Back to the Future
December 22, 2011
To be successful, a political campaign must persuade a majority of voters that life will be worse if the other side wins. It’s up to the voters (the media won’t help,) to determine which side is being more honest.
If Democrats are successful in forcing recall elections against Governor Walker and Republican senators next year, Wisconsin voters will have the opportunity to witness side-by-side case studies of the Walker approach and the anti-Walker approach to governing.
No historical inferences here, no transnational comparisons; instead, voters can watch in real time what’s happening in Wisconsin and Ohio, and make their own decision about what’s working.
In Ohio last month, unions poured tens of millions into a statewide referendum and bamboozled voters into undoing reforms like those enacted in Wisconsin. Now Wisconsin voters can peer into the future and see what will happen here if the recall attempt succeeds in removing Walker from office.
As in Wisconsin, government employee benefits have been eating Ohio school budgets alive. The (now repealed) Ohio reforms included reasonable insurance and pension contributions from public employees, including police and firefighters. Unions convinced voters this would wreak havoc with public safety, so voters ditched the reforms. Now there’s no alternative to teacher layoffs. Ohio schools have to take money away from the classroom to pay for teacher benefits, and taxpayers face what could have been an unnecessary choice: higher taxes or less education.