Some courageous American leaders are trying to prevent another California budget disaster.
But if Big Labor gets its way, the preventative measures will be abandoned.
So numerous are the examples of true statesmanship outside of Washington, that I can’t name all the individuals involved. But here are three state-wide elected leaders you should know about, whose efforts to save their states – and our nation – are absolutely not going unpunished.
The most high-profile among them is Scott Walker, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin. After taking office in January of 2011, Governor Walker proposed the “Wisconsin Budget Repair bill” to begin addressing his state’s projected $4 billion deficit.
As part of his efforts, Governor Walker sought to require unionized government employees to pay for portions of their own healthcare coverage and retirement pensions (standard fare for those of us employed in the private sector), and to bring the salaries of unionized government employees more in line with the salaries of private sector workers.
The chaos that labor unions created in Madison last year was widely covered in the national media. Today, because of his grave sins of trying to save his state from California-styled budget crises and creating more parity between government and private sector employment, Governor Walker may be on his way to making history.
Big Labor has successfully forced a recall election on June 5th of this year (costing Wisconsin taxpayers in excess of $15 million). If Wisconsin voters side with the unions on Election Day, Scott Walker will become the third Governor in U.S. history to be removed from office by recall.
Next there’s Democrat Gina Raimondo, the current Treasurer of Rhode Island. Raimondo campaigned in 2010 with the message that, as the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island nonetheless had a very big financial mess on its hands. If things didn’t change, she warned, the Ocean State would eventually end up like Athens.
Raimondo took office in January of 2011 (the same time Governor Scott Walker did). Soon after, she began working on legislative proposals that sought to better manage the state’s liquid assets, provide more financial transparency with how Rhode Island manages state retirement pensions, and – once again – to bring government employment benefits slightly more in-line with the private sector.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.