Budget problems baring teeth

State workers, union members and others watch a telecast in the rotunda at the State Capitol Tuesday, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in Madison, Wis. of a committee meeting on Gov. Scott Waker's proposal to cut the state budget. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Winds of political change are sweeping across America. High stakes games of political “chicken” are unfolding.

The Nation notes:

“The Great Recession and its aftermath are entering a new phase in the United States, which could bring even more severe assaults on the living standards and basic rights of ordinary people than we have experienced thus far. This is because a wide swath of the country’s policy- and opinion-making elite have singled out public sector workers—including schoolteachers, healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters—as well as their unions and even their pensions as deadweight burdens sapping the economy’s vitality.”

A wide swath of the country’s policy- and opinion-making elite have singled out public sector workers—including schoolteachers, healthcare workers, police officers and firefighters.

The article points out that the recession was caused by Wall Street hyper-speculation, not the pay scales of elementary school teachers or public hospital nurses.

“Nonetheless, a rising chorus of commentators charge that public sector workers are overpaid relative to employees in comparable positions in the private sector. The fact that this claim is demonstrably false appears not to matter. Instead, the attacks are escalating.”

What has happened to the art of political compromise? Why do so many politicians point fingers of blame instead of engaging in dialogue dedicated to seeking solutions? Wouldn’t that be the fair and responsible thing to do for all constituents?   Who’s interests are some elected politicians really representing? What do you think?

Wisconsin has become a battleground for collective bargaining rights this month. Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial proposal to trim benefits and curtail collective-bargaining rights for many of the state’s unionized workers has sparked massive protests and counter-protests.

Walker says Wisconsin’s budget deficit is the reason behind his move to do away with collective bargaining for state workers.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is backing legislation that would take away collective bargaining rights for many state employees as a means to cut the state budget deficit.

Ezra Klein asks why Gov. Walker called a special session of the Wisconsin legislature and signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues an estimated $120 million over the next two fiscal years.

Walker’s new legislation was not offset which means it turns a projected budget surplus into a deficit.  Brian Beutler writes, “public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda.”

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a spending bill ( 235-189, virtually along party lines) that lops $61 billion from President Barack Obama's proposed federal budget.

In Washington,The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure early Saturday that lops $61 billion from President Barack Obama’s proposed budget.

The move was vehemently opposed by Senate Democrats and Mr. Obama.  According to House Appropriations Committee records, it would be the biggest one-shot cut in discretionary spending in history.

Senate Democrats proposed cutting $41 billion from the 2011 budget. Using this same math, the House Republicans’ bill would cut spending by $100 billion for the 2011 fiscal year. Both sides are about $60 billion apart.

Defense spending continues to have a major impact on the federal budget. After only modest increases in the late 1990s, spending on national defense, according to the White House budget released last week,  more than doubled from fiscal year 2001 to 2009 — with the nation fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and is expected to reach $768 billion this year. In fiscal 2001, there was a $143 billion surplus; this fiscal year, a deficit of $1.6 trillion is projected

At the moment, our federal government is funded through a stopgap spending measure that expires on March 4. If the government does shutdown, it could delay Social Security payments, tax refunds and veterans payments.

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About Bernard McCoy

My views are my own and not a reflection of my employer. I'm an associate professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I've also been a working journalist for the past 29 years. I have covered news stories in war zones, reported on human and natural disasters, presidential conventions, a presidential inauguration and the September 11th, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. My career experiences include work as an award-winning documentary producer, television news reporter, photographer, producer, and anchor. I worked at WIBW-TV, Topeka, KS., KCTV, Kansas City, MO, WKBD-TV, Detroit, MI., WILX-TV, Lansing, MI. and WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH. I have also worked as a contributing reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, the Ohio News Network and lecture at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communications. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Michigan State University.
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One Response to Budget problems baring teeth

  1. We need to rise up RIGHTEOUS LEADERS. Jeremiah 30:16 Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and THEY THAT SPOIL THEE SHALL BE SPOIL, and all that PREY upon thee will I givve for prey.

    We vote them in we can be the weapons of war in G-D’S hand taking them out.
    Time to stand, the GREAT REVERSAL is more fully voiced in Jeremiah 51:20.
    Jeremiah 51:20 Thou art MY battle axe and weapons of war: (in peace we can take them out—VOTE–THEM–OUT) : for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.
    The gates of our country needs to be guided form what comes in and what goes out. We are going down and every gate must be taken a good look at. Frederal Reserve just is in it for them, they have their own agenda, and we should look into that. Money is being made tooooooooo much and nothing behind it WHY? We need to LOOK, LISTEN, something more is going on get to the roots.
    Isaiah 14:3 When the lORD has given you rest form your pain and turmoil and the HARD SERVICE which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the KING OF BABYLON.

    We can see that biblical rhetoric operates in the world of real people. And when real people even real believing people come to daily reality, their visions of faith take peculiar, and sometimes shameless concrete form. We need to transposes that struggle into a new arena of fresh possibilities. Good news can move quickly to new modes of exploitative behavior, all under the aegis of G-D’S gifts. We need to take down the overlords that run the nations down. The rhetoric of this anticipation in these verses concerns “HARD LABOR” reminiscent of the Exodus narrative Exodus 5:4-21, as well as a slight reference to the Flood narrative Gen.5:29. Thus we have the verb “GIVE REST” form which comes the name NOAH. By appeal to these traditions the words of G-D hold out a promise for a coming time of well-being when JUDAH is FREE form all imperial pressure. One of its important opportunities in such freedom, is to engage in a MOCKING SONG against the TYRANT. Such a mocking song may be simply an emotional catharsis of pent up feelings and an act of vengearnce, but it is also an active, vocal way of claiming G-D-given freedom. In any case the people will sing an anti Babylonian song of free-dom.
    FINALLY REST form them. Isaiah 14:4 How the oppressor has ceased! How the insolence has ceased!
    5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers,
    6 that struck down the people in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the NATIONS in ANGER with unrelenting persecution.
    7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet;
    8 thy break forth into singing.
    We need Rest form the wicked that are become the Rulers of Darkness In This World, they have rised up with in us and around us. Labor comes but, we all must LABOR, and suffer for what we did not do. Then comes our rest.

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