Another Perspective

Helpful Solutions for Cleaning Up Madison

All while saving Wisconsin many millions.

By 3.4.11

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The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that "State officials said Thursday that damage to the marble inside and out the State Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million." Much of the damage isn't actually chipping, cracking, etc., but residue from tape used to put up protest signs. I have a few helpful suggestions designed to allow the state to avoid much or most of that cost.

First, if it could really cost that much money to remove some tape residue -- even a lot of tape residue -- the state must be using some sort of unionized labor to get the job done. Instead, Governor Walker should get one expert on such cleanup, have him instruct any interested College Republicans in Wisconsin how to safely remove the residue from marble, and send the students out to do the job. They'll work for minimum wage and pizza (and beer when nobody is looking). I just saved Wisconsin $7 million.

Second, the state could deduct the cost for the cleanup from every public sector union in the state proportionately to the number of members they have. This perhaps after billing each doctor who wrote bogus "doctor's notes" for protesters an amount equal to their daily salaries (if they're public sector employees themselves) plus the daily salaries of each person for whom the doctor wrote a note for each day that person protested beginning on the day the note was written. This suggestion, if implemented, would argue against getting a better deal on cleanup with the help of volunteer College Republicans; if Wisconsin goes this route, it should buy the kids pizza anyway. In this case, I just saved Wisconsin $7.5 million less the cost of a few larges with pepperoni.

Third, the state could hire -- at non-union wages -- some of the 1,500 state workers about to be given pink slips by Governor Walker if Democrat state senators don't return to pass his budget and public sector union reform bill. Savings: $6.8 million.

Fourth, and perhaps best of all, the fleeing Democrat senators might be found in contempt of the senate. My research shows that prisoners in Wisconsin earn anywhere from about 20 cents to about $1.50 per hour, with typical rates around 50 cents per hour. Perhaps we could have a little chain gang of Democrat state senators -- after all, they are a proven flight risk -- paid 50 cents per hour to clean up the mess made by their supporters. I estimate that the wage cost would be slightly cheaper than the pizza for the College Republicans. Savings: $7.3 million.

Fifth, have public sector union leaders and union members become so lazy that they can't hold up their own protest signs? You don't see Tea Partiers taping up their Gadsden flags; we wave them proudly in our very own hands -- like this guy who deserves a message of thanks and a badge of courage from all of us. (Don't miss the woman protester about 35 seconds into the video who says, "I can't even vote in this country.")

And finally, what is the story with liberals trashing public places? Does anyone remember the National Mall after President Obama's inauguration? It looked like a tornado hit a trash dump. Yet the day after Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, the Mall looked professionally cleaned because the conservative and libertarian attendees went out of their way to clean up any mess. (See comparative images here.) It makes sense, of course, because the left does not understand or really believe in property rights, with the most recent example being the fat oaf Michael Moore saying of money earned by the rich, "That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours."

While I suspect the final bill for cleanup will be less than $7.5 million, the fact that it will be more than a few hundred bucks is just the latest evidence of the privileged "you owe us" mentality of public sector unions and their far left supporters. This is not just a battle, it's a major front in the war between taxpayers and those public sector unions.

At the end of the day, I look forward to the power of those unions being wiped away like so much tape residue… and perhaps by the same people.

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About the Author
Ross Kaminsky is a self-employed trader and investor and is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute. He is the host of The Ross Kaminsky Show on Denver's NewsRadio 850 KOA on Saturday mornings from 6 AM to 9 AM. You can reach Ross by e-mail at rossputin(at)rossputin(dot)com.