Governor Scott Walker’s reforms have forced the powerful Wisconsin teachers’ unions to witness the massive decertification of their forced collectives. The second largest public sector alliance, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), has lost significant revenue because members have refused to pay dues, and now the incestuous cycle of forced dues, crooked campaign donations for paid-for candidates, who approve more lavish and expensive pensions and benefits.
Cities have negotiated more equitable and efficient labor contracts, cutting costs while providing adequate public services. Even Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett could not criticize the reforms, and thus conceded defeat in debate and at the ballot box. School districts have cut costs without laying off teachers and staff.
Now, Wisconsin has a nearly one billion dollar surplus for the first time in years. Where did this sudden surge of wealth come from? Walker’s reforms instituted efficient government, better tax receipts, and more effective political and policy leadership.
Not only passing a property tax cut, not only discussing the abolition of the state income tax, Walker has signaled that he will return the bulk of the surplus back to the residents of the Dairy State. Unlike Governor Jerry Brown in California or President Barack Obama in Washington, Walker recognizes that the government does not create wealth, but merely takes revenue from the workers in Wisconsin. Walker’s memoir Unintimidated illustrates the methods of this statesman: make your case, and take responsibility for your state. Walker’s collective bargaining reforms are working wonders in Wisconsin.