*It should be noted that the United States is not a democracy, and “democracy” appears nowhere in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or even the Pledge of Allegiance. Rather, the Constitution explicitly states that each state in the union shall be guaranteed “a republican form of government” (Article IV § 4 Clause 1).
There is only one reason that Wisconsin’s Senate Democrats have left the state. It isn’t noble. It isn’t because they want compromise. It’s because they don’t accept the outcome of last November’s elections, so they would rather just shut down the entire political process. I wonder when Pelosi, Gibbs, or Biden will start criticizing them for actually shutting down the legislature and threatening to shut down the state government. I’m sure the press releases are imminent.
Through their actions in Wisconsin and Indiana (and previously Texas) Democrats have again demonstrated their perverse notion of standards. Compromise, to a Democrat, means Republicans and Conservatives caving and giving Liberal Democrats what they want. If they wanted compromise, they should have stayed in Madison to debate the proposal. Instead, they’ve abdicated their constitutional role and fled to Illinois where they have proceeded to not do their job while—until recently—receiving a paycheck from Wisconsin taxpayers. Private-sector workers would have been fired weeks ago for such antics.
There is no requirement that the Democrats vote for Governor Walker’s proposal. If they don’t like it, they can vote against it. If it passes, they can run against it during the next election. If Democrats really think that the people of the state oppose Walker’s actions, then they shouldn’t be afraid to let him proceed. If they’re right, then his actions should virtually guarantee Democrat majorities after the next election, and it wouldn’t take them long to restore full collective bargaining to public employees—a policy opposed even by FDR. But thwarting the democratic process because you think you’ll lose a vote is completely unacceptable.
The run-and-hide-like-cowards strategy has become disturbingly popular among Democrats who have now employed the strategy in three states. There is, however, a silver lining: 67% of likely-voters disapprove of the Wisconsin Democrat’s use of said run-and-hide-like-cowards strategy. Hopefully, they’ll remember this during the next election cycle. There’s one other positive: Wisconsin has cut off direct deposits to any Senator who has been absent for two or more legislative sessions. In other words, Wisconsin taxpayers are no longer being forced to fund the fugitive senators’ vacation in Illinois.
One final note: The one talking point that doesn’t seem to want to die is the bizarre notion that “tax cuts for the rich,” or “Scott Walker’s tax cuts” caused the Wisconsin deficit. The first set of tax cuts took place in 2003. With the exception of 2009, tax revenues in Wisconsin have exceeded 2002 and 2003 levels every single year. The second set amounted to $137 Million in cuts. Even if we double the figure, the figure represents less than 8% of the state’s deficit—and that’s assuming, incorrectly, that the cuts will have no impact on the state’s economy. The Wisconsin deficit is a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Taxing “the rich” to prop up government unions won’t work because (a) in the long run, “the rich” don’t have enough money for Wisconsin to take (Based on a two-year deficit of 3.6 Billion, George Soros’ entire fortune could plug the hole for about eight years), and (b) those who can will move to another state as the tax burden becomes increasingly punitive. The only way to tackle Wisconsin’s budget woes is to restrain the state’s spending.