The Battle of Madison is only the Beginning

-By Dan Proft

Let me understand this, Illinois is sending jobs to Wisconsin and in exchange we receive more liberal Democrat politicians? That’s a trade only the Cubs would make. Similarly, it might be another 103 years before a business again locates in Illinois.

No one can say Wisconsin Senate Democrats aren’t willing to go the distance for their financiers. They went all the way to Rockford seeing as Illinois is a sanctuary state for public sector union shills.

What choice did they have? It isn’t right that one party should just ram through legislation without bi-partisan support unless, of course, you are Chicago Democrats in Washington ramming through Obamacare or Chicago Democrats in Springfield ramming through the largest tax increase in Illinois history.

From the scenes on television and the comparisons of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to Hosni Mubarek, you might think Gov. Walker is rounding up public sector union members for hard labor in internment camps.

In fact, the legislation Walker proposed that spurred Senate Democrats’ abdication would have public sector union employees contribute 6% of their salary for their guaranteed pension and 12% of their salary for their Cadillac health care coverage. Those contributions are about one-half of what most private sector workers pay—for the ones even afforded pension and health care benefits.

The truth is that Wisconsin Democrats and public sector unions have done the nation a great service. We have now borne witness in high-definition clarity to precisely where the battle lines are drawn in the fight for government to live within the means of the families who pay for it.

I feel for rank-and-file public sector employees. They were lied to by their union bosses and the politicians they funded. Promises were made that simply can no longer be financed in the short-term much less sustained in perpetuity–and the bosses knew all along that the numbers would eventually stop adding up.

What’s happening in Wisconsin and will happen elsewhere is not an attack on conscientious public sector workers; it is an effort by responsible political leadership to fairly solve a daunting arithmetic problem.
Dan Proft ( writes a weekly commentary for WLS-AM 890′s “Don Wade and Roma Morning Show” and co-hosts a show on WLS Saturdays 12noon-3pm and Sundays 1pm-3pm. Proft is also a Senior Fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001