Then a funny thing happened on the way to the polling booth, that shrine to the secret ballot so anathema to union leaders. Voters decided they liked a limited government that said there are things we just can’t afford. They also liked the idea that taxpayers had rights and could and should control how their money is spent.

It didn’t help the union cause when the city of Milwaukee announced it will save at least $25 million a year — and potentially as much as $36 million in 2012 — from health care benefit changes it didn’t have to negotiate with unions, as a result of provisions in a 2009-11 budget-repair measure that ended most collective bargaining for public-sector unions.

The savings from these kinds of reforms are available to other states. Here.

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