Lee’s Summit, March 10, 2011 – Wisconsin’s legislature fought long and hard to accomplish what was promised during Governor Walker’s Election campaign. This is a lesson for Washington Conservatives, and I hope they are paying attention.
The most important lesson from Wisconsin has little to do with the budget, nor with the government employee unions, it has to do with keeping a promise made during the campaign even though it may be difficult.
Governor Walker campaigned on the failure of his predecessors to gain control of government spending. One could, at this point, blame the loss of collective bargaining powers to him and the republicans. However, that would be rather narrow minded. The real culprits are those who allowed government to act as though taxpayers have deep pockets and are willing to pay for anything government wants.
Here in Lee’s Summit our own School District learned a difficult lesson this year. For the first time since 1995 the citizens of this city said no to the district. A large number of people showed up to the polls and voted “No”. This was a special election with only one, very significant, question to be answered.
Wisconsin faces a huge deficit, and Missouri itself has much the same problem in 2011 and 2012. States all over this country will face very tough budget decisions that will call for deep cuts in spending and each of us will hate one or more of the line items that will see those cuts. Just like in Wisconsin we’ve made choices in the past that will come back to haunt us.
The Federal Government faces the same issue this year, a year where the last Congress decided not to pass a budget and saddle the current House with the burden of establishing a budget not only for 2012, but also for the rest of this year.
Fiscal discipline in hard!
People want a better future, and for over 200 years that has been accomplished. Yet, we now face the same issues as Wisconsin – too much spending, too little revenue. Just like you and I, the Government has to live within its means, and when we avoid it for a while we set ourselves up for tougher and harsher decisions in the future.
The future is here; we have to pay the bills.
While everyone has been focused on the Collective Bargaining issue in Wisconsin, we forget that the true issue is that the State budget must be balanced, and while we may all want to give teachers, fire fighters, police and other government employees better wages and a good retirement, the fact of the matter is that most States can’t afford it, and the $14 trillion Federal Government deficit shows that the Country can’t afford it either.
Deep cuts are coming our way, and many of our favorite programs will suffer. But while placing the blame on the Democrats, the Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals is appealing, the reality is that it is our own fault for electing people to office who try to buy our votes by spending the treasury.
Limited Government was established because Government Largesse tends to outstrip the taxpayers ability to pay enough taxes. George III learned the hard way, when the Colonies fought for independence fueled by taxation without representation.
Conservatives were elected into office in 2010 with one mandate: Regain Fiscal Discipline and balance the budget. I hope they remember that as the obstacles come their way, as they came Governor Walker’s way.