Posted 2 years ago on March 12, 2012, 1:45 p.m. EST by chambermaid
from Milwaukee, WI
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Okay, so to start out - please don't flame me. I'm really not interested. What I am interested in is a reasonable discussion of the situation in Wisconsin.
Politically, I'm smack dab in the middle. I voted for Obama and I'm not happy. I voted for Walker and I'm slightly less unhappy. (I can't *&#@ win, seriously, but that's another story.) I've worked in civil rights for a long time. Our family had a $13K fed/state income tax liability last year (geez, already), and I really just want to be left alone to pay my fair share, raise my kids, and smoke the funny stuff once in a while.
I have lots of friends who work for the State - teachers and DOC workers, mostly. The overtime abuses? They happen - they laugh about this on pool nights. The insurance? A DOC worker w/a family of four pays 25% of what I pay as a nonprofit employee w/a family of four. The pension? Don't get me started. With federal and state grants dwindling, we've taken a HUGE hit to our income in the last 5 years. Luckily, I wasn't one of the laid off ones.
My husband and I have worked our asses off, never bought a new car, shop at Aldis, save and save and save....we've done everything right. We're solidly middle class, but we've been able to save about $160K combined for two college funds and our retirement. I haven't taken a vacation in three years.
So that's where I'm coming from. I hate seeing our state so divided, and I'll concede that I'm not sure how I feel about tax breaks for businesses. On one hand, we need the jobs in WI. On the other...well, you all can fill in the blanks, I am sure.
The unions really didn't play nice for a long time. I'm more of a leftie than a rightie, I suppose, and I -want- to support the unions. In principle, it's a great plan. In practice, let's not pretend that they were ready to make lasting concessions. It's easy to say "we woulda done such and such" after the decision's been made for you, you know?
My State buddies don't know I voted for Walker. They don't know I'm gonna vote for him again. They all make more money than I do (still - they have not been "crushed"), and I'm the only one with an MS (and mine's actually relevant to my field). The discussions I've had with them make me sad....they don't see the other side of the coin at all. The "comments" on the local newspaper are vitrolic.
We're normal people too. I don't like everything about Walker. But my choice (at least so far) is a candidate who signed a pledge to veto any budget that doesn't restore collective bargaining. What is THAT?