It’s Recall Day! Why Illinois Provides the Best Argument for Walker’s Re-election
Governor Scott Walker is undergoing his recall election today in Wisconsin. As many of you know by now, Walker and the newly-elected Republican majority in the Wisconsin legislature passed legislation severely limiting the public employee unions’ ability to collectively bargain. As a result of not having complete control of Wisconsin for the first time since, well, ever, the Democrats bussed in a bunch of angry people to come up with clever chants and take up space. They’ve also been hot on the “Recall Walker” trail since the day the collective-bargaining legislation was passed, which occurred while all of the Democratic Senators had run away to Rockford, Illinois. Who knew Wisconsinites could be so interesting?
We explained why public employees, as opposed to private employee unions, shouldn’t have the right to collectively bargain earlier in this blog. Simply put, unless every taxpayer is sitting across the table from the union rep, it isn’t really collective bargaining, since the taxpayers are paying for everything.
I expect Walker to win today. And then I expect the Democrats to both ask for a recount while simultaneously arguing the election was stolen by expensive television commercials. The reason why Walker will win is very simple: he’s done a good job. Before Walker and a Republican legislature were elected, the state was in debt. One year after the Republicans took control of everything, it will have a surplus.
But the state Department of Revenue now estimates that the state will take in about $265 million more than the bureau expected, which should translate to a $275.1 million surplus on June 30, and a $154.5 million surplus on June 30, 2013, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a letter to Walker.
That’s a pretty impressive turnaround in one year. What’s more,
State law requires that if revenue exceeds initial projections, half of the surplus must be deposited in the state’s rainy day fund. If Walker’s projections hold, about $45.4 million would go into that fund after June 30.
That would mark the first time in state history that state officials have added to the fund in consecutive years, DOA spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said. The Walker administration added $14.78 million at the close of the 2011 fiscal year, she said.
In other words, if the people of Wisconsin actually throw Walker out, then they get what they deserve.
Speaking of people who get what they deserve, let’s look at Illinois. It’s not just the results that should get Walker re-elected, it’s the trainwreck that keeps on keepin’ on down south. Unlike Wisconsin, public employee unions basically run the place in Illinois, and their desires go almost entirely unchecked. As a result, the state is $83 billion in the hole on their pensions, which is the worst in the country. No one seems to care. In other news, a recent poll revealed that 67% of Illinois residents expect it to rain money sometime in the near future.
Walker eliminated the deficit by cutting spending. Illinois Dems hope to solve the problem by increasing property taxes in the Chicago suburbs and downstate in order to pay for teacher pensions. This plan only failed because the Democratic governor discovered a map which reveals Illinois extends beyond Chicago.
So what have we learned? Wisconsin solved its deficit problem by cutting spending. Much of that cut resulted from eliminating collective bargaining for public employee unions, and forcing said employees to contribute more to their own pensions and benefits. This has resulted in school districts actually hiring more teachers. Illinois, on the other hand, continues in its nation-leading debt, largely due to pensions it can’t afford while it refuses to make any changes to the status quo. This stance will ultimately lead to increased taxes, unless Illinois begins to print its own money, which isn’t likely to be accepted as legal tender at Meijer. This will, in turn, cause me to move to Wisconsin, which may have been the Dems’ goal all along. I am, after all, very important.