Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:53:58 PM
Scott Walker is the current governor of Wisconsin; he was inaugurated on January 3, 2011. When he was campaigning for governor, the biggest promises he made were to balance Wisconsin’s deficit of $3.6 billion dollars without increasing taxes, or laying off public workers, and to help create jobs in the private sector by creating a favorable business climate. As of the end of his first year in office (January 3, 2012), he has begun the process in achieving all of the above promises. He signed the Budget Repair bill which causes union workers to contribute to health care and retirement plans to save money, made cuts in the 2011-2013 budget in order to defeat the deficit, and avoid making massive public employee layoffs. To begin to create a favorable business climate, Walker signed legislation that created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, created a tax credit for employers whom create jobs in Wisconsin, and making health savings accounts tax deductible.
The reason why I chose to make Gov. Scott Walker the person to watch in 2012 is mainly because of the left’s attack on his actions. The Budget Repair legislation, which requires all union workers to contribute to their benefits (which had been paid for with tax payer’s dollars, and most of which continue to be) and made collective bargaining rights (which are naturally obsolete for private sector employees), yet not at the level of the private sector, brought thousands of protesters to Madison, and massive recall campaigns, in the State Senate and the state house of representatives; and for the governor’s seat itself.
I think that the outcomes of the various recall election, including the petition calling for a recall election against Gov. Walker, as well as his reactions to these things, will be followed on a national level, much like the Madison protests. Also, the ideas implemented in the Budget Repair Bill where implemented in other states, such as Ohio. It is not a stretch to believe that what happens in Wisconsin will influence other states by laying a precedent for (Republican) governors, protestors (of either party), and government policies. Governor Walker is breaking new ground in relation to how state governments deal with unions, budgets, and the and creating business driven economies, and I believe that’s worth watching.