Trying it our way
October 18, 2012
We were told this might be coming about a month ago, so it isn’t a big surprise and doesn’t require a great deal of comment, but it does warrant a celebration.
In the 22 months since Scott Walker took office, Wisconsin government has gone from a structural deficit exceeding $3 billion to a budget surplus of more than $342 million.
Without increasing general fund taxes. Repeat: Without increasing general fund taxes.
On Monday, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch announced a contribution of more than $108 million to the rainy day fund, the largest ever. It also marks the first time the budget has allowed for contributions to the fund in consecutive years.
This cannot be repeated often enough: During the winter of 2011, Wisconsin was bombarded every day with hysterical cries that Walker’s policy changes would dump teachers onto the unemployment rolls, devastate public services and crush government workers’ rights.
In the comparatively brief time since those policy changes were put in place, many school districts have hired more teachers, public services have not deteriorated, and government workers enjoy the right to keep more of the money they earn.
The same people who told us these changes wouldn’t work still seek to undo them through litigation. Monday’s announcement is one more persuasive reason why those nuisance suits need to be swept away by appellate judges with higher standards than those in the kangaroo courts of Dane County.