What's the truth about Gov. Walker?
Many opponents of Gov. Walker claim they didn't know before the 2010 election that he planned to curb collective bargaining. But the truth is the public unions were aware of what the governor planned to do.
WEAC informed their members before the 2010 election by preparing a chart that showed the differences between the two governor candidates on the issues of QEO, WRS Retirement, and Health Care.
WEAC cited two articles in the Milwaukee Journal papers dated 6/17/10 and 8/29/10 and Walker's website as sources for the information they listed under Walker on the chart. In December 2010, public unions and Gov. Doyle tried to rush through contracts before Gov. Walker took office. But the contracts didn't pass because two conservative senate democrats voted against it.
Around that time, it was reported that a union president stated he would not sit down with Walker. That is putting it mildly as stronger terms were used.
So it is apparent, the limits on public collective bargaining was not a sneak attack or a surprise to those affected by it.
In 2011 citizens learned that public collective bargaining had a fiscal impact on taxpayers and why reforms were needed.
Briefly, a few of the examples reported included:
• A Emeritus Program providing a year's worth of pay for 30 days work;
• A Emeritus Program providing $10,000 for doing nothing;
• A union filed a grievance to prohibit the use of a volunteer crossing guard;
• A school district was forced to pay $300,000 in legal fees to terminate a porn-viewing teacher;
• Some union members received $6,000 extra for carrying a pager;
• Receiving pay for time off for union activities, cases of abuse of sick leave and overtime; and
• A union filed a grievance against a county using inmates to mow highway medians and right-of-ways.
As a result, some people have claimed public collective bargaining was out of control. So, now public union's bargaining will be limited to wages and public employees will receive protections under the Wisconsin Civil Service System.
Union leaders say that collective bargaining is a right; but there is no federal constitutional right to collective bargaining for public employees and most federal public employees do not have collective bargaining.
One of the purposes of private sector collective bargaining is to make it possible for workers to share in the profits of businesses. Governments have no profits.
Opponents of Walker say corporations are getting huge tax breaks at the expense of the schools and working class. One has to question how the figures were arrived at and was it for a period over the next 10 years?
Walker advocates say that tax incentives are tied to job creation and business expansion. States are in competition for attracting business. More jobs would mean more revenue to balance the state budget.
The current federal income tax rate for corporations is 35 percent and in Wisconsin the flat income tax rate is 7.9 percent. This is more than the average taxpayer pays.
The working class and public employees are indirectly affected by business regulations and taxes. Lower taxes would allow companies to spend more money for research and job creation. Higher taxes could mean higher prices for consumer products.
Also, many middle-class citizens own corporation stocks and bonds in retirement funds. Public union employees have state pensions that own stocks and bonds.
Gov. Walker cares about the next generation. Walker and the state legislature enacted solutions to eliminate the 3.6 billion budget deficit without raising property taxes and other fees.
Reforms prevented massive layoffs of public employees. Also, unpaid furlough days and wage cuts were eliminated.
An additional 1.2 billion of funding for Medicaid was provided for those really in need. Additional funds were provided for veterans and the Wisconsin G.I bill was fully restored and expanded.
Debts left over from the previous administration were paid. Walker and the state legislature has started Wisconsin on the road to prosperity.
The Milwaukee Journal has endorsed Walker and the paper concluded that the "Walker recall was not justified."
Only 19 states and the District of Columbia permit recall of state officials. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there have been only 20 lawmakers nationwide that have faced recall elections from 1908 through 2010.
The excessive number of recalls that we have had to go through last summer and currently is not warranted. Millions of dollars have been spent on all the recalls.
The unions have stated that they are going to take out Gov.Walker. Mark Neumann, a U.S. Senate Primary Candidate, and others have stated "We can't let that happen".