• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Gov. Scott Walker Sits Down With Heritage and Answers the Tough Questions

    MADISON, Wis. — Teachers’ unions and representatives of every liberal interest group in the country may have taken over the streets of Madison for demonstrations, marches and speeches, but inside the Wisconsin governor’s mansion its chief tenant remains calm and resolute. The Badger State’s budget will be balanced, Gov. Scott Walker (R) assured The Heritage Foundation in a one-on-one interview. The stakes in Wisconsin are high not just here, but across America.

    “I’ve said all along the protesters have every right to be there, but I’m not going to let tens of thousands overload or overshadow the millions of people in Wisconsin, the taxpayers of the state, who want us to do the right thing and balance the budget,” Gov. Walker told us. (Click here to watch the interview.)

    Fourteen state Senate Democrats fled to Illinois last week, preventing a quorum and blocking passage of Walker’s budget repair bill. But that doesn’t dissuade Gov. Walker. He told Heritage he would prefer to see the stalemate last indefinitely rather than compromise on his principles.

    For the strength to stand so firmly, Gov. Walker said he draws on his past experience as Milwaukee County executive—a fiscal conservative leading a county that voted overwhelmingly for President Obama in 2008 by a margin of 67% to 32%.

    The political role model Gov. Walker looks up to is also important, as it is none other than President Ronald Reagan. Of Reagan, Gov. Walker said, “He knew who he was, he knew where he was going and he did what he had to do to get there.”

    Reagan was no stranger to bold and difficult decisions, and Gov. Walker said he was prepared to follow in the former president’s footsteps for as long as he served in office.

    In 1981, about six months after taking office, Reagan defined the tenor of his administration with his own bold decision to fire more than 11,000 air traffic controllers who ignored the president’s orders to return to work. Reagan emerged victorious, his presidency emboldened by the conflict.

    The stakes were high for Reagan then—he risked an enormous public backlash by disrupting commercial air travel—and they’re high for Gov. Walker now. In many ways, Wisconsin will be the prototype for other deficit-laden states whose leaders attempt to balance their budgets.

    Gov. Walker is aware of just what Wisconsin—and the rest of the country—stands to gain or lose with the ultimate outcome of this debate. That’s precisely why he insists the outcome be a balanced budget. For that, he’ll endure personal insults, the comparisons to deposed Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. He’ll face days of chanting outside his window and threats to his safety.

    In fact, Gov. Walker is not merely enduring—he’s “feeling good,” he said. He’s even found something in common with the protesters: They share the same taste in music. The songs blaring over the loudspeaker take him back to his college and high school days.

    The music’s not the only aspect of the protests Gov. Walker appreciates. He’s also grateful they’ve remained peaceful—even this weekend, when his supporters turned up to counter the protesters. Maybe that’s why Gov. Walker seems so grounded even in the midst of the churning: He’s appreciative of, rather than worried about, what the protests signify—that the people of Madison, those on both sides of the issue, care enough to come to the Capitol to debate.

    But that’s where he draws the line, promising to remain committed to his principles in the face of adversity. “We have to be clear and realistic about our challenges,” he said, “but optimistic about our solutions.”

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    151 Responses to Morning Bell: Gov. Scott Walker Sits Down With Heritage and Answers the Tough Questions

    1. Randy says:

      What Scott Walker is doing in Wisconsin has little to do with making the tough choices to balance our budget and reduce our debt. Scott Walker is simply taking money from working families to plug holes in the state budget. He is not making any real cuts in spending or how our state does business. We still have an ungodly amount of private jets for the government employees and an incredibly long list of other unnecessary expenses. Reducing the State payroll so you can continue to afford to fly around in private jets is NO different than increasing taxes so you can afford to fly around in a private jet. Our government needs to change the way they do business and make real cuts not just find new creative revenue sources like taking away benefits from working families.

      I voted for Scott Walker and backed Tea party candidates in the last election because I thought they were going to make the difficult decisions necessary to reduce government spending, reduce the debt, and save the American dream for my children and everyone’s children. I can’t believe they are just going to conduct the States business as usual

      at the expense of public union worker’s pensions and benefits.

      I hope other people realize what Scott Walker is really doing before it is too late.

    2. Orn Eagle says:

      "Gov Walker for president."

    3. Ralph Barnett, Elmhu says:

      Go Gov. Walker! Please be resolute and do not compromise on your principles; principles which so many others hold dear. I, for one, am tired of Republicans compromising conservative principles to the advancement of liberal principles.

      Godbwye, Ralph

    4. ldot says:

      It's time for the country to rebel and not be taken hostage by the Unions or this government. I applaud Walker for his courage to do the tough thing and not pass all the debt and problems on to his successors. Pull a Reagan and fire them all if they don't get back to work. Bada Bing Bada Boom.

      Children first, my arse….the Unions are an antiquated group whose usefulness has expired.

    5. Mary............WI says:

      Our governor is a good man and majority of Wisconsinites stand behind him on this issue. And his resolve to decertify these unions will helpother statess in the same position. Let the unions spend down their money protesting….maybe there will be less for Obama's re-election.

    6. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Gov. Walker,

      Do not give in. You have good company – even Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) gets it. We need to be as relentless as the public employees have been to the taxpayers.

      There is no reason my the Wisconsin public employees should have it as good as they will have it after your proposals get enacted.

      We the private sector taxpayers are no longer tolerant about letting these goons take so much from us!

      Keep up the fight. This fight is important because the biggest thieves in the District of Columbia will be the hardest set of goons to settle with. Why we are where we are escapes me. Some people say that because times are hard, we take it out on the public sector. But that is not so. Things have been bad for quite some time. Since 9/11, the feds have seen massive hikes in pay while the rest of America has lost ground. 28 out of 50 states saw their household incomes go down. In the last 10 years the greater DC area went from having 3 of the richest counties in America to seven! The greater DC area has seen 36% increases in household incomes while the rest of America saw a 5% decrease. DC gets its financial resources from the taxpayers (people who are loosing money to these goons).

      When Obama talked about redistribution, this is what he had in mind. We need to get public spending under control. Public employees should not be earning more than the private sector in either pay or benefits. Gov. Walker – fight the fight!

    7. Judith MacNeill Virg says:

      When my fellow Patriots are feeling low, I remind them that there are American heros that will emerge to lead.

      I feel Governor Walker is one of these heros.

    8. Common Sense says:

      Thank you Gov. Walker for your resolve in this matter.

      What does it mean when on a weekday, thousands of Union workers show up to protest & then come the WEEKEND the non-union pro-governor protestors show up???

    9. Carolyn Morgan, Hous says:

      I am so grateful that this very fine man, Gov. Walker, has courage to stand by his convictions, which are supported by the many, many people of his state. What a fine example he is setting for others who will hopefully follow him on the federal level and lead our country out of this mess. To our federally elected conservative officials in Congress: Pay Attention!

    10. G. Hugh Bodell says:

      If the municipal union contracts are not adjusted, the fact that they are underfunded across the country by hundreds of billions of dollars and the defined benefit non-contributory pension/benefits are a thing of the past, state and municipal bankruptcies will explode.

      Maybe this is the Obama handlers' agenda in feeding the flames of the illegal municipal strike being carried on in Winsconsin.

      Stand tall Governor Walker, we need more of you to stave off the destruction of our once great country.


    11. Dave W. Provo. UT says:

      Gov. Walker is to be admired and supported in his efforts to get Wisconsin's budget under control and seeking to help local governments to do the same. I was a grad student at UW-Madison in the 60s and saw the protesters who would camp out on the lawn and wait for the TV cameras to show up. When they were gone they would sit back down smoke a joint and wait for the next TV truck to appear. School teachers walking off the job to protest is unethical, encouraging their students to join them should be grounds for dismissal.

    12. Joe Taxpayer, Forest says:

      Today is President's Day.It's a Federal and State paid holiday. The private sector works today, which generates tax revenues which pay the salary of the governement workers. Is there something wrong in all of this?

    13. toledofan says:

      I guess that this is another example of the Democrats putting themselves first and above the fray by just running away. Rather than tackle the the problems and doing your job, I guess it's just easier to just hide. I know one thing, their pay should be cut for every minute they don't show up to vote. It's also clear that the teachers that aren't in school should be forced to give back their pay for the time they are demonstrating and using the school childeren as props is just wrong. The public sector unions have become too big and actually have created problems for the teachers because they have almost out bargained the jobs. For sure they haven't been made to take any cuts even though the revenue from taxes is way down. In the same breath they have allowed, the unions, a system that fails at least 20% of the kids, sure doesn't seem to be a good investment for our tax dollars.

    14. David, Cedar Falls, says:

      If Walker's role model is Reagan, will he raise taxes too?

    15. Rob DeHarpport says:

      While watching the protests in Wisconsin I remembered this quote from Willie Brown – former ultra liberal (D) CA Assemblyman and San Francisco Mayor who said; “The deal used to be that civil servants were paid less than private sector workers in exchange for an understanding that they had job security for life,” Brown asserted. “But we politicians — pushed by our friends in labor — gradually expanded pay and benefits . . . while keeping the job protections and layering on incredibly generous retirement packages. . . . This is politically unpopular and potentially even career suicide . . . but at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact.” Even Willie “gets it.” And now the voters of liberal Wisconsin “get it.” When will the unions and the educated finally understand what broke really means? Look at the GM example…

      I don't begrudge anyone a fair wage, pension or health plan- and I do appreciate our Teachers and Public servants who work hard, but… reality insists that we all understand we are broke. Every state is facing the same problem- many of us have been sounding the alarm for years, yet the old tin- can continued to be kicked down the road. Now we see the end of the road and sacrifices must be made- the road is no longer paved with the spoils of the taxpayers for the public workers to enjoy. The inherent problems with all of these defined benefit public pension plans is basically three-fold.

      1. They guarantee an 8% return on investment + many (like Oregon PERS Tier 1 Plan) also provide a 2% COLA to retirees.

      2. The 100 year average return from the NYSE (according to Warren Buffett) is 5.3%.

      3. The public sector employee generally has no real "skin in the game" concerning pensions and health insurance.

      This simple equation can be understood by grade school children – 10% is MORE THAN 5.3%. HELLO! ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A 5th GRADER! Whenever the return on these pensions falls below 8% the tax payers pay the difference. Eugene 4J School District (16,500 students) spends 31% of payroll on PERS (approximately $40 million per year)- Oakridge Schools spend 29% of payroll on PERS- ridiculously flawed public pensions are cannibalizing public education and basic public services such as fire and police. Despite a Jan. 1, 2011 Oregon PERS cost increase of 6% (to the taxpayer) some mis-guided folks in Eugene are backing a new local income tax to support Eugene schools. A somewhat noble but bad move! The money is there to educate, protect and provide basic services – not to propagate extravagant pensions that in the real world would require one to save $1 million in an annuity. Nor is the money intended to pay for "Cadillac Health Insurance" plans that are unaffordable to the private sector. Simply put- We are; "Taxed Enough Already." It's time for public employees to have some "skin in the game."

      Rob DeHarpport

      (30 year Teamster and 20 yr. Union Shop Steward)

    16. Jim-MN says:

      This issue in WI with Unions is the big show down. Actually bigger than the past election route of the Dems. If Walker fails in his effort to implement his reforms, there will be a backward domino affect across the country.

      On the bigger stage, Obama knows this is his last stand. If he and the Dems lose the Union foot to the neck over their largest financial base of extortion, Obama is a one term President and both Dems and the Progressives will be history again for the next 50 years.

      It is time to stand up America.

      Hey Jarvis, were still waiting for the the opology to Ben C. I bet it is really tough to see your dream of Marixism falling to its slow death in right front of your foolish brain.

      Everything is jake Jarvis.

    17. Vernon Brant - Babso says:

      I support Gov. Walker and hope same will happen in Florida

    18. Ron Moore says:

      Governor, Please don't ever compromise.

    19. Richard Anderson, La says:

      Hang in there Governor, all of America is with you.

      We will all stand together or we will all fall together!

    20. Stacie - Memphis, TN says:

      Will Gov. Walker be willing to forfeit and/or modify his benefit plan and healthcare plan to help balance the budget? Do the taxpayers contribute to his wonderful healthcare plan or does he pay out of pocket himself?

    21. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      2- 21 -11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Let's see if I have this right.

      The Politicians Pass the LAWS, including the Budget,

      and they do a LOUSY JOB.

      NOW they are saying it is the WORKERS FAULT

      and wages should be cut.

    22. Suzanne, Florida says:

      The Unions are losing the battle; it is a battle as to whether the few will control the many. Any rational person must realize that deficit spending will eventually take down the government. If these union members really cared about the students, which they claim, they would be in the classrooms teaching rather than disrupting and abusing their contracts. Perhaps someone other than the governor might remind them that they are citizens of the state too. Being that it would appear they are not underpaid versus the private section they might also remember that the private sector pays for both health and the 401'K to fund their own retirement.

      Bravo the governor; if he really follows Reagan's playbook he would give them an ultimatum to return to the classroom by a given date or be fired.

    23. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      In a conversation over the weekend with a cousin that lives and works at farming in a rural area of central Louisiana, when we got around to the goings-on in Wisconsin he commented he was against Gov. Walker because he heard on

      an NBC news broadcast that the governor actions would force thousands of state workers to loose of their jobs. Two points struck me. First, he misunderstood (since his family always voted Democrat). Or second, NBC as usual, is distorting facts to support Obama and the unions. Either way, I better recognize why

      so many Americans do not yet understand what Obama and his leftist ilk are

      attempting to do to this nation. Whether it's ignorance, apathy, or political support, American must be given true and accurate news information so they

      can make their own assessment for the direction of our country. As long as the national news media is bought and paid for by Obama and the left, we will

      continue to sturggle for the survival of America as we know it.

    24. Douglas McCabe, Albu says:

      Please watch this and know that this is how one brave governor has chosen to handle a very delicate and sensitive situation involving very greedy unions. I can only hope other governors across the country follow suit and prosecute to the full extent of the law the Senators who have violated their duty to represent their constituents.

    25. Lois Carlson, Grants says:

      Stay firm! We need to fix our country, starting right here in Wisconsin.

    26. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      They're public employees like policemen, air traffic controllers, firefighters, and postal

      workers. What do these public employees all have in common? As the PATCO controllers found out the hard way, if they go out on strike, they can be fired, and their

      union decertified. Scott Walker should consider that.

    27. Lois Carlson, Grants says:

      Stay firm, hold the course. We need to fix our country, beginning right here in Wisconsin.

    28. Ronald J. Steudel, H says:

      My family and I are behind Gov. Walker all the way. That is why he was eleceted!

      We realize that it is hard to give back things you were used to getting, but sacrifices will have to be made by everyone if we are to get our state in fiscal order. Even though we do not work in the public sector, we realize that future plans will surely effect us in a direct way. We are ready to make the sacrfices nescessary to help out.

      The also extends to our Federal Gov., President Obama and all the rest of the Senate and House of Rep. need to know this and act accordingly.


      Ronald J. Steudel

    29. Robert, North Richla says:

      Push on! Governor Walker! Thanks for the leadership. I would gladly shoulder a rifle next to this man. I only wish he was the Senate Majority leader, or Speaker of the House. Think what we could accomplish with his guts, his prinicples, and his leadership. The Wisconisn republican Senators should get to work and pass everything they possibly can (not spending bills) while the socialists are in Illinois. More stringent abortion rules; drug-testing for welfare recipients; means-testing for welfare recipients; and no welfare for criminals and shoplifters. There is plenty to do. The Wisconsin Senators need to get busy and get to work.

    30. Paul Terry Stone says:

      As stated above, Gov. Walker may have one option that the demonstrators may prefer not to deal with. He should be able to fire them.

    31. Rich Gallagher, VA says:

      Governor: Ask the teachers to create the state budget. Hold them responsible for the curs they make.. Then just hand the teachers your empty checkbook. See if they can handle finance better than you. Bet they can't.

    32. Rich Gallagher, VA says:

      Gov, we're with you. Stand fast!

      When the "Workers of the world unite!' we know their philosophy is unAmerican!

    33. RUTH SC says:

      It would seem the American people realize the need for everything to cut back. I all the union people would give a little and drop the wages we would all like to be getting, then the state would stand a chance to balance the budget. In Sc the average teacher salary is supposed to be 47,000, I can tell you for a fact after 8 years on the job I know teachers who make 30,000 dollars a year, Why should teachers in your state not have to bite the bullet to keep jobs, and keep a decent standard of education. I believe we all as Americans need to take a cut, stop the fraud, change the way we do things and begin to live like we are not the rich, instead of being so jealous of those who have, so many of those people have worked a life time to get to a point of financial security. Lets face it the poor of the country do not pay the bills, those who earn more and have invested wisely are the ones who pay taxes and create jobs. Poor people do not create jobs, they fill jobs. Showing our butts to the world and demanding the same as someone else who is smarter or more ambitious than we are will not solve problems. everyone needs to take cuts to get over the problems we have, all over the country, not just in some states. God bless our country, don't let it fall apart now, fix the problem, be a part of the fix, not a part of the problem.

    34. RUTH SC says:

      And just for the record, name calling NEVER got anyone anywhere. We should all have respect for other people. Derogatory statements will not help, stop the name calling. find solutions. not cruel ways to hurt people.

    35. Gini Perdue; Klamath says:

      Home schooling just looks better all the time. Everytime the liberal goverenment gets it's nose into anything, prices go up and now the Unions are trying to push their way into things, regardless to what it will cost the people who just do not have anymore money. Mr. Glenn Beck makes more sence all the time. You are doing the right thing Gov. Walker. We all make mistakes and voting Obama in as president was a big one.

    36. Stephen Metz, Spring says:

      Massachusetts, at both the state and local level, is also racking up a huge deficit, for the same reason – unrealistic promises of the state to public employees. No one has mentioned a huge difference between the collective bargaining process for public unions and private unions – public sector negotiations involve redistribution of wealth from all the citizens to a select few, so that the government negotiators have little personal stake in the process. There is all too often the sense on both sides that the money is "free". In the case of private negotiations, the issue has to do with income both parties have a vested interest in, so the zero-sum nature of the discussion is much more evident.

    37. Cliff2008 Tampa Fl says:

      Surely there must be a point at which the absent senators are deemed to have vacated their posts and can be replaced ( hopefully by governor appointment ). If not, Wisconsin needs to make some changes.

      Also, are the absentee senators being paid and their expenses being covered by the state during this stunt?

    38. P. Griffin, Indiana says:

      Governor Walker was voted in for his strong economic conservatism, and he is to be applauded for trying to do the right things, economically, for Wisconsin, since it is bleeding rivers of red ink. We have been in a bad two-year recession, and there are no signs yet that the end is in sight. Unemployment seems stuck at around 10%, and many families have lost their homes. To see teachers playing hooky from their jobs, marching at the capital and screaming that they are being treated unfairly– when they in fact receive better salary, retirement, and health benefits than their counterparts in the private sector and better than most private-sector taxpayers — makes them appear childish and unreasonable. They are not even being asked to take pay cuts; rather, they are simply being asked to contribute a small portion toward their own retirement and health benefits. And to see elected officials fleeing the state instead of doing the job they are being paid to do is really an unconscionable dereliction of duty, and they should be removed from office and replaced by people willing to do the hard work for Wisconsin.

      Stand tall, Governor Walker! We need more elected officials with strong principles, common sense, and the determination to stop the red ink from flowing.

    39. Stephen Metz, Spring says:

      Massachusetts, at both the state and local level, is also racking up a huge deficit, for the same reason – unrealistic promises of the state to public employees. No one has mentioned a huge difference between the collective bargaining process for public unions and private unions – public sector negotiations involve redistribution of wealth from all the citizens to a select few, so that the government negotiators have little personal stake in the process. There is all too often the sense on both sides that the money is “free”. In the case of private negotiations, the issue has to do with income both parties have a vested interest in, so the zero-sum nature of the discussion is much more evident.

    40. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      Gov Walker, stay on point for the rest of the nation, we are behind you. Never give up, never surrender.

    41. F.D. O'Toole, N says:

      He shouldn't be left out there alone to fight this important battle. Isn't there another governor who has the same problem? Or two, or three? In World War 2 we attacked the Axis in multiple fronts making them spread their resources and eventually capitulate.

    42. Judith in Michigan says:

      When we vote in an election, I didn't think we were voting on which union we wanted to be in control. Somehow though, the unions have begun to believe they are in charge of The United States, not it's citizens. We must dispel this notion immeditely.

      If the unions win this challenge, the country is forever lost to radical union domination. Not good!

      The teachers who are skipping out on their jobs to educate, the Democrat legislators who are cowardly hiding to avoid their responsibilities and the physicians who are issuing "bogus sick excuses" must keep in mind the messages they are sending to the kids they profess to be so concerned about.

      "It is OK to lie and cheat and throw tantrums to get your way. Threats and intimidations are the way to go."

      I sent an e-mail to Governor Walker's office to voice my support. He is getting thousands of such messages from across the country. If you believe in his principled stand and his efforts to balance his state's budget, let him know of your support.

      The country is starving for just such leadership.

    43. Tom Wood, Hickory Hi says:

      I wish you all the best of luck Governor Walker, I hope you suceed. We need more Governors like you to get this country back strong. I think those Dem senators, teachers and public employees should be fired if they don't go back to work, they had their choice, but they want to be greedy. Millions of unemployed people would take their jobs for less money, because they would appreciate what they have.

    44. Brenda Pernicano, MT says:

      Hang tough, Governor. Belt tightening is always uncomfortable for those that do not want to let go of their comfort zones.

    45. tjake13 Illinois says:

      I'm an independent, and I was wondering if Mr. Walker would run for president?

      What he should do to start, is cut the pay of the state politicians.

      Cut their perks and some of their staff, that are not needed.

      The trouble with Wisconsin is, they have a knee jerk mentality.

      Someone is poor, give them money; even if they are from Illinois.

      Wisconsin passes out money, without checking residency?

      The Dells employees, go to Florida in the winter, and collect compensation?

      There will always be poor people; give them welfare, and there will be more.

      Big business and large unions have created and atmosphere of greed.

      Who has the guts to stop the give-aways?

    46. Bob Jason, Englewood says:

      I found it interesting that our founding fathers had the foresight to consider what is happening in WI. They included section 5 in the Constitution that stated as follows: " Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of it's own members, and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a SMALLER number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized TO COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE OF ABSENT MEMBERS, in such manner, and under such penalties as each may provide." They realized a group of legislators could refuse to show up in order to deny a house a necessary quorum and thus prevent a bill they opposed from passing.

    47. deidra, Houston, Tex says:

      Bravo,Govnenor Scott Walker is my new hero. Everyone wants "change" but no one is willing to give up their piece of the pie to get back to a balanced budget. It seems that people are used to being in debt, maxed out on credit cards, maxed out on payments for everything….because the word "restraint" and "hard work" and "patience" have lost their meaning. No wonder that this is a nation of stressed out people and young folks willing to set their sights very low.

      I have a few problems with teachers who aren't in their classrooms teaching….maybe part of the problem with our educational system is that it has been a "do-nothing" profession for a long time. If those folks cared about their students…they would be in the classrooms….not in the streets.

      I could go on and on……..but…I have to go to work.

    48. Kendall Svengalis, N says:

      Governor Walker needs to know that millions of Americans across the country stand with him. Whether Tea Party Patriots or common sense Americans, they comprehend the threat posed by out-of-control public employee unions and their left-wing allies. The template created for many in the public sector who view their unions are inevitable and beneficial to society as a whole needs to be discarded. It is an experiment which, having ignored the prescient misgivings of President Roosevelt, and others, who understood the impropriety of public sector workers organizing, has failed. Not for its members, of course, who gain short-term benefits, but for the society as a whole which cannot survive financially in a system which grants to one segment the ability to gain disproportionate advantage over taxpayers generally.

      In a wider sense, public sector unionization is the driving force behind the overall growth of government which serves the self-interest of the unions, their leadership, and, to a lesser degree, their members, but which propels society as a whole on an unsustainable path. The unions are happy to secure short-term benefits for themselves while passing on the costs to future generations.

      The Wisconsin battle also highlights the fundamental flaw of the union shop, namely, that forced unionization is hostile and incompatible to the very notion of a free society. Again, union ideology and leadership, and those members who buy into that ideology, ignore the basic tenets of a free society to advance their own selfish ends. From this fundamental flaw emerge all manner of negative consequences, but particularly the pernicious practice of forced union dues (extracted, ultimately, from taxpayers) being used to secure the election of candidates sympathetic to the organized labor agenda, and big government generally. Thus, what originates in coercion of union members by their leaders, leads to the coercion of society as a whole towards the socialist welfare state by a radicalized Democratic Party.

      The current recession has exposed the financial and political perils that have laid just below the surface for many years, but which can be ignored no longer. I believe that many honest public sector union members comprehend these things, even though their leadership will probably never concede their truth. I am a retired state government worker myself, and never felt comfortable arguing for salary or benefits that would not be available to those in the private sector, but for which those in the private sector are nevertheless forced to pay. Indeed, it is unconscionable that one private sector worker should have to work to age 70 to pay the benefits of a teacher or state government worker who can retire comfortably at age 55 because his contract or state law (drafted no

      doubt with substantial labor union input), allows it.

      Wisconsin is often held up a model of “Progressive” politics and was in the forefront of early Progressive movement. But the negative ramifications of that movement have come home to roost in the form of unsustainable government spending, much of it earmarked for a privileged government worker class. It is time to re-balance the scales.

    49. anne new hampsire says:

      Like any employee who does not go along with the rules whether it be public or private these teachers should be fired. If they are unhappy leave and allow one who is interested in teaching our children without complaints be hired.

      For years people who work for government complain and yet they have the best jobs in country time off and second jobs while the rest of us work a full 40 hours or more for meager salaries because we need to eat and pay our bills.

    50. Joshua, Zurich says:

      Dear Governor,

      Why don't you simply withhold Federal Income Taxes, generated in WI, until your commitments are paid for?

      Isn't that a better solution than striping rights from real working people?

      Also, are you taking a salary? Is your staff? Are you encouraging a Volunteer Government?

    51. Robb Fairchild, Chic says:

      Governor Christie has opened the door with refreshing honesty and tough-love, making decisions that are long over due, hopefully Governor Walker will succeed in Wisconsin, too.

      As for CA, I predict our state will begin to lead all states in the Union with the largest number cities filing bankruptcy to solve their problems, in order to make the tough decisions that our governor and state legislature lack the courage to do.

    52. Michele, Illinois says:

      This is a Wisconsin issue and the people of Wisconsin chose Mr. Walker. We have a system of government and if the people see fit, they can vote him out at the next election. Hold tight Mr. Walker, the people, not the organized Union voted you in. Honor the people of Wisconsin and do not bow down to the Illinoians intruding in your state business. Take a leadership role and bring your state back to the people and fiscal responsibility. All the other states should follow suit. Illinois unions have no right espically when this state has been run into the ground and we are taxed so much that people are leaving this state!

    53. Go Rally Bus says:

      Keep up the pressure in Wisconsin! http://wisconsinworkers.gorallybus.com/

    54. Barbara Gutzler, Wap says:

      I'm a NY teacher who will be laid off at the end of Feb, with only 4 years to go before I can retire. Gee, if paying more for insurance or making some other reasonable sacrifice would save my job, I'd do it! If the Governor pulls a Ronald Reagan & fires the teachers, I'll gladly relocate out there so I could have a job doind what I love so much.

    55. Dursse3, Hillsboroug says:

      Fire the teachers.

    56. Glenn,Kansas says:

      Keep up the good work Governor!

      Can you imagine the outrage of the media if Republicans had fled the country to prevent Obamacare from passing? Can you say, strangely silent when the Democrats flee Wisconsin?

    57. Jill, California says:

      Those who are protesting should walk a mile in the shoes of the taxpayers footing the bill for their overly generous benefits. Many of us have no pension plans and are in danger of losing our health insurance entirely due to skyrocketing costs. Does it make sense that our tax money should be used to give them full benefits while we have none? Government employees should receive no greater benefits than do the average taxpayers supporting them.

    58. Stan Lewis, Marion, says:

      Governor Walker is a man of his word. He is doing what he said he would do. How can the doctors lie and sign cards to certify people can demonstrate, they and the democrat representatives who are hiding in Illinois should all be arrested and prosecuted for fraud. And the teachers who are lying about being sick. They should all be fired and new teachers hired to replace them. Unions are not the law. They obviously are committing fraud too in this situation. Continue to stand Governor Walker, and may other governors be encouraged to do the same when such circumstances warrant.

    59. Chroma41, California says:

      Thr teachers have constantly complained that they were underpaid but now that they have pay and benefits comparable to, or even exceeding, industry averages, there has been no improvement in student grades; in fact grades have continued to decline; nor has the percentage of graduates improved either.

      Some places have actually improved grades but at the cost of "dumbing down" the curriculum or "teaching the test" so C students are now B and A students. Progressivism vs. Progress!

    60. Michel DeLisle, Wauk says:

      I voted for Reagan. Scott Walker is not Reagan. Reagan was a great communicator that brought people together & added empathy to his strong approach. Even as he cut, he led others to believe that it hurt him to make the cuts & that he was sorry to do so, even if it was best for the country.

      Walker comes across as stubborn & unyielding &, frankly, a little nasty with his comments about the people of Wisconsin whom he was elected to lead. Calling the demonstrators "freeloaders" & refusing to even consider the offers of the AFL-CIO to contribute what Walker is asking for toward health care & pensions makes Walker appear egotistical. Walker's statements are more about him than his love for his country or people. It is a shame to have Reagan's name invoked in this manner.

    61. Roger TN says:

      As I understand it, Mitch Daniels, Gov. of Indiana eliminated collective bargaining some time back. Why wasn't it an issue then? Could be that Madison, WI is the seat (or any other euphanism you wish here) of the beginning of US Progressivism. Keep it up Governor, most of us are with you.

    62. Marcia Lewis Detroit says:

      hooray, Hooray, HOORAY, finally a man who does not bow down to the loud chants of those people unwilling to really listen to logic. As a former teacher I am really dismayed at the policies of some of the union officials and many of the members who have the feeling of entitlement. Yes, I also have worked hard all of my life and if we seniors have to tighten our belts, well, I'll do it. Lets all pull together and bite the bullet and get this crazy spending under control.

      Michigan will most likely be hit by the next outcry because of the stong powerful unions. but hopefully Wisconsin will set the stage.

    63. E. Williams, Starkvi says:

      We need more statesmen like the Gov. of Wisconsin. We have a real problem with our budgets and we need realistic solutions based on reason and sound fiscal policy, not "more taxes to buy more votes to stay in office politicians" that so pervade our country.

    64. Charles LABounty Mer says:

      I'd rather buy a Toyota than a car made by the union thugs in this country.

      And I used to be a strong "Buy American" advocate.

      The public unions are destroying the government and the labor unions have destroyed manufacturing in this country.

      Who in their right mind would want to start up a manufacturing plan in this Country and have to put up with the unions and epa regulations, much less local codes.

    65. Gayle D. Garrison says:

      Why should unionized teachers have a greater bargaining power than say all the mother's across America that work in and out of the home to pay their taxes? Answer: they should not!! I say fire the union teachers and hire the mother's to teach their children. Enough is enough!!

    66. Henry,Illinois says:

      Stand FIRM Gov.Walker we are with you and your just cause for the taxpayers of Wisconsin.The coward democratic state senators are still hiding in the bankrupt state of Illinois and shirking their duty to the taxpayers of their state.

    67. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      I've seen a great deal of commentary on various blogs that cite the "greed" of the Unions as THE contributing factor in the current confrontations. This is less than one-half of the story.

      Yes, in terms of much of the Union membership, greed is the key factor. The "I've got mine" attitude. But the real underlying reason for near panic in Union offices is the rest of the story:

      Union Power rests on the Union's ability to "Collective Bargain" over a very wide range of workforce and workplace issues. The proposed changes that Governor Walker, et al, proposes would reduce that spectrum to wage related "Bargaining" only. It wouldn't take Union members long to figure out that they are paying far to much for very little representation. ergo the power of the Unions would dry up very quickly.

      As a footnote: As Union membership is threatened the ability of the Union to deliver votes, phone banks, foot soldiers and a host of other politically related "services" shinks accordingly.

      It is All About Power.

    68. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Gov. Snyder in Michigan has the same budget problem as all of the other states but has taken a more passive approach. He has attempted to engage all parties in the economic struggle and it will be intersting to see how it plays out. Michigan is a profoundly "labor union" state and it will intersting to see if the labor unions understand the problem or finger point blame. My guess is that the storm is on the horizon.

    69. Pingback: Morning Bell: Gov. Scott Walker Sits Down With Heritage and Answers the Tough Questions « South Capitol Street

    70. Bippy New Jersey says:

      Governor Walker, Thank you for this Courageous Stand. In a state where our governor Talks the Talk; You have chosen to back up your words with deeds. If you fail, we all fail. Please know the nation is watching. Will the Union Thugs win out ? Or will the right of responsibility trump the day. Good Luck, Governor, and godspeed. You are in our prayers.

    71. Wayne, Louisiana says:

      It is important to live within ones budget. I understand the plight of teachers. The rest of the State cannot support one group of employees without causing hardships on themselves.

    72. Pingback: Tweets that mention Morning Bell: Gov. Scott Walker Sits Down With Heritage and Answers the Tough Questions | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    73. John says:

      A man like this will accomplish.

    74. Pam Baldridge - Spri says:

      As a retired Ohio educator for 37+ years, I resented being required to join the teacher's union. I would have been more than willing to support our local teacher group, but couldn't stand being told which Democrats to vote for in each election. Wisconsin educators are being asked for moderate financial concessions. They should agree so that 5,500 don't receive pink slips. State budgets must be balanced and raising taxes is not the answer.

    75. Julie Christensen, A says:

      I voted for Scott Walker but I must admit that I am saddened by his actions this past week in particular. I want our states finances brought under control but not as a "all or nothing" mindset. It's the way he's going about it is what bothers me.

      As a newly elected rep. governor, he had a chance to pull us wisconsinites together with a "we're in this together" mindset and work with all groups to cut money. Instead this digging in his heels and refusing to meet with various union reps, etc is really a very clear indication of his "my way or the highway" thought process.

      I think he blew his chance to shine and that's unfortunate.

    76. Gail says:

      God be with you Gov. Walker…and all those trying to hold a sensible line on spending! Some people just act like spoiled children, they yell, and stomp their feet, but it does not change the need for restrictions.

      Guess Gov. Walker will just have to play Dad!

    77. Susan Florida says:

      In this case, the public unions are not greedy. They are willing to give the governor and the state all of the financial concessions that the state budget requires. Coming from a right to work state, I believe in collective bargaining. I also believe that Governor Walker's stand is the beginning of the end of his political career.

    78. Peter, Tiverton,RI says:

      I support Governor Walker 100% and I hope that other Rupublicans, conservatives and independents have the guts to continue with deep cuts in order to right our economy. Why we fund NPR, the arts and other private organizations is a shame. Let them advertise or cease to exhist. We also need tort reform in a major way. Let's continue our march towards commion sense.

    79. Frank E. Vincent says:

      I understand the vote in Wisconsin requires one democrat in order to have the necessary quorum to continue with a vote. Is this necessary or is their a way to get around this dilemma? There must be a method to enact a vote in an emergency.

      Since the state is broke and cannot pay its commitments, does the Governor have the authority to terminate the employees that have refused to go to work?

      Frank E. Vincent

    80. Mary............WI says:

      I stand corrected. Gov Walker is not resolved to decertify unions. However, they could be gone if the issue is taken out of the Budget Repair Bill and presented as a non-budgetary item………those cowardly democrats would no longer be needed. There could be no more unions if passed.

    81. RUTH SC says:

      God bless you Gov. Walker, stand your ground, do what is best for your state, you are a great American and so very many are behind you.

    82. J. Guidry, Battlefie says:

      I support Gov. Walker's actions wholeheartedly. His actions are very much for the protection of the taxpayers of his state and its future. He knows, I'm sure, that if he does not stop the unions on collective bargaining for the benefits it will doom the state in the future. The benefits can be a budget killer just as much as the pay. If not more so. The contract with the taxpayers of his state has been broken by the teachers leaving classrooms to protest in the state capitol. And, much like Reagan, if it were up to me, I'd can everyone who attended the protests.

      Gov. Walker was elected by the taxpayers, the people who pay the teacher's salary and benefits, to balance the budget of the state. Not make the unions happy.

      The unions do not care about the anything but the money and the power it can buy via bribes to politician's campaigns.

      Keep on, keeping on, Gov. Walker. You will win.

    83. Dionysus LaDuce says:

      You're no Ronald Regan, Governor Walker; not by a long shot.

    84. Rev. Donald Philip V says:

      Bravo, Governor! Press on, my good man. Quite uplifting, although from another state.

      It may take a decade for a national movement–at the local, state, and fed levels–to clean up dysfunctions coming from the political spendaholics and taxaholics. Clergy may need to create recovery groups for abusive politicians to get through the 12 steps–12 steps to clarity, sanity, and maturity.

      Paradigm changes come through shock and crisis.

      Tough love, Governor. Keep it up.


    85. Deb FROM Wisconsin says:

      You have missed the obvious in this — this is not about outside 'liberals' overtaking anyone's thoughts or stepping in. This is about WISCONSIN citizens' outrage at stripping those aspects of USA "civil society" — voices of working persons having discourse, RIGHT to collectively bargain……Wisconsin citizens are more than likely to pay their taxes, and give to the common good than many other states….just don't take away their rights to choose or take the power to oneself or to one entity – democrat, republican, or stripped giraffe. You may feel you are elite, righteous and most capable to manage all aspects of American Society — but that is arrogant and dangerous — Power Corrupts.

      It is the basic supposition of all Dictators and authoritarian government structures – including the idyllic idealists such as Communism, Socialist, Fundamental Christians…it is a fatal pursuit.

      What has made America great is a balance of power — CHECKS and BALANCES, Freedom of Speech and the protections to Stand Up collectively with discourse, dialogue and buy-in! Please open up your minds and put yourself in someone else's shoes tonight. Thank you.

    86. Bobbie says:

      What a stand up man. I am so happy for for the good people of Wisconsin. What excellent leadership and a man of, for and by the people who exemplifies everything American. The same of his administration. Why should we expect anything less? But because of growing opposition in doing what's right for America, it is beyond words of thanks to have such strength and courage.

      I think the teachers have been humbled? This morning the radio said "the union urged the teachers back to the classroom." How embarrassing. Like children. Get rid of the unions they only make spectacles out of their members.

      If the governor would have talked to the teachers without the union present, I bet they'd appreciate what little was being asked of them. I just don't want to believe these teachers, who are also Americans would be as low as the union wants them seen to be. Thank you Governor Walker, for exemplifying the true leadership of America.

    87. Ricobonay says:

      Randy, be patient, We must balance all budgets or we are all DOOMED..

    88. F.D. O'Toole, N says:

      Several of the folks who commented above are unhappy with the Governor for being too confrontational, too black and white. They are unhappy that the Governor is confronting the bankruptcy of the State head-on instead of negotiating a patch here and there that might get the State through the next couple of years…maybe with a few rosy assumptions that minimize the present liability through accounting gimmicks. Governor Christie is fighting the same battle in NJ. A friend of his advised him to push the problem down the road, to a day when he won't be the Governor anymore. Christie too is confronting the problem head on. He told a convention of angry firefighters, "Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth" (about the State's future ability to pay their pensions. "You may hate me now, but 15 years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did…" (you will thank me then).

      Finally, would you criticize a doctor who told a patient with lung cancer, stop smoking immediately?

    89. COL. DB (Ret) Alabam says:

      Hang Tough Gov. Walker. All of Alabama is behind you! "Stand for something or fall for anything"….. You are standing and we are behind you. Someone has to start the process to turn this country around….starting with one state at a time. db

    90. B Toulon says:

      Mr. Walker should point out that if the 14 Democrats would quit acting like cowards (in other words, show up for work like they were hired to do) they could vote "no" to this bill and stop it. Seems they fear failure to be re-elected if they support the Union heads over the majority of the population.

    91. Doug Whaley, Lake Ha says:

      I sure hope Walker sticks to his guns. As far as I am concerned unions have no place in government. Teachers and other public union members skipping work show just how phony union representation for public employees really is. Why do you suppose public education is so bad today? Could it be because of unions? That certainly has to be part of it.

      My big concern is that republicans will cave in as is their usualy response to any kind of criticism. I hope the tea party targets everyone who does fold in the next election.

    92. Lil, San Diego says:

      Gov Walker is willing to go the limit in his attempt to balance his state's budget, unfortunately, the public unions do not care, their greed is abundantly clear. I wonder at the naivete of those who claim this is the "poor working families" standing against the juggernaut of union oppression! The public unions have all but pushed WI into budgetary collapse, obviously the teachers clamoring in the streets of Madison do not care about the education of the children and teens under their purview!

    93. T Roen says:

      Thank you for standing up for a balanced budget. The Wisconsin tax payer has been run over the public employee bus for far too long.

    94. Becky, Greenville, W says:

      Govenor Walker is doing a great Job! Stand strong and don't compromise what you believe in! As for the union leaders, it's sad that you are using teachers as pawns to advance your agenda to support and get liberal democrats elected. Govenor Walker is not stupid and neither are we! Oh, by the way, people that are not public employees work hard too!!! and we pay for it all!!

    95. Bill, Charleston WV says:

      To bring back the obviously liberal teachers, how about the National Guard opening the schools for the students and then requiring an opening prayer for every class (different religion every day), reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, turning all the TV's to only Fox News, bringing in recruiters for the military and fossil fuel industries (including Halliburton), teaching classes in the US Constitution, showing films which dispute human caused climate change, and discussing any other conservative issues which are never taught in schools. This would motivate the teachers to return to protect their left-leaning curriculum.

    96. Armstrong, Texas says:

      Scott Walker is an inspiration to all governors and to the Congress. They should all have his courage and conviction to do the right thing, the fair thing and to carry through on what voters elected him to do.

    97. Shawny, Bothell WA says:

      Go Governor Walker! He is doing the same thing any corporation going through an economic downturn has to do. Raise your hand if at some point in your career you've taken a pay freeze, pay cut or agreed to worksharing to prevent layoffs and keep everyone in a job and the company from going under? You do with less to do what's best for everyone. You do what makes sense. And this Governor is trying to save 12,000 jobs asking for the small sacrifices on benefits, not wages. Appears that the union would rather see members out of a job than to lose some of their dues money and political power. And just for the record, those protesters (including CPUSA members marching with them……which surely does NOT help your cause or the children you've exposed to their revolutionary rantings) who imagine this is Egypt are going to be in for a rude awakening. That dog don't hunt here. It's called sedition no matter who supports it……..are you listening Mr. Obama? And you folks in Wisconsin, did you elect your representatives to hang out in Illinois instead of doing the job you pay them for? Maybe it's time for a recall.

    98. T Roen River Falls, says:

      Thank you Gov. Walker. The Wisconsin taxpayer has been run over by the public employee bus for far too long. Keep up the brave work and balance our state budget.

    99. Mad in Madison says:

      This forum is a front for the Koch brothers; The deep pocketed conservative billionare's who want to run our country where only the rich survive. Republicans don't care about children, elderly, women or the working class. Do you like having a weekend off or 40-hour work week? You can thank the union for that. Most people posting here are completely ignorant to the issues. Walker for president? That is laughable. Hopefully our country is smarter than to elect a 2.3 GPA college dropout!

    100. matt, Wisconsin says:

      This "interview", website and foundation brought to you by Koch Industries. The secret's out.

    101. Rusty Abq. NM says:

      I've been an employee and business owner in the private sector for 46 yrs.I wish I could of had someone else to fund my IRA and health insurance all these years. I might have been able to retire by now. At 63, I still have to work to meet all my

      financial responsibilities. I haven't been able to contribut to my IRA for the past 3 yrs. I made choices and have taken responsibility for myself!! "Cuddos" to Gov. Walker. While the Dems/liberals are showing their true colors by running away from the problem and refusing to address the question honestly, Gov Walker has taken responsibility for the rest of the people of Wisconsin. I'm praying for you.

    102. Kathie , Arlington, says:

      I am so pleased that Gov. Walker, Chris Christie and Mike Pence have the courage to begin to address the REAL fiscal responsibilities of their states.

      Maybe some day we'll get a president who really thinks this way, too.

      Go Wisconsin!!!

    103. Michael George North says:

      Gov. Walker did not blow it, If you can remember his champagne promises, his is doing what he said he would do. I applaud him for this, If I could talk to him, I would tell him to cut all wasteful spending. The same goes for our federal govt. instead of cutting domestic spending, cut foreign aid that only goes to fatten the pockets of the leaders of those countries and not to the people who it was intended for. (The leader of Egypt has five BILLION stashed away, Probably came from the U.S.

    104. Terry Pitiak says:

      My regards to Governor Walker. I wish we had more Governors like him that had the guts to stand up for American principles. Instead of those loons that people keep putting into office that just want to destroy America. These workers don't know how lucky they are to have a job. As a senior I am barely making it on my mere pension and Social Security. I am worried and concerned in the direction our country is going and it does not give me any comfort with the socialist/communistic tactics of the unions.

    105. RICOBONAY says:

      Randy, be patient..the Gov. is on the right track…Good people understand. The worst is yet to come. WE MUST BALANCE ALL BUDGET OR WE ARE DOOMED…

    106. Pingback: Wisconsin Held Hostage: Day 5 update on the “Badger 14″ senators « The "Badger 14": Escape From Wisconsin

    107. Henry says:

      Governor Walker, stand firm, you are right! We are for you 100%

    108. deb, florida says:

      I support Heritage Org, they have many good ideas, including the idea of requiring health insurance many years ago. But there's a fundamental question here that I can't answer for myself. Maybe you guys can help me. Never have we seen such a huge wealth chasm between the rich and the middle class and never before has the US been so low on the world education rankings. Are we sure that paying teachers 30k-40k with little chance at real retirement income based on that kind of earnings for 45 years is worth keeping us in wars that don't protect our borders, in subsidies to big oil so there's zero incentive to create clean alternative home grown energy, so that we can then keep taxes so low for wealthy because they create jobs, when job growth has been stagnant for over ten years, and wage growth for over 30? Does supply side Reaganomics really deserve all the accolades? I mean we're in dire straights and it isn't from 2 years of Obama-its a 35 year march of fiscal mismanagement by both parties. Reagan's ideas were refreshing and worth trying, but really, they didn't work-we aren't stronger, better, and more secure. He was a huge contributor to the budget deficits. The private sector has not been an honest broker of the wealth they've been given, especially in the financial sector. There is a LOT wrong at the upper echelons of power and privilege. I wish we could address that instead of keep squeezing a dying middle class. Their numbers are shrinking, not growing. Thanks, in advance, for any insights. Just be kind, I'm no expert.

    109. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      Presidents Day is a day off for the government workers while private sector workers are working and are paying for the government workers vacation day.

      Governor Walker stand your ground. Tax payers need more people like you in our government.

    110. Gary says:

      Teachers fell from the status of "professionals" to that of "blue collar" employees when they allowed the unions to take them over. I suspect that if the collective bargaining is removed, the schools can get rid of the ineffective and unqualified teachers. How can Milwaukee teachers receive $60,000 in pay and another $40,000 in benefits when it's considered one of the worst systems in the country. They would be sweeping floors without the unions to hold them up.

    111. Gary, Green Valley, says:

      Teachers tumbled from the status of "professionals" to that of "blue collar" workers when they allowed the unions to control them. How can teachers in Milwaukee earn $60,000 per year plus another $40,000 for benefits when it's considered one of the worst systems in our country. If they were in the private sector they would be sweeping floors. For every $1.00 of pension money contributed by the teachers, $57.00 is put into the pot by us…….the tax payers.

    112. Richard Peck says:

      When I was a young man I went to the labor union looking for a job. At the time I was 25 and all they would tell me was I was to old. Hell I was in good shape. Over the years I learned if some one recomended me I would have been able to join. I am glad now I never joined as the socialist party that went into the Democrat and unions in 1972 took over the power of both outfits. The union members think the unions are out for them ,but the truth be known they are out for the money they get from there members to get the power. After they have used there members and obtain there objectives they will care less about there people. And that is a fact Jack. I know it is good for the members now but we will all pay the price in the end. You better smarten up,before it is to late.

    113. David says:

      I applaud Gov Walker. I would like to see all of the newly elected Govs do what he is doing. We cannot continue down the path of fiscal irresponsibility. I have seen the results in other countries and it's not a pretty sight.

    114. Scott, Montana says:

      I say that the State of WI should fire all it's teachers. Then let the individual school districts hire them back with new contracts. Contracts that don't include all the sweetheart pension and medical plans, don't offer tenure, and call for yearly performance reviews by a local quality control board. If the teachers don't like it, let them find out what it's like to try to negociate a contract from the unemployment line.

      If, like the protester's are claiming, the people support the teachers, then the local school districts will still give them decent contracts. If not, then I guess we'll find that out as well.

      BTW: As for busting the unions, I have only one thing to say. GO WALKER GO

    115. MJ Alton, Atlanta, G says:

      Finally, someone who is willing to take a stand to make an unpopular decision, in spite of political risks. Our country needs more leaders that are looking out for the people, not their next election.

    116. Russ from PA says:

      As a union member myself, I don't find the Govenor's actions at all offensive. The Unions are out of hand. The unions spend the member's money to influence elections to do the union's business and not the membership's business. The membership has no options but to join the union, hardly democratic. Go Walker!

    117. Debbie Seidell, OH says:

      Stand your ground, Governor!! You are doing the RIGHT thing!! We applaud you and support you!!

    118. Debbie Seidell, OH says:

      Stand your ground, Governor!! You are doing the right thing!!! We applaud you and support you!!

    119. Barb in WI says:

      2012 Presidential Dream Team!

      Governor Scott Walker & Congressman Paul Ryan!

      We Cheeseheads are so proud!


    120. Give me a Break! Ida says:

      The teachers unions, even here in the state of Idaho, have gone to far. They think they are above the law and don't have to do hunker down like the rest of us and do without a few things. We have members of these unions going as far as destroying personal property, property of our state superintendent( slashing his tires and spray painting his vehicle), to get their point across. Their solution is the same as the rest of the country, generate revenue by raising taxes. Our Governor as well has stood his ground and said no and in order to change the chaos that's going on, the Republican party can no longer compromise with the opposing Democrat/Pro Union party. I as well, commend Governor Walker and all other Governors who are trying to do the will of the American people, stay the course!

    121. Patricia says:

      Thank YOU Scott Walker for standing up for unselfish principles, and thinking of the welfare of all the people of Wisconsin. Many of our leaders sould take heed of your leadership.

    122. Ron W. Smith, Provid says:

      Walker shows himself, in the interview, to be a reasonable man except for a too easy dismissal of collective bargaining rights. Protections offered civil service personnel just aren't the same thing. Concessions won by labor, particularly in the 1950s, account in large measure for the kinds of wages, conditions, and benefits that are enjoyed by labor today. As is well detailed in Jacob Hacker's The Great Risk Shift (2006), the political Right has been engaged in vigorous attempts to undermine many of the concessions ever since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. The current attempt to eliminate collective bargaining rights while engaged in the spending cuts everyone agrees are necessary is just the latest installment.

      At what point will those currently so easily fooled by Right-wing overreaching turn on the overreachers, stop believing the claims of necessity in the name of business, begin discovering the greed that underpins the claims, and reject the notion that America has to be like a mirror image of banana republics where all the power, wealth, benefits, and security are in the hands of the few?

    123. STEVE, MASS says:

      Governor Walker: I commend you loudly for standing your ground. It is unfortunate that the democrats ran like cowards from the discussions. It is the wisconsin unions that have pushed WI to this level of unfunded mandates, pensions, etc and that needs to be cleaned up.

      As far as the employees who refuse to go to work, I;d bet you $500 you would have no problem in replacing them if you were to lay them off..period. These aren't employees trying to protect their families. They are employees who are maraching to protect their UNION rights etc. The end is coming for thos people.

      Congratulations from Massachusetts.

    124. Gene Delp, Salem, Va says:

      Thank YOU for taking such a bold stand!!! We need more folks like you in

      government. Please, please don't compromise your values… It is people like

      you that have made this country great….and will take much more to keep it that


    125. KC - New Mexico says:

      Dump the unions! Only poor performing employees need a governmentally run union for protection. Just listen to those being interviewed on TV – I wonder if they were educated by the union teachers!

      Fire the legislators who ducked out of thier responsibilities.

      Fire the medical doctors handing out "I'm sick" notes for workers and teachers. What a joke!

      Fire the teachers and other union members wasting tax payer money while protesting and bus in their replacements with Americans who are out of work.

      Way to go democrats – you are really showing your true colors by supporting the unions – what a waste of money!

    126. mikeokla says:

      There's no doubt that the legislators in Wisconsin are AWOL and have abandoned their solemn oath of office to the people of Wisconsin, not to mention purposely perpetuating open chaos to promote their left-wing democratic socialist agenda of anarchy that's fueled by the Obama union agenda. Governor Walker should immediately, without hesitation or reservation, call a special session with his Attorney General to have the AWOL legislators impeached and removed ASAP. By doing so he will show strength and bring stability to his state and provide an example of leadership for the rest of the country. This is the United States of America, not the United States of Unions.

    127. David, New York City says:

      Gov. Scott Walker,

      I wish we had a thousand more in office just like you. You will go down in history as the Gov that broke the stranglehold that public unions have had on the American public. Thank you for your courage and vision.

    128. Linda, Texas says:

      We stand behind you and are very prould to see someone draw a line in the sand with these unions…Why should they get special treatment?? You are trying to save their jobs but they are so stupid that they will prob. lose their jobs by getting laid off if they get their wishes

    129. Bonnie Liebmann says:

      You have my support as well, it is dividing families and friends but so be it. Union thugs have no business in Government.

    130. Rocky McAshan, Houst says:

      Did the unions offer to accept lower wages for 2 years?

      Was the purpose of forcing unions to vote annually to save money or destroy the union. Did the teachers strike illegally?

      Did the budget contain any other cuts?, Department heads? How about tax increases?

    131. 2dokie says:

      The union workers everywhere need to sober up to reality. Constantly raising wages does nothing but inflate the currency,reducing the value of all your assets:savings, real estate investments and accumulated retirement funds.While unions helped raise industrial safety std.s they've done little more to justify their continued existance. I would have thought WI teachers would have a better grasp of economics than they are revealing. I'm sorry for the whole state!!

    132. Ruth, TX says:

      I support his stance, but can't help but wonder why ALL public unions were not included in the proposal? And, in all the "news stories" I've not seen here, or anywhere there is a budget battle, any specifics as to what is costing, why it's costing, what the actual revenue is, and real justification for many expenditures. Instead, it seems to be headline grabbing emotion. It's a shame that such emotion and headlines have to rule any activity, but it sure brings out the bigots! Another way to divide?

    133. Cobras, Santa Fe NM says:

      I can't believe what I just heard….a state Governor….making sense? This is unheard of!!!!

    134. Greg, Charlotte, NC says:

      With all the discussion of state employees' unions; let's not forget about our federal unions that lobby for higher wages and benefits that result in higher taxes for all. I would like to see the debate carry over to congress. Who knows, maybe the Democrats would walk out there too!

    135. Greg, Green Bay, WI says:

      A battle cry has been raised in Wisconsin against Governor Scott Walker. State workers bemoan him as a union buster, taking away their bargaining rights and subjecting them to extreme benefit cuts. However, these workers fail to see the entire picture.

      Collective bargaining agreements have real fiscal and financial consequences. The plan would end the practice of public sector union bosses banding together and strong-arming politicians for exorbitant benefits and absurd contract concessions including extravagant pension and health benefits on the state that only serve to further cripple state budget.

      Furthermore, this bill would give most government employees the Right to Work without having to pay tribute to a labor union. It would take state government out of the hands of Big Labor and their monopoly bargaining privileges, and put it back where it belongs – back in the hands of the people and their elected representatives.

      In essence the Right to Work principle is — that no worker should be forced to join or pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. Forced unionism denies hardworking Americans the right to refrain from financially supporting organizations they oppose. For “Government Unions” it is about preserving the direct pipeline that they have to our tax dollars, that in and of itself, is more important than even Union Jobs!

      As far as doing this for the children; the teacher union bosses' extremism echoes the infamous philosophy of former American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union mogul Al Shanker: "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."

      Our state has strong labor laws, including civil servant laws going back to 1905 protecting workers from exploitation and wrong doing on the part of employers. Unionized workers whose compensation packages far outweigh their love for their state will further prolong economic hardships.

      Excessive union power has brought California and Illinois to the brink of bankruptcy, and it's critical that the people of Wisconsin take back their government before they face the same fiscal disaster. This bill is a necessary first step toward freedom, fairness, and long-term financial stability. The 14 Senate Democrats, who are “deserters”, are rejecting the democratically expressed will of the people, the majority, duly elected are now held hostage by the minority.

      "These proposed changes will allow government at all levels to better manage costs, increase efficiency and ultimately improve the quality of government services. In the long run they will make government more affordable and provide long overdue relief to taxpayers." "These are modest changes and are consistent with changes made at private businesses."

      Wisconsin's state unionized workers have become a type of entrenched American aristocracy. These civil servants enjoy pension plans, complete health coverage, and guaranteed comfortable incomes. Workers in our state's private sector have lived without these luxuries for many years. State unionized workers have been enjoying these tax payer funded benefits for so long that they have become like drug addicts. Wisconsin tax payers can no longer support the habit.

    136. bail out says:

      All the now poor banks are currently getting bail out's. I think this is stupid why should the average US tax payer have to pay for the instituitions mistakes?

    137. bail out man says:

      All the bankrupt banks are suddenly getting bail out's. I think this is sad why should the average US tax payer have to pay for the banks mistakes?

    138. Steven, Louisiana says:

      Bravo! Mr. Walker. Milton Friedman would be proud of you. Unions are going to feel the blowback of running monopolies and bilking their members. Just like when you want an oppressed people to revolt against their tyrannical government, starve them out and make them fight the real evil- the union, that represents the public sector more than it's intended private sector members. Set them up and knock them down. Two thumbs up and congratulations for representing the values of real America. Get em Mr. Walker.

    139. Marquitta Au says:

      What can I do if I really feel these types of policys are unfair. Where would you recommend I voice my concerns to the government? I think many people would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    140. David Reinbold says:

      On so many levels this is the right thing at the right time. Our backs have been put against the wall financially as a State and into the future for our children who will have to face these kinds of out of control, unsustainable benefit costs. There is no reason that equal participation on par with the private sector cannot be agreed to as reasonable going forward. After all, it is their retirement they are putting the money into and their high quality health insurance at a very low cost to them.

      Why should I pay in dues, and higher taxes, for unions to elect those in government who funnel money back to the unions to keep them in office? This revolvling door must be stopped… YOU GO GOVENOR! Bring more businesses into Wisconsin as a "RIght To Work State" 73% of Wisconsin residents agree with you. Besides, the worst 8th grade reading scores in the USA which are in Wisconsin are not the result of the highest cost per student being paid, Unions are the prime factor in a failed education system controlled for power rather than results.

    141. Tom Bonneville, Gran says:

      Stay the course. My wife is a Wisconsin teacher but I understand this has to be done…. Shame on the Democrats that are hiding out in Obama's home state and won't debate and vote for the good people of Wisconsin. This hiding out is just to please the unions, they could care less about our kids and the Badger State. (They are embarrassing us all)

    142. Pingback: Cumulative List of Links to Articles, Reports & Video Feeds | BadgerFutures

    143. Rachel Rothschild says:

      His eyes never move. It is like he is barinwashed to repeat teh mantra. Balance the budget.

    144. Mike A, OH says:

      Were I a taxpayer in WI, I'd expect the State Treasurer to be docking the AWOL Democrats' salary for every day they are out of state and not in session; it's a simple breach of contract with the taxpayers who employ them. I'd also investigate whether, while AWOL, they are being paid by outside sources, to the extent that would be violating State law. FDR knew collective bargaining for public employees was no good, George Meany knew it would lead to disaster, and even Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo have seen the light! Time to return local government to the government.

    145. Lisbette, New Jersey says:

      These web site is most likely pay by Koch family and other corporations whose agenda is to continuing lying to the middle class America about where the money goes. Corporation like KOCH do not pay taxes or very little at all and plus they get subsidize from the government. Koch family contributes thousand to Walker political campaign. Why nobody talks about the tax breaks that the corporations received, the exporting of American jobs to other countries, their extravagant bonuses, their tax break. WHAT IS WRONG WITH A TEACHER MAKING A DECENT SALARY? IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, HOME SCHOOL YOUR KIDS.



      Walker should be recall NOW

    146. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Unions are destroying (Bankrupting) States and destroying Representative Government in the Senate of Wisconsin! Progressives love to create problems that actually don't exist, like the Rights of Public Employees has already been solved. Unions say rights are lost that (1) aren't "Rights," (2) the Rights are already well protected (no problem exists) (3) they are really pushing for Bankruptcy, (4) the Unions all Represent Foreign Interests, not even American Interests, let alone the Interests of their Workers. (4) Union Leaders are Unindicted Coconspirators, actually Criminals usurping Representation in Unions!

    147. Judith - Wisconsin says:

      Walker (expelled from college because of unethical behavior) is a pox on WIsconsin and all it's citizens hold dear. One thing he did learn at Marquette University was to lie, cheat, break every rule/law in the books, and still maintain his unrivaled hubris. He lacks integrity, honor and even the most basic compassion not only for the people but for the invaluable resources of our lands. What he proposes goes FAR beyond simply ending collective bargaining and unions to literally selling our resources (and without competitive bids at that). He will surely go down as infamous in Wisconsin history and the people of Wisconsin will make sure his ignominy is just a tiny "blimp" in our otherwise proud and honorable heritage. Shame, shame, shame……

    148. Hermes C LIBERTY New says:

      The more Walker we have the better. The Unviolability of Principles shapes decisively the Form and Substance of Reality. The second American r-Evolution is definitely on march. Hail him.

    149. John,Tulare CA says:

      To Govenor Walker:

      I am sorry I cannot be there to support you against the unions. Hang in there!! you have won the battle now win the war!!!

      People in in the USA cry about being poor. But they need to compare our poor to that of 3rd world contry. We have to scale back on spending or loose like Greece.

    150. earl kenosha says:

      I am sorry the heritage foundation is misleading in its commentary. and people like Greg from green bay have fallen for it.. this is union busting plain and simple.. walker is all about public workers and the benifits they recieve.. yet conveniently leaves out the tax breaks for the rich.. and the other benifits they recieve..he and others of his ilk are dictators. and corperate whores.. who want to keep the working poor, poor. and when wallstreet and the corperate agenda screw everything up.. they want the middle class to pay for it.bargining rights have nothing to do with the budet like they claim.. they just want cheap labour.. it smells a bit like the south when we ended slavery.. it will break us.. we'll be poor now and not have the luxury that we so deserve.. even though it was on the backs of another group.. the heritage foundation has become a disgusting display for a nazi like mindset.. have a nice day, and may you have to deal with crap like the public workers have to..

    151. cynthia says:

      HAHAHA!!! Gov Walker is on his OUT on his butt!!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.