Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has unveiled his budget plans for the state. They are austere and they are bold, and they are not about the status quo.
“This is a reform budget,” Walker said in prepared remarks. “It is about getting Wisconsin working again — and to make that happen, we need a balanced budget that works — and an environment where the private sector can create 250,000 jobs over the next four years.”
The 2011-’13 budget bill, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2013, would force local governments and schools to cut their spending since their state aid would fall by $930 million over the next two years and they would be prevented from making up that money by raising property taxes. Walker has said that local governments should absorb those cuts by trimming their employees’ health and pension benefits — a proposal whose future is still in doubt.
The left will do its usual rain dance, that this budget is cruel, that it’s anti all that is good, that it’s just mean spirited and terrible and nasty. They will be children about all this, in other words, as they have been throughout. Our serious times have called for serious people, and the left has shown itself to be bereft of them.
Say what you will about him, but Scott Walker is serious. His plan to save the state budget is serious and his behavior in the face of insults and attack from the White House on down has been serious. He is taking on the unions and the far left in their house, you might say, in one of the most union-friendly states in the country. And as things have shaken out, he has to win now. For his opponents to get the upper hand at this point would be to empower those who abuse the democratic process from one end to the other, recycling tax dollars into campaign dollars via union dues on the one hand, and flat out running from duty when the duty got tough on the other hand. That just shouldn’t stand.