Union battle in Michigan over right-to-vote legislation
Brian Benjamin and Tony Sayegh discuss the ongoing battle over Michigan's right-to-vote law
- Duration 12:10
- Date Dec 11, 2012
Brian Benjamin and Tony Sayegh discuss the ongoing battle over Michigan's right-to-vote law
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You are let's bring in the political panel to chat about this now -- here in the studio Brian Benjamin managing director.
Genesis companies and 2012 Obama delegate -- -- -- -- -- about joining us from DC Tony say national political correspondent.
With talk radio news service get to -- Tony.
Good to see you guys what what's what do you make of the situation in Michigan is this a big deal for anybody -- you all to Michigan us.
Well look I think this shows ongoing trend that we've seen for the last several years when states -- -- really take their deficits seriously.
And address fiscal crisis they have to go where the biggest.
Most bloated aspects of their budgets are and that's union pensions and cost so essentially happened was the unions tried and they broke a long term truce.
By getting collective bargaining is part of the state constitution to Michigan this election in the same year Barack Obama won Michigan by double digits that failed by only got 42% of the vote.
So now what the Governor -- is doing along with the state legislature saying look.
We want to make Michigan the 24 right to work state we want to empower workers to have the choice on whether or not to be part of a union not being mandated into them by labor bosses.
And every indicator of of any economic -- shows right to work states have better economic growth lower unemployment.
Higher wages at a higher personal income I think it's a win win for the people of Michigan including the workers.
Brian have these so called right to work laws an -- I was sitting right to look is -- slightly.
Value -- making it implies that you don't have the right to look at -- member of the union which seems.
Seems a little -- to -- in the way that we we label these things but anyway it's.
It's it's -- -- -- -- -- right to look laws.
I'll bet for everybody.
Well I think the but the main issue here is that the Republicans they've really got the PR battle won here right I mean when you think about the concept the concept is okay.
Should people have the right to choose whether they participate in the -- you're not so.
I mean that the whole conversation is not on the side of the Democrats and I think.
Part of the problem with is this is a multi year issue and and I agree with part of what Tony said this is a multi year issue with the unions have just not really been on their game.
And you know I am I -- household I believe in unions but I believe the union should be focusing more on.
The service is that they're providing to their to their members that's why people should be parts of unions.
As opposed to some of these fights went really cools -- gonna fight for that to mean the -- -- part of a union why am I gonna fight.
Look the way this is being present and I think the -- -- -- to take a step back and look at how they're PR battle being wage because this is not how you win.
But it did is it breast equity preferred rising short second is this a -- Destroying -- is about power and this is about this ultimately is about Republicans.
Taking control of Michigan right they want to break the backs of the union that helps the national and help them locally.
It clearly about power as it always is in politics.
But the main issue is.
-- for the average person.
Tony sounds pretty reasonable right that's what that's not fair to me in -- that's not only did said -- -- holiday I kind of already.
-- -- as a true statement right most people are you know I'm a Democrat -- a union I would union baby right but I listen to this objectively and say.
Would win not win opposition -- not fighting this fight in the right way right Tony -- is it about is this just about busting unions is is -- right it's all about how.
But no not at all -- You thought about it is right it is -- about a few things he's -- about a few things I do think this introduces competition to unions because now they're gonna have to actually make it more attractive per worker.
To be part of the union rather than have them be mandated into it and I think that's -- -- definitely.
For lack of a better expression abortions to step up their game but look the unions kind of.
Started this you know.
There has been a truce in Michigan where both sides basically have not -- these issues the unions decided they wanted to try to get collective bargaining as part of the state constitution this November it failed miserably.
So now the governor realize what he's up against and he is trying to make sure.
That the worker and Michigan is protected and empowered to have the choice on whether or not they're unionized or not union membership is dwindling I understand unions are concerned that there.
Workers are forced into them they won't join them my recommendation and it sounds like Brian reasonably saying the same.
Step up your game make it more attractive to be part of a unit we don't wanna bust -- we just want to make you more fair.
Front I agree then I was that we got out and ran out and we just sharing coming across Associated Press now that the house has approved the bill.
The final -- when the final version clay is that has so so it's not final but they have just approved.
The right would build another bill on -- folks in the private sector was approved last week.
Then they'll go to guy governor Rick Snyder a Republican governor Odyssey of Michigan.
He's expected to sign these bills as soon as tomorrow and then they will become -- all right let's move on the to the national.
Economic issues that we've -- been talking met the -- still cliff.
Bryant yes risk.
I don't know whether we getting any where no idea just.
I mean has speak John Maine and President Obama met at the weekend they didn't say anything about it that seemed like kind of may be a good thing because they were actually passed -- doing some real looking keeping it to themselves the right brother blamed politics.
-- DC is getting anywhere.
Yes because at the end of the day both have skin in the game we are worried about the debt ceiling there -- about taxes going up.
We being Democrats here's but here's the issue I think some of the Tea Party Republicans and others need to remember that they lost the election.
They need to remember that.
That President Obama won with Mitt Romney scream and every day he's gonna bust up Obama -- -- he want.
Couple million votes and so when you look at this fiscal -- Obama talked every day about raising taxes on the top 2% when he ran for president.
And the people voted for that so that have to be respected in the process of four and for the public to say well.
Well we just want to do with with about sort of not raising taxes the -- whit revenues well did you lost.
On that issue and I think the president is trying to be fair I think that ultimately they'll be and they'll be a deal but.
I don't believe for example that the that this could this is that of everyone saying it right.
I mean when you say that don't tax but to go up to where they were when Bill Clinton created 22 million jobs -- that.
Do you know this death defying tax rates and so.
I'm an initiative that that's going off the physically it was that bad that one thing I wish we go off the fifth clip but -- -- looks like you have and then have a conversation.
Media odds at speaker actually speak a beta has just said on the house floor.
That he's meeting with President Obama on Sunday was quote -- nice meeting to -- Damning with faint praise if ever there was -- that he is still waiting for the White House to -- -- New spending cuts since the debate -- says that present the president has quote obligation.
To -- fiscal cliff fiscal -- Islamic Abbas both chambers in congress so it still -- -- the situation all.
We need you to do this well we need you to do that so we don't get anyway why.
-- in front of the cameras it's it's normal for both sides the bluster and stick to their talking points Democrats the Republicans do it it's not only one party.
I think the reality is the following Erskine Bowles and and Alan Simpson a bipartisan group of leaders appointed by the president.
Came up with a framework of a very Smart plan.
Three dollars and spending cuts for every dollar of tax revenue the speaker presented a plan that followed a very -- similar model to that.
Now the president.
Offered a plan that was heavy on the tax revenue side increase spending and very minimally addressed.
These spending cuts and entitlement reforms that we know and he's even said are the biggest drivers of our debt and deficits I think.
Alternately the best thing to do instead of playing these reindeer games I know it's -- holiday season.
Is to heed the advice of Erskine Bowles and just yesterday -- top Democrat former chief of staff to Bill Clinton for the president's plan -- not serious and it's not been addressed the long term fiscal crisis.
So we and I understand that you know people like Brian think the fiscal -- -- -- the bat then.
But we are gonna have a situation which we will have a serious and immediate decline in the economic condition of our country.
It's a ready fragile we can't afford to do it there is a bipartisan solution on the table at least the framework wise I think it's best for both sides to follow that prescription.
Well I would have thought -- -- Erskine Bowles and Simpson also said pat.
That jump -- plan what was was not series the truth of the matter is.
-- balls and since we're not elected -- Obama selected.
And he was elected on one of the things is like that -- with -- -- -- raise taxes on the top 2% of Americans why.
Because of all the things we have gone -- over the last ten years we had to bush tax cuts we had two wars.
In none of -- and metal and the prescription drug us drug bill Medicare part.
Have to pay any they have fish there there was no increase taxes -- -- so many different point.
My only point is payable on -- have been off the hook this whole time and so the president said very clearly.
But the but the American people -- watch -- they could not elected him Tony the American people instead they went with them as so I would gonna raise rates period.
So -- about it equivalent rates rates or.
John -- and cruel agreed to raise rates -- that is that I can I don't know if I -- athlete he's gonna.
-- -- -- UAE as us president campaigned on this and this is partly why the media has allowed excuse me has has allow the president get away with a lot.
The president campaigned on raising the rates on the top 2%.
To the Clinton Era levels correct gets 400 billion dollars of tax revenue.
In ten years John Boehner has put 800 billion of revenue on the table.
Through deduction and we'll pull cuts and.
The president himself has asked now for one point six trillion Sosa ever present -- one point six trillion it was 4400 billion the speaker has given them.
Double that amount.
And I am actually suggesting and I have many times -- see a lot of Republicans doing the same.
Let's give the president at least for the sake of the argument the right.
To talk about rate increases so long.
As they are attached to be serious spending cuts to anybody who knows what really is happening with our economy and entitlements in particular.
Understands is where the real reform lies there is bipartisan consensus on that and the connection has to be between these spending cuts to get any sort of.
Tax revenue or rate increase number one number two.
If you like the Clinton Era tax rate so much -- will tell you right now any Republican worth their salt should sign a pledge that says if Barack Obama.
Brings us back the Clinton Era spending rates at nineteen point 5% from the point 5% of GDP you are now will sign a Clinton Era tax increase rate.
For the top 2% spending is the problem.
Economic growth is another problem that's why we're not getting enough revenue now we were getting it when the bush tax cuts were fully implemented and we had strong economic.
Ryan loves my original point does that rate cut rates and raise taxes but let's have some serious cuts -- -- I think we agree with that that issue that he leaves out -- the fitness issue Republicans likely defenders point out.
They want to say well wait a minute let's I don't know what it is how I feel like.
That's like the top 2% have its hold on the Republican Party and and they just -- -- My position to you Tony if I agree with half -- you said they should be serious spending cuts but the point is.
The top 2% need to be upon the conversation and it's it's just unbelievable to me that the Republican Party will hold 90% of the country hostage.
Because they wanna protect the top to our top 2% I don't know what it is maybe is this -- -- but I -- Tony LA can't give you a lot foot Tony -- Look I think you've seen Republican after Republican come out there and say that were increasing.
Revenues we understand that's going to be part of any compromise the issue though is the long term debt and deficit we -- which are not gonna even be addressed.
If you increase the top marginal rates on the top 2% to a 100% of taxation and by the way when the top 1% of the country -- 40%.
Of the taxes I think fairness is not the problem I think it might be your opinion but it certainly not an issue regarding fair.
All right we will someday he will not not in the -- will.
Will hold you know dad told about this again and again and again -- a drive and Riley and we'll do.
I -- the fiscal cliff I gentlemen thank you very much Brian Benjamin with a here in the -- managing director of Genesis companies and Tony -- national political correspondent.
We've -- told radio new service thanks very much indeed Tony good to see it.
-- thank you.