Wisconsin Budget Problems Used As Excuse To Deny Workers Rights
Removing workers’ bargaining rights saves no money, as TPM notes. The governor could initiate service rollbacks, furloughs and other measures if that were his intent.
Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.
“Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”
“The state of Wisconsin has not reached the point at which austerity measures are needed,” Norman adds.
Here’s what workers are being asked to pay for, all courtesy of the new governor:
- $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation, which still holds $73 million because of anemic job growth.
- $48 million for private health savings accounts — a perennial Republican favorite.
- $67 million for a tax incentive plan that benefits employers, but at levels too low to spur hiring.
Copyright 2011 Liberaland