Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Time for some Wisconsin overreach

The word of the day for political pundits appears to be "overreach." They are talking about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the hubbub created by his attempt to limit public employee collective bargaining in his state. Walker has been called every name in the book for attempting to address his state's fiscal mess and it's telling that the end-of-times rhetoric heaped on him was somewhat less pronounced in 1993 when Democratic Governor Douglas Wilder of Virginia banned all collective bargaining in his state, which goes beyond Gov. Walker's proposal. It should also be noted that Virginia has not exactly spent the last two decades imploding for lack of public employee collective bargaining "rights."

In short, the Wisconsin debacle is about little more than partisan politics. Moveon.org proved as much this past Saturday with rallies across the country, including in Frankfort, providing lots of heated words but precious little light on the subject of getting state finances under control.

Left-wing activists want to capitalize on the emotional nature of the debate to energize the Democratic Party faithful. That's why the discussion has morphed into something involving all kinds of union activity and an extremely liberal usage of the term "worker rights."

Tea Party leader Phil Moffett responded:
“No one is arguing against workers having rights,” Moffett said. “That’s just rhetoric coming from the other side. We need to peel back the things we can’t afford like prevailing wage laws. We need to make Kentucky a right to work state. And we need to end teacher tenure and the state merit system. These efforts to get politics out of state employment have failed. We need to try something else.”

Much of what is wrong with government in America comes about as a result of sentimental attachment to policies that do not function as intended. Kentucky needs a governor who can lead the state past those sentimental attachments and toward solutions that work for everyone, not just those with political connections.