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Do Public Sector workers "really" Pay Taxes?

{Do they really?}

Or do their paycheck Deductions, somehow "count less" than Private Sector workers, because ALL their pay comes from Taxes in the first place?

Do Public Sector workers "really" perform important work for Society?

Or would the Private Sector instantly spring up to replace them all, if Govt employees would suddenly disappear overnite, as so many Conservatives would like to see happen.  Sooner rather than later.

Those ideas seem to be implied by what Scott Walker and others are saying, if you take their latest statements at face value

 -- That somehow Public Workers are really second class citizens, not worthy of the Pay and Benefits they receive, that they have earned.

 -- That somehow Public Workers are "free loaders" in Society, that must be kept in check, before they can cause even MORE of a financial burden on the REAL Taxpayers ...

Tea Party Descends on Madison Protests
By Kevin Dolak, Chris Bury, Oliva Katrandjian, -- Feb. 19, 2011

Governor Walker told reporters yesterday that he would not "allow protesters to drown out the voice of the taxpayers," adding that he had received 19,000 supportive e-mails this week and that a "quiet majority " of the state's residents are behind his plan .

What's that Gov Walker?  ... Are you saying Public Workers -- DON'T Pay Taxes?

{not really} ?  

Where did he get THAT idea?

Well, MediaMatters keeps an eye on Fox News Bobbleheads -- so you don't have to.

Fox Falsely Blames Public Unions For WI Budget Shortfall -- Feb 18, 2011

BILL O'REILLY: But if state workers will not give back some of their benefits, there is no solution to the fiscal crisis anywhere. You can't raise taxes anymore. The folks are tapped out, right?
"Talking Points" believes that class warfare is about to break out in America. Union benefits are strangling not only state budgets but also the private economy.

SEAN HANNITY: Says That "Wisconsin Taxpayers" Are "Picking Up The Slack" For State Workers. On the February 17 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity stated that "Walker is asking that members of the unions do the following, put 5.8 percent of their wages towards their pensions. Police and Fire and Teachers -- Most contribute almost nothing as things stand right now." He then stated, "Its Wisconsin taxpayers, they're the ones picking up the slack."

So, State Workers are just a bunch of "Slackers" -- is that what Hannity is saying?

So, Union benefits are "choking the life" out of state budgets and the Private Sector -- is that what O'Reilly is saying?

So I suppose they would rather have a Society where Police and Fire and Teachers services etc. would only be available to the Highest Bidder?  ... And the rest of us could ... go ... Take a Hike!

Didn't we see that a while back, where the local Fire Dept sat by, drank sodas, and watched a Family's House burn down, to the ground -- all because they hadn't paid "their Fire Protection Fees" on time.

Is THAT the kind of society that these "Government Haters" want?

A Society where only the well-off get the Essential Services, and everyone else gets Bupkis, Nada, Zip, Zilch?

Don't they know that "Taxes are the Price we ALL pay for 'Civilized' Society" ?

We may have 'differing ideas' on what it means to be 'Civilized' --

I for one, think bombing vague, amorphous "enemies" back into the Stone Age -- is anything BUT 'Civilized'

-- but being a part of "larger" Society, I have little choice, but help pay for the salaries, the supplies, and the strategic think-tanks, for OUR superior weapons;

with each bi-weekly paycheck;  that I earned from my stressful Govt position.

Such is the Price that we ALL pay for what has been deemed 'Civilized' by Society at large --

all because someone, somewhere, got away with selling "the People" the idea that conducting endless wars, with the most formidable, superior weapons

-- would somehow make the US empire -- MORE 'Civilized' ?!

Go figure.   Yet I still pay  my Taxes nonetheless.

Taxes on what I earned.  By my ever increasing rates of Productivity -- year after year;

As a Public Worker, who gives "my all" to my job, my career -- day in, and day out.

Snide dismissive comments from Scott Walker and the Fox News peanut gallery, notwithstanding!

If my job suddenly disappeared, along with the thousands of others like mine,

so would most of our cherished "wild places" ... disappear ...

into that endless maw of the Private Sector, that never knows when,

to stop cutting, to stop drilling, to stop digging, to stop dumping, to stop grazing.

THAT Private Sector that the GOP loves to look towards -- for all their 'solutions'.

Funny though, The Private Sector kind of NEEDS the Public Sector -- to remind them, to watch them, to TELL them ...

When to say WHEN!  

... to tell them -- Enough Already ... time to Take a Hike!

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 05:21 PM PST.


Do Public Workers really 'earn their keep'?

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| 91 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
    -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by jamess on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 05:19:32 PM PST

  •  GOP wet dream (6+ / 0-)

    "One might almost call it poetic, if poetry weren't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket hating sodomite."

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 05:41:28 PM PST

  •  true story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mnemosyne, rubyr, VA Breeze

    I was watching to Fox News -- Ugh!  

    So you Don't have to!

    and they started running this  "Breaking News" Loop
    about every 15 minutes:

    They [Fox reporter] just did a "sting operation" that showed

    that some Doctors will write "fake illness notes"

    for Striking Teachers who request the note.

    (apparently "no questions asked" ... oh my the horrors!)

    Fox-caster Gregg Jarrett

    just accused such Doctors of "committing Fraud",

    and said such Teachers would be "guilty of Fraud and a "breach of contract too"

    -- both fireable offenses.

    Ugh again!

    I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
    -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by jamess on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 05:41:48 PM PST

  •  jamess - workers in Michigan (6+ / 0-)

    are facing the same draconian cuts as Wisconsin.  There is going to be a big march in Lansing against Gov. Snyder on Tuesday.  He's proposing huge cuts in educational funding ($470 per student for public schools and 15% for universities), pulling the rug out from under our burgeoning electric car battery industry and film industry, cuts in pay and new taxes on pensions for all public workers.  There are a lot of very angry people here who are regretting voting for that "nerd" who has broken his promises.
    Do you get the feeling that all the Republican governors got together and decided to break the unions - ya think?

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." A. Einstein

    by moose67 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 06:14:11 PM PST

    •  I knew Snyder was Trouble (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, Dirtandiron

      I couldn't believe so many brought into his "private enterprise solve all" rhetoric.

      I wanted Virg Bernero; wrote about him some.

      I hope you survive the cuts moose67.

      this labor vs austerity battle is not going away anytime soon.

      The better organized labor gets now,
      the better off we will all be in the long run.

      Thanks for my old home-state update, moose.
      appreciate it.

      I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
      -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by jamess on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 06:20:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So is Florida (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, VA Breeze, jamess, Dirtandiron

      Florida is already at the bottom for cost of a state emplyee relative to the taxpayer.  Florida is also at the bottom of number of state workers per population.  

      State workers in Florida have not had a cost of living raise in over five years.  But the centerpiece of tea bag governor Rick Scott's budget austerity is the slashing of the number of state workers, but also severely increasing their healthcare and pension costs.

      The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert

      by gulfgal98 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 07:01:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Kasich is trying the same (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rubyr, jamess, Dirtandiron, gulfgal98

      bullshit here in Ohio. There is a protest in Columbus on Tuesday at the statehouse.

      If voting made any difference it would be illegal- Philip Berrigan

      by Mighty Ike on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 07:10:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absof**ckinglutely! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, moose67, Dirtandiron
      Do you get the feeling that all the Republican governors got together and decided to break the unions - ya think?

      But I think it goes further than just the governors. I think the Koch Brothers and the rest of the vast right wing conspiracy systematically planned and coordinated this and probably picked these new governors and backed them in the elections based on their willingness to carry out these nefarious schemes.

      And as an added bonus for Repugs a lot of other stuff is getting done while so much attention is paid to union busting. For instance, they are about to quash Net Neutrality and take it away from the FCC but no one is looking. They are crafty buggers and dangerous.

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 10:20:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I drove two hours (8+ / 0-)

    across North Carolina this afternoon and two hours back. And while on the Interstate Highway System, I saw an ambulance (public worker), a couple of state troopers (state employees), a couple of local cops (public workers), and evidence of road construction and repair (public workers). Plus, when I was on local roads, the stop lights worked (repairs by public workers), potholes in the roads had been fixed (public workers), people were using buses. And on, and on.

    So tell me again how the Tea Party troops that the Brothers Koch are busing into Madison on public roads and the Interstate Highway System don't need state workers who have good working conditions and living wage?

    It is only by not paying one's bills that one can hope to live in the memory of the commercial classes. -- Oscar Wilde

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 06:34:23 PM PST

    •  great examples (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, rubyr, JeffW, Dirtandiron

      of the Public Sector at work,

      making the Economy go.

      thanks Mnemosyne

      I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
      -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by jamess on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 06:45:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rs think a better system is to pay workers less (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, Dirtandiron

        and pay more to private companies for public services than was paid out of the state budget when it was public. Can anyone think of a privatized part of public service which did better privatized than public?  Was more efficient, and cost effective?

      •  Public workers are bad because (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, Dirtandiron

        they work for the public, unlike conservatives who want the public to work for them.  They're all a bunch of petty potentates, relying on threats and deprivation to keep the hoi poloi in line.

        We may have deposed the king, but the courtiers are still wheeling and dealing to hang on to their privileges.

        Privilege = private law, i.e. the common rules do not apply to them.

        I think that whenever we refer to corporations, we should make the distinction between private commercial and industrial corporation and public governmental corporations.  The antagonists of public governmental corporations would like to cloud the issue by referring to private corporations as public when the ownership shares are held by a large number of people.  

        The big difference between public and private corporations is that membership in the first is an entitlement, based on citizenship and residence, while membership in the second is purchased.  Ever since the beginning, people who could afford to purchase things (including people) enjoyed a higher social status than people who relied on their entitlements (what the Constitution specified), even though they were routinely denied. From the beginning, there was compromise that denied human rights.

        The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

        by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 01:19:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Have a relative who was in the military (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, Navy Vet Terp, jamess, gulfgal98

    and now works for a defense contractor who loves to rant
    against the "government" and how he pays too many taxes.

    A few years ago, I stopped him in the middle of his rant and remarked how he has been a government employee almost all of his working life-he sputtered a non-sensical comment and didn't talk to me for about a year.

    We all benefit from good government-some more than others.

    Some are in total denial of reality.

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 07:23:48 PM PST

  •  I was a guhv'mint worker (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr, jamess, gulfgal98

    I did 25 years in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic, maintenance manager, project manager, and a handful of other odds & ends.

    I retired out of the Air Force and into a GS-11 job for an agency called AFETS.  AFETS are subject-matter expert civil servants who provide advanced troubleshooting services, engineering services, etc. to active duty aircraft maintenance units.  They also deploy into combat theaters, get shot at, and do pretty much what active duty does.  AFETS just does it with better clothes and stylish haircuts.

    I left AFETS after about 3 months so I could pursue a manufacturing career and move closer to my aging parents.

    My question for the civil service haters is this:  What in the Hell is so much more efficient about the private sector?  To be bluntly honest, from what I've seen of small and medium business management, their leadership sucks.  A 25-year old staff sergeant with an associate degree could do a better job of running a company than many of the business owners I've seen.  Civil service is a beacon of managerial talent and initiative compared to the private sector.

    So what gives?  The next time some asshole demeans civil servants (meaning me) in within earshot, I'm going to give them the what-for regarding incompetence and waste in private business.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 07:43:37 PM PST

    •  Inefficiency exists in both sectors (0+ / 0-)

      Roughly speaking, large non-elite organizations without a sense of mission are inefficient.  

      Small elite organizations are efficient.  

      Anything in between, it depends.

      And, small elite organizations with a sense of mission can be found in both the public and private sectors.  So can large, non elite organizations without a sense of mission.

    •  My question is (4+ / 0-)

      If the reason for private enterprise existing is to make a profit, how can it be more efficient than government whose purpose is to serve the public?

      My corollary to that is if government is supposed to be run like a private enterprise, is government supposed to make a profit for its investors and who are those investors other than the taxpayers?  

      Based upon this logic,  the problem with government is that it is not charging enough for the services it provides since government is not currently being run like a business and is not currently making a profit.

      Conclusion:  We should raise taxes!

      :::snark:::  intended

      The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert

      by gulfgal98 on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 08:01:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Snark? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, gulfgal98

        If government is supposed to be run like private enterprise, its biggest customers should have the biggest bills.

        I live a few miles from the Bremerton Marina, a publicly funded project that subsidizes moorage for wealthy customers.  I personally consume almost none of that marina, yet my property taxes help pay for it.  Those who moor their boats there get a sweetheart deal on my back.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

        by DaveinBremerton on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 08:22:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Efficiency is defined as as close to free (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        as possible.  EuroAmericans have always been hooked on free labor, free land, free resources and free markets -- i.e. no obligations.  It's an anti-social attitude, derived perhaps from the experience of having been cast out of their native lands.  
        Yes, I know, EuroAmericans fled religious and economic persecution.  But, to persecute is to chase out.

        The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

        by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 01:31:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Efficiency is defined as zero waste... (0+ / 0-)

          ...not zero cost.  If something were available at zero cost, there would be no market for selling it.

          Regarding EuroAmericans and free markets, I don't think your meme withstands scrutiny of the Hudson Bay Company, the East India Company, various colonial antics of various European states right thru to the 1970's, Krupp, Skoda, E.G. Farben, and a host of other predatory European corporate entities.  All of the above were agressively seeking to obtain free resources by the time-honored tactic of killing or colonizing the rightful owners and stealing it.

          If EuroAmericans are "hooked on free labor, free land, free resources, and free markets" I'd say we had excellent mentors, beginning with the Romans and exemplified by the British Crown.

          Getting back to waste in private business...

          The waste I'm referring to is inefficient processes, workers, and managers.  Firms begin as ideas, which doesn't necessarily make the proprietor an efficiency genius.  Product goes to market and the proprietor suddenly needs labor.  She hires typically hires low-cost local labor, which is low cost for the reason it can't keep a job.  Business expands because product demand is hot, and family members begin flocking to the business like flies to meat.  They get hired, do just enough to stay hired, and set up fiefdoms to protect their company turf.

          The business hits a point where further expansion isn't possible due to inefficiencies in the above-described labor force.  There's a sort of misfit-induced entropy.  Outside talent is hired but can't move the efficiency football forward because the existing family fiefdoms actively undermine any change that might force them to do actual work.

          Inefficiencies cause sources of investment capital to dry up.  Some businesses fail, some seek venture capital investment in order to stay alive.  The cost is high:  the venture capitalists evaluate the entire labor structure for obvious inefficiencies and begin firing people.  The first to go are the outside talent that couldn't break the fiefdoms, followed by the fiefdom leaders themselves.  Old labor--those unhireables that have been with the company since Day 1--are the next to go, replaced with new hires that come without baggage and are willing to work for lower wages.

          In short, venture capitalists act as the "Serv Pro" cleanup team for inefficient businesses.  Not that I'm a fan of venture capitalists, I'm not.  I'm just pointing out that venture capitalism's business model is to find and fix private business inefficiencies.  If businesses were naturally efficient, venture capitalists wouldn't have such an easy time making money.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

          by DaveinBremerton on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 08:26:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suppose that depends on how you (0+ / 0-)

            define waste.
            I define the transfer of the earth's crust into the atmosphere as particles of carbon as waste.  I define the dumping of nitrates and other chemicals into rivers and streams as waste.  I define using human lungs as filters of chemical-laden air as waste.  I define employing humans without replenishing them or sustaining the production of progeny as waste.  I define the retention of youth in cages and stalls as waste.  I define the transfer of tons of foodstuffs to rodents and scavengers as waste.

            The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

            by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 08:40:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Everybody likes the idea of privacy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They just don't realize that private corporations aren't about privacy; they're about secrecy.  It's the difference between not being nosy and hiding things.  When there's real respect for privacy, it isn't necessary to hide things, unless you're doing something wrong.  American society does not respect privacy, for the most part.  But then, the public isn't respected, either.

      The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

      by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 01:25:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If public workers are the freeloaders (5+ / 0-)

    of society, what does that make politicians?  Public workers actually work, and for a lot less pay and benefits.  (Think 2 years of Republicans in DC doing absolutely nothing by whining for the mics and cameras.)

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 08:13:12 PM PST

    •  Freeloaders are people who pocket a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, AnnieR

      trickle of dividends from every public dollar spent.  

      But, we should know by now that conservatives always accuse others of what they are doing themselves.

      Who are the freeloaders?  People who

      don't vote
      don't hold public office
      don't serve on juries
      don't draft laws
      don't provide material support
      don't enforce the laws

      Can we afford them?  Obviously, yes.  What we can't afford is to let them rule everyone else.  If you're a guest, you don't get to decide the menu.

      The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

      by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 01:36:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, jamess -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, gulfgal98

    I think the Repugs have a broader agenda than merely depriving us of public services. I think that they just want people who are not like them to disappear by any means possible.

    I think they would be perfectly happy with a wealthy, white, male-dominant country where there were no deviations. Ann Coulter-esque wives, little
    perfect (-ly screwed up) children and all of the toys money can buy.

    They want to bust unions and everyone that works for a union, Democrats and most Independents, minorities, the poor, the middle class and most women down to nothing. Their end goal is to have this country all to themselves -- to have things just as they believe God intended.  

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sat Feb 19, 2011 at 10:35:16 PM PST

  •  The public is enemy number one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as far as conservatives are concerned.  Since it wouldn't do to announce that, they target surrogate groups.  Unions are a good surrogate because they are united and that gives them power -- unlike recent immigrants, for example, who are powerless.  Divide and conquer is a tried and true strategy.  On the other hand, targeting unions is dangerous because it's cutting really close to the public bone.  It's really easy to make the leap to all the other public entities they are against.  Shall we count them?

    public schools
    public libraries
    public transit
    public housing
    public parks
    public lands
    public service
    public hearings
    public records
    public meetings
    public information
    public records
    public corporations (states and cities)

    Government by the people.  That's the radical innovation.  Government (rule/control) of the people and government for the people both left traditional rulers in charge, despite what it says in the Constitution that the people rule by giving or withholding their consent.  That was so because, for some reason, the principle of sovereign immunity was never revoked until, believe it or not, 1947 with the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act. The FTCA makes it possible for individual office holders to be held liable in a civil suit for malfeasance in office (some states have similar provisions).
    Government by the people really wasn't possible as long as most information about what government agencies were doing was restricted from public access.  It took the Freedom of Information Act of 196? to crack that nut.  Indeed, from the perspective of civil rights, the FOIA is more significant than the voting rights laws.  If citizenship is a bundle of obligations (to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office, to draft laws, to provide support, to enforce the law), those obligations can't really be carried out, if citizens don't know what's going on and what's happening when.  Information is critical.  Which is why all public officials have public information officers to filter what gets to the media.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Sun Feb 20, 2011 at 01:05:34 AM PST

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