Scott Walker Preaches Fiscal Responsibility At Chamber Of Commerce

By Luke Vargas

Scott Walker quietly slipped into the Chamber of Commerce’s grand Flag Room Wednesday afternoon while Chamber president Tom Donohue delivered dry remarks on stage, but the newly-minted conservative fiscal champion couldn’t avoid drawing enthusiastic handshakes and the ballroom’s attention.

The Wisconsin governor, riding high following a decisive victory in last week’s recall election, was in town with counterparts from Nebraska, Utah, and Delaware to share strategies on economic growth with attendees at the Chamber’s annual Jobs Summit entitled “Touring the States: Policies that Produce.”

Walker spent surprisingly little time dwelling on his efforts on reforming public sector unions in Wisconsin, focusing largely on steps taken to provide businesses in his state with market certainty. He used an anecdote of replacing placards suspended from signs on his state’s border with the phrase “Open for Business,” in lieu of his own name to illustrate his philosophy. He was, however, given the “cleanup spot” on one question on the topic of public sector entitlements asked by moderator Major Garrett, who noted that Walker is a “very prominent newsmaker” on the issue.

“The reality is these benefits are like a virus that eat up more and more of your budget and if you don’t deal with it it’s just going to grow out of control,” Walker said.

The Wisconsin crusader credited Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, the one Democrat on stage, for choosing to undertake public sector benefits reform as well, despite that the state’s program is operating at 96 percent funding levels, significantly higher than the national average.

Citing Illinois’ 43 percent funded pension liability – ranked among the worst in the nation – Walker proclaimed the necessity for preemptive action with confidence.

“The time for reform isn’t when you’re in the hole that deep, it’s long before you get there to try and adjust that,” he said. “That’s part of what we did with some of our reforms at both the state and local level.”

Tags: , , , , , ,

About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

LISTEN: The Day Ahead – October 23, 2014

The Day Ahead Logo

Oral arguments begin in a suit against the UN for introducing cholera to Haiti in 2010, a slew of human rights reports and new unemployment data from Spain.

LISTEN: The World in 2:00 – October 22, 2014

The World in 2:00 continents logo

South Sudan’s U.N. ambassador says his country is experiencing a breakdown of social values, and Sweden continues to search for a mysterious underwater vessel.

Obama Phones Canadian Leader Over Deadly Shooting

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will continue to stay in touch as the situation unfolds

WHO: Ebola Health Care Workers Still Seeking Guidance On Use Of Personal Protective Equipment

Plus, The Latest Numbers On The Ebola Virus

State Dept. Won’t Rule Out More Kobani Supply Drops

Norwegian fighter jet assists 2011 Libyan no-fly zone

“This is a small amount of risk,” Deputy State Department Spokesperson Harf said.

Norton: Doubts Raised Over DC Marijuana Legalization Vote

“I’m not sure everyone is prepared for it,” D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton told TRNS.