Trick and Treats
After more than a year of big labor throwing industrial-size kitchen sinks at Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s Republican governor became the first of the three governors in U.S. history to face recall and retain the office.
Walker more than survived; he prevailed, beating his Democratic rival by seven percentage points, 53 to 46. In a light blue state, it was a thorough thwacking of the public employee unions, the biggest, bluest special interest.
According to exit polls, Walker even won better than a third of union households.
The man had kept his word not to raise taxes. Further, ending collective bargaining for most government employee unions, along with other reforms, saved lots of money for state and local governments and school districts. This, it turns out, prevented public sector layoffs and helped secure future health and pension benefits.
Walker’s success will be repeated elsewhere.
Hey, already happened! On Tuesday, in San Diego and San Jose, California, voters overwhelmingly passed measures to get a handle on out-of-control public employee pension costs. These measures were, of course, fiercely opposed by government unions.
As cities are cutting programs to pay pension benefits for retirees, a post on the Calpensions blog explains, “Public pension amounts in California are based on what unions are able to obtain through collective bargaining, not what is needed for a reasonable retirement.”
Among Tuesday’s many treats, there was one really rotten trick. California’s Prop 28 passed, weakening the state’s legislative term limits. Most voters, misled by the official ballot summary, thought the measure would result in tougher term limits.
Can’t wait until the next election, which falls nearer Halloween. Hope for more treats than tricks.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.