“Just a bit of a cut”

As I’ve been surfing the intertubes catching up on what I missed during my “vacation,” I came across this nugget from a conservative blogger:

Paying a bit more for health insurance and contributing to their own retirement does not exactly go to this level of rhetoric.

That got me to thinking….who would consider a $350 per month cut in take home pay to be “a bit” of a cut? While I’ve tried my best not to complain about dollars and cents in regards to paying more for my health insurance and pension, I can’t help but wonder what some define as “a bit” of a cut in take home pay. Personally, I consider $350 less in take home pay to be significantly more than “a bit” less money in my pocket, but maybe that’s because I’m not independently wealthy.

So here’s your chance….tell me what you think. Do you consider $350 per month less in take home pay to be just “a bit” less money in your pockets?
[poll id=”14″]


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31 thoughts on ““Just a bit of a cut”

  1. I still say we completely misuse the term “conservative”, but anyway while $350 per month(I believe ours will be a little more) is a little cut, we also know that a 3% raise in taxes on the top 2% of incomes in the US is socialism and the beginning of the end of our country.

  2. Speaking of socialism, here’s an article I wrote for FightingBob that they haven’t published yet.

    The Socialists Among Us

    A few weeks ago, as I was heading into Spooner, WI, for the weekly rally against Walkers so-called budget repair bill, I stopped at a local convenience store to buy some gas. I stop in there frequently to pick up newspapers and the occasional six pack of New Glarus “Moon Man” beer, and over the years have become chatty with the big, burly northern Wisconsin redneck who runs the place. For the sake of anonymity I’ll call him Bill.

    Gas prices were starting to rise at the time and, as I’m prone to do, I started griping about it. Bill joined in and quickly we were having a good time lambasting the corporations that profit excessively at our expense when, predictably, Bill said that we needed to start drilling for oil again in this country.

    Now, I could have taken the typical “leftie” position on this issue and started lecturing Bill about the perils of global warming and the need to develop clean, green, renewable sources of energy, but I didn’t. Experience has taught me that I wouldn’t get anywhere with him. In fact, the conversation might have come to a screeching halt.

    Instead I paused for a moment and then cautiously said, ” yeah, maybe so, but maybe this time the American people should own the oil instead of Exxon/Mobile.” Bill didn’t blink an eye. ” Ya think so?” he said with a decidedly assenting tone. ” Yeah” I said, ” I think so”. I left the store with the two of us in full agreement.

    If I had told Bill then and there that he was leaning in a socialist direction he might have chased me out of his store with a stick, I don’t know. I’ve never asked him if he aligns with any political party, or if he pays attention to politics at all, but I’m pretty confident that I could suggest to him that instead of drilling for oil we should start developing home grown biofuels so that we could put American family farmers back to work instead of enriching the Koch brothers, and that he would agree in a minute. And he’s not an anomaly.

    Last summer I was part of a union organizing drive in a small northeastern Wisconsin town where I stayed in a motel for a few days a week over a couple months period. I got to know the motel maintenance man while we both smoked outside the building every morning. He was clearly a Tea Party sympathizer and loved to go on endlessly about how Obama was ruining the country. I’d listen to him and try to change the subject when I could, but one morning he started in specifically on the evils of ” Obamacare”.

    When he paused for breath I took the opportunity to tell him that I didn’t like the newly passed health care law either, and that I thought we should have expanded Medicare to cover everyone. I explained that we could spread the risk around and use our, (get this), “collective bargaining power” to drive down health care prices, as well as kick the greedy health insurance companies out of the equation altogether.

    By then I had his full attention so I lunged forward, talking about how other countries around the world were doing just that. Using Norway as an example, I explained that oil in the North Sea belonged to the Norwegian people and that they used the money to fund everything from health care, to education, to a strong social safety net.

    His response to my tirade? ” Why can’t we do that here?” he asked. ” Because Wall Street owns congress ” was my short reply. He shook his head, went about his day, and never brought up “Obamacare” again.

    I don’t think these guys are unusual. In fact, I think a large majority of working class people across the state feel the same way. It’s all a matter of how it’s explained.

    Samuel Wurzlbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber” was in Madison recently telling a crowd of Tea Partiers about how card carrying socialists had come into town to hijack the rallies against Walkers union busting bill. I wonder if Joe has any idea of just how many socialists live right here in Wisconsin? I also wonder how many might have been in the crowd he addressed.

  3. My pay cut will be a little less than that, but for a single parent already struggling to make ends meet, it means a devastating blow rather than a bit of a cut.

  4. CRY ME A RIVER! Thats what the middle class who support these people with their tax dollars pay for health insurance or more each month. They are not going to get any sympathy from the people who pay their wages, its time they pay their fair hare and stop expecting the middle class to fund them. $350 a month only $175 a paycheck not all that bad for the the insurance plans they all have.

    1. Ah, so in other words you consider a 10% cut in take home pay to be no big deal.

      I wonder if you’d be hunky dory with taking a 10% cut in your take home pay.

      1. To be honest Zach this year my wife could no longer be on my insurance, many of them now say if your spouse works and has insurance at thier job they must take it there. So now I am paying for insurnace and my wife is also. While we don’t like it, that is the way it is. Is it a big deal of course, but we also accpet that is what we need to do to have insurance. And we pay a lot more than what the union people are being asked to pay and I bet they are able to carry their spouse on their policies not forced to pay two premiums and two deductables. Between my wif and I we now pay almost $14,000 out of pocket and the union people are crying to me that they will now have to pay out of pocket $3500, sorry Zach but there is no sympathy for them from me and many middle class people in this state with the issue.

        1. You keep saying, “middle class people in this state” as if public employees aren’t middle class. I don’t know how many middle class people you know, but I know plenty, and not many of them will happily absorb a ten percent cut in their take home as if it’s no big deal.

          1. I agree it is a big hit but I like many have to pay for our own and do not see why we should also pay for union workers who are more then capable of paying their fair share

  5. Global warming ….omg you still hanging onto that fairy tale? As for DRILL BABY HELL YES we should be drilling there is NO alternative energy that can right now meet the demand of coal and oil it is still a pipe dream.

    North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3 to 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation. We import about 160,000,000 barrels of oil each year from Saudi Arabia we could put a nice dent into that.

    We have more oil inside our borders than all the other proven reserves on Earth, and that it could be extracted at an approximate cost to Americans of only $16 a barrel. But this president refuses to put Americans to work and refuses to make this country energy self sufficient

  6. Are we all in agreement that prior to all these shenanigans that total average fringe benefits and union dues total to about $26,000 per state worker?

        1. And if you’d read that, you’d know it was referring to teachers in MPS and other districts, not state employees.

    1. Actually my wifes sister is a teacher in Mukwanego her salary is $67,000 and benefits is $41,700. Then her husband is a doctor, yeah I can see why they need to have the middle class in this state pay for their insurance and retirement

      1. And I made $26,000 less than your wife’s sister last year, and my wife is not a doctor, but I can see how you think that $350 per month out of our pockets is no big deal.

        1. again I am not saying it is not a big deal, but why should you get special treatment just because you are a union worker? All that is being asked is you pay your fair share and stop expecting the the middle class worker in this state to pay it for you. Yes you guys pay taxes just the same as us, but then after I pay my taxes I also then must pay for my health insurance and so does my wife, you guys don’t and that is where pay your fair share comes in.

      2. Hmmm…..I decided that I’d fact check your claim, seeing as how you failed to post any actual data to back up your claim.

        According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Data on Demand” database, there are a number of teachers/staff in the Mukwonago School District making just over $67,000 a year, and not a single one has a benefits package totaling $41,000 per year.


  7. Nota, I understand why you are so angry and bitter now. Come join us and we can help you get the benefits and healthcare that you deserve!

  8. union dues arent anymore of a “fringe benefit” than paying taxes. Union dues are all entered in voluntarily democratically. Why doesnt the governor and state republicans make it illegal for me to shop at target? i spend way more a year there then we pay in union dues?

  9. There is no way in hell her benefits are 41K a year. If they are lets get the pitchforks and head to sherman helmsley house and tar and feather him….

    1. Two things:

      1) As things currently stand in Wisconsin, if you work in a unionized state job, you are forced to pay union dues. They are automatically withheld from your paycheck and there is no easy process (if any) to opt out. Maybe they were voluntary and democratic at one point, but I haven’t heard to too many re-certifications in the past 30 years…

      2) $41,000 in fringe benefits its not an absurd amount for public teachers, particularly in Milwaukee (where its about average for the 2011-2012 school year). This is hashed out in this Politifact article: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/04/maciver-institute/maciver-institute-says-average-annual-salary-and-b/

      1. econ its actually quite simple. Just take out papers of de-certification and get 50% of the workers to sign them. If the unions were the problems and hated by the workers as the right tries to make it out, that would not be a problem at all. Since that has not happened we can deduce that people enjoy their union and having a voice at the table.

        1. I don’t think anyone would argue with you that people in unions love the union, they can have their unions they just are not going to have all of the power they once had, they are not going to be able to dictate.

          1. “…they are not going to be able to dictate.”

            No, but it is ok for the governor to dictate…when he should have negotiated…but we all know the elected and appointed state employees are all too weak kneed to stand up to those bully union thugs. If Gov. Walker weren’t afraid to meet with the public employee unions, he’d pull up a chair at a table and invite them to meet. Instead he says they won’t come to the table (when he’s never actually asked them to) and threatens them through the press and then unilaterally acts (sometimes totally illegally ala furlough days in Milw. county). There is only ‘nothing to negotiate’ when you aren’t willing to negotiate.

  10. Anyways… can we agree that $26,000 is at minimum a fair statewide estimate for public teachers?

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