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1031, 16 Apr 20

Share the Pain. Cut Government.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. – Thomas Paine, Common Sense

I keep hearing how we are “all in this together.” Are we? The folks in Madison who are making the decisions to destroy our businesses, obliterate our savings, and take away our jobs seem to be doing just fine. They are all still employed with full pay. The government employees at the state and local levels are all still working. They still have their guaranteed pensions and great benefits. Evers is still enjoying the mansion that we provide for him and a full staff of people to do his thinking.

The Coronavirus response is really highlighting the Two Americas. On the one hand we have government employees, who are being insulated from the full impact of the lock down orders. On the other hand, we have the private sector employees, who are feeling the full brunt while also paying for the government employees. Where are the furloughs in government? Where are the pay cuts? Where are the cut backs on benefits? Evers is issuing edicts and just telling private employers and employees to “deal with it.” Why isn’t our government sharing the pain?

Take a look at the list of State of Wisconsin agencies. How many of those could be shuttered right now and furlough or lay off the entire staff? We could live without the Historical Society for now, right? What about the Arts Board? Surely the Department of Tourism is pretty useless right now. State Fair Park? Women’s Council? Trials and prosecutions are being postponed, so can we furlough all of the expensive lawyers and investigators at the Department of Justice? What about judges? Are they being paid when there aren’t any trials happening? Legislative staffs? Legislators? Several agencies could be closed immediately and indefinitely – just like they are forcing many private businesses to do.

For those agencies that do need to remain open, how many employees are non-essential and could be let go? Why can’t we implement an immediate 25% across-the-board pay cut for all government employees right now – even if they are essential? Why can’t we pull back on some of the benefits? Many private employers are being forced to cut back on pay and benefits to stay alive during the government-forced lock down. Where is our government sharing the pain?

This goes for local governments too. Nobody wishes ill on our neighbors and friends, but it’s frustrating to be lectured by a government teacher or police officer about the need to lock down when they are enjoying their full compensation and benefits. The rest of us are suffering major cutbacks and job losses. If we are all in this together, then let’s actually be in ALL of it together.

Remember, too, that with all of the job losses and shut down of the economy, government revenues are WAY down. We can’t afford all of this government anymore. And even if they come back and seek to jack up taxes to pay for everything, who is going to pay it? The 20%-30% of Wisconsinites who are on unemployment?

We need our government at all levels to immediately make substantial spending cuts in line with what is being asked of the private sector. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, government employees will have to work harder and make do with less. Yes, government employees’ may have to work later in life before retiring. That is what is being asked of the private sector. We should expect nothing less from our government.


1031, 16 April 2020


  1. jjf

    Everyone turn to your hymnal page 238, “Someone Else Is Getting More Than Me, Oh Lord.”

  2. Merlin

    Owen’s on a roll!

  3. Jason

    >Everyone turn to your hymnal page 238, “Someone Else Is Getting More Than Me, Oh Lord.”


    Pick and Save is paying between 8 and 13 an hour.  Surely the historical society staff could get by on that, since they’re not really essential… or are you saying they are?

  4. Pat

    They have a job that they are able to go to. How about you, Jason?

  5. Jason

    >They have a job that they are able to go to. How about you, Jason?

    The historical society staff is essential to ensuring our safety during these extreme times?  Bullshit.  More essential than a nail salon, a barber?  Bullshit.

  6. Pat

    Are you sure they have not furloughed any paid staff?

  7. Mike

     Any business forced to stay closed should have their taxes suspended also. If not businesses should put their taxes in escrow for the class action suit.

  8. Pat


    I would agree they should be suspended for the duration.

  9. Pat

    Awful. Just awful.

  10. Merlin

    Lockdown extended another month. Oh, this is going to get very ugly, very fast.

  11. jjf

    Of course not, Pat.  There’s no reason to research. No room for subtle distinctions about working from home or whether the office is actually open or not.

    Your neighbors who work for the government need to be dragged down to the minimal benefits offered by the worst private employers.

  12. Jason

    >Are you sure they have not furloughed any paid staff?

    Are you sure they have?  Our governor has shitty communication skills.  I saw he and his buddies have segregated the private entities into essential and non-essential.  But I missed where he did the same for government entities.  With the number of State Parks he recently shut down, what are those employees doing?  Do you know? We sure don’t?


    This is what I miss about Walker… we can opine about what he would have done, when and how he would have done it,  he would have done a much better job communicating to the residents of the state.

  13. Jason

    >Your neighbors who work for the government need to be dragged down to the minimal benefits offered by the worst private employers.


    They can work at Pick and Save.  Some tool just told me they are hiring.  Why is that an issue?

  14. MjM

    Mike sez:  Any business forced to stay closed should have their taxes suspended also

    Not suspended. Canceled for the entire duration of the non-use, including real estate taxes.

  15. Pat

    “ With the number of State Parks he recently shut down, what are those employees doing? Do you know? We sure don’t?”

    Put down your Game Boy and ask your Assembly Representative.

  16. Pat

    Juvenile Jason, have you been furloughed?

  17. Kevin Scheunemann


    That one is not in the hymnal.

    I thought you sang that in you godless libaral dancing and drum circles when you mumble “billionaires” are evil

  18. Jason

    >Put down your Game Boy and ask your Assembly Representative.

    Sorry, I thought you have something to add to the big boy conversation.  You’re just trolling again.  PASS.

  19. Pat

    What’s the problem Juvenile Jason. Too lazy to research answers for yourself?

  20. jjf

    Kevin, you’re projecting again.  When have I said billionaires are evil?

  21. jonnyv

    This will be really interesting. I am not 100% sure on this, but the WI legislature can override the Governors orders come May 10th or so? 60 days?

    Will the WI legislature do that? Do they have the intestinal fortitude to put all the blame on themselves, should something go wrong? And what opens up exactly? Everything? Leave it up to the business?

    Regardless of what happens, the service industry is screwed. Who will feel comfortable going to a restaurant, bar, or movie theater? Those industries are going to feel the hurt for quite a while, and many wont recover.

    Child care? Will summer camps be open for parents that need to go back to work? Closing the schools is a safety precaution because most children are a walking germ pile. But can we send our kids to a YMCA with 300 other kids everyday?

    Without adequate and accurate testing people won’t feel safe.

  22. Merlin

    The restaurant association is estimating that 50% of Wisconsin’s restaurants will not survive a 60 day shutdown. The resulting ripple of bankruptcies throughout the entire food service supply chain will be absolutely devastating.

  23. jonnyv

    Merlin, as I said… even if we open up, would people even go. I don’t think I would go to a sit down restaurant with my family until we have a better idea of what we are dealing with and better testing. I feel like many would do the same.

    And Owen hinted at it in a tweet. But if the republicans in the legislature CAN do something about this and choose not to, then this is on them as much as it is on Evers at that point.

    But, I bet we will hear crickets from the right if they choose not to act.

  24. MjM

    JohnV questions: Who will feel comfortable going to a restaurant, bar, or movie theater?


    (Except the movies….  just not big movie goer.)

  25. dad29

    With the number of State Parks he recently shut down, what are those employees doing?  Do you know?

    Why, yes!!  Yes indeed!!  We know…………a number of wardens (armed) were present at Lapham Peak park on Saturday last week to prevent hikers from entering the park.

    So they’re employed, even though the park is closed.  Got to keep the Rabble in their cages, ya’know.

  26. dad29

    I’ll just leave this here :)

    Thanks.  Over 30,000 at this time.

  27. dad29

    How many will Evers kill today??

    Every 1 percent hike in the unemployment rate will likely produce a 3.3 percent increase in drug-overdose deaths and a 0.99 percent increase in suicides, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the medical journal Lancet.

    These are facts based on past experience, not models. If unemployment hits 32 percent, some 77,000 Americans are likely to die from suicide and drug overdoses as a result of layoffs. Deaths of despair. Then add the predictable deaths from alcohol abuse by caused by unemployment. Health economist Michael French from the University of Miami found a “significant association between job loss” and binge drinking and alcoholism.

    The impact of layoffs goes beyond suicide, drug overdosing and drinking, however. Overall, the death rate for an unemployed person is 63 percent higher than for someone with a job, according to findings in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Now do the math: Layoff-related deaths could far outnumber the 60,400 coronavirus deaths predicted by University of Washington researchers….

  28. Le Roi du Nord

    Here would be a great government employee to cut:

    “This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts, and figures, would be on top of that,” the White House advisor said.”  That advisor is Kellyanne Conway.

  29. Merlin

    Conway ain’t wrong. The first coronavirus was discovered in 1930. Nine decades later WHO is more concerned with international politics and diplomacy than science and research. Americans are not the only ones questioning WHO’s integrity. Sooner or later they’re going to have to do more than deflect questions and criticism.

  30. Mar

    Le ROI supports WHO, who totally mismanaged this crisis. I bet he supports the United Nations, home of soldiers who rape children.

  31. Kevin Scheunemann

    Nord is so against making any discernment between good or evil, I bet we cannot even get him to denounce admitted child rapists.

    He might even say that is a “born that way” lifestyle

  32. jjf

    Dad29, keep running with it!  Show us the curve of suicides and all those other outcomes.  Predict how many more there will be!  Tell us where you got all that info, too!

  33. jjf

    Uh oh!  Kevin’s firing up his “Denounce This or Therefore You Love It” machine again!

  34. dad29

    Nah, Jiffy….my post is based on facts.  It ain’t “Global Warming” nor “INSTANT DOOM CHINESE TAKE-OUT” like you approve of.

    But facts never mattered to you.

  35. Le Roi du Nord


    Look up the meaning the word “novel”, as applied to “novel corona virus”.

  36. jjf

    Share all the facts!  Tell us where you copy-pasted from!

    Tell us the WisGOP plan and schedule and criteria for reversing the lockdown!

    Predict the number of drug and suicide deaths!

    Instant Doom Chinese Take-out?  Is that the name of the conspiracy theory?

  37. Tuerqas

    I think anyone who actually wants to add comment related to the post should look up how many Government jobs have been furloughed or lost.  It is hard to find any numbers.  My friends with Gov’t jobs (excluding teachers who are all being paid) have said their departments have been cut primarily by being furloughed.

    On the other hand, the only thing I could find in the news was in a Reuters article online with this quote:

    The federal government sector stood out as a rare example of net job gains last month, thanks to the addition of 17,000 temporary workers for the 2020 census.

    I don’t know what percentages it represents, the article doesn’t say, but they certainly do not seem to be ramping any (federal) Government departments down significantly.

  38. jjf

    Owen only desires to sow division and jealousy.  He just wants government employees to suffer.  He make a lazy swipe at the arts.

    I would guess the people at the Department of Tourism are just as serious about their career as Owen is about his, and I bet they’re trying to find ways to help their constituencies in light of the crisis.  Owen just wants to speculate that they aren’t, in order to make more people suffer.

  39. kjanz1899

    They can start with the DMV because it only offers three services IDs for voting, CDLs and license plates.

  40. jjf

    KJanz, and why do you think those services are not essential, even during a pandemic?

  41. kjanz1899

    You misunderstand.The DMV is not accepting appointments for new or renewal of driver’s licenses. If they are not performing these and other services then they should cut back on staff.

  42. Jason

    Johnny is notorious for not understanding. Try simple monosyllabic words and concepts suited for pre-k students. You should see his Reddit history… lol

  43. dad29

    Errmmm….DMV is moving titles through, as well as lien activations/de-activations, not to mention issuing plates and year-of expiry stickers as needed.  One can argue that they could lay off some of the workforce, but they actually do a bunch of stuff that most people don’t see.

  44. kjanz1899

    Dad29, I did miss the title and lein activities which I assume are handled through a central office. I did mention plates; however the stickers aren’t required. Once payment is received your registration is renewed. Again even if the sticker is somehow deemed necessary during a pandemic it’s likely processed through a central office. The local offices don’t require much staff at this time. The big election is over so demand for IDs is low. I don’t know what the current demand for CDL would be. Also if there other behind the scenes essential activities happening those employees could be kept fully employed if the demand for their work remains at pre pandemic levels.


  1. Share the Pain. Cut Government. - RightWisconsin - […] Owen Robinson is a blogger at Boots & Sabers. Reposted with permission. […]

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