How has Scott Walker devastated you?

Seriously. Only real stories with real names need apply. Tell me below.

What prompted this? The press release that the AFL-CIO is starting a tour that “gives citizens a chance to speak out on the impact of Scott Walker’s devastating budget.”

Go for it. It has to be you with a real name, and it has to be a real story of real personal impact to count, not an it-might-be scenario.


  1. Anthony says:

    As some of you know, I’m a public employee. I work for a division of the state that is not funded by taxpayer dollars. To be honest, Walker has had a small impact on our operations, but Doyle was worse. Doyle got rid of seniority pay for entry-level employees, and people who were making $10 had their salaries slashed to a mere $7.25, along with other things.

  2. $400 per month will be vanishing from my paychecks starting in a few weeks, which amounts to a 20% reduction in my take-home pay.

  3. When you slash education it affects us all. In addition I live in a rural area where 40% receive some money from the state.

    Cutting ed for tax beaks for rich people is a complete scam.

    Spending went up under his budget.

  4. No, that wasn’t specific enough, ray. Sorry.

  5. Ok, Zach. The paper shows you at $46,779 a year. The two deductions add up to 20%?

  6. Zach doesn’t get the fact that his pension contributions are still his money.

  7. Randy in Richmond says:

    Unless your increases are different from what’s been published, they should be roughly 4 to 6 % of your healthcare premium–not your salary–and the pension share should be about 5.8% of your salary. Assuming you (or someone) pays $800 per month for healthcare your increases at the higher end should be $2713/year for pension and $576/year for healthcare. This total would be 13.7 % of your take home pay and 7 % of your gross pay. But 82 % of your increased total is going to you per your pension. Instead of the citizens of Wisconsin paying that $2713 toward your pension–you are paying it.

    And since your own figures reflect a take-home pay of about 51 % of total salary(based on your 20% figure) I would suspect you have other personal deductions already taken from your pay, as most of us do. So a percentage of anyone’s take home pay really has no standing. Obviously these figures are not exact but they do reflect the published percentages.

  8. BrekfldDad says:

    If you go here –

    and assume:
    – Cindy is correct @$46,779 salary
    – Zach is married with at least two kids (his blog says married w/kids)
    – he gets paid semi-montly

    Then his estimated take home pay is $1606.58, twice monthly. A 20% reduction in take home pay would be $642.63, or about 60% more than he claims. $400 would be closer to 12.4%, and of that $400, $226 (at 5.8% of salary pension contribution) as Fred noted is still Zach’s money.

  9. J. Strupp says:

    What say you Zach? Those numbers seem pretty accurate and in line with tens of thousands of private sector pay cuts over the past 3 years.

    Are these calcs. incorrect?

  10. BrkfldDad says:

    …that was me, an extra ‘e’ on this warm day

  11. Randy, I’ll bet those published figures are correct, unless they came from the liberal media. And I know how you trust them. 🙂

    Must be too hot to get out with the sticks in Richmond. Speaking of bets…Clarke was a 150 t0 1 pick before The Open. Wouldn’t you liked to have put down 10 quid on that bet?

    Cindy, I was just thinking about last year and the GOP primary for governor. Were you wrong then and right now or right then and wrong now?

  12. I’m wrong all the time RMS. Maybe that’s why people keep reading.

    But as far as this post? That figure on Zach was from an online database, and he’s the only one to provide specifics, so I guess there aren’t many in Wisconsin right now who are “devastated” by the changes taking place.

    About Walker? I admit he wasn’t my first choice, but I do like the changes that have taken place. Who knows if we’d have had the same with the other candidate. Don’t like Walker’s penchant for political payoffs. Kind of hard to get past that and sure hope it doesn’t bite him in the backside in the long run. Also, given all that I’ve coughed up in college tuition, it still makes me bonkers that he’s a college dropout.

  13. The Lorax says:

    I had to sleep on the marble floor of the capitol. That kinda sucked. 😛

    No, but in all honesty, Walker has galvanized his opponents. On the first night I stayed at the capitol, they locked the doors for the night at 11pm. We were arriving at 11:15pm from Milwaukee.

    We walked around the back to try and get in, and some nice state troopers met us at the door, telling us that they were sorry they couldn’t let us in. “But we just got here from Milwaukee, and we’re here for you guys too!” We told them we were College Dems, and we wanted to testify. They hesitated, whispered to each other for a few seconds. “All right, get in here quick and follow us this way. There are a bunch of Darling and Fitzgerald staffers scouring the building and we could get in trouble!” I felt like I was on the West Wing or something – kinda cool. :]

    I have some great memories from that, and cemented for a lot of people their allegiance to the worker’s party. Thanks Guv Walker!!!!!

  14. Randy in Richmond says:

    Hot and getting hotter. But not as hot as last year, by far.

    Having Clarke win was a treat for me but apparently he’s quite the favorite with the fans and even the American golfers. I was at a private party that he attended a couple of years ago but I didn’t meet him personally. It would have been improper to ask for an autograph but he probably would have obliged. And how about that weather ?

    The women have their British Open starting the 28th and maybe I can get lucky again. I’m going with Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis–a couple of Americans. Lewis’ life has been quite the challange.

  15. Didn’t see these responses until I just got home from work. To answer some of the questions asked, my take-home pay every week ranges from $1,000 to $1,100, not $1,600-ish estimate from one commenter. That take home pay is after $350-ish in taxes are taken out, then there’s the roughly $400 in deductions for the various insurances (health, dental, vision), retirement, and a charitable contribution I chose to make. Instead of approximately $400 in deductions for insurances, etc. I’m looking at $650 in deductions for health insurance, retirement, etc.

    Granted, Fred’s absolutely right that part of that increase is an increased pension payment, which is money I’ll get back at some point (provided the pension system is solvent and hasn’t been raided), but the vast majority of the increase is due to health insurance premiums.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    If I might take the liberty to change devastated to affected, I would like to make a comment as I don’t live in Wisconsin. Several months ago I attended a Council meeting concerning a neighborhood issue. I was hoping the issue would be included on the Consent Agenda but it was not and didn’t come up until about 10:30 pm. However, the Fire Department had a recommendation concerning work schedules and hours that took quite a while. Of the nine Councilors, eight of them, at some time during the discussion commented on how glad they were that in Virginia public unions are illegal and we didn’t have something like that “mess” in Madison going on here. These are mostly minority elected officials with a “D” after their names. I suspect this is the sentiment in places across the country and at a time when union memberships are dropping I feel the overall effect of the Madison protests will not help the public union image.

  17. Cindy, wrong. You are on the money most of the time and that’s why I read and throw a barb into the mix. Gov. Walker has handled himself well, not a sterling star by any means, on the Sunday morning talk circut. He’s faired much better on CNBC’s Squak Box. But the host, Joe Kernan, tosses cream puff questions to him and they seem to be scripted…whatever. He won fair and square. Let’s hope the fringe of the Democratic Party will give up the infantile recall movement. Find a candidate to run in ’14 and put your efforts there.

    Randy, I’m behind the curve on the LPGA, but if I recall Stacey Lewis won one the ‘Majors’ on their tour. You travel in pretty good company, young man. How about wearing an I’M RANDY” tee as you follow your friends? Have a great trip!

    To tie some of Randy’s comments into the issues I raised with Cindy, I’m not sure about a backlash. There are more local issues in terms of the affect on local school and community budgets. It’s one thing to look at Zach’ plight and another to have to dig deeper to pick up short falls from state aid. It all boils down to whose ox is getting gored. Has the State simply moved the burden to a different taxing authority? One more thing Randy, Gov. Walker left the police and firefighter unions intact for Milwaukee, as well as, the State Patrol, three groups that contibuted to his election financially and with endorsements. That used to be called “Chicago style politics” when the liberal machine did pay for play. What do you call it when a conservative does the same thing….protecting

  18. Welcome to my world Zach. Where insurance cost goes up every year, the coverage gets worse and I have to pay for my own retirement.

    Only I’m happy to have my job.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    I wish sometimes I were young, but by the calendar, alas I am not.

    Let me ask a question or two, because I truly do not know. Are the police, fire, etc. paying any part of their retirement or healthcare now ? Do they have health plans chosen by unions that have a financial interest in the plans chosen ? Are the police and fire personnel receiving benefits that are sometimes an additional 35 to 60 % of their base pay ? Do the police and fire people work a 10 month, or 12 month year ?

    And what’s the background on the endorsements ? Is it because the police and fire personnel might tend to lean right politically and traditionally their union reps come from the rank and file as opposed to education where most union leaders are… professional union leaders ? The fire and police had the same opportunity to choose the Democratic candidate–and chose not to.

    I can’t name an elected politician of any ilk who does not return favors to his/her supporters. In this case Walker may have but in the meantime he also did pretty much exactly what he said he would do before being elected.

  20. “Only I’m happy to have my job.”

    I’m not sure if you’re trying to imply that I’m not happy to have my job, but if you are, I’d love to see you point out where I said I’m not happy to have my job. I’ve long maintained that I’m fortunate to be able to do a job that I truly love, and despite what’s going on politically right now, that hasn’t changed.

  21. Randy, the issue in repect to the City of Milwaukee Police and Firefighters and the State Patrol is not about contribution to benefit plans. It’s about collective barginning rights. Those three unions were exempted from Gov. Walker’s break up of public employee unions. They retained all their rights under contract including, benefits, wages and working conditions etc.. Whatever contributions, if any, to benefits remained the same as perscribed in current contracts. One other point, Walker’s opponent was the Mayor of the City of Milwaukee, who had tried to make changes in the contracts in terms of staffing, discharges for cause and other nonfinancial provisions. Not surprisingly the unions strongly objected to these changes and backed Walker, both with endorsements and cash. The unions and Walker both deny any pay for play.

    As far as ‘getting what was promised’ during the election run, Walker, by his own admission has stated he could have done a ‘better’ job in communicating his plan. Actually he din’t lay out his union busting position at anytime during that period. I’m sure someone out there will correct me if I’m wrong…(and even if I’m right).

    During my working days I spent many long hours negotiating with both AFSCME and the SEIU. Not in one case did I every deal with anyone except professional paid staff, including union paid lawyers. The rank and file were represented, but were typically passive in the actual contract talks.

    I’m not sure if that answers all your questions. Hopefully it gives you some perspective of why Gov. Walker is not on my Seasonal Greeting list…but then I’m not on his either.