I guess Governor-elect Scott Walker really doesn’t understand that he’s not the governor yet:
Governor-elect Scott Walker asked legislative leaders in a letter Monday not to approve labor contracts with state employees before he takes office.
Democrats have said they plan to take up the no-pay-increase contracts before they lose power and Walker is sworn in Jan. 3.
“Bringing the Legislature into extraordinary or special session with the sole purpose of finalizing public employee union contracts prior to my inauguration will likely lead to a need for more aggressive spending cuts,” Walker wrote in his letter to lawmakers.
If you’re keeping track at home, this is the third letter Walker has sent demanding that the governor/legislators stop negotiating a labor contract that’s been almost two years in the making, and as I’ve written before, it strikes me as stunningly arrogant that Scott Walker thinks he should have any say-so over a union contract covering a time period when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, not governor of Wisconsin.
As it stands, the contracts that have been negotiated include NO pay raise and no additional benefits to state employees, so I’m not sure what exactly Scott Walker wants. Does he want state workers to have to pay back some of the salaries they’ve already earned by pushing for pay cuts in these contracts? Does Scott Walker really want to take even more money out of the pockets of folks who, contrary to the talking points you’ve heard from conservatives, are not enjoying lavish lifestyles at the expense of Wisconsin’s taxpayers? The fact is, the cast majority of Wisconsin’s public sector employees are solidly middle class folks, so I’m not sure how sticking it to them is going to get our state back on track.
The fact is, Wisconsin’s public sector employees are not the enemy, nor did they cause the state’s current budget woes. Even if public sector employees agree to wage and benefit cuts, the state will still have a massive structural deficit, a deficit that Scott Walker and legislative Republicans seem to want to make worse with all their talk of massive tax cuts that will only add billions of dollars onto the state’d budget deficit.