A $3.6 billion budget shortfall in Wisconsin has led to union protesters taking to the streets of Madison and the halls of the capitol for nearly a week, with no end in sight. With Democrat state senators in self-imposed exile and an illegal wildcat strike by teachers, Wisconsin’s state government and its citizens have essentially been taken hostage by the public employee unions. President Obama and his political arm at the Democratic National Committee, Organizing for America, have been intimately involved in orchestrating the protests. The office of the President has been sullied by what Mr. Obama and his Chicago-style tactics are doing to Wisconsin’s state government. Americans are seeing the true face of the “party of change.” President Obama and his union cronies will stop at nothing to preserve the failed liberal status quo.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is taking reasonable steps to close the budget gap with union reforms. Governor Walker is not calling for an end to pensions and health care for state workers, he is just calling for them to pay their fair share. As Wisconsin stares at a $3.6 billion budget gap, newly elected Governor Walker is acting responsibly to get Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order. Fortunately, Governor Walker is not backing down from the fight. He has said that Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate will not be “bullied” by the union thug tactics being employed in Wisconsin. Governor Walker singled out President Obama when he said, “We are focused on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the government and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budgets, which they are a long way off from doing.”
It should be no secret why President Obama and the Democrat Party are coming to the aid of unions. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) spent $87 million in 2010 supporting Democrat candidates throughout the country. Unions overall spent about $400 million in 2008; much of it went to assist in the election of President Obama.
The showdown in Wisconsin foreshadows what will happen and is already beginning to happen in other states over the course of the next few months. States like California, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and others are all facing their own fiscal crisis because they are beholden to public employee unions and their budget-breaking benefits packages. Unions know they need to stop key reforms because their power will be threatened. That is why the union bosses and the Obama administration are drawing a line in the sand. They know that as goes Wisconsin so will go the rest of the country. President Obama should be taking the lead by promoting a compromise. But it is clear by his actions, and the actions of Organizing for America, that rather than listening to the people of Wisconsin, he is listening to the unions and their campaign dollars.
With President Obama facing reelection in less than two years, the president and his campaign team do not want to be on the wrong side of this union fight. In 2008, President Obama claimed the mantel of change, but he has shown himself to be the poster child of a liberal Democrat placating his union base. The sad truth is that organized labor controls the Democrat Party, and what is going on in Wisconsin is a sad attempt to maintain the failed status quo.
Rasmussen is out with a new poll showing that 48 percent of Americans side with Governor Walker, with 38 percent siding with the unions. Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republican legislators are trying to put their state onto the road to fiscal discipline. Too often politicians take the easy way out and find the quick fix that only kicks the can down the road. President Obama should learn from the principled leadership of Governor Walker. Predictably, he is letting the public unions control his policy. President Obama must really need that union money to fund his record $1 billion reelection campaign.