Rep. Paul Ryan on Recalls: 'Courage is on the Ballot'
Congressman Paul Ryan was in Mount Pleasant Friday to talk about his ideas for a federal budget, and Patch got a little bit of time with him to talk about Wisconsin recall elections.
When it comes the Wisconsin recall elections, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan says it's really all about courage.
"I think courage is on the ballot," he said in an interview with Patch Friday. "What I mean by that is Governor (Scott) Walker went after some of the root causes of the structural problems in the state budget."
People might not have liked the way Walker went about budget reform, Ryan added, but going after some of the causes of the state's deficit took a lot of guts.
"The majority of local budgets are labor," the Republican congressman said. "So I think the message beyond Wisconsin is, don't try and tackle these problems. If you do, as a state legislator or a governor, this is what can happen to you."
Ryan said the goal of recall organizers is to intimidate other reformers around the country to not bother dealing with public employee pensions and benefits as they relate to their private sector counterparts.
As for how close the June 5 election will be, Ryan agrees with recent polls that say it will be a tight race. However, he firmly believes Walker will come out the winner.
"These reforms are starting to work, and people are seeing services weren't deeply cut and their property taxes went down for the first time in 12 years," said Ryan, who was in Mount Pleasant for a listening session with residents. "I talked to a school superintendent who saved over $1 million in one year because they can put out for bid for their health insurance."
School districts are hiring more teachers and local governments are lowering taxes without deep cuts to services. As time has gone on, taxpayers are seeing the savings, he added.
"The whole purpose of the recall is more popular for Walker and (opponents) are not campaigning against him on the reforms and so because of that, it's a more weaker opposition and he'll probably win, but it will be close," Ryan concluded.