attempting to shape policies that affect all average, non-wealthy Americans. For example, unions spent a great deal of time and money lobbying for good financial regulation. Those efforts weren’t just good for unions, they were good for everyone, regardless of opinions of the final regulation outcome.

    Unions do still push for social outcomes and policies that benefit all working Americans. What other organization has the kind of ability to do so? Isn’t part of the plan to eliminate unions also a plan to eliminate the biggest voice ordinary workers have in statehouses and Congress? Wouldn’t the outcome represent the real or modern road to serfdom?

    • tommyudo

      “Isn’t part of the plan to eliminate unions also a plan to eliminate the biggest voice ordinary workers have in statehouses and Congress? ”

      Right you are. The plan of the far Right Wing is threefold.
      First was the Citizen’s United decision. Second is happening now in states like Wisconsin and Ohio that are trying to break the backs of the public employee unions.
      Third is voter suppression, and add to that the Tea Party’s latest efforts in gerrymandering.
      The Right , which accounts for about 30% of this country knows that the demographics aren’t in their favor. This was known decades ago. That’s why both Bushes placed younger Right Wing activists on the Supreme Court, who are protectors of the powerful.
      However, in WI and Ohio, Walker and Kasich have over reached, probably solidifying the Midwest for the Dems in 2012. The 30% of this vermin population aren’t going away, so it will be a long fight.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    uh…yeah, a guy who lost the Democratic primary because he was viewed as a classic DINO is now being used as an example of…what exactly? DINO’s who are defeated who actually think like Republicans?

  • KBKY

    @tommyudo
    “The diminution of unionized jobs go hand in hand with the destruction of the middle class …”

    I agree, but I interpret the statement a little differently. The destruction of the middle class was indeed a byproduct of the destruction of blue collar work (which was often unionized). My grandfather, for instance, worked in a steel mill for his entire life. A man did not have to be terribly educated or have an extensive skill set to get a job that would bring his family into the middle class.

    I disagree, however, on why these jobs were destroyed. Some say that these jobs were destroyed because of their unions (i.e. unions got greedy and forced the corporations to leave the country or risk bankrupcy), I think it was inevitable. The most reasonable union in the country would not (and should not) accept the types of wages that a company could pay workers in China and India. This was a byproduct of globalization and I don’t see how any President, Democrat or Republican, could have prevented it. Without these types of jobs, a huge segment of well-paid positions for relatively non-educated workers disappeared and sections of the middle class disappeared with them.

    • Traveler

      Too busy to comment directly, but you really hit this one. Lets focus the discussion on the solutions.

      Thanks for the great focus.

  • ottovbvs

    I came across this comment today on the whole issue of social programs (not just education) and paying for them and it seemed to me the most sensible comment I’ve seen on this entire topic. Basically the public wants them. Now ok the lines move backwards and forwards a bit but at the end of the day the country is going to coalesce around a set of priorities which aren’t those of the Republicans and they are going to raise taxes to pay for them.

    [i] Starving the Moral Beast
    Tuesday ~ March 8th, 2011 in Economics, Health Care | Tags: Debt, fiscal policy, health care, Paul Krugman, Tyler Cowen | by Karl Smith

    Since I can remember I’ve loved reminding my audiences that economics is not morality play. It wasn’t until Paul Krugman started blogging that I realized that I must have picked it up from one of his early writings.

    That virtue can sometimes be vice is one of the most fun lessons of economics. There is a perverse delight in explaining how foreign aid may impoverish the Third World but sweatshops would make it grow rich.

    I can understand why many of my fellow economists were so eager to transport this insight to the political realm. Politics they argued was a fight between interest groups – a battle over the fiscal commons. There weren’t good guys and bad guys. There were just naturally self-interested people.

    Tyler Cowen pays homage to this legacy in a recent NYT piece

    James M. Buchanan, a Nobel laureate in economics — and my former colleague and now professor emeritus at George Mason University — argued that deficit spending would evolve into a permanent disconnect between spending and revenue, precisely because it brings short-term gains. We end up institutionalizing irresponsibility in the federal government, the largest and most central institution in our society. As we fail to make progress on entitlement reform with each passing year, Professor Buchanan’s essentially moral critique of deficit spending looks more prophetic.

    Curiously Tyler refers to a rational actor model as a moral critique but then again he certainly knew Buchanan better than I.

    Still, to borrow a phrase from another of my favorite economists, the only problem with this analysis is that it is at odds with the facts.

    If we want to build a model of what the government spends money on we would be best to start this way: ask people what social obligations do they believe “society” has. Look around for the cheapest – though not necessarily most efficient – programs that could credibly – though not necessarily effectively– address those obligations. Sum the cost of those programs. That will be government spending.

    Contrary to Jonah Goldberg and others who see Canada and the United States as examples of two clashing ideologies, they are actually examples of two different ethic distributions. The United States is not Canada because there is ethnic strife between Southern Blacks and Southern Whites. That strife reduces the sense of moral obligation on the part of the white majority and so reduces government spending.

    I want to be very clear that I don’t say this to paint those against social spending as racists. From where I sit I am betting that most of the intellectuals lined up against expanding the welfare state are naively unaware that their support rests upon racial strife. Otherwise they would realize that as America integrates they are doomed. They are fighting as if they believe they have a chance of winning. Given the strong secular trend in racial harmony, they do not.

    I point this out also to show why the major Republican strategy for limiting government was doomed from the start and why I am also not particularly worried about Americas fiscal future per se.

    In the 1980s some conservatives believed that the might not be able to cut government but they could cut taxes and thereby starve the beast. Rising deficits would force the hand of future governments. Spending would have to be cut in order to bring the budget into balance.

    Much of the handwringing about fiscal irresponsibility is a sense of alarm not only on the right, but throughout much of the political center, that these spending cuts are not actually materializing.

    But, by what theory of government did you ever believe they would? Governments don’t look at how much money they have and then decide what they want to buy. They decide what they want to buy and then they look for ways to find the revenue.

    Divorcing the two – through sustained deficits – was only going to lead to ever increasing levels of debt. This is what we got. At no point was the beast ever starved. The peace dividend lowered government spending growth somewhat, but that was undone by the war on terror. Otherwise spending hummed along, as it always will, with the government buying things the public thinks it ought to buy.

    Yet, if this is causing upset stomachs among many of my fellow bloggers it calms mine. Its quite clear how this will end. Racial strife will continue to abate. The public will coalesce around the welfare state and taxes will be raised to meet the cost.

    The fundamental do not predict rising debt forevermore. The fundamentals predict a VAT.

    This is not to say I am unconcerned about our economic future. Health care costs will continue to eat up more and more of our economy unless something is done. However, trying to convince people that health care is not a social obligation a fool’s errand. The best you could do is convince them we have no obligation to the other. As the other integrates this will likewise prove impossible.

    No, people will ultimately believe that health care for all is a social obligation and therefore government will pay for it. There is no more analysis to be done on that part of the question.

    The only part left is looking around for the cheapest program. This is where our attention should be focused. Can we lower the cost of those obligations? Can we make medicine more efficient?

    If we can there will be economic room for something else. If we can’t, well just hang in there until artificial intelligence revolutio[/i]

  • KBKY

    @ottobvs
    I’ve heard many comments similar to this article, but I’m not sure if I agree that it fits with the United States’ culture. Americans are, comparatively, very wary of taxes – our entire Revolution was based on taxation rights. Not only that, but we tend to be very individualistic (sometimes almost pitilessly so). I don’t see people viewing healthcare as a right, at least not if it is clear what that means (e.g. some sort of care rationing by the government, much higher taxes, etc.). It’s an interesting opinion, but given that even in the depths of extensive budget concerns there was no public support for letting the Bush tax cuts lapse, I’m not sure if it is realistic. Maybe, as you say “at the end of the day” this will happen, but I don’t see that day being possible for decades.

    *I want to note that this post is not trying to argue whether Americans are better or worse for their individualistic/tax-wary tendencies, only that these are influential components of our national culture.*

    • LauraNo

      Well I view health care as a right, and I believe many Americans think so too. This fact is why hospitals are legally obligated to treat those that show up there. And, as I live in Canada I can tell you that universal health care doesn’t have to mean a huge increase in taxes and does not entail death panels unless you mean the same limits there are already built into any health care model. HMOs and private insurance companies certainly draw lines at what they will cover, if you need more care than that, you are going to die. Ask Sharon Angle about that. I’d also argue about your assertion that people didn’t want the Bush tax cuts to expire. Every poll I saw said differently. Now Sen. Sanders is quoting 88% in favor of an special tax on the over $500,000 crowd. We know where the money went these last ten years and WE WANT IT BACK.

      • Gramps

        Laura…I don’t know if you sail…
        I still like the “cut of yer jib”…that’s a compliment just in case you don’t sail…?

        That said; I really luv you hearty Canadians. I haven’t really been way, “up Nort” in more than three decades, even though I’m a “upper”…”Eeah yah”…

        I’m thinkin’ it’s time for SWMBO [She who Must Be Obeyed] and my ownself, to pay you fine folks another visit…
        Keep on, keepin’ on…!

      • hisgirlfriday

        Americans almost universally view healthcare as a right at the very least for old people. Even the hardiest anti-tax Tea Party person thinks they are entitled to Medicare in their twilight years and doesn’t want to see it abolished. If you ask them if they’d rather that Medicare be abolished on anti-tax, rugged individualism principles or that they’d rather tax the rich or tax business to pay for it, that person will say tax away.

        But on the broader issue of taxation and whether we are an individualistic or collectivist society, I would contend there is no one American viewpoint on this. From the very beginning and still to this day even after the Civil War there are two opposing visions for America.

        The Jefferson/Jackson/Reagan Confederate spirit of low regressive taxation and Austrian economics principles, limited government intervention in the economy, state’s rights nullification and celebration of the self-interested owner/entreprenuer even to the detriment of the welfare of society as a whole didn’t disappear after its defeats in the establishment of the First National Bank and the immediate results of the Civil War and Civil Rights movement.

        Similarly, the Hamilton/Lincoln/Roosevelt Union spirit of high progressive taxation and American economic principles, active government intervention in the economy, the ascendancy of federal government and concern for the general welfare even to the detriment of individual members of society didn’t disappear after its defeats in Jackson’s ending the national bank and the era of Jim Crow post-Reconstruction and the Southern Strategy/Reaganomics ascendancy.

        Maybe someday America will, as Lincoln predicted, become entirely one thing or the other. But if it does, no matter the victorious side, I think it will cease being America and become something else entirely.

        And this is already longwinded, but I have to say I find Karl Smith’s piece very naive at the same time he accuses of intellectuals who benefit from racial strife of being naive about that. What he doesn’t recognize is that even as our country’s melting pot becomes even more varied and more tolerant of black people, that isn’t the end of our melting pot story. History shows us that in America that for every victory of tolerance there is a new intolerance backlash. And for every barrier we cross in tolerance, there will always be a new “other” for rich and powerful interests to spotlight and distract the general populace with while they cause mischief in our economy and government when we’re not paying attention. We may single out this “other” as an Indian or black or Catholic or German or woman or Italian or Pole or Jew or Japanese or communist or dirty hippie or welfare queen or gay or Hispanic or union member or Muslim or socialist… but any time we as a society come to accept that “other” into part of the American fabric we’re always provided a new “other” to scapegoat.

        • politicalfan

          Great point quoted below. I wonder how technology will play into this HGF?

          “but any time we as a society come to accept that “other” into part of the American fabric we’re always provided a new “other” to scapegoat.”

          I think the scapegoats are growing very tired. I think it is evident when the cat is away the mice will play.

      • politicalfan

        I agree that healthcare is a wonderful thing. I actually believe that it is a right of a prosperous ‘human rights’ country.

        However, there are a great deal of people who want to know how we can afford it with our current deficit? Moreover, they are concerned that we are a society of entitlements and not a society of hand-ups. There are still a lot of folks that do not know what is the bill and how it will translate to a positive for them. With bailouts etc. it only exacerbates their belief that the government is intruding and wants more money in the form of increased taxes.

        I imagine an opt-out option will be around the horizon. I don’t think the message of HCR was adequately given to those that did not watch many hours of debates and discussions regarding health care.

        • sweatyb

          “it only exacerbates their belief that the government is intruding and wants more money in the form of increased taxes. ”

          A belief that’s founded in Reagan-era mythology. These people may be incorrigible, considering that Americans have never paid lower taxes in anyone’s lifetime and they still think taxes are too high.

        • politicalfan

          sweatyb- Reasonable taxation?

          Good point but people clearly differ on where those monies (taxes) are to be spent. If we were given a budget checklist when we vote for the President of the United States. The list would hold a variety of opinions on where money should and should not be spent. Those check marks would be crossing over ideological affilations.

      • KBKY

        @LauraNo
        “Well I view health care as a right, and I believe many Americans think so too.”
        If they did, we wouldn’t see the public so divided on the issue of healthcare and we wouldn’t see people so nervous about a public option (which is the most effective way to ensure that everyone is able to receive medical care). I’m not weighing in on whether it’s a right or not, but the evidence doesn’t seem clear that a substantial majority of Americans are willing to give up what would be necessary for everyone to receive adequate medical care.

        “I can tell you that universal health care doesn’t have to mean a huge increase in taxes and does not entail death panels unless you mean the same limits there are already built into any health care model.”
        You are falling here into the Sarah Palin spin machine that Death Panels are a terrible thing (although the wording is indeed awful). We would need Death Panels, frankly, I’m in favor of Death Panels (as awful as it sounds). Having the government spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a hip replacement for a 90 year old woman would not be sustainable. Most people compare a public option as Medicare for everyone – Medicare covered my 90 year old grandmother’s hip surgury. This isn’t sustainable for our elderly and it won’t be sustainable if it is increased to all citizens. People are a lot more comfortable with the private sector giving them limits than the government because they have more control over what plan they purchase. Americans are, for whatever reason, far more comfortable with care being rationed by wealth (our current system) than by policy. The latter would be neccessary to ensure some sort of cost control in the system.

        In terms of taxes, according to this article: “in very rough figures, the federal finance department calculates that Canadians pay an average 35 per cent of their income in taxes and Americans pay 30 per cent – 5 per cent less” (http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/taxes.htm). While I agree that 5% doesn’t sound like a huge amount, I believe that American culture would consider it unacceptable. Americans really do not like taxes.

        “I’d also argue about your assertion that people didn’t want the Bush tax cuts to expire. Every poll I saw said differently.”
        If that was true, Obama wouldn’t have had to make a deal with Republicans. He had a majority in both Houses, if the public was truly in favor of letting the cuts expire, they would have. Gallup estimates that 2/3 of Americans supported extending the tax cut for the wealthy. I’m sure that there are polls that say differently, but most that I read were consistent with Gallup’s results (http://www.gallup.com/poll/145109/americans-support-major-elements-tax-compromise.aspx).

  • TerryF98

    Walker is caving.

    “Under the compromise floated by Walker and detailed in the e-mails, workers would be able to continue bargaining over their salaries with no limit, a change from his original plan that banned negotiated salary increases beyond inflation. He also proposed compromises allowing collective bargaining to stay in place on mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay and classroom size for teachers.

    Increased contributions for health insurance and pension, projected to save the state $330 million by mid-2013, would remain. The unions and Democrats have agreed to those concessions to help balance a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

    Sen. Bob Jauch, one of the 14 AWOL Democrats, said he hoped the compromise would serve as a blueprint for future negotiations. But he and Sen. Tim Cullen, who were both working with Walker’s administration, said the latest offer was inadequate.”

    And this is why.

    “Senate Republicans spent hours going over the compromise plan Tuesday morning in a closed-door meeting, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said. He acknowledged that pressure was increasing on the senators, saying the recall efforts launched against eight Republicans was “on everybody’s minds”

    Keep up the recall, get these bastards out of office. Never give in to dictators.

  • sweatyb

    @KBKY

    “our entire Revolution was based on taxation rights”

    Many colonialists were certainly annoyed at the increase in duties and levies applied by parliament. But the issue that raised the rebellion was representation. The colonists revolted because they wanted a voice in their government.

    And there’s a lot of time between the Boston Tea Party and Reagan’s presidency (when tax cutting became all the rage) when taxes were cut or raised based on political demands.

    The idea that Americans object to taxes more than anyone else because it’s part of our heritage is laughable.

    First because, as I point out, it’s unclear what heritage you’d be talking about. And second because it’s unclear that Americans actually object to reasonable taxation.

    • KBKY

      First, my apologies to other posters, this post is going to get extremely off the original topic.

      @SweatyB
      “Many colonialists were certainly annoyed at the increase in duties and levies applied by parliament. But the issue that raised the rebellion was representation. The colonists revolted because they wanted a voice in their government.”
      They wanted a voice in their government because Britain began increasing taxes to pay for its recent wars with France. The representation angle was based on the fact that the colonists shouldn’t be taxed if they could not have representatives in Parliament to voice their concerns (i.e. fight against the taxes). If you look at the arguments in the early periods of discontent, they evolve based on what taxes Britain should be allowed to levy (eventually, the answer was none). Americans were not bothered by the lack of representation until the new taxes began. It is also interesting to note that those areas (Boston, Virginia) that had a lot of trade or activity in the newly taxed areas were more radical than those that didn’t (Pennsylvania). It eventually spiraled, but for a great deal of time taxes were the main issue, the main way that Britain was attempting to “enslave the colonies.” It’s why the British/Loyalists that were the most targeted (almost viciously so) were the tax collectors.

      “And there’s a lot of time between the Boston Tea Party and Reagan’s presidency (when tax cutting became all the rage) when taxes were cut or raised based on political demands.”
      This dislike and mistrust of federal taxation has been in evidence for all of America’s history, there wasn’t just a break in-between the Tea Party and Reagan. This mistrust was one of the main reasons that the Articles of Confederation failed. I’m not saying taxes were never raised, but an almost pathological dislike of taxes is as American as apple pie.

      “The idea that Americans object to taxes more than anyone else because it’s part of our heritage is laughable.”
      I would say that the wariness of taxes stems from a wariness of federal power, which I would also argue is a big part of American culture/heritage. My favorite book on the revolutionary period is The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff, who does a far better job than I do here explaining the role that taxation played in the Revolutionary War. I also don’t think that it is too much of a stretch to assume that the forces behind our Revolution, and that were debated extensively by the Founders, shaped our national culture and heritage.

  • politicalfan

    “Today, many liberals look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh from high school and military service could get a unionized job on the assembly line and be guaranteed a lifetime job. However, we all know how the UAW drove GM in to the ground.

    Walker understands the public sector union’s greed…his state is broke. I just wish BHO and the Democrats would understand that we will collapse as a nation if we don’t get this fixed.”

    Smarg- What steps did Walker take to insist that his “state is broke?” Secondly, where there is one group or organization that will cash in, there will always be a larger group that can cash in like ‘no one’s business.’

    This is about money and why wouldn’t a teacher who is making under $60,000 a year try to negotiate a better deal? While I understand your stance on unions, I do not think for a moment that you would not exercise your right to maintain your level of wealth.

    Lobbyist, union, ect. The ‘union’ boogeyman is almost silly in comparison to Corporate wealth and bonuses that exceed what most of these folks make in a life time. I am not anti-wealth but fail to see how collective bargaining is such a horrible thing. Say good-bye to your tax cuts and your “bargaining” for your estate tax.

  • geojen

    As a Wisconsinite, I honestly couldn’t care less what any politician from outside of Wisconsin says about the situation here. I mean really, some loser from Washington DC endorses Walker? BFD. This is what passes for thoughtful commentary on FF now? Geeza-lou.

  • Gramps

    What’ good for me… may be poison for thee…!

    Wisconsin State Senate Republicans Took Hundreds Of Thousands In Government Farm Subsidies~~~http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/wisconsin-state-senate-republicans_n_833058.html