NewsLocal NewsPolitiFact Wisconsin


PolitiFact Wisconsin: Right-to-work states and cost savings from withdrawing from Afghanistan

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 19:06:40-04

A Wisconsin congressman says withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan will save taxpayers billions of dollars. That's just one claim that caught the attention of PolitiFact Wisconsin this week.

President Biden wants American troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11 - 20 years after the terror attacks.

"We're looking at a claim from Congressman Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Madison who said that withdrawing troops from Afghanistan will save the United States $50 billion a year, " said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

That $50 billion is on the higher end of estimates, but is it money available to spend on other needs, such as ending homelessness as Congressman Pocan suggested?

Not really, says PolitiFact Wisconsin, there are other costs to consider, like housing and healthcare for those active troops coming back home.

"So that suggests that the money is readily available if it's not spent in one spot, therefore we can spend it somewhere else," said Borowski. "And in this case, that's not true because there are all these other costs that are going to creep in."

While there's an element of truth here - PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Mostly False.

Now to a claim by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce about right-to-work states, which makes it harder for unions to organize and workers can't be forced to join a union.

"They made the case that states that have right-to-work status in regard to labor unions have faster private-sector job growth than states that do not have right-to-work status," said Borowski.

28 states - including Wisconsin - are right-to-work states. PolitiFact Wisconsin says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed from 2001 to 2016, right-to-work states did have faster growth, but it's not always a causal relationship. Look at Montana , which is not a right-to-work state but is thinking about it.

"It's neighbors South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho already are right-to-work states, but it's Montana that is seeing the faster job growth these days than those other states.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Half True.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip