Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker predicts that unless other states are empowered to implement the types of collective bargaining and budget-reform measures enacted in his state, they will soon encounter many of the same financial upheavals seen in Greece.
“Oh I think there’s no doubt,” Walker told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “I was just in Illinois earlier today talking to one of their policy forums, and the simple reality is the choice we’re talking about in Wisconsin is already being displayed in Illinois and other places like it right now.
“I mean, Illinois saw its bond rating go down to the worst in the country, it’s got a pension system [that is] half-funded. They thought they’d somehow balance their budget by raising taxes on individuals and businesses by 66 and 46 percent respectively.
“Instead of fixing things, their budget problems are even worse,” he said. “I think that’s what’s at stake anywhere across the country if we don’t fix these things.”
Walker has been traveling throughout his state and the nation in recent weeks, explaining the measures that balanced Wisconsin’s budget without layoffs, but that provoked an angry reaction from public-sector union leaders nationwide.
Now, Walker, his lieutenant governor, and four other Republicans face recall elections in June, when the voters will determine their political fate.
Walker, who predicts Republicans will win the recall, tells Newsmax in the exclusive interview that state leaders who placate their unions by raising taxes, in order to continue tax-and-spend policies, are only digging themselves in deeper.
“In contrast, we’ve made it work in Wisconsin,” Walker says. “We’ve lowered our overall tax burden, we ultimately saw a net increase in jobs this year, we’ve seen long-term structural reforms that allowed us to balance our budget, and I think we can do that across the country.”
Despite that progress, the state’s Department of Workforce Development recently reported a loss of 4,300 private-sector jobs in March.
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is 6.8 percent, compared to the national average of 8.2 percent. Walker says that after the uncertainty associated with the June recall is behind it, the state is poised for a major economic rebound.
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