Scott Walker Fought Big Government Special Interests… And Won
When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker took office in 2011, he was immediately faced with a difficult challenge: a $3.6 billion budget deficit that was the result of his Democrat predecessor’s spending and mismanagement.
Faced with this multi-billion dollar obstacle, Walker didn’t take the easy way out and raise taxes on Wisconsinites. Instead, he decided to balance the budget through much-needed government reform.
Walker pushed forward and decided to take on the big government special interests with Act 10, Wisconsin’s 2011 budget repair bill. Act 10 tackled the out-of-control power of the state’s public-employee unions.
Before Act 10, taxpayers were paying the employer share of pension contributions AND the employee share of contributions for the state’s public employees, which was contributing to the growing deficit. Now, under Act 10, public employees help contribute to their retirement savings, just as most employees do in the private sector.
However, when you take on big government union bosses, you become a target of these special interests. During the Act 10 fight, unions brought in tens of thousands of protesters outside the state capitol and Walker even faced death threats against himself and his family.
Fast forward: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld Act 10 and it has saved Wisconsin taxpayers over $3 billion. Going beyond the savings, teachers in Wisconsin are now being paid based on performance and hired based on merit, resulting in a better experience for students.
Governor Scott Walker knew those on the left and those unwilling to make the changes that benefit Wisconsin would attack his big and bold reforms. But, in the end, Walker stood strong to deliver what the taxpayers needed.