Another side effect of Union Busting....
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
Reaganomics really works great. Anticipate the trickle down to start any moment now.
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Posted by korky II (+618) 10 years ago
The problem with the gap is that rich people have gone out and worked and earned their money. I am not saying that people without as much money have not, they just haven't earned as much and there could be many reasons why not. Then there are those who have not earned enough to be rich who think those who are rich should give some of what they have earned to them. This is called "spreading the wealth" which is called "socialism". My suggestion to those who want to "spread the wealth" is to get off their butts and go earn their wealth and if they dont want to do that then stay where they are at and quit whiningabout how much wealth other people have.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
korky II wrote:
I am not saying that people without as much money have not, they just haven't earned as much and there could be many reasons why not.

Probably because they're lazy and/or stupid.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
Is it possible to go around in a circle that is tighter than 360 degrees? Korky sure tried.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
All crack Mother Jones stat analysis aside, I'm curious how when the article itself calls this as a 30 year trend, you attribute it to the 'union busting' brought by a month of Republican government.

Me? I blame Justin Bieber.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
Union busting is just one element of the grand Reaganomics plan. Reducing the top tax brackets, reducing benefits to the poor and middle class, eliminating environmental and economic regulations, union busting, it all works together for the ultimate goal, make the rich and powerful richer and more powerful. It has worked beautifully since the 1980s. Taking into account inflation, our generation makes less now than we did when we got out of school. And the guys at the top make vastly more. It is the Republican dream economy.

That point about hard work is so true. The reason some corporate executive makes two hundred times as much money as one of the people working in his factory is because the guy at the top works two hundred times as hard. Just think, working as hard every minute as two hundred factory workers! It is a wonder those guys do not burst into flames.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
Except for the fact that nobody has practiced "Reaganomics" since November of 1988. So the point about "Reaganomics" is old and ill-relevant. What is your preoccupation with making sure everyone is equally miserable?

Bill Freese wrote:
That point about hard work is so true. The reason some corporate executive makes two hundred times as much money as one of the people working in his factory is because the guy at the top works two hundred times as hard. Just think, working as hard every minute as two hundred factory workers!

They also have 200 times as much responsibility as those workers on the factory floor.

The top 25% of wage-earners in this country pay 86% of all taxes. The top 50% pay 97% of all taxes. The top 1% pay 39%. So while I will grant there maybe a disparity of incomes, there is also a disparity in how people are taxed.

And as for "union busting" it is funny how the dues of the "membership" like teachers go to enricher the union fat-cats, rather than accomplish anything for teachers. The head of the NEA makes 8 times what the average teacher makes. There has not been an NEA head that has been a classroom teacher in the last decade. Why is nobody concerned about THAT disparity in income? Probably because you'd get your knee-caps busted if you said anything.

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (2/25/2011)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
Okay, so the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer while the middle class slowly disappears is a good thing. Doesn't that mean in the long run, you end up with a third world economy?
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17230) 10 years ago
korky II wrote:
The problem with the gap is that rich people have gone out and worked and earned their money. I am not saying that people without as much money have not, they just haven't earned as much and there could be many reasons why not. Then there are those who have not earned enough to be rich who think those who are rich should give some of what they have earned to them. This is called "spreading the wealth" which is called "socialism". My suggestion to those who want to "spread the wealth" is to get off their butts and go earn their wealth and if they dont want to do that then stay where they are at and quit whiningabout how much wealth other people have.

You are totally clueless.

Lets try revising some of these remarks....

"The problem with the gap is that rich people have gone out with their inheritence from their rich daddies and earned their money through interests on their trust funds and other accounts which their daddies provided them."

"Then there are those who have not earned enough to be rich who think those who are rich should give more back in taxes to pay for infrastructure and the defense of our country as the rich did in our grandfather's day."

"Then there are those who listen to Glen Beck and thinks that every action in this country creeps us closer to socialism, for we are brain-dead morans who can't think for ourselves."

Better?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
When thinking the rich earned their money, picture Paris Hilton.
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Posted by Ingird Emilsson (+208) 10 years ago
So the CEO who racks up huge amount of debt for the company, tanks the stock and walks off with millions while laying off workers and freezing raises for the rest, is worth 200% more than the employees who actually do the work?
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
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Posted by aaron bruce (+203) 10 years ago
screw the huffington post...

i totally agree with bonine...and so starts his demise on this site

IF YOU GROW A BETTER GARDEN THEN ME YOU DESERVE TO EAT BETTER THAN ME...UNLESS I CAN HUNT BETTER THAN YOU
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17230) 10 years ago
HE CAN SKIN A BUCK AND RUN A TROT LINE AND A COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE!
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
Ingird Emilsson wrote:
So the CEO who racks up huge amount of debt for the company, tanks the stock and walks off with millions while laying off workers and freezing raises for the rest, is worth 200% more than the employees who actually do the work?

I am not defending that type of irresponsible behavior. There are hundreds of well run companies in this country where the CEO's make big bucks, pay a lot in taxes, and provide a lot of opportunity for their workforce.

Once again, where is the outrage for the disparity in pay between the NEA execs and the teachers? Isn't this a hypocritical situation?
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 10 years ago
Yes, Richard, it is.
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Posted by souix (+300) 10 years ago
Richard Bonine, Jr. wrote:
Once again, where is the outrage for the disparity in pay between the NEA execs and the teachers? Isn't this a hypocritical situation?

NEA executives make somewhere in the range of $100,000 to $200,000. The problem is not that they make too much, but rather that teacher's compensation is so paltry.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
The owner makes 200 times as much as the worker, and the union boss make 8 times as much as the worker. The union boss works all day to raise the worker's salary. The owner works all day to lower it. Where is the outrage? Hmmm....
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Bill Freese wrote:
The union boss works all day to raise the worker's salary.

Awwwww.

That's so cute.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Bill Freese wrote:
Taking into account inflation, our generation makes less now than we did when we got out of school.

I'm not sure which generation you're talking about, but it doesn't really matter because by any objective measure, what you said simply isn't true.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14948) 10 years ago
souix wrote:
NEA executives make somewhere in the range of $100,000 to $200,000. The problem is not that they make too much, but rather that teacher's compensation is so paltry.

I call BS. This doesn't include other cash they have received. Weaver make about 600k.

Leadership
Top 10 International NEA Leaders & Staff (by Salary)
Name Title Total Compensation
Reg Weaver Nea President $ 417,858
John Wilson Exec Director $ 351,803
Lily Eskelsen Nea Secty/treas $ 337,867
Dennis Van Roekel Nea Vp $ 329,045
Joann Waller Regionaldir $ 314,790
Linda Boitano Manager D $ 277,743
John Stocks Depexecdir $ 253,908
Michael Embree Regionaldir $ 240,422
Michael Mcpherson Cfo $ 231,636
Nelson Okino Manager D $ 229,522

http://www.unionfacts.com...cfm?id=342
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
http://money.cnn.com/2007.../index.htm

Don't forget, higher average household income is not the same thing as higher average salaries. If two income earners make 180 percent of what one income earner made, that is higher household income, but lower salaries. Also, if incomes shoot up for the top one percent, as they have, the overall average can go up ahead of inflation, while most people's salaries are still not keeping up with inflation.

As for the union boss working to raise salaries for union workers, my apology for the misunderstanding. I was thinking of actual union bosses like Eric Feaver, the head of the Montana Education Association/Montana Federation of Teachers, whose good work I have always admired, not the imaginary horned and tailed union bosses that Republicans treasure in their hearts.

[This message has been edited by Bill Freese (2/27/2011)]
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Bill Freese wrote:
not the imaginary horned and tailed union bosses that Republicans treasure in their hearts.

Replace "union bosses" with CEOs and "Republicans" with Democrats and I hope you'll start to see what I'm getting at. Your caricature is just as ludicrous as ours. Yes, you can show me terrible, criminal CEO's. But I can show you terrible, self-serving and criminal Union bosses. Any time you hear the phrase 'Labor Racketeering' for instance, you know there's a criminal Union boss lurking behind the scenes. We never hear much about those guys though.

Bill Freese wrote:
Don't forget, higher average household income is not the same thing as higher average salaries. If two income earners make 180 percent of what one income earner made, that is higher household income, but lower salaries. Also, if incomes shoot up for the top one percent, as they have, the overall average can go up ahead of inflation, while most people's salaries are still not keeping up with inflation.

Well you've kind of changed your point somewhat from what you said earlier. You said your generation makes less than it used to. Simply not true. And overall Median income (the income of the theoretical 'guy in the middle' of all of us) is up as well.

I'll agree that for young men, opportunities may not be what they used to be. But that has more to do with the post-industrial fantasy economy we're trying to build than it does anything else.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
Okay, we have established that anyone who belongs to a union is a greedy sluggard out to destroy the American way of life. So, what happens now?

Are we going to negotiate with every individual employee? That might work at Bob's Bait and Sushi but if a company has hundreds of thousands of employees, hiring enough help to do the negotiations alone might be a bit costly.

Do we assume that anyone who wants a raise or improved pension or health benefits is evil as well? Or do we acknowledge that good has come out of greed: Good like eight hour days and paid vacation and sick leave or do we say that every improvement in the life of a worker takes away from the life of a rich boss?

It is not just public sector workers who are stealing from good, hard-working Americans. It is OTHER workers who are stealing from good, hard-working Americans. If someone at Wal-Mart gets a dime an hour raise, costs are going to increase and those costs are going to be passed on to the consumer.

So, do we freeze everyone right where they are right now, the way Nixon did? Or do we accept that while not every union is good (I don't think the teacher's unions hire thugs the way the Teamsters used to, although maybe some of those sixth grade nuns could handle the job,) and that not every union demand is right (those crazy teachers in New York, for example) but that good can come of collective bargaining and that good is the rising tide that lifts all ships. Increased wages mean increased taxes.

What do we do if we make unions go away? Will that solve the federal deficit? Will it take care of all our problems or will it just create new ones?
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Nobody's talking about doing away with unions. Only restricting the ways in which public sector unions can collectively bargain (for what are ultimately taxpayer dollars). Hardly a new idea. Many states already have the types of restrictions Wisconsin is looking at.

Question of the day...

In what year did the State of Montana grant public employees the ability to collectively bargain?
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
Rick Kuchynka wrote:
Nobody's talking about doing away with unions. Only restricting the ways in which public sector unions can collectively bargain

We just want to, you know, get rid of the union part.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
Rick Kuchynka wrote:
Replace "union bosses" with CEOs and "Republicans" with Democrats and I hope you'll start to see what I'm getting at. Your caricature is just as ludicrous as ours

Exactly! Now we are getting somewhere. The real problem here is name calling from both sides instead of negotiation. Instead of people on one side shouting "corporate fat cat" and people on the other side shouting "union racketeer" we need to be able to sit down quietly and reason together in some kind of rationally designed negotiating process, some form of collective bargaining.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Rick said,"...Only restricting the ways in which public sector unions can collectively bargain (for what are ultimately taxpayer dollars)."

Rick after I earn a pay check is not that money mine? Does not some of my money go to taxes? So- I as a public employee am also a taxpayer? Correct? So these tax dollars you are talking about are also coming from public employees.

Maybe unions should negotiate to pay NO taxes because it is actually double taxation of your dollar. What would happen to Miles City if all the public employees were let go? Since 60% of our work force in MC is public employees I wonder if MC would dry up and blow away like a fart in the wind.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
OMG! Double Taxation makes the baby jesus cry!!!
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Posted by howdy (+4942) 10 years ago
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Since nobody answered my question, the answer is 1973.

That's right. The golden age of Unionism (1950's) had long since come and gone before the State of Montana (and most other states) even gave government employees the ability to collectively bargain.

Stone wrote:
Rick after I earn a pay check is not that money mine?

Of course it is. And I hope you're able to do with it whatever you please. But unless you're 'collectively' bargaining for money you already made, it isn't yours until it has been given to you. Until then, what you're bargaining for has to come from somewhere. I don't fault you for getting what you can. And even as far as that goes, I don't think for most State and locals things are really all that out-of-hand, except maybe for pension/retirement.

But even considering what I said earlier about early retirement, I don't fault anyone who took the opportunity. I would probably do the same if I were in their position. Good for them.

The discussion today though is where do we go in the future?

New question of the day... who said the following

"All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public-personnel management. The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people."

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (3/2/2011)]
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
FDR. Sometimes even a liberal cannot resist using the iron fist once he finds it at the end of his arm.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Well, Rick we must have been breaking the law because Miles City Public Employees union has be bargaining since 1929 and we were chartered into AFSCME in 1945.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
http://laborrelations.mt.gov/QA.mcpx

What law gives state employees the right to bargain?

The Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act (39-31-100 through 39-31-409, MCA), patterned after the National Labor Relations Act, was enacted in 1973. The law encourages "the practice and procedure of collective bargaining to arrive at friendly adjustment of all disputes' between state government and its employees. It gives public employees the right of self-organization, "to form, join, or assist any labor organization, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing on questions of wages, hours, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining..."


That's not to say public employee unions didn't exist prior to 1973. Just that they couldn't collectively bargain on wages/benefits.

But if that was still good enough to be given the 'Real Collective Bargaining Seal of Approval', then I'm not sure why anyone's accusing Wisconsin of taking workers' collective bargaining rights away. Wisconsin is only looking at restricting collective bargaining on benefits.

There are also large federal employee unions out there. To my knowledge, none of them have the ability to bargain wages or benefits.
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Posted by Jim Birkholz (+185) 10 years ago
For those of you who subscribe to the belief that most wealthy people earned and deserve their wealth: That's a great theory, except that if you are born to wealth, the world is at your feet and you have every advantage. A very few gifted/lucky poor are able to rise above their circumstances. But for most, life is just a continuous series of being kicked while you are down. The rules aren't the same and the luck of your birth is the single most significant factor.

Those who lack the mental and emotional discipline to manage money *will* be poor. But, a few of them could mature in those areas, except the system is so stacked for the rich and against the poor, that millions are kept in bondage that do not have to be.

I have a big problem with a nation that trades the opportunity to extend a helping hand to good people in need, so that fat cats can have two Hummers, instead of just one. The percentage of income that the wealthy pay in taxes had decreased every decade since Eisenhower. That (plus the first war in our history that wasn't funded) is half of the reason that we have a deficit. The other half is by creating and expanding programs that help people. Which half should we look to for reducing the debt? If we doubled the taxes on families that earn more than $150,000 per year (and plugged the loopholes), the super rich would suffer a little, but would adjust and still live way better than you or I. The alternative is to increase the suffering of the poor and the working poor. This seems like a no-brainer to me, and I don't even really like people in general. It may seem like there aren't that many taxpayers that earn more than $150,000 a year, there aren't many in Miles City. I live in a town that has about as many ppl as the entire state of Montana. About 1/3 of my neighbors are poor, 1/3 middle class and 1/3 earn at least $150,000/yr. My town is part of metroplex that has a dozen more town like this. There are maybe some 2 dozen metroplexes in the US.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Jim Birkholz wrote:
I have a big problem with a nation that trades the opportunity to extend a helping hand to good people in need

You make that sound so simple. Should we just cut them checks? Are we only helping 'good people' now? Is there a test for that?

The sad thing is, enforced equality has been tried. The only thing it spreads is more poor.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
There's a lot of ways to build a functioning safety net that don't involve any sort of morality testing (which I don't think Jim was suggesting, as he was merely using a common rhetorical construction).

Who's going to step up and provide low cost female health services once Planned Parenthood gets defunded? They do a lot more than just the occasional abortion, but since only dirty sluts get cervical cancer or need birth control, F'em.

Or WIC, or poison control centers, or TANF or food stamps, etc etc etc.

FYIGM.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11731) 10 years ago
The poor need to die to decrease the surplus population. Women need to be reminded not to be uppity. The lower classes need to be reminded why they are lower and who they are meant to serve.

Why is that so difficult to understand.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Rick said, " The sad thing is, enforced equality has been tried."

Where?

and what does progressive tax fairness have to do with forced equality.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
Fair is in the eye of the beholder.

Some people think a 90% upper tax bracket is fair. Of course none of them are in that bracket.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
Just something to watch for.

"With his disapproval number at nearly 60 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is facing possible mass defections by Republicans from his anti-worker agenda:"
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Posted by souix (+300) 10 years ago
Rick Kuchynka wrote:
Fair is in the eye of the beholder.

Some people think a 90% upper tax bracket is fair. Of course none of them are in that bracket.


And some people (according to Citizens United) pay nothing!

http://money.cnn.com/2010...x_returns/
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Posted by Bridgier (+9178) 10 years ago
I think it's a hell of a lot more fair to tax rentiers at a higher rate then people on the labor side of the equation.
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Posted by Stone (+1595) 10 years ago
"Force states to fire 65,000 teachers. Kill 700,000 jobs. And send 10,000 veterans into homelessness.

That's what the Republican budget would do.1 And that's not all, by a long shot. With $100 billion in cuts, their budget would hit at the heart of programs that just about every American depends on-all the while protecting tax giveaways for millionaires."
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4462) 10 years ago
I've never really feared more for our country than I do lately. First off, since we've increase spending 35% or so over the last 3-4 years, we can't get so apoplectic when someone starts talking about 1.6% budget cuts (as Republicans have)

Even Obama's chair of his deficit commission laughed those cuts off as a drop in the bucket. Will we need to raise taxes? As much as I hate to say it, probably. But tax hikes alone won't get us close to where we need to be. And they're going to have to touch the 'middle class' (wherever that is) to make any real impact. Anyway, there are going to have to be ugly sacrifices across the board. The deficit commission recommendations are a good place to start, even though they're not exactly what I'd like to see.

Souix, that GE example is a perfect example of how the highest tax rates in the world can end up costing you. They're doing their best to pay taxes everywhere but here. Why would that be?

We need to focus on being competitive.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (3/9/2011)]
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+796) 10 years ago
The wealthy have worked hard to steal that money from workers pension funds. They are working just as hard to privatize social security so they,can steal that money also. They are working hard to bust the unions of public workers such as teachers, firemen and police so they can takeaway their bargaining rights. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RAISE THE BAR FOR EVERYONE IN EMPLOYMENT. The US Chamber of Commerce works hard to lower the bar. They forget that every time workers are hit, it ripples through main street. And no amount of a tax break can make up the loss of a job or the loss of benefits.
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Posted by Bill Freese (+478) 10 years ago
Rick Kuchynka wrote:
Will we need to raise taxes? As much as I hate to say it, probably.

When?
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9999) 10 years ago
IMO, we're currently pretty much screwed ... Democrat, Republican, Repelican, Tea Party, or whoever ...

Mr. R. please, however impossibly possible, come back with the happy news (and the cat).
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Posted by Dave Roberts (+1510) 10 years ago
Elizabeth Emilsson wrote:
The wealthy have worked hard to steal that money from workers pension funds.

Heh, the Roofers, Waterproofers, & Allied Workers pretty well trashed their pension on their own.
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Posted by DaleLynn (+11) 10 years ago
Well said!
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