Wisconsin’s fiscal crisis is real – not something ginned up by Gov. Scott Walker as a way to punish political opponents. The numbers don’t lie. Like many other states, Wisconsin is in a fiscal quagmire, and not one of Walker’s making.
The state has a budget hole of $3.6 billion for the 2011-’13 period. The budget must be balanced. But this time, it must not be “balanced” through trickery and gimmicks. This time, it should be balanced in fact as well as in theory. Walker intends to do that.
Walker is scheduled to deliver his budget address on Tuesday, although he may not release the budget document until later. We encourage the governor to show not only fiscal prudence but also ideological restraint. And we urge Walker to take special care with programs that help Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens. Fairness and compassion should not take a holiday.
Walker’s tough approach with state public employee unions in his budget repair bill is justified; their benefits for too long have been exempt from scrutiny. The governor’s proposals would save $300 million over the next two years, he says.