Showdown in Madison: Excerpts from the national coverage (Part 1)

After the big government blizzard – signs of a fiscal sanity heat wave.

Just like a couple of feet of the winter white stuff seems to last a long time, it seemed as if big fat oppressive government was here to stay. This oppression was going to be the bane of taxpayers and a drag on the economy forever. But when the temperature rises into the fifties and sixties, even the biggest snow drifts don’t last very long.

There’s nothing like the sunshine and warmth that can arrive when genuine political leadership is shown as it has in a young governor in Wisconsin.

The following are quick excerpts and links to many of the worthwhile articles being penned nationally about the showdown in Madison over collective bargaining and benefits for Wisconsin public employee union members. So much good stuff to read, so little time. Enjoy.

From a Senate Conservatives Fund email by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint:

“What’s happening this week in Wisconsin demonstrates how dangerously beholden the Democrats have become to their out-of-control union bosses.

Rather than vote on a measure to limit the collective bargaining power of public employee unions and ask workers to contribute more to their health insurance and pensions, Democrats fled the state bringing their government to a standstill. They completely deserted the democratic process, at the unions’ bidding…

Make no mistake, the Democrat Party is bought and paid for by the unions…

The unions will be even more active in the next election. They are certain to go after Republicans more aggressively then they ever have before. The unions are viewing Wisconsin as a community organizing ‘warm-up’ for 2012.

It is critical that we recruit and elect more strong conservatives who are unafraid to stand up to the unions. Public sector employee unions have a stranglehold on our national and state budgets that must be severed. We need more people in government who will fight on the side of the American people, not the unions.”

(Click here to learn more about the Senate Conservatives Fund.)

End Public Sector Unions…Period

By C. Edmund Wright

“[P]ublic sector “collective bargaining” is a bad joke, given that there are only chairs on one side of the bargaining table. The bigger universe of interested parties have zero representation in the process. There is no natural force working to keep costs in line.

Moreover, quite often the very politicians who are “negotiating” with the public unions are politicians who have been financed by those same unions. At least Bernie Madoff ripped off his clients with some panache. No such style is even required in a public sector union negotiation when the folks in charge are bought and paid for Democrats.”

Unions about power, not democracy

“The standoff in Madison could become a seminal moment in American politics. At stake is control over public policy. Will that control go to the voters who rejected years of Democratic policies that brought huge budget deficits in Wisconsin thanks to pandering to public-sector unions, or to the unions who need to perpetuate those policies in order to get the cash necessary to wield power? Will Wisconsin have a representative government at all, or merely a rubber stamp for union bosses?

That same fight will soon come to Washington as well. The kind of cuts in federal spending necessary to get the US out of deficits will require a significant reduction in bureaucratic jobs. Unions will resist this as much as they currently are fighting to maintain the unsustainable status quo in Madison. Congress will have to eventually ask itself whether America has a representative democracy, or if Congress exists as a puppet for unions to manipulate.”

What’s at Stake in Wisconsin’s Budget Battle

Who’s in charge of our political system-voters or unions?

By John Fund

“[Governor] Walker’s argument-that public workers shouldn’t be living high off the hog at the expense of taxpayers-is being made in other states facing budget crises. But the left observed the impact of the tea party last year and seems determined to unleash a more aggressive version of its own by teaming up with union allies. Organizing for America is already coordinating protests against proposed reforms in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri.”

Taking a deep breath in Wisconsin

By Josh Barro

“The political events underway right now in Wisconsin are very important. But the fight over Scott Walker’s proposed restrictions on public employee collective bargaining has reached such a fever pitch that the pundit class is in danger of overstating the stakes. Walker’s reform proposals are less novel than you might believe, given all the attention they have drawn.

The truth… is that there are already 12 states with no public employee collective bargaining law at all. In these states, state workers have no right to collective bargaining; local employees have collective bargaining only if local elected officials choose to grant it. (And in a few states, notably Virginia and North Carolina, state law forbids localities to allow collective bargaining.) Another 12 states grant collective bargaining rights only to certain classes of employees, such as only state workers or only teachers. Only 26 states have a collective bargaining law covering nearly all public workers.”

Madness in Madison

By Larry Kudlow

“The Democratic/government-union days of rage in Madison, Wisconsin, are a disgrace. Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan calls it Cairo coming to Madison. But the protesters in Egypt were pro-democracy. The government-union protesters in Madison are anti-democracy; they are trying to prevent a vote in the legislature. In fact, Democratic legislators themselves are fleeing the state so as not to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cuts.

That’s not democracy.

The teachers’ union is going on strike in Milwaukee and elsewhere. They ought to be fired. Think Ronald Reagan PATCO in 1981. Think Calvin Coolidge police strike in 1919.”

Up next: More enjoyable and informative reading.