Who can forget the union demonstrations in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms? The unions spent enormous sums of money for this recall election. So, what are the Democrats running on? Well, it’s not collective bargaining. That’s all but forgotten, on account of the the reforms put into effect saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
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.
No 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. According to Chief Executive magazine, Wisconsin moved up four more places this year to number 20 in an annual CEO survey of the best states to do business, after jumping 17 spots last year.
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. According to the Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute, Mayor Barrett’s city of Milwaukee saved $19 million on health-care costs as a direct result of Mr. Walker’s reforms. Awkward turtle.
Ann Althouse adds:
One of Barrett’s other issues is civility. We need to restore civility in Wisconsin… because, you know the way Scott Walker caused everyone to become so uncouth.
I only wish we had a governor like Scott Walker here in New York. It’s a mess and all of the politicians acknowledge the mess but nobody ever mentions the elephant in the room.