Walker: It's either this, or we fire 12,000 state and local workers 

In an appearance today on Fox News, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, R, said that unless his budget fix is adopted, thousands of state and local workers will be let go in order to close a $3.6 billion budget hole.

Walker said while the state enjoys a lower-than-average unemployment rate -- about 7.5 percent compared to 9 percent nationally -- about 5,000-6,000 state workers and 5,000-6,000 local government workers could lose their jobs if they don't accept changes to their benefits plan.

"I don't want a single person laid off in the public nor in the private sector and that's why this is a much better alternative than losing jobs," Walker told "Fox News Sunday."

...Under the governor's proposal, unions still could represent workers, but they could not force employees to pay dues and would have to hold annual votes to stay organized. Only wages below the Consumer Price Index would be subject to collective bargaining, anything higher would have to be approved by referendum.

What people may not understand is that the real budget savings in Walker's plan comes not from the workers' increased pension and health benefit contributions, but from the limits on collective bargaining. Under Wisconsin's budget process, the collective bargaining itself has a price tag within the budget.

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David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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