As a result Walker has in two years turned the state from economic infirmity to fiscal robustness. John Fund at National Review summarizes Walker's accomplishments:
Walker can claim to have wiped out a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes or seeing service cutbacks. Indeed, property taxes fell statewide by 0.4 percent last year, the first time they’ve fallen since 1998. The average homeowner’s property tax bill would have been about $700 higher if the previous rate of increase had continued. The state now expects to have a surplus of $150 million at the end of the current budget cycle.So why are the Democrats trying to recall him after only two years of his term? One of the things Walker has reformed is collective bargaining (See here for a summary of what's in the new law). Another is that public employees will now have the freedom to choose whether they want to belong to a union or not. Both of these reforms have outraged liberals who believe that union membership should be compulsory for public employees like government workers and teachers and that unions should have the right to bargain for perks and benefits with the same people to whose political campaigns they contribute.
Voters can see Walker’s reforms working at the grassroots level as well. Brown Deer, a suburb of Milwaukee, is saving $1 million in pension and health-care costs. More flexible work rules enabled the city to make changes in teacher schedules. “We had many teachers tell us, let’s save everybody’s job,” Brown Deer superintendent Deb Kerr told the Chicago Tribune. “We didn’t cut programs. We didn’t raise class sizes. And we maintained our level of staffing.”
At least 52 local school districts are saving an average of $220 per student because they can now shop around for health insurance for their employees. Before the reforms, unions forced the schools to do business exclusively with WEA Trust, the group run by the state’s largest teachers’ union.
The jobs picture is also improving. Last year, the state added 24,000 new jobs. Chief Executive magazine reported in 2010 that Wisconsin ranked 41st out of 50 states in terms of the ease of doing business. In its new survey, the state has jumped to 20th place, the fastest surge in the history of the magazine’s survey.
Separately, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce survey just found that 62 percent of the members it surveyed plan to create jobs in Wisconsin by year’s end. A full 95 percent of CEOs surveyed said the state is headed in the right direction. “The word is out from Main Street to Wall Street that Wisconsin is the place to create jobs and expand,” says Kurt Bauer, the president of WMC.
Both of these practices are unjust and Walker has shown a lot of courage in ending them. Now he's paying the price for that courage by possibly being booted out of office by those who feel entitled to demand that taxpayers pay for benefits far in excess of anything anyone in the private sector enjoys. It's the same mindset that was on display so obscenely in the GSA scandal.
If Walker wins tomorrow, and polls have consistently shown him to be ahead, the defeat of the progressives will reverberate across the national political landscape. This is why the left is so angry that President Obama declined to campaign for Mayor Barrett. There's a lot at stake and the leader of their cause was AWOL. If Walker wins, buy some popcorn, sit back and watch the recriminations fly.