Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin appeared on Fox News Sunday today and presented a very simple, yet effective way of stating the limited alternatives that the state has if the public employee unions are not willing to accept modest concessions. In short, it’s either this proposal or 6,000-12,000 people will have to be laid off.
The Republican governor said that while the state enjoys a lower-than-average unemployment rate — about 7.5 percent compared to 9 percent nationally — about 5,000-6,000 state workers and 5,000-6,000 local government workers will find their jobs on the chopping block as the state looks to close a $3.6 billion biennial budget gap.
“I don’t want a single person laid off in the public nor in the private sector and that’s why this is a much better alternative than losing jobs,” Walker told “Fox News Sunday.”
I understand that speaking in harsh realities like this is not guaranteed to win over the American Left, who are looking for easy answers to the multitude of budget crises that face the states and the nation. But it really is that simple. Public employee unions are being asked to concede something in difficult times so that people do not have to be laid off. This has been met with the predictable howl of “union buster.”
And to the fleeing Democratic Senators (and those who excuse their shameful disruption of the democratic process) the governor had this to say:
“Those senate Democrats should realize, if you want to participate in a democracy, you got to be in the arena. And the arena is right here in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s not hiding out in Rockford, Illinois, or Chicago, or anywhere else out there. Democracy means you show up and participate.