Are Wisconsin and Ohio still presidential swing states? Republicans swept to power in the Badger State and the Buckeye State in 2010. During the past year, Governor Walker and Governor Kasich have refused to settle for taxation & spending trends that drove away hundreds of thousands of jobs between 2000 and 2011.
If Midwestern voters see the benefits of free-market reforms at the state level, it’ll be bleak news for Barack Obama’s 2012 class warfare roadshow.
Early results for Walker and Kasich have been mixed, as they’ve both been demonized relentlessly by Big Labor. Wisconsin Democrats fled to protect their union financiers, but Walker and the Wisconsin GOP prevailed. How’s that working for taxpayers?
According to a report by the MacIver Institute, as of September 1, “at least 25 school districts in the Badger State had reported switching health care providers/plans or opening insurance bidding to outside companies.” The institute calculates that these steps will save the districts $211.45 per student. If the state’s other 250 districts currently served by WEA Trust follow suit, the savings statewide could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
If Big Labor’s failure in Wisconsin Senate recall races is any sign, voters can do the math. The Walker budget has caused what any sensible observer would expect: freed of suffocating union control, Wisconsin schools are saving money and avoiding layoffs.
In Ohio, Democrats dug in their heels, demanding higher taxes to fix the state’s estimated $8 billion budget deficit – which, to their dismay, Kasich balanced while phasing out Ohio’s death tax and raising no taxes. Several months and more than $30 million later, leftists killed a union reform bill whose effects voters never got a chance to see.
One result of Big Labor’s Ohio victory? Widespread public employee layoffs – hooray for blind obedience to union bosses!
With Democrats kicking and screaming (hardly a bill has passed in Ohio that Democrats haven’t brought a referendum or lawsuit against), Kasich and Walker seem intent on staying their respective courses set last year. Fortunately, union reform isn’t the only item on the agenda.
Aggressively courting job creators, both governors have trimmed senseless bureaucracy and focused on incentives for employers. Ohio and Wisconsin have started on the long road to recovery; from 2000-2010, Ohio ranked 50th and Wisconsin ranked 40th in private-sector job growth.
Governor Walker and Governor Kasich each spoke of the need to control public spending, streamline job training programs, and reform K-12 education in their 2012 State of the State addresses. Wherever they go – including official state speeches – both governors are smeared as corporate lackeys by useful idiots reading from Big Labor’s script.
It’s no coincidence Scott Walker and John Kasich are attacked by the collectivist agitators who compose President Obama’s base. Competition vs. collectivism is the battle of the hour. Thanks to governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan who understand the centrality of competition to the American idea, millions of voters in America’s heartland will have tangible evidence to weigh against the federal dependency peddled by Barack Obama!
Cross-posted at Big Government.