US States Budget Crisis

Behind the sellout of the struggle in Wisconsin

By Tom Eley, 25 March 2011

The executives who run Wisconsin’s public sector unions have responded to the passage of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker bill by rushing to put in place contracts that impose all of the bill’s demands for financial concessions on the state’s 375,000 teachers, nurses, city workers and other public employees.

Political lessons of the battle of Wisconsin

By Jerry White, 23 March 2011

In the two weeks since state Republicans passed Governor Walker’s anti-worker bill, unions across Wisconsin have rushed to sign agreements slashing workers’ wages and benefits.

Michigan governor links aid to cities with cuts to worker benefits

By Nick Rodriguez, 23 March 2011

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has announced a plan to link paltry state aid for cities to local governments’ implementation of cuts to the pay and benefits of municipal workers.

California teachers unions back regressive tax proposal

By David Brown, 23 March 2011

Teachers unions across California are throwing their support behind Democratic Governor Jerry Brown’s regressive tax proposal.

Georgia House passes draconian budget

By Ed Hightower, 23 March 2011

The Georgia House of Representatives recently approved an $18.25 billion state budget for the 2012 fiscal year that makes drastic cuts to essential services and raises state workers’ and retirees’ insurance premiums by 20 percent.

More unions agree to concessions ahead of new Wisconsin law

By Nick Rodriguez, 22 March 2011

Unions in Wisconsin have agreed to impose devastating concessions on their members in exchange for preserving automatic dues deductions.

Tennessee attacks teachers, funds charter operations

By Naomi Spencer, 21 March 2011

As the Tennessee legislature pursues a slew of bills attacking collective bargaining rights and cutting teacher compensation, Governor Bill Haslam has announced a $40 million project to create 40 new charter schools in the state.

Judge temporarily blocks Wisconsin anti-worker law

By Patrick Martin, 19 March 2011

A further hearing on the new law is set for March 29.

Ohio governor proposes massive cuts to social spending

By James Brewer, 19 March 2011

Ohio’s governor has proposed a budget that cuts billions from the schools, health care, and aid to cities. It comes on the heels of another bill that outlaws collective bargaining and strikes for public sector workers.

Florida governor to sign teacher merit pay bill

By Ed Hightower, 19 March 2011

Governor Rick Scott of Florida said Wednesday he intended to sign a bill approved by both houses of the state legislature to drastically reduce living standards for public school teachers in the name of “merit pay.”

California state workers’ pensions under attack

By Kevin Martinez, 19 March 2011

After assuming the office of governor, thanks in part to the endorsement of many public sector unions, California Democrat Jerry Brown is now eying “pension reform” as a means to cut state expenditures and address a $27 billion budget deficit.

Wisconsin governor releases district-by-district school cuts

By Tobin Reese, 18 March 2011

In a press conference in Madison on Wednesday, Governor Scott Walker proposed a massive state budget reduction for public schools.

Video: Protesters denounce Cuomo’s attack on seniors

17 March 2011

Hundreds demonstrated March 11 against the planned shutdown of more than 100 New York City senior centers.

Michigan workers demonstrate against budget cuts, emergency finance law

By a WSWS reporting team, 17 March 2011

About 5,000 workers and youth demonstrated in Lansing, the capital of Michigan, against budget cuts and a bill that would grant dictatorial powers to financial managers over cities and schools.

Retirees protest closure of 105 senior centers in New York City

By Ali Ismail, 17 March 2011

Retirees and other workers protested the planned shutdown of 105 senior centers across New York City

Kentucky legislature haggles over gutting public health care

By Naomi Spencer, 17 March 2011

Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Steve Beshear ordered the legislature back after the close of the regular session March 9 to take up cuts in Medicaid spending.

Michigan bill gives financial managers dictatorial power over cities and schools

By Tom Eley, 16 March 2011

A bill likely to be signed into law this week by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will give unelected emergency financial managers dictatorial power over cities and schools.

Wisconsin unions rush to impose concessions before new law takes effect

By Tobin Reese, 16 March 2011

In the wake of the passage of an historic law attacking the collective bargaining rights of public workers in Wisconsin, unions throughout the state are scrambling to sign concessionary contract extensions before the law goes into affect March 25.

Long Beach, California: Public schools targeted for massive cuts, layoffs

By Tom Carter and Kim Saito, 16 March 2011

In anticipation of massive cuts at the statewide level, Long Beach, California issued layoff notices and announced school closures.

Teachers and students speak on Wisconsin education cuts

By Andre Damon, 15 March 2011

In this video, Wisconsin teachers and students speak on Governor Scott Walker’s cuts to public schools, the effect of social inequality on education, and the role of education in a democracy.

Wisconsin state workers: “It’s the modern feudal society”

By Tobin Reese, 15 March 2011

The World Socialist Web Site recently spoke to two Wisconsin state employees about the implications of Governor Scott Walker’s attack on worker rights, and the response of the unions.

Tennessee’s legislative onslaught against teachers

By David Firestone, 15 March 2011

Tennessee legislators and the state’s newly instated Republican governor have introduced a series of bills aimed at smashing the teachers union and driving down wages.

100,000 march in Wisconsin to denounce anti-worker law

By Jerry White, 14 March 2011

More than 100,000 workers, young people and other protesters marched in the Wisconsin state capital of Madison Saturday in the largest of the month-long demonstrations against attacks on public employees and cuts in public education, health care and other services.

Madison teachers union agrees to deep concessions

By Jerry White, 14 March 2011

Wisconsin unions have responded to the attack on collective bargaining rights by handing over even greater concessions in order to demonstrate their usefulness to state officials and big business.

San Diego school district launches new attacks on teachers

By Richard Vargas, 14 March 2011

A special meeting of the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest district in California, approved a proposal that represents another round in the attacks against the working class in the state.

Video: Wisconsin workers speak on the general strike and social inequality

14 March 2011

The WSWS interviewed several of the protesters who converged on the capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday.

No surrender to Walker! For a general strike by all Wisconsin workers!

By Socialist Equality Party, 12 March 2011

Workers must reject the surrender by the unions and mobilize their strength to overturn the anti-worker bill signed into law by Wisconsin Governor Walker Friday.

Dozens of US states declare war on workers’ rights

By Tom Eley, 12 March 2011

Whether dominated by Republican or Democratic Party politicians, US states are attacking workers’ rights. In some cases, pending legislation can only be described as dictatorial.

Pennsylvania budget makes drastic cuts to education

By Samuel Davidson, 12 March 2011

Governor Corbett is proposing the biggest cuts in higher education ever made by any state.

Union officials, state Democrats in Wisconsin try to smother opposition to anti-worker bill

By Jerry White, 11 March 2011

The day after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker rammed through a bill to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights, union officials and state Democrats sought to contain social anger and block any decisive response by the working class.

Socialist Equality Party members call for general strike at Wisconsin demonstration

By our reporter, 11 March 2011

On the evening of March 9, Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate carried out a surprise vote on Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, bypassing the required quorum by splitting off the sections dealing with budget appropriations.

Ten thousand attend protest at Indiana statehouse

By Shannon Jones, 11 March 2011

Some 10,000 workers rallied outside the Indiana Statehouse Thursday to protest pending anti-worker legislation.

Wisconsin Senate rams through anti-worker bill

By Tom Eley, 10 March 2011

In a provocative act taken with no warning, the Wisconsin Senate forced through a law that would cut collective bargaining rights and the benefits of government workers.

Virginia budget hits education funding, attacks abortion rights

By Nikolai Barrickman, 10 March 2011

The recently passed Virginia budget cuts funds for education and social programs, boosts funds for state policing and includes a reactionary measure targeting abortion clinics.

Public meeting in Madison, Wisconsin

Which way forward in the fight against budget cuts?

9 March 2011

The Socialist Equality Party and International Students for Social Equality are hosting a public meeting this Thursday, March 10, in Madison, Wisconsin to discuss the way forward in the fight against budget cuts in the state and throughout the US.

Several thousand demonstrate in Columbus, Ohio

By Brad Sykes and Tom Eley, 9 March 2011

Several thousand workers from around the state of Ohio rallied in front of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus Tuesday in opposition to the anti-worker Senate Bill 5. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the State of the State address delivered by Republican Governor John Kasich, the legislation’s prime backer.

Alabama budget cuts target state workers, tourism

By Ed Hightower, 9 March 2011

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley rolled out plans last week to balance the state’s budget on the backs of working people, including public schools teachers and other state employees.

South Carolina governor threatens state workers’ pensions and health care

By Rosa Shahnazarian, 9 March 2011

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced her intention to cut state employee pension and health care benefits in a town hall meeting last week.

Wisconsin struggle at the crossroads

By Jerry White, 8 March 2011

As the determination of Wisconsin workers to fight the cuts hardens, state Democrats are searching for a way to cave in to the Republican governor’s demands.

Drastic cuts, tuition increases loom for Washington state universities

By Angelo Bosworth and Hector Cordon, 8 March 2011

Governor Christine Gregoire has proposed a 2011-2013 budget calling for more than $630 million in cuts to higher education.

Demand for general strike wins support at Wisconsin protests

By Andre Damon and Tobin Reese, 7 March 2011

As many as 50,000 workers and young people braved cold weather to demonstrate in the Wisconsin state capital of Madison Saturday, with another 15,000 coming out on Sunday to oppose the attack on public employees and social spending.

Idaho students walk out over education cuts

By Naomi Spencer, 7 March 2011

Public school students staged a series of walkouts in districts across the state of Idaho last week to protest planned budget cuts and teacher layoffs.

Momentum builds for austerity budget in California

By Dan Conway, 7 March 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown has set a March 10 deadline to reach agreement on a budget to resolve the state’s $26 billion budget deficit.

The US states’ budget crisis: Where should the money come from?

By Patrick Martin, 7 March 2011

The World Socialist Web Site identifies some areas where money can be found to solve the US states’ budget crisis and meet social needs.

Wisconsin workers continue protests as Democrats prepare surrender to Walker

By Jerry White, 5 March 2011

Workers in the state capital are pressing ahead with their struggle to defeat Governor Walker’s attack on public employees and social spending cuts.

Ohio senate passes anti-worker bill

By Tom Eley, 4 March 2011

Late Wednesday evening the Ohio Senate approved a bill that outlaws government workers’ right to strike and engage in collective bargaining, setting the stage for massive wage and benefit cuts.

Providence, Rhode Island rally protests mass teacher firings

By Kate Randall, 4 March 2011

More than a thousand people crowded in front of City Hall in Providence, Rhode Island to protest Mayor Angel Taveras’ mass firing of city teachers.

Detroit-area community issues layoff notices to entire fire department

By James Brewer, 4 March 2011

In late February, the entire fire department of Allen Park, Michigan received word that it might be out of work due to a $663,000 budget shortfall.

Walker must go! For a general strike in Wisconsin!

By David North, 3 March 2011

The budget presented by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday has caused profound shock and outrage among workers throughout the state.

Wisconsin budget will make higher education less accessible

By Jerry White, 3 March 2011

Governor Walker is proposing funding cuts and sweeping changes in the University of Wisconsin system.

Louisiana governor plans cuts to education, health care

By Tom Hall, 3 March 2011

Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed deep budget cuts to education and health care services to the poor.

Wisconsin teachers denounce school cuts

By Jerry White, 2 March 2011

Teachers spoke out against Governor Walker’s new budget, which will slash nearly a billion dollars from public education.

Wisconsin governor outlines $1.7 billion in budget cuts

By Jerry White, 2 March 2011

In a budget address Tuesday, Governor Scott Walker announced plans to gut public education and state health care programs for low-income families.

8,500 demonstrate in Columbus, Ohio against anti-worker bill

By Brad Sykes, 2 March 2011

About 8,500 workers and students demonstrated in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday against a bill that cuts wages and would strip government workers of the right to strike and bargain collectively.

US states prepare to axe social spending, attack government workers

By Tom Eley, 2 March 2011

Both Democratic and Republican governors are proposing devastating cuts to education, health care, and the jobs and pay of state workers.

Wisconsin governor to announce $1 billion in budget cuts

By Jerry White, 1 March 2011

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will announce $1 billion dollars in budget cuts over the next two years in a speech before a joint session of the state legislature this afternoon.

Firefighters speak out on Wisconsin struggle

By Jerry White, 1 March 2011

Hundreds of firefighters came to join the demonstrations of Wisconsin workers at the state capitol on Monday.

After demonstration of 100,000, union officials prepare to end Wisconsin struggle

By Tom Eley, 28 February 2011

While over 100,000 determined workers and youth demonstrated in Madison, union officials were preparing to put an end to their struggle against wage cutting and attacks on basic social rights.

Wisconsin workers and youth speak out

By Tom Eley, 28 February 2011

An on-the-spot report from Madison on the largest demonstration to date in the two-week struggle against Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker bill.

California’s budget crisis: a historical overview

By Jack Cody, 28 February 2011

California has been at the center of the transformation of the American economy from a system of producing socially useful commodities to one in which wealth is transferred to the financial class without going through the intermediate process of production.

Massachusetts governor leads attack on health care for public and private workers

By John Marion, 28 February 2011

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has filed bills attacking the health care benefits of municipal workers and advocating a cap on the amount insurance companies pay health care providers.

The political issues in the fight against budget cuts

By Joseph Kishore and David North, 28 February 2011

The significance and implications of this conflict extend far beyond Wisconsin. The actions of the Walker administration, which have a distinctly dictatorial odor, are the spearhead of a ruthless nationwide assault on the working class.

Wisconsin state assembly passes anti-worker bill

By Patrick Martin, 26 February 2011

The struggle against the right-wing attack on jobs, living standards and democratic rights is at the crossroads.

Slideshow: The demonstrations in Madison, Wisconsin

By Andre Damon, 26 February 2011

During the week of February 14, tens of thousands of people attended demonstrations on the capitol square in Madison, Wisconsin, to voice their opposition to the budget cuts and other anti-working class measures proposed by Governor Scott Walker.

Wisconsin governor threatens to cut 12,000 jobs

By Patrick Martin, 25 February 2011

Democrats back down over anti-worker legislation.

One-sided war in Wisconsin

By Patrick Martin, 25 February 2011

Two incidents connected to the ongoing mass protests in Wisconsin underscore the utter ruthlessness of the ruling class in its determination to drive down the living conditions of workers, not only in that state but throughout the United States.

Protests continue as Wisconsin politicians debate attack on public employees

By Tom Eley, 24 February 2011

With protests in Madison continuing, the Wisconsin legislature began debate on Tuesday on a bill that would force major wage cuts on government workers and further restrict their legal right to strike and organize.

Democrats and Republicans target state employees

By Patrick Martin, 24 February 2011

Many governors are demanding cuts even more severe than those which have sparked a major confrontation in Wisconsin.

Cook County, Illinois to cut jobs and social services

By Kyle Turner and Alexander Fangmann, 24 February 2011

The newly-elected Democratic president of the Cook County Board, Toni Preckwinkle, has proposed to close a $487 million deficit through severe budget cuts, mass layoffs, and furloughs.

Letters from our readers

24 February 2011

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Wisconsin protests continue

By Jerry White, 23 February 2011

Demonstrations continued in the state capital of Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday while protests inspired by the stand taken by Wisconsin workers spread to other states across the country, including Indiana and Ohio.

Columbus, Ohio rally against anti-worker legislation

By Tom Eley and Andrea Peters, 23 February 2011

About 5,000 workers protested at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio against a bill advanced by Governor John Kasich that would require workers to negotiate contracts as individuals and would raise contributions for health care coverage.

New York City budget to cut services, lay off teachers

By Sandy English, 23 February 2011

New York’s budget for the next fiscal year includes cutbacks in senior centers and fire stations as well as layoffs of teachers and other city workers.

Prichard, Alabama: 14 deaths follow pension cutoff

By Ed Hightower, 23 February 2011

The industrial town has failed to pay pensions for city employees for 17 months.

The International Socialist Organization gushes over unions’ role in Wisconsin

By David Walsh, 23 February 2011

The International Socialist Organization reacted to the explosion of working class anger in Wisconsin by encouraging illusions that the trade unions would resist Republican Governor Scott Walker’s attack on public sector workers.

The Wisconsin struggle and collective bargaining

By Jerry White, 22 February 2011

In the course of the struggle in Wisconsin, the trade unions are focusing on the right to “collective bargaining,” even as they openly declare their willingness to accept all the concessions demanded by the Wisconsin governor.

As Wisconsin protests continue, teachers union ends walkouts

By Tom Eley, 22 February 2011

As major demonstrations continued in Wisconsin, the head of the largest teachers union in the state has called on teachers to end their walkouts.

Michigan governor proposes massive cuts to fund business tax cut

By Andrea Peters, 22 February 2011

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder issued a budget proposal last week that will finance a $1.8 billion tax cut for businesses through budget cuts and tax increases targeting pensioners.

Huge protest march opposes Wisconsin cuts

By Jerry White, 21 February 2011

An estimated 75,000 workers and young people marched in the state capital of Wisconsin Saturday in the largest of a weeklong series of demonstrations.

Western Wisconsin students, workers oppose cuts

By Ron Jorgenson, 19 February 2011

While workers and students have concentrated their forces at the state capitol in Madison, rallies have proliferated throughout outstate Wisconsin. WSWS supporters leafleted a boisterous crowd of well over 500 workers and students who packed the “Falcon Nest” auditorium located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in River Falls. The WSWS also covered another noontime demonstration at the University of Wisconsin Stout campus in Menomonie that brought out students, faculty and city workers.

Protestors in Madison denounce attack on public employees

By Jerry White, 19 February 2011

The protests of workers and young people against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attack on public workers continued Friday, even as state Democrats and trade union officials worked feverishly to dissipate social opposition.

Full support to Wisconsin workers!

By Patrick Martin, 19 February 2011

Workers throughout the United States must come to the defense of the public employees in Wisconsin.

Protests, teacher walkouts mount in Wisconsin

Milwaukee schools closed

By Tom Eley, 19 February 2011

As massive demonstrations continued in Madison, tens of thousands more teachers and students walked out of their classrooms in Wisconsin, including in Milwaukee.

Minnesota to cut health, education budgets

By Michael Stapleton, 19 February 2011

Minnesota’s budget includes cuts to higher education, health care, and the size of the state’s workforce.

The Wisconsin protests and the re-emergence of the American working class

By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2011

Protests by tens of thousands of state workers, teachers and their supporters against sweeping social cuts in Wisconsin mark a turning point in the United States.

Madison protesters denounce attacks on public workers, social spending

By Jerry White, 18 February 2011

Demonstrators opposing attacks on Wisconsin’s public sector workers spoke to the WSWS about high levels of unemployment, low wages and social inequality.

Worker demonstrations, walk-outs spread in Wisconsin

By Tom Eley, 18 February 2011

Tens of thousands of workers and students once again demonstrated in Madison against attacks on government workers, while dozens of school districts across the state were closed by what is, in all but name, a spreading strike wave of teachers and students.

Obama’s cynical posturing on Wisconsin protests

By Patrick Martin, 18 February 2011

President Obama criticized Wisconsin’s governor for attacking state employee unions, but backed the demand for wage and benefit cuts for public workers.

Massive service cuts in Pennsylvania budget

By Samuel Davidson, 18 February 2011

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett will make drastic cuts in social services and attack government workers as part of his promise to close a growing budget deficit.

Tens of thousands demonstrate against attacks on government workers in Wisconsin

By Tom Eley, 17 February 2011

On Wednesday a crowd estimated at about 30,000 demonstrated in Madison, Wisconsin against attacks on the wages and conditions of public sector workers launched by Governor Scott Walker.

Ohio workers protest attack on collective bargaining

By Andrea Peters, 17 February 2011

Over 1,000 people packed the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday to protest against a bill that would eliminate collective bargaining for state workers and reduce the bargaining power of other public employees.

New York budget to slash health, education spending

By Philip Guelpa, 17 February 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, including devastating cuts in health care and education spending, as well as state worker pensions.

Video: Workers, students speak on budget cuts in Madison

By Andre Damon, 17 February 2011

Tens of thousands of workers and students protested on February 17 in Madison, Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker's plan to end collective bargaining for state employees.

Thousands in Wisconsin demonstrate against cuts

By Tom Eley and Andre Damon, 16 February 2011

Over the past two days, thousands of workers in Wisconsin have demonstrated against a bill backed by Governor Scott Walker that would force drastic pay cuts on nearly 175,000 state, local and university employees, and outlaw their right to strike.

Unite workers and youth to defeat Wisconsin budget cuts

By the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality, 16 February 2011

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Socialist Equality are distributing this statement to oppose Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s social cuts and attacks on workers’ right to strike.

Florida Governor proposes drastic cuts in social programs

By Ed Hightower, 15 February 2011

Florida’s governor unveiled plans for a state budget last week that would cut as much as $5 billion dollars from education, pensions, and other programs that benefit the working class.

Wisconsin governor threatens to call National Guard on state workers

By Andre Damon, 14 February 2011

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has announced an onslaught against state workers, eliminating collective bargaining rights and threatening to fire workers who go on strike.

New York City closes 22 more public schools

By Sandy English, 11 February 2011

New York Mayor Bloomberg’s appointees rubber-stamped the planned closing of 22 public schools, despite a storm of protest.

New York City teachers and students voice opposition to school closings

By a WSWS reporting team, 11 February 2011

The WSWS spoke to teachers and students who came to protest the closing of 22 New York City schools.

Chicago mayoral candidates promise intensified attacks on working class

By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 10 February 2011

All the major candidates in Chicago’s February 22 mayoral election agree that the working class must foot the bill for the city’s estimated $1 billion deficit.