By Tom Quiner

Liberals had wrestled Wisconsin taxpayers to the mat.

The state faced a $3.6 Billion (with a capital “B”) deficit. They just couldn’t afford the extravagant wages and benefits enjoyed by a select group of their citizenry: unionized public employees.

These union members enjoyed wages and perks that far exceeded what their counterparts in the private sector enjoyed. And yet, it was the struggling private sector that was footing the bill for the union’s prodigious bounty.

What to do?

The liberals who had gotten the state in the mess in the first place called for more taxes.

Governor Scott Walker called for moderation. Specifically, he said the state needed to moderate their spending.

Governor Walker won. And so did the State of Wisconsin.

It was ugly. Union bullies crammed into the Capital to intimidate Republican lawmakers. The Union’s lapdogs in the Democratic Party fled the state to prevent a quorum and subvert the democratic process.

And yet Scott Walker won and the union bullies lost.

So what did Governor Walker and the Republicans do to set Wisconsin on a healthier fiscal path?

√ Reformed collective bargaining for most public unions so they could negotiate basic pay, but not benefits.

√ Required unions to pay 5.6% of their paychecks toward their pensions and 12.6% toward their health insurance (still a better deal than the private sector gets).

Did it work?

Yes, and the improvements in the state’s fiscal outlook are startling.

One of the Governor’s critics, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, admitted that …

“The governor did balance the budget …he did reduce the structural deficit significantly; he did put a lid on property tax increases; he did give schools and municipalities more control over their budgets than they’ve had in years.”

Property taxes declined for the first time since 1998, a godsend to the working class families hammered by the Obama economy.

According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin has jumped 24 places in just two years on their ranking of best states to do business.

The reforms have saved Wisconsin taxpayers a billion dollars.

The reforms saved school districts so much money that they were able to avoid teacher layoffs.

Unions are furious. They are fighting to recall Mr. Walker. Interestingly, the opposing candidates in the upcoming Democratic primary aren’t even making an issue of the collective bargaining issue that was the impetus for the recall.

Why? Only 12% of Wisconsin voters say it is an issue to them.

Everyone else appreciates that the state is back on track toward fiscal sanity.

No Comments

  1. Lisa Bourne on May 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    So okay, if we can’t have either Senator Santorum or Paul Ryan, then I say let’s stick with Wisconsin here, and Scott Walker for president!

  2. quinersdiner on June 5, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Reblogged this on A Heapin' Plate of Conservative Politics & Religion and commented:

    Today is the day of the recall vote in Wisconsin. I win for Scott Walker is a win for fiscal sanity. I am re-running this post from last month which recaps the issues.

  3. juwannadoright on June 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I have seen first hand how unions like any other business (and they are a business) can lose sight of their objectives. What is startling is that despite their humble and worthwhile original objectives of protecting the poor working man and woman from abuse, over fifty percent of those who are union members today work in government. With their incredibly rich benefits packages and salaries, all of us who pay for these need to revisit the question – “Are we getting what we pay for?”

    Good for Governor Walker. We need more people of vision like him in our state houses.

    • quinersdiner on June 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Good point. As often happens in emotional debates, facts get twisted. Public Unions did not lose collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, as often suggested. Rather, benefits were removed from the table on what could be negotiated. Wages are still part of collective bargaining. Without this move, Wisconsin would have been hard-pressed to get their fiscal house in order. Thanks for writing.

  4. Bob on June 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Love the David vs. Goliath cartoon. An apt metaphor.

Leave a Comment