Here's a curious thing to consider.
The nation's labor unions universally have portrayed Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as a two headed monster for the past year or so. As you know, he proposed and then implemented modest reforms in the area of public sector employees' collective bargaining rights, as well as pension and health care contributions.
So with the June recall election just around the corner, we would have expected that the discussion preceding the upcoming Democratic primary would have been filled with talk of the governor's anti-union positions and why this is bad for all Wisconsinites. Alas, the Dems have largely been silent on this issue. But why?
If only for entertainment purposes, Wisconsin Recall Amnesia is worth reading:
"Remember the Greek-style protests in Madison, the union sit-ins, the
lawmakers who fled to Illinois to avoid voting on Scott Walker's
collective-bargaining law last year? Now that the recall election of Mr.
Walker is in full swing, Big Labor must be wondering where the outrage
Since last summer, unions have been
throwing millions at defeating the man who reformed collective
bargaining for government workers and required union members to pay 5.8%
of their paychecks toward pensions and 12.6% of their health insurance
premiums, modest contributions compared to the average in private
business. As the May 8 Democratic recall primary nears to determine who
will run against Mr. Walker on June 5, this should be their rhetorical
moment ne plus ultra.
So, let's see. Milwaukee Mayor Tom
Barrett, the front-runner, has focused his campaigns on jobs, education,
the environment and "making communities safer." One of Mr. Barrett's
ads singles out "Walker's War on Women," with nary a mention of
collective bargaining. Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk is
heavily supported by union groups, but even her issues list makes only
passing reference to collective bargaining.
wonder. Since Mr. Walker's reforms went into effect, the doom and gloom
scenarios have failed to materialize. Property taxes in the state were
down 0.4% in 2011, the first decline since 1998. . . .
The Governor's office has estimated that altogether the reforms have
saved Badger State taxpayers more than $1 billion, including $65 million
in changes in health-care plans, and some $543 million in local savings
documented by media reports. . . .
Some of the good news has been in the schools, because districts have
been able to avoid teacher layoffs and make ends meet because of
flexibility created by the changes. In the Brown Deer school district,
savings created by pension and health-care contributions from employees
allowed the school to prevent layoffs and save some $800,000 for
In Fond du Lac, school board president Eric Everson says the district
saved $4 million as a result of last year's reforms, including $2
million from the changes in employee contributions to their pensions.
Another 52 schools across the state saved an average of $220 per
student thanks to the ability to introduce competitive bidding for
health insurance, rather than automatically going through WEA Trust, the
favored provider of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. If the
savings are even half as large as the Governor's surveys indicate, they
are still enormous.
All of this is making an impression on Wisconsin voters. According to
a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday, only 12% of
Wisconsin voters say "restoring collective bargaining rights" is their
priority, which explains the Democratic decision to fight on other
issues. . . .
Mr. Walker's reforms were a modest but necessary response to the
state's fiscal problems, and the proof is in the emerging results. The
union reaction was so ferocious because the reforms reduced Big Labor's
clout over state and local taxpayers and thus its ability to milk
taxpayers year after year without challenge.
Democrats and unions will still do all they can to recall Mr. Walker
to prove to would-be reformers nationwide that unions can't be crossed.
But it speaks volumes that Democrats are running on everything except
their real goal—which is to restore the political dominance of
Are We the People in charge of the government, or are the public sector unions and their Democratic Party allies?
Perhaps the good citizens of Wisconsin will consider who's in control of government and pay attention to the facts when they vote on the recall of Governor Walker in June.
For their sake as well as the sake of their fellow taxpayers and citizens across America, let's hope they send a clear and compelling message by doing just that.
It's time to end union dominance in the public sector, and it's time to teach the unions and their allies the Democratic Party that there's no room for "privileged characters" in America.
And that's especially true in public sector employment which is financed in its entirety by We the People.
Taxpayers and citizens must take the reins.
Being in charge and control is not a job for the public sector unions or their political cronies.
We the People can and must do better than that. Future generations deserve no less.