Republican Gov. Scott Walker found himself fighting for his political life when he proposed necessary reforms to Wisconsin’s labor unions in 2011. It prompted liberal forces in his state to mount a recall effort to remove him from office; they failed. Then, they failed to boot him during his 2014 re-election bid. Act 10 is, for all intents and purposes, here to stay–and it’s saved the taxpayers billions of dollars (via Watchdog):
…[D]espite all the dire predictions, Act 10 has proved a smashing success for Wisconsin taxpayers, according to a new analysis by the MacIver Institute.
The Madison-based free-market think tank’s report estimates taxpayers have saved $5.24 billion over the past five years, thanks to the law.
The analysis found that the state has saved $3.36 billion by requiring government employees to contribute to their government-backed pensions, and another $404.8 million by opening up employees’ health insurance to competitive bidding, among other cost controls. The savings have been widespread, across state and local governments.
Milwaukee Public Schools, for instance, saved a whopping $1.3 billion in long-term pension liabilities, according to the MacIver report. The University of Wisconsin System saved $527 million in retirement costs, the study found. And Medford School District recently realized an 11 percent decrease in the cost of its health insurance plan by opening it to competitive bidding.
The savings due to Act 10 breaks down to $2,291 for every household in Wisconsin, according to the analysis.
This is a great turnaround story, and it highlights Republican fiscal policy is good for American families. Sadly, in the year of Trump, it gained no traction when Walker decided to toss his hat into the 2016 ring. Then again, perhaps the governor jumped into that pool, not knowing how long he would have the tread water in the deep end. Prior to his 2010 victory, Walker was a county executive. County executive-to-governor-to a national presidential candidate is a massive leap in six years time. And it showed on the campaign trail. Walker is probably going to run for another term as governor, but as he gains experience, let’s not count him out of presidential politics just yet.