I’ve been reading and watching the Democrat candidates vie to win the August gubernatorial primary race and noticed how their responses varied compared to the private sector. In business, for example, when an employee recommends a new product or a change to an assembly line, there’s always a question in the room about how much will it cost to implement or where can expenses be reduced elsewhere to pay for it. And if an employee is inconsistent with his or her response, they will be peer challenged about talking out of both sides of their mouth.
However in politics for some strange reason, ideas are regularly promulgated but often lack how the government will pay for them. Also the candidates push multiple positions that can conflict with each other but are rarely challenged. So, if I were a moderator for the next debate, something that will never happen, here’s the line of questioning I would deploy.
1) Many of you have said you would eliminate Act 10 if you were governor. Since Act 10 has saved Wisconsin citizens several billions of dollars, how would you pay for this elimination? Said another way, for a typical couple earning $80,000 annually and owning a $150,000 assessed value home, how much would their state and property tax levels increase?
2) Before Act 10, many school districts purchased health insurance exclusively from a trust with ties to the teachers unions. National healthcare insurance companies like Kaiser, United Health, Blue Cross and Aetna were shut out and not allowed to bid even though their premium prices were 10-20 percent lower. By eliminating Act 10, would this union-supported monopoly be back in play?
3) You’re all on record for the right of women to be pro-choice on abortion, so would you also support the right of women to choose the best public, charter or private school for their children? If not, why?
4) Another question on choice, would you allow women (and men for that matter) the choice to personally decide whether to belong to a union? If they do not see value in a union, should they be forced and compelled to pay union dues?
5) The right to vote and purchase a firearm are two constitutionally protected rights. In Wisconsin, both rights require photo identification. If you were governor, would you be consistent requiring an ID for both rights? If not, why?
6) Several of you indicated you would not support the current Foxconn contract as governor. What was your position of the prior state subsidies to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Milwaukee Bucks and Mercury Marine? The supporters claim Wisconsin paid a competitive market price to keep these businesses in our state. Would you have authorized these three subsidies as governor ?
7) According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Governor Scott Walker now spends $600 million more per year on public K-12 education than former Governor Jim Doyle did in his last year of office. If you were governor, would you raise, lower or keep the same level of dollars invested for our children? Please be specific.
In conclusion these are all fair questions dealing with economics and consistency of positions. Here’s hoping the real moderators for the upcoming debates read this article to quiz them on these topics.