Posted by Curt on 9 March, 2015 at 8:53 am. Be the first to comment!


Deroy Murdock:

Governor Scott Walker (R., Wis.) is about to give every woman in his state the right to choose . . . whether or not to join a union. He will sign legislation today that will make Wisconsin America’s 25th Right to Work (RTW) state.

Of course, that right also will apply equally to men.

Walker’s signature will extend to private-sector employees the same protections that he and Wisconsin’s legislature provided government workers through Act 10 in 2011: Union membership will be a choice rather than a condition of employment. Dues will be paid voluntarily, not vacuumed automatically from workers’ wages, even before they see their paychecks.

This news will put Walker in the national limelight as this week dawns. Heading toward 2016, this new RTW law will help Walker burnish his conservative credentials even further. He already can point to a long list of successes beyond wholesale labor reforms. Among them: cutting $2 billion in state taxes, converting a $3.6 billion deficit into a $517 million surplus, expanding school choice, requiring voter ID cards, and terminating taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood.

Walker accomplished these things not in a Republican stronghold like Arkansas or Texas, but in a state that last went Republican for president in 1984, when Ronald Reagan was on the ballot. The Badger State is the birthplace of government-worker unions and the late U.S. senator “Fighting Bob” La Follette, father of what liberals now call Progressivism. As Mike Flynnobserved February 28 on “Politically, Walker isn’t bringing coals to Newcastle.”

A Wisconsin RTW law would be like Democrats implementing a 25 percent state income-tax rate in Alabama. The odds are that no other Republican presidential aspirant will accomplish anything so significant anytime soon.

None of the U.S. senators eyeing the White House can achieve very much, as long as Obama and his veto pen occupy the Oval Office. Governor Chris Christie (R., N.J.) is unlikely to attempt anything bold (why start now?), and his Democrat legislature likely would stop him if he tried. Former governor Jeb Bush has been out of office for eight years and is in no position to sign anything. Dr. Ben Carson, who apologized last week for bizarre and unhelpful statements about gay sex in prison, never has possessed the power to reform public policy.

In contrast to these potential rivals, Walker leads a state government with a cooperative Republican legislature. They likely will put additional signature-ready bills on his desk that will endear Walker even more deeply to the GOP primary electorate and Americans thirsty for limited, constitutional government come fall 2016. This will make Walker’s beacon shine even more brightly.

RTW is the One A Day vitamin that every state should take to improve or maintain its health. Between 2003 and 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports, real manufacturing GDPgrew 26.1 percent in RTW states vs. 13.8 percent in forced-unionism states. Private non-farm payrolls grew 9.2 percent in RTW states vs. 4.0 percent in the others. The number of residents between ages 35 and 54 grew 5.4 percent in RTW states, according to the Commerce Department, and shrank 4.1 percent in the rest.

Likewise, RTW should help Wisconsin’s economy expand even more robustly than it is today. Walker’s policies and leadership have helped cut unemployment on his watch from 7.7 percent to 5.2 percent today, versus 5.5 percent nationwide. This will position Walker very well in the primaries and, if he is nominated, even better in about 18 months, as the battle against the Democrat nominee rages in full.

Walker’s RTW triumph should resonate especially well with primary voters in the earliest contests.

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