- - Thursday, February 19, 2015

It never ceases to amaze me how much the left is willing to act like children when they don’t get their way in Wisconsin. When Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republican, introduced much-needed, common sense collective bargaining reforms in 2011, tens of thousands of protesters stormed the state capitol.

They screamed, yelled and insufferably blew their vuvuzelas for weeks because Mr. Walker’s Act 10 would require government workers to contribute just a little bit more to their health care and pension benefits. Before Act 10, public employees contributed nearly nothing.

Their anger ballooned into a recall election, where the leftist protesters continued to scream and yell like toddlers who wanted more candy after already eating all of it from the candy jar. After months of their tantrum, Mr. Walker won the election in June 2012. He was then re-elected – for the third time in four years – this past November.

Facing a tight budget and vowing not to raise taxes, Mr. Walker’s newly proposed budget includes cuts across the board. The one that has received the most attention is a 2.5 percent cut to the University of Wisconsin System in exchange for making the system its own public authority, separate from the state.

The Wisconsin governor’s plan cuts the UW System budget by $150 million in the first year of the two-year budget, and it must be continued in the second year. UW officials and liberals across the state have decried the cuts as unsustainable. However, a short two years ago, legislators discovered the university system had a $1 billion slush fund.

Much of the funds are still in the system’s accounts, but UW administrators have claimed they have plans for the money, so it is technically no longer surplus. That is like saying “I plan on buying a jet ski with the money in my savings account” so I don’t have that money in surplus. But, when I need a new roof on my house, I will likely forgo the purchase of the jet ski.

Even with the so-called reserves, and greater flexibility over budgetary decisions, the left cranked up the rhetoric on how detrimental the small cuts would be to UW. And instead of having an adult conversation about the state budget, they resorted to the same tactics they used two years ago.

They went so far to protest Mr. Walker at his personal home in Wauwatosa, just outside of Milwaukee. Their aim to intimidate the governor fell flat, though. Mr. Walker lives in the governor’s executive residence in Madison, near the State Capitol.

So, who currently resides in Mr. Walker’s home? His parents. That’s right, over 100 protesters chanted and marched outside the residence where the governor’s elderly parents live.

Mr. Walker’s youngest son, Alex – a UW student – posted a picture of the protest as it was happening.

“They’re protesting out front of our home. Who lives there you might ask? My grandma & grandpa. Unbelievable,” he tweeted.

In keeping with the same theme, students on the UW-Madison campus couldn’t keep the debate civilized either.

Ever since the budget cuts were announced, students have been receiving consistent emails from faculty, administrators and the chancellor about how devastating the cuts will be. The UW-Madison College Republicans decided to counter their claims with a more supportive message about the governor’s policies.

“Proposals like these have worked elsewhere. In 2005, Virginia passed a similar bill to what Walker is proposing. It granted more autonomy to the state system as long as the system met certain educational goals and requirements laid out by the legislature,” the group’s email read.

They also pointed out that the Virginia state system faces a higher 27 percent cut.

The response from fellow students was simply uncalled for.

“F*** off,” read one email. Another was slightly more upbeat. It read, “Kindly f*** off. Happy Monday.”

Another student wrote, “Listen you c***s, Don’t [sic] email me this political bulls***.”

Students and staff at UW consistently talk about the Wisconsin Idea and the need to explore and accept all ideas, but members of the College Republicans feel their views may not be accepted just because they are different.

“We expected a response on campus but did not expect it to be this hateful or extreme,” said Charlie Hoffmann, UW-Madison College Republicans’ communications director. “The people responding were the same ones screaming about the importance of the Wisconsin Idea yet their responses do not seem to live up to the ‘sifting and winnowing’ that embodies the Wisconsin Idea.”

Hopefully, calmer heads will prevail and we can have a real conversation about the policies in Mr. Walker’s budget. But, if the left hasn’t changed in the past two years, I’m not sure what another couple of months is going to do.


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