If you aren’t paying attention to the battle between conservatives and
pyschos liberals going on in Wisconsin, you ought to be.
Going back a year, the battle over collective bargaining rights has received national attention as Republican Gov. Scott Walker spear-headed a national push among GOP state legislators to roll back the collective bargaining practices that had lead to oppressive government spending for decades.
Now, Gov. Walker is fighting for his job in a recall election against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat he trounced in the 2010 election and who used the collective bargaining roll back to save millions for Milwaukee.
But this is about more than just Walker vs. the unions and their flaccid Democrat politician puppets.
There is a much bigger ideological war being fought in this country, and Wisconsin is ground zero.
In the red corner is limited government and free enterprise, and in the blue corner is burgeoning government power and spending.
What the Republicans in Wisconsin did is nothing short of archetypal when it comes to conservative policies and it shows just how effective limited government can be.
Facing a $3.6 billion (that’s billion with a ‘b’) deficit, Walker rolled back collective bargaining for anything but wages for public employees, insisted they pay SOMETHING toward their pension (going from 0% to 5.6%) and 10% of their health care.
Private employees across the country are lucky to have less than 20% of health care costs on their plate, not to mention the joyous occasion when an employer offers to match up to 3 or 4% of pension contributions.
He slashed spending on school aid, welfare and municipal aid, and in its place he offered those bodies to be in charge of their own spending.
No longer would public employee unions have a stranglehold on government purses.
The Republicans and Walker passed a budget that closed the budget deficit WITHOUT raising taxes and prevented thousands of layoffs.
A recent study by the Beacon Hill Institute found that Gov. Walker’s reforms saved between $775 and $1.2 billion in tax-payer dollars.
As many as 6,500 public sector jobs would have been lost with the state cuts had Walker not restricted bargaining rights, which, by the way, he did to balance a budget that hadn’t been balanced this millennium.
The budget crisis in Wisconsin, per capita, was as bad as California and some of the most financially dire states in the union (no pun intended).
But more than that, and this is particularly important in this ideological discussion, the governor’s actions had profound impact on private sector vitality.
BHI estimated that as many as 14,000 private sector were saved by lowering, in many cases, taxes – revenue caps and tax freezes actually lowered local property tax bills in many communities.
Real disposable income from lower taxes came out to over $1 billion in the hands of Wisconsin taxpayers. To anyone who doesn’t believe trickle-down economics works, how’s a billion big ones in the hands of the people who earned it?
That increase even includes the nearly 500,000 public sector workers who had to take a pay cut.
More than that, tax revenue did a funny thing (at least to liberals), it’s gone up. According to BHI, tax revenue is up 3.6% over last year and the answer is obvious: people still have their jobs and their taxes went down.
Furthermore, an estimated $350 million was re-invested in the state as a result of this extra cash.
This is exactly what liberals don’t want to see and that’s why you haven’t seen it in any mainstream media outlets in the Wisconsin.
Conservative fiscal policy works and the Republicans in Wisconsin are proving it.
There’s a reason Democrats have flooded the money with union dollars to fight Gov. Walker: they don’t want anyone to see the overwhelming success.