One year ago all eyes were on Wisconsin as labor unions stormed the Capitol building in Madison to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget reforms.
Heritage sent a team to cover the demonstrations. We’re showcasing our myth vs. fact video again today, one year later, given the ongoing debate over Walker’s plan.
While there’s not nearly the hysteria of one year ago, Walker now faces the prospect of losing his job in a recall election later his year.
During a recent speech at CPAC, Walker defended his reforms as a prudent step in response to a growing budget deficit. The results haven’t led to the draconian steps predicted by unions one year ago.
“Our most powerful tool is the truth,” Walker said at CPAC as he defended his actions.
Walker’s reforms encompassed a range of issues — tax incentives for job creators, regulatory relief, tort reform and new options for health savings accounts — but the most controversial addressed government unions.
The reforms empowered state and local governments to address budget deficits by asking government employees to make a 5.8% pension contribution (about the national average) and 12.6% health insurance contribution (about half the national average). Because those changes involved collective bargaining for government workers, unions protested.
Walker, however, remains a staunch defender of his decision — just as he was one year ago when Heritage’s team interviewed him.
“Collective bargaining is not a right,” Walker said at CPAC. “In the public sector, collective bargaining is an expensive entitlement.”