Wisconsin Lt. Governor: Stripping Workers’ Rights Is The ‘Responsible’ Way To ‘Balance This Budget’
Protesting public workers in Wisconsin plan to continue demonstrating this week against Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-WI) plan to strip them of their collective bargaining rights, as the state’s Republican lawmakers said that they will move forward with their agenda in the absence of state Democrats (who have set up shop in Illinois, to deny the state Senate a quorum). Walker has thus far refused multiple compromises offered by both the workers themselves and a member of his own party, insisting that any deal include an elimination of collective bargaining rights for public employees.
Walker’s stated reason for wanting to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees is Wisconsin’s economic woes. Last night, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R-WI) appeared on Fox News to claim that Walker’s union-busting approach is necessary because “we’re broke.” “Our governor, Scott Walker, has chosen to do the responsible thing and tell the truth to the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin, and balance this budget in a sound way,” she said:
We just can’t afford it. We’re not joking when we say that we’re broke. We don’t have any money to negotiate with. […] Wisconsin is proud to be a leader here. I think Gov. Scott Walker has done a tremendous job blaxing a trail when it comes to frugality and moderation as we approach a fiscal crisis. Because we know that Wisconsin is certainly not the only state facing this kind of deep budget crisis.