Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Editorial: Vote for Leadership, Vote for Walker
With the good people of Wisconsin, Democrats and Republicans alike, heading to the polls this morning to either stay the course with Governor Scott Walker, or recall him and install someone new, the question we should all be asking is why. Why is any of this taking place to begin with?
It's taking place not because of personal or political scandal, but for the 2011 budget repair bill that Walker refused to back down from. In case you've forgotten, the bill was introduced in early 2011 to restructure an century of law in dealing with public sector unions: eliminating mandatory dues, limiting collective bargaining, forcing workers to contribute to health care insurance and pensions.
Firemen and Police unions were exempt from the bill, and the sole purpose was to reign in public unions and the costs associated with their pensions before it busted the state's budget, which was three billion in the hole. The response from Democratic lawmakers was to flee the legislature into Illinois, while the unions and cronies protested outside the Capitol building for weeks - causing millions of dollars worth of damage to the grounds, and the building itself on several occasions.
After weeks of this tense and childish standoff between Governor Walker, demanding a vote be had, and Senate Democrats, refusing to do their job, legislative Republicans discovered legislative gimmickry in the law, allowing them to bypass the formerly needed quorum and passed the bill into law, which was quickly signed by Walker.
Dozens of school districts, including the one that Governor Walker's opponent resides in, have restructured contracts that have led to deficits being turned into revenues; tax hikes turned into tax decreases and a fiscal path that is more economically sustainable. Public sector unions have lost thousands of members; not due to layoffs, but from workers choosing to keep their hard earned dues for themselves.
And the state is now facing a $275 million budget surplus from both lowered costs and better then expected income tax collection, because Wisconsin's economy has actually improved from last year's budget battles - not declined as Democrats and union bosses promised.
So the good people of Wisconsin are heading to the polls this morning and through out the entire afternoon simply because public sector unions place their out-of-date, economically senseless and power hungryness over the good of their state, their workers and their neighbors. This is nothing but union retribution against a man who had the gall to dare take them on.
This, my friends in Wisconsin, is a defining moment for your state: will you stand with Governor Walker, who implemented reforms that not only give public sector workers more rights in dealing with their own economic future, but also worked: costs are down from school districts to the state budget, and which is fiscally correct in these troubling times. Or will you stand with the unions, which only cares about power, wealth and their political agenda - and who were more then content to see future pension costs rise even higher, risking the entire state's budget and exploding taxation.
I don't know about you, but in these times what we need is leadership. And on that point, I ask that every one reading this article in Wisconsin cast their ballot high for Governor Scott Walker, and for leadership...