Obama Hits Walker: ‘Your Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively Was Attacked’
“It’s a philosophy that believes if we give special breaks to folks at the top, prosperity trickles down for the rest of us. But we’ve seen what happens when top-down economics meets the real world. We got proof right here in Wisconsin. We had a statewide fair pay law that was repealed. Your right to organize and bargain collectively was attacked. Her student education funding was cut. Your minimum wage has been stuck in place.
Meanwhile, corporations and the most fortunate few have been on the receiving end of hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax cuts over the past four years. All right. So that's what has been going on here. What happens when we try middle-class economics? Just across the river -- (Applause) -- there is a pretty -- it's a pretty interesting experiment. Across the river in Minnesota they asked the top 2 percent to pay a little bit more. They invested in things that help everybody succeed, like all-day kindergarten and financial aid for college students. (Applause) They took action to raise the minimum wage; they passed the equal pay law. They protected workers’ rights. They expanded Medicaid to cover more people.
According to the Republican theory, all of those steps would have been bad for the economy but Minnesota's unemployment rate is lower than Wisconsin's. Minnesota's median income is around $9,000 higher. The La Crosse Tribune wrote that Minnesota is winning this border battle. (Applause) Now, it is true that as The Tribune pointed out, Wisconsin does have the Packers. (Applause) So even a Bears fans can respect the Packers. (Applause)
But understand -- I am saying this -- Wisconsin is an extraordinary state filled with extraordinary people. But if you end up adding policies that cut education, help folks at the top, aren't expanding opportunity, then it's not going to work. We need better policies. Because the bottom line is top-down economics does not work, middle-class economics works."(Applause)