Wisconsin's Political Crisis Is A Good Deal More Serious Than Its Fiscal Crisis

Peacenik thinks that if public sector collective bargaining can be destroyed in Wisconsin, then public sector collective bargaining can be destroyed anywhere in North America, including Canada. There are lots of movies about the development of unions in North America. Watch one. It was a tough battle. And now after years of having the right to bargain collectively, the right to join a union, and the right to worker safety laws, it is now all at risk. Some wingnut in Missouri is even trying to ban child labour laws. And who is standing up to defend worker rights. Is Obama? Is Bill Clinton? Is Hillary? A lot of common people are, along with the captain of the Green Bay Packers. If the governor of Wisconsin wins this battle, the United States of America will make Libya look like a tea party. Not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But sooner than anyone wants. Collective bargaining is part of the fabric of society. Rip it apart, and watch out.

MADISON - Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau was created in 1968 by a Republican governor, Warren Knowles, and a Republican-controlled state legislature.

The purpose was to establish a non-partisan agency that would provide honest fiscal analysis and information for Wisconsin Legislators. Across more than four decades, the bureau has done just that, earning the respect of legislators from both parties, including a young Scott Walker, who frequently cited the bureau when he served in the state Assembly.

Less than a month ago, a Fiscal Bureau memo reported that the state had a $121.4 million surplus through the remainder of the current fiscal year.

That is a fact that is now under attack by Governor Walker, who the conservative publication Human Events refers to as the “new hero” of the Republican right. Walker argues-- as Republicans and Democrats have acknowledged for some time -- that the state’s fiscal house is not in order and that unsettled issues relating to a payment due Minnesota after the canceling of a tax agreement, as well as rising health care and prison costs, could well create a shortfall before the end of the year.

So it is possible that Wisconsin might need a budget repair bill of the sort Walker has proposed before the fiscal year is finished, as it has in many years.

Read on...