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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wisconsin Is Walker's State Of Decline

Excerpt From CapTimes Editorial:

Walker has no new ideas, just old proposals for despoiling the environment, gutting public services and establishing “voucher” programs to stream public money into the coffers of the education hucksters who fund his campaigns.

The other part of the explanation for the weakening of the state's economic outlook under Walker can be summed up in a word: "chaos." The governor and his allies have attacked collective bargaining agreements, passed laws without respect for the state or federal constitutions, and undercut funding of vital state and local public services and public education. This has caused deep divisions in communities across the state, wrangling on city councils, village boards, town boards and school boards, and myriad court battles. Read more>>>

That's only the tip of the iceberg.

Ask yourselves: How has Walker been able to increase HIS budget spending AND offer an income tax cut at the same time while nearly every Wisconsin community and school district is looking to make either deep cuts or for new tax revenue?

Walker has cut $1.6B from education, pulled hundreds of millions in compensation from the pockets of public workers, shifted millions more away from local roads, AND HOW have most communities responded? With new or increased fees and referendums to increase local taxes. That's how! This way, it was the locals who made the painful choice to increase taxes to maintain schools, city services and roads, not Scott Walker. By doing so, we continue to make him and his backward ideas look good while he offers tax cuts because of sacrifices and decisions he NEVER made.

His supporters will insist, “See, our great governor was able to cut billions from schools and public employees and nothing changed. He rooted out waste and balanced the state budget without raising taxes and the sky did not fall! He's the one who made the difficult choices!!”

THAT my friends has been the formula for much of his political success and I think he banks on our natural tendency to prevent the local decline his system would otherwise bring. He dares us to not be as careless and irresponsible as he is, and he's winning.

In a blog convo, the Democurmugeon pointed out that this system is nothing new, he said "it's the same trick he used as county executive, relying on the county board to increase taxes overriding his cuts."

Personally, I think it's time for Wisconsin communities to stop paying for Walker's shortfalls and start showing the world the physical damage his governship really brings. That might sound like we're playing into his hands, but he has been winning the narrative by us working to keep our standards. I know it sounds contrary if not crazy, but local governments should stop the wrangling and budget only with the revenue Walker has deemed necessary through his cuts in state aid. That's his Wisconsin and we deserve to see what it looks like before the election of 2014. Trust me, if done right, Walker's Wisconsin won't be pretty.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully written.

Read Wisconsin Gazette's editorial about Scott Walker here:

We're ALL ready for the reign of Walker to be over.

Lou Kaye said...

Thank you for the compliment Kaitlyn, it is appreciated.

I read the editorial and the author clearly gets what's going on. I particularly liked this passage, "Funding of the WAB amounts to only .013 percent of the state budget, while the arts account for 3.6 percent of employment within the state. Any reasonable person interested in the state’s future would see the disconnect in those figures."

Walker is defunding multitudes of primary and secondary drivers of the state's economy in ways most people don't realize. Nearly every school district and community is at a crossroads on this. Hang on.

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