Wisconsin's Walker to Obama: Butt Out of State Business

Friday, 18 Feb 2011 11:52 AM

By Jim Meyers

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has fired back at President Barack Obama for meddling in his state government’s ongoing battle with public sector unions.

On Thursday, Obama accused Republican Walker of unleashing an "assault" on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements affecting most public employees.

Wisconsin, Scott Walker, protest, budget
Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan has drawn thousands of protesters, pro and con. (Getty)
On Friday morning, Walker told Fox News: “I think we’re focusing on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the president and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budget, which they are a long ways from doing.”

The White House political operation, Organizing for America, got involved in the Wisconsin dispute on Monday.


And the president's political machine worked closely with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison, the state capital, on Thursday, The Washington Post reported.

But Walker insisted: “We’re not going to be intimidated by people coming in from outside of Wisconsin trying to tell us what we need to do to balance our budget.

“The bottom line is, we got elected to do a job.”

Under the plan proposed by Walker, who took office six weeks ago, most public workers — excluding police, firefighters and state troopers — would have to pay half of their pension costs and at least 12 percent of their healthcare costs. They would lose bargaining rights for anything other than pay.

Walker maintains that the measure would save $300 million over the next two years to help close a $3.6 billion budget gap.

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