Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wisconsin's Options

Facing a $3.6 billion deficit, Wisconsin Governor Scott K. Walker proposed budget cuts that would balance the budget as well as a process to ensure that the people of Wisconsin are empowered to decide if state employees paid by their tax dollars would be able to receive pay hike beyond the consumer price index. As a result, big unions and public employees, focused on their own agenda and not that of the people of Wisconsin, began major protests in the state capitol of Madison. The protests have become national news, with national politicians such as President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) chiming in. Pundits all over the cable news networks and columnists at national newspapers have also chimed in on the situation.

When it comes down to it, Governor Walker has three options for fixing Wisconsin's budget woes:
  1. Hike Taxes: Governor Walker could propose a tax hike to raise the $3.6 billion needed to balance out the budget. However, the people of Wisconsin sent a clear message last year that they would not accept tax hikes, and Governor Walker was elected on a promise to not raise taxes. In fact, many in Wisconsin elected Governor Walker because of his promises to reduce taxes, enabling the growth of small business and the creation of jobs. 
  2. Add Debt: Governor Walker could propose simply borrowing more money to finance unsustainable spending. Unfortunately, such a concept was rejected by Wisconsin voters and would lead the state into an even worse long-term deficit problem, as the debt would need to be paid back. Wisconsin would simply end up in a worse situation, such as what California is in.
  3. Curb Spending: Governor Walker could propose a budget that curbs spending, as he promised to do when running for office. In doing this, taxes would remain the same or be cut, and deficit would not grow. 
Obviously, Option #3 makes the most sense, and it is what the Governor is trying to pursue. The people of Wisconsin sent a message that new debt and new taxes were unacceptable, and Governor Walker must carry out the will of the people. Less than 10% of Wisconsin workers are members of unions. The interest of the over 90% Wisconsin workers who are non-union must be prioritized over the loud voices of the big unions.

No comments:

Post a Comment