One more thing checked off my list of Things I Never Thought I’d Do: agree with outgoing Chicago mayor Richard Daley:
“The cost of government has to go down. It can’t keep growing. It has to someway level off,” Daley said, adding that it was “unacceptable” to burden another generation with the costs of paying down debt.
“I don’t think the taxpayers at the present and in the future can afford the costs of government,” Daley said. “I don’t believe they can, because the cost of government is going up faster than the cost that you can bear in your own pocketbook. I firmly believe that. It cannot go up so significantly each year for the cost of government. And that’s why you have to look at the value” of various government services to taxpayers.”
“Our teachers work six hours a day. Six hours a day. What do you think of that? Thirty hours a week,” Daley said. “I’m not condemning all the teachers, but you know, there has to be a time and place for everybody to have to give to the less fortunate. … Unions have to understand, that you have a responsibility. It’s not just a paycheck.”
On that point, he’s absolutely correct. Government has to shrink, and it has to be soon, before the entire economy falls apart.
Well, the WI Senate offered their AWOL members one last chance to return by 4pm Wisconsin time today, or they’d be held in contempt. And, well, let’s let WTMJ tell the rest of the story:
The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate has signed orders finding 14 AWOL Democrats in contempt. The orders signed Thursday allow the sergeant at arms to detain the missing senators and use police force if necessary.
The Democrats say they are all in Illinois and won’t return.
And today we also learned exactly why the weasels packed up and ran from another local Wisconsin media outlet:
Before protesters stormed the capitol, the mayor of the city of Madison tried to pull a fast one. The governor’s budget repair bill was on the fast track, and Madison Mayor Dave Ciesliewicz was racing against the clock to pass new union contracts first.
E-mails obtained by the FOX6 Investigators show that the mayor enlisted the help of State Senator Mark Miller. They both tried to convince the Secretary of State to hold up the bill by taking the maximum 10 days allowed by law before publishing the bill.
They were trying to buy some time so they could ratify new contracts to protect workers from benefit cuts. Citizens for Responsible Government Rep. Chris Kliesmet says, “This suggests, and this is a harsh word, collusion. There is collusion between some politicians and public sector employee unions. Period.”
Ed Morrissey at HotAir explains why the order of the contract and the bill matter:
To make matters worse, if the state law goes into effect first, the amendments to the agreements will make them null and void under the provisions of the new law. If that happens, all our employees will be subject to the benefit cuts immediately, instead of at the end of the current contract.
In other words, in order to keep the Democrat-union gravy train rolling for at least the length of the current contract, they had to finalize the contract before the law got signed. So the Democrats ran away to keep the law from going into effect, and in the process, they thumbed their nose at the voters of Wisconsin.
Let’s hope the Wisconsin voters return the gesture the next time these Democrats are up for reelection.
Okay, now it’s moving out of the midwest:
– On Saturday evening, [Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom] Luna said, he encountered an angry man outside his mother’s house in Nampa. The man reportedly identified himself as a teacher opposed to Luna’s plans to increase class sizes and said he had planned to speak to Luna’s mother. Luna reported the incident to Nampa police.
– Late Monday or early Tuesday, someone slashed two tires on Luna’s vehicle at his Nampa home and spray-painted the word “Luna” with an X through it on the white truck’s passenger door. Nampa police are investigating.
– After Luna reported the vandalism early Tuesday morning, he went to a Downtown Boise coffee shop for an appearance on live morning television. He was approached by a man who loudly called him “a liar and other choice words” before a police officer intervened and calmed the man down, Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said.
Of course, we have no evidence that the teachers or teachers’ unions are behind some of these attacks… except the first one where the miscreant self-identified… but the list of other people that would do this to this particular elected official is pretty darned small.
And the reforms?
Luna’s plan, which is still in the Senate Education Committee, would replace teacher tenure with rolling two-year contracts, force unions to prove they represent 50 percent of the teachers in a district, limit collective bargaining to salaries and benefits and not allow collective bargaining agreements to extend beyond the end of the state fiscal year.
In other words, it’s pretty close to the Wisconsin plan. And for this he–and his mother–get subjected to all this.
At least the Idaho Democrats haven’t snuck across the border to Oregon–the closest Democratic state to Boise–yet.
…apparently can’t teach basic reading:
Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.
In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”
The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009 despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year.
And these are the people that are supposed to be so essential to Wisconsin’s success that they can’t have their precious union privileges (not rights, privileges) even slightly curtailed by Governor Walker?