Recalling Scott Walker

Big election in Wisconsin tomorrow. Big. There is a lot on the line for people that consider themselves fiscal conservatives.

Many of my Democratic/Independent friends will tell me, “I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” Fine, I am cool with that. People on the social divide of issues like abortion will never agree. But they should be cool with supporting Walker since this election has nothing to do with social issues.

Warren Buffett likes to say that everything is great when the tide is in, but when it goes out, you see who has swimsuits on and who doesn’t. That’s what happened when the stock market crashed in 2008. The tide went out. It hasn’t come back.

One entity that didn’t have a swimsuit on was government. Government at all levels. Federal, state, local, muni, county, township. You name it, there was excessive spending in government. When taxpayers are plodding along with their lives and the economy is growing, they don’t notice all the spending. But now they do. It’s naked and online for all to see.

Pension liabilities are a huge part of the cost of government. Entitlements at every level of government make up the primary spend. In our national budget, entitlements are larger than military spending. Both can be cut, but until we do something drastic about entitlement spending we aren’t being serious about cutting the budget-or the size and scope of government.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ran on that platform. He was elected. He pushed through reforms and governments around the state of Wisconsin were able to finally get their budgets under control. Many aren’t balanced yet-but they are on the right path.

It is critical for fiscal conservatives everywhere that Scott Walker be kept running the government in Wisconsin. He hasn’t ended public unions, but he has made it easier for government to negotiate with them. We ought to be banning public unions period. I am all for paying government employees a decent wage. As a matter of fact, I’d get rid of defined benefit pensions and have them pay for their own. But, I’d raise their annual salaries to give them the money to do it.

Don’t confuse public versus private unions. Private unions have different microeconomic incentives than public ones, and run correctly can actually improve company performance rather than adversely affect it. We are talking strictly about public unions.

All over the country, we are having similar debates. In Michigan, the governor is trying to reform the way they do business. New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, and other states have tackled some reform. The states that have avoided it like California, Illinois, and New York are the worst off.

Interestingly, in the debate over campaign financing, it seems that everyone only talks about public corporations donations to politicians. Why aren’t they talking about union donations? Union donations far outstrip what corporations donate. The reason for that is public unions have huge economic incentives to elect politicians favorable to their cause. Stronger than public corporations because public corporations generally don’t derive their income from government, and they can avoid a lot of the tax and regulatory frameworks put in place through other means.

If you want to see the math on one segment of how we should be looking at the public pension crisis, check out how much a teacher really makes. If you want a business case on how public unions screw up society, look no further than the structure of our educational system.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, I strongly urge you to support Scott Walker. If you aren’t, you can donate money or your time. This is a bellwether election for the future of America. We need to get government out of the way and let the entrepreneurs take over.

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  • Chambe2470

    More money!  More money!  Until these idiots (2 branches of government) learn how to live within their means (they NEVER have), why and who would be stupid enough to give them more money to spend.  They are worse than crack addicts.

  • Joe E

    Scott Walker is toast with a liberal schmear.

  • Karl Zimmerman

    I have to say that I largely agree with what Walker has done, some tough decisions needed to be made to balance the budget, but I completely disagree with how it was done.  

    1) This sort of attack on the unions was not mentioned in any campaigning by Walker, it is not an issue he was elected on.  

    2) The way it was pushed through was simply anti-Democratic.  When the law was put through the State Assembly, it was announced to the newspapers before any Democratic Assembly members were told it was coming, then, two days later, with no time for public discussion and no discussion even allowed on the floor of the Assembly, a vote was called.  Democrats proposed numerous amendments, proposals, etc. none were even considered, even brought up in committee.  It was then passed through the Assembly while Democrats were knowingly not present.  The only reason there was ANY debate on the issue at all was because the Democratic Senators left the state, so not enough Senators were around for a quorum.  Otherwise, the exact same stunt would have been pulled in the Senate.  

    3) It was sold to the public of Wisconsin with lies.  The act was sold as a “budget reduction” measure, and was called the “Wisconsin budget repair bill.”  The bill had NOTHING to with balancing the budget.  The non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau decided the law was non-fiscal, and the only reason the law was able to be passed through the Senate, without a quorum, was because it did not contain any fiscal policy.  How can you possibly say a non-fiscal decision is required to reduce the budget, it was simply dishonest.
    Why did it need to be done that way?  Why did it need to be shoved down people’s throats with no debate, no discussion, anywhere in the process.  The goal was to force it through as quickly as possible.  Why did it need to be done in such an underhanded and dishonest manner?  To me, that sort of behavior is simply not how a democracy should work.  If you had had public debate over the issue, if some compromise were actually attempted (other than a single take it or leave it email), this wouldn’t be as big of an issue as it is now.  People feel cheated, and rightfully so.  

    Does it mean the decision made in the end was the right decision?  Possibly, but we’ll never know, no other options or proposals were ever considered.  While you can agree with the end result, I don’t see how anyone who is pro-democracy can agree with the way it was handled.

    • pointsnfigures

      I think that is incorrect. Everything I read said he ran on balanced budgets, and changing union rules is a part of balancing those budgets. 

      It wasn’t pushed through in an anti-Democratic manner.  The Democrats left the state if you recall.   The Republicans had the votes.  No different than Obamacare in DC.  

      It was the right decision, and they should do more.  Simply disband unions for govt employees.  They were frowned upon by FDR.  That ought to be good enough for everyone since he was a quasi socialist.

      • Karl Zimmerman

        He ran on balanced budgets, but I don’t see how removing negotiating rights for the unions, when they already agreed to the concessions to balance the budget, accomplishes that.  The budget was already balanced, and Act 10 did not affect the budget in ANY way.

        You’re really comparing this to ObamaCare?  ObamaCare was debated in Congress, in bi-partisan groups, for 6 months before it went up for a vote, then once it first went up for a vote it was debated for another 3 months.  This bill, even with a 3+ week delay caused by the Democratic senators leaving, was pushed through in under 4 weeks, from start to finish.  Had the senators not left, it would have gone through in one week without a single debate, committee, nothing…  ObamaCare was full of compromise and actively involved Republicans in discussion, Act 10 did neither.   You really think it is pro-democracy for the majority to push laws through with NO discussion, no debate, no public input/comment period, no committee meetings, nothing?

        If the argument had merit, and I certainly feel it has its points, why the fear of discussion and debate on the topic?  They could have, and would have, forced it through anyway, so why not hold a couple hearings, leave some time for public input/comment, and work together to develop a better bill?  Have a month of discussion on the issue and the senators don’t leave the state, you don’t have protestors all over the place, and people feel like they have a say in their democratic government.  There are proper ways to do things, and just forcing your way through as option 1 isn’t the proper way to do things, in my opinion.

        • pointsnfigures

          The Republicans didn’t go to a different country when the vote for Obamacare came up.  The Democrats in Wisconsin went to a different state.  

          People against Obamacare didn’t take over the capital by force and delay the vote.  Unions did in Wisconsin.  

          Obamacare had zero Republican input.  I recall only one Republican from LA voted for it in the House.  Zero in the Senate. 

          There would have been debate had the Democrats debated.  Instead they wussed out.  Instead of waiting and electing a candidate four years later-they decided to pick a fight now.  They lost.  They should have lost.  

          We should end public sector employee unions in the US.  The economic incentives for them are misaligned.  

          • Karl Zimmerman

            Hahahaha, you’re hilarious, zero Republican input on Obamacare?? If it were up to the Democrats we’d have a single payer system, is that what we have, no. So those televised meetings and stated compromises never happened? I guess when you live in a self-made bubble anything can make sense…

            So when the other side refuses to have any debate or discussion, refuses to even tell you there is a bill to be voted on, refuses to accept public input, etc. you should just lie down and let it happen? Act 10 was tried to be pushed through, from bill, to law, in 3 days. That is from initial introduction to being signed by the governor. If that is the case, then why do you keep complaining about Obamacare being shoved down our throats?