Forward Democrats! Union Sets Record for Biggest City Bankruptcy – John Ransom – Townhall.com

Official seal of City of Stockton

Official seal of City of Stockton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forward Democrats! Union Sets Record for Biggest City Bankruptcy – John Ransom – Townhall.com.

Forward! Stockton, California; move on forward, right to bankruptcy.

Can you take the Democrats with you? Oh, that’s right: They are already there.   

Stockton, California will seek bankruptcy protection after negotiations with unions over benefits and worker’s pay failed to avert insolvency by the city. But because of laws passed by California liberals aimed at entitling government union workers to inflated pay and benefits under most circumstances, look for more cities in California to seek the same remedy.

If you weren’t horrified by the case in made in Madison, Wisconsin over union wages and benefits causing massive state and local budget deficits, you should be scared by the example in Stockton.

For more on this story, see Mike Shedlock’s  Stockton Bankrupt; Unions Pension Death Trap for Cities to Blame

Because California isn’t Wisconsin. It’s bigger than that.  California, as measured by GDP, ranks as the 8th largest economy in the world. At $1.9 trillion it dwarfs Greece and is ranked above Spain. It economy is larger than the economy of Russia.   

From the Washington Post:

“The city is fiscally insolvent and must seek chapter 9 bankruptcy protection,” Stockton said in a statement released yesterday after its council voted 6-1 to adopt a spending plan for operating under bankruptcy protection. “In addition to the bankruptcy petition, the city will file a motion with the courts to share information from the confidential mediation.”

The Post said that a bankruptcy by Stockton will make it the largest city to file for bankruptcy protection in U.S. history.

Thank God for the unions and Democrats protecting the middle class.

Without them, we might have something outrageous like fiscal solvency breaking out.

Stockton, an agricultural city of about 300,000 residents in California’s Central Valley, voted to pare the year’s budget by reducing benefits, pay and debt service on bonds.

“The new budget will suspend debt payments,” reports the New York Times, “cut employee pay and reduce retiree benefits, allowing this city of about 292,000 residents to continue providing essential services through the bankruptcy process.”

The liberal California Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that union pension, healthcare and other benefits are protected under the law, even when benefits aren’t promised in contracts. Instead, benefits in some cases are considered implied contracts, leaving cities with few options when it comes to negotiating during tough fiscal times, says Steven Greenhut, vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Increasingly, union benefits are forcing cities, especially in California, to consider bankruptcy as their only option to restore the fiscal health of cities.

Unions, of course, won’t take pay or benefit cuts unless forced to.

“Yet many state governments such as California struggle with endless budget deficits,” wrote Greenhut at UnionWatch.org. “Unfunded liabilities to pay for pension promises for state and local public employees hit an estimated $3 trillion nationwide. Then there are the debts for the health-care promises that municipalities have made to their employees. Much of this is not honestly accounted for, so the real numbers are worse than the official ones.”

To put those numbers in perspective, the whole country of Greece is underwater on about $420 billion in debt, or only 14 percent of just our unfunded pension promises for state and local workers are. 

Hence the need for bankruptcy protection from the courts in order to keep vital services running at the state and local level. In the fight between benefits that you and I will never be entitled to but have to pay for and keeping the garbage picked up and the police cars rolling, get which side the unions pick?

Indeed, some are arguing that state’s like Illinois and California have no choice but to consider asking Congress for an enabling law that would allow states to file bankruptcy in order to void the union contracts.

Greenhut cites an op-ed from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who say that union contracts are the problem for states wrestling with budget deficits.

“[A]s with municipal bankruptcy,” writes Bush and Gingrich in the LA Times, “a new bankruptcy law would allow states in default or in danger of default to reorganize their finances free from their union contractual obligations. In such a reorganization, a state could propose to terminate some, all or none of its government employee union contracts and establish new compensation rates, work rules, etc. The new law could also allow states an opportunity to reform their bloated, broken and underfunded pension systems for current and future workers. The lucrative pay and benefits packages that government employee unions have received from obliging politicians over the years are perhaps the most significant hurdles for many states trying to restore fiscal health.”

And instead of politicizing the process by allowing the federal government to play favorites with their union buddies and federal bailout money, we ought to let taxpayers and elected officials in the state wrest back control from unelected union hot shots who use your tax money to buy favors from Democrats.         

Hey Joe Scarborough: You shut the hell up! – Tea Party Nation

English: Crude drawing of the "No RINO&qu...

English: Crude drawing of the “No RINO” buttons used by American Republicans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey Joe Scarborough: You shut the hell up! – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Joe Scarborough is MSNBC’s pet Republican.  MSNBC seems to love him because he is one of those media Republicans who always wants to blast conservatives and side with the liberals.

 The not very bright Scarborough just jumped into it again.

 What did he do?

 Scarborough responded to criticism of one of the chief RINOs of the GOP, Jeb Bush.  Bush has been out whining that the Republican Party of today would reject Ronald Reagan.  Bush is doing his best to rewrite history to convince us that Reagan was really a squishy moderate, like… well like almost any member of the Bush family.

 Conservatives have been calling him out on this and invoking the truth to hurt him.  They are calling Jeb Bush a RINO, which is what he is.

 Joe Scarborough doesn’t like conservatives telling the truth and he went on a rant on his virtually unwatched morning show to complain about conservatives telling the truth about Jeb Bush.

 Since Scarborough had neither facts nor logic to support his opinion, he opted for the tried and true liberal method of proving his point.  He told everyone who disagrees with him to shut the hell up.

 Scarborough longs for the days with the Republican Party was simply liberal lite.  He longs for the days when the Tea Party did not exist and all idiots like Joe Scarborough had to do was go home, talk about being conservative and then go back to Washington and do what ever they wanted to do.

 I realize Joe Scarborough is not very bright, so I’ll type this slowly just on the chance he reads this.

 The Republican Party tried it your way.  The Republican Party did exactly what you and Jeb Bush wanted it to do. 

 What was the result?

 In 2006 and 2008, the voters put the Republican Party on the endangered species list.  

 Then along came the Tea Party.

 But for the Tea Party, the Republican Party would be dead today.

 In 2009 and 2010, there were no Joe Scarborough rallies.  There were no Jeb Bush rallies.  There were no RINO rallies or conventions.

 There were Tea Party rallies and conventions.

 Now here we go again.  The elitist, alleged Republicans like Joe Scarborough and Jeb Bush want the grass roots people who did the heavy lifting to go back, sit down and shut up and let the idiots who screwed things up to begin with run everything again.

 Not only no, but HELL NO!

 If anyone needs to shut up and go away, it is Jeb Bush and Joe Scarborough.

 Scarborough claims that his and Jeb Bush’s brand of the Republican Party is the future of America.  

 Really?

 Facts are hard things and liberals really hate facts because they are always wrong.  Like all liberals, Scarborough is wrong.

 Unlike him, I have facts to support my claims. 

 There is a reason why Olympia Snowe is not running for reelection.   She realizes even in Maine, a RINO like her is doomed.  There is a reason why Richard Lugar has been voted out of office.   There is a reason why a RINO supported by the establishment could not beat a Tea Party candidate in Texas.  There is a reason why Orrin Hatch is trying to claim he is a conservative.  There is a reason why Marco Rubio and not Charlie Crist is the Senator from Florida.  There is a reason why the 2010 class of freshmen Republican congressmen are called the Tea Party class, not the RINO class.

 There is also a reason why Fox News crushes Scarborough’s show.

 No one really cares what that goofy, weird RINO has to say.

CARDENAS: Obama embraces default amnesty – Washington Times

 

English: March for America brings 200,000 peop...

Image via Wikipedia

CARDENAS: Obama embraces default amnesty – Washington Times.

Americans are disgusted with immigration policy for good reason

By Al CardenasThe Washington Times

President Obama’s State of the Union address – coupled with recent troubling decisions by his administration to expand a pattern of de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants – cemented the unfortunate reality that this president continues intentionally to abdicate a responsibility to advance serious immigration reform. Empty rhetoric, repetitive platitudes and continued support for the already-rejected Dream Act do not make up a comprehensive proposal to this complex policy issue.

These remarks follow the administration’s decision to ease certain regulations on the visa program and move to release some deportation cases by focusing solely on whether a person poses “a national security threat,” only the latest addition to a list of blatant unilateral White House orders intended to curry favor with Hispanics.

The politics is conniving: Portray reform-minded Republicans and conservatives as unsympathetic to this fastest-growing demographic sector and bolster the president’s re-election chances in swing states with significant Hispanic votes, such as Florida, New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado and Arizona.

This scheme is not only misguided, but to someone who legally entered this great nation as a youth, it’s appalling.

I join most Americans, especially fellow Hispanics, across the political and ideological spectrum who understand the importance of legal immigration as vital to sustaining the greatness of America’s economic and cultural fabric.

It’s an absurd idea – fronted by liberals and often a complicit media – that legal immigrants, including Hispanics, who chose to follow the rule of law and contribute to the American community would be willing to give a subservient pass – let alone their vote – to politicians who embrace and promote the politics of illegal immigration and leave nearly 12 million undocumented aliens in limbo.

With a broken system, illegal immigration makes a mockery of the promise of legal immigration, and the American people are rightfully fed up.

According to a Gallup poll released last week, liberals were the only ideological or party segment to express greater satisfaction than dissatisfaction with current levels of immigration. All others, including Democrats, supported a decrease in immigration levels.

Gallup also found that “Americans’ dissatisfaction with immigration ranks third highest among 17 issues Gallup asked about.”

It’s little wonder that immigration is gaining as a critical election-year issue, with voters questioning inaction on reform.

Republicans in their presidential primary are taking note and debating immigration proposals – as they should. As Florida, my home state, takes center stage in the primary cycle, expect voters to demand more answers on immigration. Today, the leading Republican candidates will address the Hispanic Leadership Network’s annual conference in Miami, hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to outline their specific proposals.

There is little chance that Congress will address significant immigration reform this year. However, the issue must be a top priority in the first 100 days of 2013, and any serious reform legislation must embrace these key principles: vastly improved border security; visa reform for highly skilled workers, investors and agricultural workers; and the documenting of the millions of illegal immigrants already here.

The first priority must be to develop a comprehensive border-security-and-surveillance strategy to include increased border manpower, strengthened border barriers, expanded surveillance capabilities, enhanced investigative personnel and enforced border detention.

We cannot afford porous borders and unknown people – potential security risks – living in our country and taxing our state and local communities’ safety-net budgets.

Then, Congress must implement a nationwide mandatory employment verification program with enhanced employer penalties. This will require all illegal immigrants to register, and those who state a desire to leave voluntarily will have the right to apply subsequently for admission without prejudice.

They must admit to their unlawful presence in the United States and waive any claim for asylum. Work-permit opportunities would be available to those without criminal records who can demonstrate proof of employment when filing an application. In such cases, there is no direct path to citizenship, and recipients of work permits must have paid income taxes, have health insurance and must pay fines and penalties.

Special rules will be developed for the elderly, disabled individuals, students and those in military service, longtime agricultural workers and aliens brought to the United States as innocent children younger than 12.

Thereafter, the Department of Commerce would determine the number of temporary work permits to be made available annually to fulfill the needs of America’s employers.

With regard to high-skilled immigration, master’s and doctoral-degree graduates from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering and math areas will receive visas as long as they have job offers.

No law will be perfect and please every constituency, but the time is urgent; action must be taken, and every congressional leader who abhors dealing with the topic should bite the political bullet and agree to a comprehensive reform package in early 2013 for the good of the nation.

I’m confident that this election cycle will elevate the debate on immigration reform because the American people have realized what the administration and liberals in Congress have not: The current attitude of sanctioning illegal immigration as a blatant political ploy places our economy and communities at risk and is simply unacceptable.

Al Cardenas is the chairman of the American Conservative Union. He is a former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

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