Wisconsin governor takes union fight to Congress
April 14th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
4 years ago

Wisconsin governor takes union fight to Congress

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) – The controversial governor of Wisconsin defended his efforts to limit public employees' collective bargaining rights and make them pay more toward pension and health care costs at a congressional hearing on Thursday.

Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, compared his actions in Wisconsin to other states that are laying off public employees and increasing property taxes

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Filed under: Scott Walker • Wisconsin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Dictator Walker has ethical issues and needs to be investigated. I still can't get over the remarks he said during his conversation with the fake Koch brother. He said he thought about bringing in some troublemakers. I'm waiting to hear the judge's ruling on Friday regarding this union busting, fascist law.

    April 14, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. NO TEA PLEASE!!!

    Your time is up, Mr. Walker.

    April 14, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Frank

    If you love this country, you need to support what has happened in Wisconsin and Ohio. Our country is broke. Democrats had their time in office to correct Federal and State's debt. They punted. At least the Republicans are willing to tackle this hard issue. I fully support their efforts!

    April 14, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. PalmReader

    Scott Walker represents the New Republican Platform: Ego Dictatorship. Good luck getting America to buy in to it, GOPers.

    April 14, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. A True Centrist

    The Dems wanted to show some ideas that worked for balancing a state budget without intruding on the collective bargaining rights of the state employees. Good idea, but you get the governor of Vermont? How can anyone compare the economies of Vermont and Wisconsin...they aren't even close.

    Something that works for Montana may not work for NY, something that works for New Mexico may not work for California. This was a good idea but to bring some credibility to it, they should have picked a larger and more diverse state than Vermont.

    April 14, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    States are facing pension crisis because of they lost tens and hundreds of millions during the financial crisis, and now they are forced to make the difference.

    How moral is it to cut taxes, claim a budget crisis, and then cut state jobs, salaries and benefits? Some governers do this despite the fact the state budget is at deficit before they enact their tax cuts for just the wealthiest.

    April 14, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Willa-PA

    "Frank
    If you love this country, you need to support what has happened in Wisconsin and Ohio. Our country is broke. Democrats had their time in office to correct Federal and State's debt. They punted. At least the Republicans are willing to tackle this hard issue. I fully support their efforts!"

    If you love this country, stop scr8wing around with the middle class and have the rich pay their taxes...budget problem solved, mostly.

    April 14, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. Willa-PA

    and...the republicans filibustered EVERYTHING last year, that's why nothing got done.

    April 14, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Get A Grip

    STAND STRONG Gov. Walker. The numbers that do support you are far greater than the numbers that don't support you.

    April 14, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. stevens

    Why aren't all these people mad at their beloved Obama? Governor Walker merely aligned State of Wisconsin with the federal government. SUPPORT WALKER, I do.

    April 14, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Kyle

    Is there nothing but liberals on this website???? All they do is bash Bush, "Tea Baggers" and "GOPers", instead of actually offering any solutions. Their only solution is class warfare...those who earned the money should be penalized and tax more, why? Because according to the liberals they are greedy, conniving people. Here is a stat, over 50% of millionaires in this country are self-made. Whatever happened to you get to keep what you earn, insteading of overspending and running up debt, and expecting all the successful people to cover your butt? Instead of working, these kind of people would rather create class warfare and steal from those who earned it. Life ain't fair, some people perform better financially, that is life, but don't think you have a right to my wealth just because you don't have as much...that is called stealing

    April 14, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Name Jeremy from Dallas

    If our country is broke, then why are we giving tax breaks to millionares, corporations and keep on fighting 2 wars?

    April 14, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Attacking unions is not going to solve his problem.

    Changing the method of school funding, will solve his problem.

    April 14, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    every picture I see of this guy he looks lost and confused. But from what I heard about him he is loyal to his friends, like even giving their kids high paying government jobs when they have little to no experience while others are getting laid-off. Must be nice.

    April 14, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. jim

    To football Frank and Get A Grip...

    As long as you are here, please explain what your boy Bush was talking about back in 2004 ....

    George W. Bush's stance on housing during the 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech

    This speech was delivered at the 2004 Republican National Convention on September 2, 2004 when George W. Bush officially accepted the Republican nomination to run for President.

    "Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence. Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say welcome to my home."

    I wonder what these policies were that put so many people into homes they couldn't afford?

    Your boy said it – Please explain, if you can ????

    April 14, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    This country is broke because of nonsustainable tax cuts enacted under Bush. A policy that his Budget Director warned would lead to trillion dollar deficits very quickly. That comment made headlines at the time because it made Bush administration look off message. Left hand couldn't find the right hand. That sort of thing.

    So, they fired him. An action defended by Cheney with his famous remark. "Deficits don't matter."

    The tax cuts themselves were not so bad, but it was all of the stuff that went along with it.

    April 14, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. The Other Dale

    Stand strong, Gov. Walker, but you certainly won't be standing in office for very much longer. Not with the numbers showing that a majority believe you to be incompetent and happily destroying the state for your buddies.

    April 14, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. jim

    To football Frank and Get A Grip...

    as long as you are trying to explain what Bush said, what are your thoughts on Dick ?? ....

    Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was told "deficits don't matter" when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis.

    O'Neill, fired in a shakeup of Bush's economic team in December 2002, raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency.

    O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

    The vice president's office had no immediate comment, but John Snow, who replaced O'Neill, insisted that deficits "do matter" to the administration.

    Well? Please explain – we're waiting.

    April 14, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  19. Mighty Christian

    Walker is learning what happens when you act like a fascist. People don't like it much. Fascism has never worked, and yet, here he is, giving it another go. What a putz.

    April 14, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    And he's also been traveling all over the country trying to raise funds to save the 8 senators in WI facing recall. I just have to ask, Wisconsinites, what were you thinking? The minute he started campaigning against funds for high speed rail, he would have lost me. Do you know how many jobs he cost his state with that alone?

    April 14, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    @Rudy NYC – google "shock doctrine." That's how it's done. Come into office, create a "crisis" by giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, start screaming crisis, and then use it to justify taking away the rights of regular hard working Americans. Shock Doctrine. You may notice the pattern with these newly elected Republican governors all across the country. It looks like a well executed plan of attack. It works when you have citizens that don't pay attention. We need to start paying attention.

    April 14, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Mary

    Why tell the truth when a good lie will sound even better. Wisconsin wasn't broke till Walker/Fitzgerald gave away the farm.

    April 14, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Karen

    @Frank. How disprespectul and arrogant to declare that "if you love this country, you need to support...". This is a mantra that the Republicans used during the Bush years and I find it VERY insulting. I LOVE my country and I DO NOT support this class warfare that has been waged by the Republicans against the poorest, middle class, elderly, and children in America. I work hard every day fighting for THE PEOPLE of these great Unites States. I am not in support of breaking the backs of the poor and middle class to give to the wealthiest and corporations. If Republicans were really serious about the deficit then they would be asking MORE of the ones that can afford it the most, not giving them tax break after tax break.
    When are Republicans ever going to stop attacking the very PEOPLE that work hard every day to make this the great country it is?

    April 14, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Wisconsin was actually in pretty good shape before Walker took over. I laugh every time I hear Mitch Daniels boast about Indiana's 9.6% unemployment rate - Wisconsin's was 8.8% and dropping. Madison had the lowest unemployment rate in the state (4.4%) before Walker decided that somehow jobs, voters and people in Madison don't count. And of course public sector workers in the rest of the state don't count either, except as a way to absorb the budget hole he's created by rewarding his major contributors with even more tax loopholes (as if they paid taxes to begin with). Bet he didn't mention *that* in his Congressional testimony.

    By the way, Walker's robotic demeanor and constant repetition of the same talking points and stories have me convinced that his real problem with unions is that he is a poor negotiator, unable to absorb and respond to new facts, ideas or proposals. An idiot, in other words. No wonder he wants to shut down collective bargaining - even though it usually produces a better result than either side can initially envision, Walker himself is way too stupid to figure that out. All he can track is whether or not he got exactly what he wanted, and in a true negotiation the answer to that question is usually "No", for all sides, even if the final contract is a "win" for everybody.

    April 14, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Know why they like increasing property taxes instead of targetting higher income brackets in the progressive tax system? Simple: Because property taxes are a flat rate tax, so it has an inequitable effect on the middle-class when they get raised across the board. Perhaps we shoudl start thinking about a progressive property tax system. You want a McMansion or 12 while you pay your employees not enough to own a 2 bedroom home on a postage stamp lot? That's just grand...pony up the dough big boy.

    April 14, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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