It Was a Good Week…..For Everyone……Except…..
posted at 10:13 am on June 9, 2012 by Rovin
Last week was a good week for the nation, and for the conservative cause. Governor Walker re-affirmed his status as putting his state’s fiscal future ahead of the liberal progressive’s status quo agenda, which has become the albatross of public funded union’s refusal to participate in the cost of operating the state‘s burgeoning budgets.
While the powerful unions might be cringing at the prospect of other states following this responsible blueprint, the general public might have the opportunity to see more public unions willing to compromise rather than demonize those who have realized there are few other alternatives to rein in the massive deficits. (Are you paying attention Jerry Brown?)
The simple facts are, other Governors have already implemented new structures long before Scott Walker. Mona Charen writes in the National Review about these other “Republican Reformers” who have taken up the fight against the out-of-control unions, (and the cycle of electing Democrats to protect their interest):
The word “corrupt” is not too strong for a system that functioned like this: Unions worked to elect Democrats. Once elected, Democrats passed laws that permitted states to withhold union dues from state-employee paychecks, further enriching and entrenching public-sector unions. State governments then signed contracts with the unions, giving far more generous pay, work rules (like teacher tenure), and benefits than the average taxpayer receives. Unions thus elected the people who sat across the table from them in contract negotiations. As Victor Gotbaum, a New York City union leader, boasted, “We have the ability . . . to elect our own boss.” That mutual back-scratching has burdened taxpayers with pension and other liabilities mounting into the trillions.
Charen goes on to point out the Republican Governors who have chosen to break the cycle of corruption within this system:
On his first day in office, Chris Christie signed an executive order forbidding public-sector unions from making political contributions (corporations were already barred). He then embarked on the grueling, but necessary, battle to require unionized teachers to accept slightly less generous pensions, and to make tiny contributions to their own health insurance.
In New Mexico, Susana Martinez has cut spending by $150 million without raising taxes, reduced the state workforce by 5 percent, eliminated duplicative taxes on small businesses, and increased local control of schools by opting out of No Child Left Behind.
Indiana’s Mitch Daniels ended collective bargaining for public-sector unions early in his tenure. He balanced budgets without raising taxes, earned the state an AAA bond rating for the first time, reduced the number of state workers to the lowest in the nation, improved the business climate, transformed a $700 million deficit into a $1.3 billion surplus, and earned Indiana the Tax Foundation’s “First in the Midwest” award for business climate. Indiana’s government is also more efficient: Child-support collections are up, wait times for child services have been halved, 150 state troopers have been added, and the Healthy Indiana Plan provides health insurance to 50,000 low-income Hoosiers. Among participants, emergency-room use has declined. Perhaps the most emblematic of all Indiana’s accomplishments is that wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles have been reduced to less than eight minutes.
With these “leaders” willing to make the tough choices, (some not even popular on either side of the political spectrum), it was just a matter of time before Scott Walker would also emerge as champion of fiscal discipline, despite the enormous odds against him. Charen also gives much credit to the Tea Party for “pushing” these new mavericks in the right direction—-(please be sure to read the whole article).
Perhaps President Obama was channeling these events when he said “The private sector is doing fine”? Good news for the fiscally responsible Republicans? As Sarah would say, YOU BETCHA!