Public employees are not to blame, and Texas is proof!

If you’ve heard Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker explain why he needs to eviscerate public employee collective bargaining rights, you know that he’s said that said evisceration of public employee collective bargaining rights will give local governments and school boards more tools to deal with the crippling cuts to education and shared local aid funding that are coming in Gov. Walker’s biennial budget. However, while Gov. Walker’s claims might sound plausible to folks who hang on every word he says, let’s take a look at some cold hard facts to debunk Walker’s claims that taking away collective bargaining for public employees will help the state balance its budget.

For instance, let’s take a look at the state of Texas, which has a budget deficit estimated to be somewhere between $15 billion and $27 billion. Texas is a “right to work” state, meaning private sector labor laws are much weaker than in Wisconsin. What’s more, collective bargaining for public sector employees is explicitly illegal in Texas, so clearly public employee unions and their pay and benefits can’t be to blame for Texas’ budget woes.

Now I know what you’re thinking…..”Yeah, but it’s those tax and spend Democrats! They’re to blame, just like Gov. Jim Doyle and Democrats are to blame here in Wisconsin!” While it’s certainly easy to blame “tax and spend” Democrats, Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has been Governor of Texas since 2000. Oh, and did I mention Republicans control both the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas State Senate? They do, so those “tax and spend” Democrats clearly aren’t the culprits for Texas’ oversized budget deficit.

While Gov. Scott Walker and Wisconsin’s legislative Republicans think public employees are a great scapegoat for the state’s budget woes, it’s entirely likely that gutting collective bargaining for public employees won’t be the budgetary cure-all Republicans want the public to think it will be.


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7 thoughts on “Public employees are not to blame, and Texas is proof!

  1. Here’s one of the least talked about stories in the country.

    Mark Dayton, newly elected democratic governor of Minnesota, proposing to close half of the states 6.2 billion budget deficit, twice the size of Wisconsins, by raising taxes on the top 5% of the wealthiest Minnesotans.

    His proposed tax hikes will raise 3.3 billion; almost exactly the deficit we’re facing in Wisconsin.

    Why did Mark Dayton win the governors race in Minnesota in an election year that saw huge GOP gains in statehouses and governors mansions all over the country? Because he ran on raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.

    There are no large angry crowds in St. Paul. Governor Dayton is not fielding prank calls from fake Koch brothers, becoming the laughingstock of the country. Minnesota is not facing the possibility of teacher and public worker strikes. No one is facing questions from law enforcement officials about causing riots amongst protesters. There is no union busting bill being hotly contested.

    I wish Tom Barrett had run on raising taxes on the wealthiest Wisconsinites. We might not be in the God awful situation we’re in right now.

    1. Hmm. Self-financed and independently wealthy – from his great grandfather of Daytons Department store fame. If he were a Republican, you wouldn’t be complaining about him being rich & buying the election, now would you?

      Or is there a loophole that makes department store wealth like Dayton’s & Herb Kohl’s OK?

      He just barely squeaked by – by a few thousand votes. But more importantly, only 43% of the vote. More people voted against him than for him. That’s not to say he didn’t win & deserve to govern – or that his ideas are bad. Just that claiming a mandate about what the people want is…tenuous at best.

      1. Locke,

        I think you miss the point.

        The ugly, disgraceful spectacle of Wisconsin GOP politics isn’t happening in Minnesota, and they’re all going to be much better off for it.

  2. But for as much as you try to connect the dots, some brainwashed neo-reaganite is behind you furiously trying to erase them.

  3. Well…… at least we won the Superbowl.

    But wait, oh, I forgot. Union goons Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson will be shutting down the 2011 season.

    Damn those union goons.

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