Thursday, November 3, 2011

Duh. Duh! DUH!

I'm hesitant to shout "I told you so," because I know humility is a Christlike attribute I should strive for, but the Wisconsin Republicans have just made it too easy. You may remember all the drama from when I first moved to Wisconsin. For a quick recap: Republican led legislatures made an outright attack on public employees in order to give their millionaire friends some tax breaks; they manipulated laws in order to bust the state level public unions that didn't donate to their campaigns (public unions that supported Scott Walker's election were left untouched). Their opposition held week long protests and made desperate attempts to compromise, but to no avail.

Here we are, eight months later, and the big nightly news story is about the ethics of double dipping. In those eight months 1,100 state employees have retired from their jobs and then re-applied for other state level jobs (just as I predicted). I'd say it's almost laughable (but I'd drop the almost, cause I am literally laughing out loud right now).  How did the GOP not see this coming?

One of the Republican legislatures being interviewed kept saying "Is it legal? Sure. Does that mean it is the right thing to do?" I'd like to go back eight months and ask the same set of questions.

Was it legal to create a bill without one single Democrat legislator present?  Sure. But was it the right thing to do?

Was it legal to invite all the Republicans into the Governor's office and then lock the door while you signed said bill into law, refusing to open the door to the Democrats knocking on the other side? Sure.  But was it the right thing to do?

Was it legal to shut the State Capitol down to Wisconsin citizens?  Umm, I'm not sure it was. Aren't WE THE PEOPLE the ones who "own" the State Capitol?  So maybe the burden of all this double dipping is karma for being such hot headed jerks (please pat me on the back for not being profane with that last word).

Do I personally think double dipping is ethical?  Eh . . . not really.  But on the same token I completely understand why 1,100 employees did it. To be fair, I don't think a single one of them did it intentionally.  I actually know two double dippers personally. They both retired knowing that the retirement deal being offered to them was going to be the best one they ever got. They both retired knowing there was a good chance they would never make another paycheck.  However, they were both highly skilled, highly qualified individuals, so when they found new employment opportunities that fit their skill set, they applied and were hired. Those intentions are NOT unethical.

The lack of understanding and compassion the Wisconsin GOP has shown on this issue is baffling. Did you really think you could threaten 2,000 teachers into retirement and replace them all with ease over the summer? Of course you couldn't. You should be grateful a few hundred of them are willing to fill the vacant spots in nearby school districts.

Naturally, Scott Walker wants to write a bill that will end double dipping.  I'd imagine once he finds out that will affect several of his personal, hand picked employees and a few of his favorite legislators, he'll fix the wording of the bill so that only educators can't double dip (similar to Utah's law). I'll write another told you so when that happens, and it will be a classic example of how the GOP attacks the middle class while protecting the upper.  

1 comment:

Scott and Claudia said...

Totally agree with this post! Love ya, Mom

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