I've waited more than a week now--but it appears there will not be any public uproar over the budget released by President Obama. I'm sure your recall how ugly things were here in Wisconsin when Governor Walker proposed a budget that required public employees to contribute at least 12-percent toward their health insurance and five percent toward their retirement benefits. We heard over and over again from both State employees--along with County, City and School District workers about how local businesses would suffer because they (the workers) wouldn't have as much money to spend on dining out, drinking, movies, bowling and other "fun stuff"--since they would be making less now.
And that is why I expected the same reaction when news broke that the defense spending portion of the President's budget would cost the Oshkosh Corporation 600-MILLION DOLLARS NEXT YEAR!! There are no official numbers anywhere detailing how much public sector employees will be "losing" under the Walker Budget--but in reviewing the stories we had on how much Winnebago County, local municipalities and area school districts said they were "saving" under the changes in collective bargaining I compiled a total of 22.6 Million bucks for this year.
That means the Obama budget will have the impact of more than 26 Walker budgets--in just a single year!! And unlike the Walker budget, the Obama spending plan won't allow the Oshkosh Corporation to actually retain jobs. Instead, the lower production of heavy tactical trucks for the military will mean layoffs and reduced hours for Oshkosh Corp employees. What kind of impact will that have on the local economy?
I'll grant you that the President's budget is never approved as proposed (hell, the Democrats in the Senate haven't actually passed a budget in three years), so once Congress gets done with it, all 600-million will be back in there--probably with a little more pork thrown in for good measure. And it's possible that infrastructure spending included in the budget might boost civilian concrete placement and access sales for Oshkosh. But those are contracts the company will have to go out and win on the open market. The defense contracts were signed and were in the bank.
So that is why I expected the UAW to protest outside the President's appearance in Milwaukee last week. And it's why I'm waiting for the "Call Senator Herb Kohl today and tell him that you think Obama's budget is bad for the Oshkosh economy" radio and TV ads. I mean, if Government spending is the only way to keep the economy afloat, we need to spend it in every possible way--right?