Mr. Walker accomplished two momentous things that will have a lasting effect in Wisconsin, and will hopefully spread throughout the nation. First, he proved that you can cut the size of government, balance a budget (which was $3.6 billion in the red) without raising taxes, and improve the economy all at the same time. Clueless elitists in America and Europe brand responsible actions like this with the pejorative term “austerity,” but Governor Walker made it work. Unemployment is down and the business environment is vastly improved. Teachers’ jobs, which the union leadership was willing to sacrifice just to line their own pockets, have been saved. Since Walker became Governor – only 17 months ago! – Wisconsin has jumped 21 spots in surveys that measure the climate for business owners and entrepreneurs. He has single-handedly defeated the liberal assumption that growth requires you to “stimulate” the economy using borrowed or printed money.
His bigger accomplishment was to kick-start something that many Republicans have wanted to do for ages, only to be undermined by spineless and wavering elected officials. Walker has begun to defund the Left. Through its two largest financial sources, the Left has for decades used government funds to promote liberal Democrats at the expense of the taxpayers. Both trial lawyers and unions that feed off government funds continually influence legislation and budgets to perpetuate their income stream and power. Democrats happily hand taxpayer resources over to these favored constituents, who then use the money to keep their favored children in office.
Through his experience as County Executive for Milwaukee County (the second largest government in Wisconsin), Scott Walker knew how the game was played. He knew that if he was going to straighten out the state budget without penalizing the working people of Wisconsin, he would have to take on the unions. Incidentally, don’t feel too sorry for the Wisconsin public employee union members. Their average salary after reform is $81,000 along with benefits. Private sector employees get $67,000 for the same job, which means there is still work to do.
About a year ago, a friend of mine asked me when will the people of America wake up to the crisis in pay, pensions, and health care benefits for our public employees. I told him that it was coming, little by little. With the leadership of Scott Walker, we’ve now have taken a giant step. With the 2-1 votes in San Jose and San Diego to restructure public employee pensions even deranged Californians have caught on to the pending disaster. There are many, many battles ahead. Winning this war will require hand-to-hand combat in cities, counties, and states throughout the country, but we have no choice because the future of America is at stake.
Scott Walker has given us inspiration, and a huge leap forward. That is why he is an American hero.