Jon Stewart: Teachers Have it Too Good (Wink)

Jon Stew­art had to do it. He had to con­nect the dots. We’re going after the pub­lic ser­vants try­ing to do some good. But how about the non-con­tribut­ing bankers who kept their per­son­al gravy train rolling at tax­pay­er expense? Or the hedge fund man­agers who pay dra­mat­i­cal­ly low­er tax­es than almost any­one read­ing this site? 15%?? And let’s not for­get that some of our our largest cor­po­ra­tions – includ­ing GE and Exxon — have recent­ly paid no US income tax? Ulti­mate­ly, this all gets down to who funds your next elec­tion. Banks and cor­po­ra­tions do. Kids and pub­lic ser­vants don’t. David Brooks makes that point rather well. I’m all for sac­ri­fice, but let’s make it fair and shared. Or is that idea too “social­ist” (or what we quaint­ly used to call “demo­c­ra­t­ic”)?

Relat­ed Note:

Michael Moore Tells Wis­con­sin Teach­ers “Amer­i­ca is NOT Broke”

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  • John Lincoln says:

    Jon Stew­art said the “Bush” tax cuts for the rich ???? Last time I checked Oba­ma was Pres­i­dent. He should have said the “Oba­ma” tax cuts for the rich. It was fun­ny too that Michael Moore through Oba­ma under the bus as well. Bush — Oba­ma, whats the dif­fer­ence. Take away a few lib­er­als and they are all the same.

  • Hanoch says:

    It is dif­fi­cult to under­stand the com­plaint that sac­ri­fice is not “fair or shared” giv­en that the top 5% of earn­ers in this coun­try pay approx­i­mate­ly 60% of all fed­er­al income tax­es.

    The argu­ment that pub­lic ser­vants are being tar­get­ed is inac­cu­rate. Pub­lic employ­ee unions and col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing are the issues. There is a big dif­fer­ence. Posi­tions tak­en by these unions are not nec­es­sar­i­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the opin­ions of indi­vid­ual pub­lic employ­ees.

    While the left, as it always does, tries to sti­fle debate by resort­ing the rhetoric of class war­fare, there are impor­tant pub­lic pol­i­cy con­sid­er­a­tions when it comes to col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing by pub­lic employ­ees. FDR — hard­ly a right-winger — put it this way: “a strike of pub­lic employ­ees man­i­fests noth­ing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the oper­a­tions of gov­ern­ment until their demands are sat­is­fied. Such action look­ing toward the paral­y­sis of gov­ern­ment by those who have sworn to sup­port it is unthink­able and intol­er­a­ble.” (quot­ed in D. DeSal­vo, “The Trou­ble with Pub­lic Sec­tor Unions”, Nation­al Affairs, Fall 2010 at

    What is also left out of Mr. Stew­art’s com­men­tary is any sym­pa­thy for the the aver­age tax­pay­er. Mil­wau­kee pub­lic school teach­ers are cur­rent­ly paid, on aver­age, $101,000 in salary and ben­e­fits. This fig­ure sig­nif­i­cant­ly exceeds medi­an income in Wis­con­sin. This bur­den is borne entire­ly by tax­pay­ers who are them­selves often strug­gling to sup­port their own fam­i­lies. Of course, these facts do not fit neat­ly into the rich v. poor arche­type fos­tered by the likes of Stew­art.

  • Frank says:

    They can’t take bonus­es from bankers who failed, because that would cause an exo­dus of tal­ent­ed peo­ple? So, what kind of teach­ers do you think the US need to become com­pet­i­tive again?

  • improbable says:

    Umm, John Lin­coln… they are called the bush cuts because they were passed under bush, with an auto­mat­ic time lim­it.

    That said, while this makes for amus­ing TV, it’s hard­ly tak­ing any of the issues seri­ous­ly. I don’t hon­est­ly see what func­tion pub­lic-sec­tor unions serve, and so restrict­ing their pow­ers strikes me as a good thing. And all the evi­dence I’ve read points to pub­lic-sec­tor employ­ees being over­paid (espe­cial­ly in terms of pen­sion promis­es) com­pared to the pri­vate sec­tor.

  • Johngrdenic says:

    Teach­ers and friends remem­ber the Har­ris years? Well they’re back in Wisconsin.…It’s scary!

  • JosquinD says:

    I laughed at this

    espe­cial­ly the last part

    but Hanoch’s com­ments are inter­est­ing

    though per­haps the wealthy could pay still more (by could, i sup­pose i mean should)

    they have in the past (though this in itself is not real­ly an argu­ment)

    On the oth­er hand, pri­ma facia, the tal­ent argu­ment seems to me to apply excel­lent­ly to teach­ers…

    it’s a dif­fi­cult con­cept to quan­ti­fy how­ev­er

  • Marvin Gentz says:

    Jon was right on, of course.

    I do not know how any­body can rea­son­ably defend cor­po­ra­tions. They are not even per­sons and they are lazy and they live off the wel­fare pro­vid­ed by the reli­gious Koch Broth­ers. Many of them are cit­i­zens of the Cay­man Islands, hav­ing renounced Amer­i­ca to avoid pay­ing their fair share of tax­es in the coun­try of their birth.

    Pri­va­ti­za­tion must me not­ed here. It is a favorite tech­nique of cor­po­ra­tions. They took over our prison sys­tem and destroyed it and made us the laugh­ing stock of the civ­i­lized world. Hal­libur­ton, VP Cheney’s bud­dies pri­va­tized many of our mil­i­tary func­tions and they prompt­ly for­got to feed our troops in Iraq. (Just try­ing to save a buck, I guess) But the Mil­i­tary Indus­tri­al Com­plex is the most waste­ful of our tax mon­ey as the expend obscene amounts by Defense Depart­ment funds by bureau­crats who work for our lit­tle old fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, They even design planes that nobody wants as they spend tax­pay­er mon­ey like it is going out of style. (Which it is)

    But most per­ti­nent to edu­ca­tion is the cor­po­rate hir­ing of scabs at the Uni­ver­si­ty and Col­lege lev­el. They are called Adju­tants. They get paid a min­i­mum wage and they need anoth­er part time job to feed their fam­i­ly. But the cor­po­rate col­lege ceo saved a buck even though adju­tants are not qual­i­fied to teach. It should be not­ed that Bank of Amer­i­ca is not qual­i­fied to run a bank either. They had to defraud peo­ple out of home own­er­ship. Oh, well.

    Final­ly, peo­ple who “behave as a union” but who do not feel the need to tell the rad­i­cal repub­li­cans in our midst that they “sup­port but do not join” the unions are grow­ing like wild­fire. They are avail­able by unions when need­ed. Mean­while, unions have entered into agree­ments with many social­ly ben­e­fi­cial orga­ni­za­tions. This, my friends, is a mas­sive rev­o­lu­tion. Saul Alin­sky rec­om­mend­ed that approach bv the way. The aver­age Amer­i­can work­er over­whelm­ing­ly believes in union behav­ior and they sup­port unions finan­cial­ly even though they see no need to offi­cial­ly join the union.

    One last point. The achieve­ment of stu­dents in Pub­lic schools which are staffed by union mem­bers exceed the achieve­ment at non union schools.

  • Marvin Gentz says:

    Is there any­thing more un-mod­er­ate as the com­ments of the union haters above?

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