George Will opines on “this year’s second most important election”, the soon to be settled Wisconsin gubernatorial recall vote.
“In 2010, government employees unions campaigned against Walker’s “5 and 12” plan. It requires government employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their pay to their pension plans. (Most were paying less than 1 percent. Most private-sector workers have no pensions; those who do pay, on average, much more than 5.8 percent.) Walker’s reform requires government employees to pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums (up from 6 percent but still less than the 21 percent private-sector average). Defeated in 2010, the unions now are demanding, as frustrated children do after losing a game, “Let’s start over!””
I am keenly interested in the outcome of this vote not because I am a Wisconsinite (though I once was), but because it is important: it represents the ability of entrenched special interest groups (state-supported unions) to plunge government and civil society into bankruptcy and, ultimately – if Greece is to be any indication – the abyss. The vote is a vote on whether the privileged few – the unions – will retain the power to destroy everything for everybody else. Scott Walker stands on the side of some semblance of sanity; Tom Barrett stands ready to re-empower the privileged horde (pension and health-care subsidized, non-competitive market state and union employees) to wreak havoc over the land.
On Tuesday, will Wisconsin do the right thing?