It didn't take long for the right-wing knee-jerk reactionaries and conservo-cutters at the Gazette to editorialize against school teachers and remind the board that many residents are angry over lower wages, reduced benefits and lost jobs. Certainly the editors must feel some love defending the misery so long as there is more company to share it with.
JG Editorial Excerpt: (Not available on Web)Where do we begin with this one. Whew!
Titled "School board should keep cutting budget"
Generous benefits strangled our auto industry, and Janesville's marriage to GM ended in divorce. Now the teachers union stands out in this community as having Cadillac health and pension benefits.
Plainly speaking, generous benefits did not strangle the auto industry. Besides the poor timing with the 2M energy crisis and sagging sales, negligent corporate management and skyrocketing private sector health care costs crushed the industry. Just like it's continues to do today with most industries, and that includes public school teachers. Free market capitalism is collapsing from its own inability to carry its' own weight, with little or no fault due the workers for the meager wages and benefits they collect. Secondly, the newspaper mentions the easy target "union," when in reality they are really attacking individual teachers for their wages and benefits. And lastly, as I have written in an earlier post, the Gazette and their political base are closing in on victory after a decades old local "cleansing" campaign against living wages, decent benefits and organized employee unions. The battle is nearly over. In their view, the school teachers collective bargaining power is hopefully the final remnant of any leverage the working and middle class might strive for in Janesville. The more anger they can manufacture against employee wage and benefit leverage - the better. It's all downhill from there.
Here's a thought. If only public school districts had the same access to slush fund TIF surplus money like city officials, private developers and wealthy venture capitalists have, things wouldn't appear so dire. Afterall, nobody seems to notice the tax increase levied on their property bills by TIF's to make up for the revenue withheld from the general fund. If there's a surplus in any local coffers, use it where it's needed before considering another tax hike.