What $18 Million Could Buy in Wisconsin


This week, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made history be being the first governor  to win a recall election. The cost of the recall, including the primary and the general election, is estimated at $18 million. (And that’s not including the millions of dollars that were spent advertising and campaigning.)

The recall election never should have happened. The Wisconsin law allowing recall elections was created to allow voters to remove from office elected officials involved in misconduct. It wasn’t created to allow those who disagree with the governor’s budget to force a recall, although recalls for policy disagreements have become more common. (Sadly, the law on the books doesn’t explicitly say that recalls are to be used to remove politicians from office for misconduct. Hopefully that will be changed soon.)

This recall was supposedly for the little people. It was supposed to send a message to Governor Walker that the little guy matters. That depriving public union members of continued insane pay and benefits, far beyond those available to most in the private sector during tough economic times, is not okay. The recall was all about money.

So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what $18 million could buy in Wisconsin. How much help for the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden could $18 million offer?

Obviously this list could go on and on, as $18 million is a nice chunk of money that could have paid for lots of things other than a meaningless recall election. Check out the state’s budget here and make your own calculations.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying any of the above cuts were wrong or should have been reversed, even if there wasn’t a recall election. I believe Scott Walker fashioned his budget in the best way possible, making cuts across the board to distribute them fairly to all taxpayers. I am simply pointing out that those in favor of helping low income people  hurt those very same people when they forced the state to spend $18 million on a meaningless recall election.

And I realize that people say this is the price of democracy. I disagree. The democracy allows for the election of a governor once every four years. If you don’t like how he governs, you have a chance to elect someone else in four years. You should not have the opportunity for a “do over” every two years.

The state has been doing well under Walker, with the budget deficit solved and job growth occurring. Imagine how much better the state might be doing if we hadn’t spent the last year re-doing the election (and giving the businesses and taxpayers an uncertain environment under which to make decisions).  Walker did exactly what he was elected to do, and spending $18 million to try to undo that was a complete waste of taxpayer money.

2 thoughts on “What $18 Million Could Buy in Wisconsin

  1. monte smith

    College dropout Scott walker is a retard he wants to help the rich get richer & the middle class poor but he is in the middle class bracket right, how can you trust a man who say he going to make jobs but cost ppl their jobs in Milwaukee with his so called budget cuts when he sat on the common council. He is not helping wisconsin. Giving the wealthy tax cuts who does that

  2. Tracy Coenen

    Monte – Until you can put together a coherent sentence, I suggest you not criticize someone for not earning a college degree. And Scott Walker wasn’t never on the Common Council, which illustrates your level of knowledge.

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