Sunday, February 27, 2011

So maybe not all public employees are overpaid... but....

This article discusses the NYC schools where 1500 teachers are paid their full salary to only teach some of the day and then spend the rest of their day on union activities. In this group there are 40 teachers who work only one class and then spend the rest of the day on the taxpayers dime working on union business where they are also paid by the union. How is this not a conflict of interest? And based on the examples in the article these are some of the best paid teachers in the city. One specific teacher they use as an example makes $100,000 a year to teach one class a day plus an additional $50,000 by the union. Now that is overpaid, no matter how you slice it! How do negotiators let things like this happen? I wonder if these negotiators are former teachers who moved into administration? That would explain some of the sweetheart deals. Talk about corruption.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wisconsin, Obamacare and the Power of the Vote!

By David Terry

The Democrats seem to have extraordinarily short term memories and a very convenient view of compromise in this Wisconsin situation. They are complaining because Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in the State Houses are pushing though legislation without compromising with the Democrats. Considering they gave the Democrats 60 hours to speak their mind in the State Assembly before the vote doesn't seem to count as having their say. This follows a campaign where Governor Walker clearly campaigned on limiting state unions and cutting back on benefits for state workers. The people of Wisconsin spoke clearly and gave Governor Walker a 6% win in the general election. This was basically the same spread as between President Obama and John McCain.   
Looking back to the Obamacare debate last year looks very similar to the situation in Wisconsin today. President Obama felt he had a strong mandate for change and pushed through Obamacare with no regard for the disagreements of the Republicans across the country. Polls across the country showed significant opposition to Obamacare and every town hall meeting featured citizens clearly opposed to the new law. The Republicans met with the President and offered many potential changes to the law in a bipartisan fashion which the President and the Democrat controlled Congress ignored. The difference is President Obama campaigned on a platform of inclusion and bipartisanship, saying that he wanted everyone to come to the table and agree on positive changes for the country. Governor Walker made it clear this was his intention from the start, and the people voted for him anyway.
Now let's look at today's situation in Wisconsin. The Democratic Senators from the State Senate have fled the state like small children who didn't get their way at the backyard baseball game and ran away crying while taking their bat and ball and going home. Tens of thousands of protestors have called in sick to work, shutting down schools across the state because their benefit packages are more important than the students they have committed to educating. The Democrats are busing protestors who don't even live in Wisconsin to the protests.
So when the Democrats cry foul, it's very difficult to pay attention. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want to ignore the Republicans and push through your agenda then you can't complain when the Republicans return the favor. The Republicans took their beating in Congress and then took the issue to the voters. What they got in return from the voters was a massive defeat of the Democrats in the 2010 elections. The Wisconsin voters turned the Governors' office and both state houses over to the Republicans. That sounds like a pretty clear mandate to me. It's time for the Democrats in Wisconsin to get back to work. They have the same ability to take it to the voters in the next election and see how their agenda plays out.
In the end it is all about the power of the vote! Our elected representatives run on a platform they hope the majority of voters will agree with. If they win they get to go enact the laws the way they see fit. Then in 2, 4 or 6 years depending on the job the voters get to tell you how you did by voting. We have the longest running government system on the planet or a reason. The representative republic works, it's time for the politicians to let it work and then have the faith to let the voters decide if they like it or not.    

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Florida High Speed Rail

By David Terry

This is a copy of an e-mail I sent today to Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Daniel Webster, State Senator Andy Gardiner and State Representative Steve Precourt in support of Florida Governor Rick Scott's position on High Speed Rail.
The issue of mass transit has been floating around Central Florida for many years. For some strange reason there has been continued support by elected officials to spend money even though I have seen no clear indication from the people of Central Florida that they will actually ride this transportation. Having lived in Central Florida for 15 years I have had many conversations with local residents from Tampa to Deland and many of these people state that they think rail projects would be a great idea. When you ask them if they would ride the trains the answer changes completely. They certainly advocate the trains for others to ride but I have yet to find a resident who says they would ride the train themselves. I currently work with several people who travel the I-4 corridor every day from as far as Brandon to the Sand Lake/John Young Parkway area of Orlando and they all are very specific in the fact that they wouldn't ride the train to work. These seem to be the perfect people for this project to serve yet they have no interest in riding now or in the future. I personally used to make the I-4 commute from Longwood to Celebration five days a week and I can guarantee I would never have chosen to ride the train.
More important than this is the fact that the voters statewide and in several county specific referendums have spoken clearly through their votes that they aren't interested in funding any more transportation projects. Governor Scott was clear during his campaign that he opposed the high speed rail concept and yet he won over a candidate who was an ardent supporter. In Hillsborough and Polk counties the voters rejected tax increase referendums that would have expanded their current service to meet the high speed rail with over 60% of the vote. This is an overwhelming majority of the vote against more spending to increase transportation services. It should also seem strange that the coalition to pass the tax in Hillsborough, "Moving Hillsborough Forward", was not supported by the taxpayer but was primarily a business backed group.
The voters of Florida have clearly spoken on this issue.  As elected officials you are in office to represent the wills of the people, not the wills of big business like Walt Disney World that will benefit from a station built on their property. Based on the locations of the proposed stations at WDW, Orange County Convention Center and the Orlando International Airport, this project is clearly designed to be another tourist based project that brings no real good to the people of Central Florida other than more tourists and lower wage jobs working in the tourism sector. Even the construction jobs created by this project are temporary, paid for by borrowing money from China to further mortgage our children's future.
If high speed rail were truly an economically viable method of transportation private companies would be clamoring for the right to build the trains and pay the entire cost of completing the project. At this point the only reason companies are willing to build it is because the federal government is mortgaging future generations by borrowing 43% of total spending to pay for crazy projects like this that no resident will ride. It's time to start considering the needs and desires of Florida's residents and not the tourists and amusement parks that are more than willing to let the government borrow billions from China to increase their bottom line.
I firmly believe that Governor Scott has done the right thing for Floridians and our future and as my elected representative I hope you will support him in this decision.

New Blog

By Brian Terry

There are times when one finds that silence isn't an option any longer.

For us this is that time.

We are brothers who grew up in a conservative household and have always had conservative views. This is the place where we will write about those views and share them with the rest of the world.

We can also be found in the web radio world Thursday nights at 10pm on If you've missed past episodes you'll find them archived under 'On Demand Episodes'. Log in and listen to us break down the every day topics that matter to real people.