Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ruinous Walker's Downfall (Too Bad He's Been Bringing Wisconsin With Him)

The more Scott Walker garners national media attention, the more he displays his ineptitude. On Glenn Beck, Walker flip-flopped and came out against legal immigration. Walker sputtered and yammered on ultimately saying nothing as Martha Radditz attempted to validate Mr. Walker's foreign policy bonafides with questions regarding Syria.

Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action Wisconsin, details the many failures of Scott Walker:
Scott Walker's historic proposed $300 million cut to the UW System follows his first state budget, which contained slashing cuts to our equally precious and highly ranked elementary schools, high schools and world renowned technical college system. These cuts are a sustained assault on the core concept of the Wisconsin Idea that investments in education are among the most vital we can make to improve the human condition and expand opportunity to everyone... 
This attack on the Wisconsin Idea goes beyond funding. Walker's scheme to spin off our universities, stripping public accountability from a system the people of Wisconsin built together... 
Walker's brand of conservatism is not interested in such knowledge, and in fact runs counter to the facts at its core. In Walker's doublespeak, forcing people off health coverage is innovation, wind farms are a greater threat to human health than fossil fuels, slashing money for education is reform, the failed voucher school experiment is a success, dismal job creation numbers are a comeback, $7.25 an hour is a "living wage," gutting unions raises wages, and a budget deficit is a surplus.
Scott Bauer, of the AP, continues the list of Walker's negligence:
Walker calls for eliminating oversight of for-profit colleges, letting private insurance companies into the state's managed care system and cutting money for public schools that lose students to private voucher schools... 
He's going even farther by proposing a $300 million, or 13 percent, cut in state money for the University of Wisconsin and freezing tuition there for two years while granting it more independence from state laws... 
He's also proposing to eliminate 66 science and education positions at the Department of Natural Resources, in the name of efficiency, but leading to charges that the move will increasingly politicize the agency... 
The Republican-controlled Legislature is also pushing back against Walker's plans for the university and his plan to borrow $1.3 billion for roads and $220 million for a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium.

Read more here:

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As you can see, one of the items on Walker's wish list is decimating the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' Science Bureau. Wisconsin is known for its beautiful lakes, rivers and landscapes. Part of the reason for this is the State's stewardship through the Department of Natural Resources. Yet again we have another example of Walker's policies flying in the face of Wisconsin tradition. In a tourist-friendly State, known for its natural beauty, ending the Bureau responsible for such ultimately hampers Wisconsin's future.

The possibility of ending the Science Bureau corresponds with Walker's ban of the staff of the Public Lands Board from talking about climate change. For Walker, Wisconsin doesn't need oversight of our natural resources, nor should we concern ourselves with a discussion about the climate. It appears the chosen platform for Republicans is to bury their heads in the sand and to dig in their heals with more deregulation and tax cuts.

Even the former mayor of Minneapolis, writing in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, felt the need to highlight the differences between Minnesota and Wisconsin policy-choices since Scott Walker took office:
In Minnesota, Dayton turned a $5 billion budget deficit into a more than $1 billion budget surplus in just one term. By raising taxes on the wealthiest earners, Minnesota is now in a position to invest more resources into the state’s schools and infrastructure. 
In Wisconsin, Walker was unable to take his state out of the red and is still facing a $2 billion budget deficit. Walker made the decision to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, while slashing programs and refusing investments at the expense of middle-class families and Wisconsin’s financial well-being. 
In Minnesota, Dayton has moved forward Democratic policies like increasing the minimum wage, expanding Medicaid and investing in the middle class, and now we are seeing one of the most business-friendly states in the country. Just this year, Forbes ranked Minnesota as the ninth best state for business, seventh in economic climate and second in quality of life. 
In Wisconsin, Walker opposed a minimum-wage increase and equal-pay legislation, rejected federal funds to expand Medicaid, and attacked Wisconsin workers with right-to-work and anti-collective-​bargaining policies. As a result, the cost of doing business in Wisconsin is higher than the national average, and median household income is thousands less than in Minnesota. 
The facts are clear: Walker and the Republican trickle-down economic policies have made it practically impossible for Wisconsin to recover from the recession, and the state consistently sits at the bottom of the region in private-sector job growth.
Walker has always used Wisconsin's big cities as whipping boys, especially Milwaukee. The cities are examples of crime, excess and un-American activity. Again, Walker's policies fly in the face of reality. The trend over the past decade has been a move back to the city. Companies are trading their suburban locations for the city. Others have noted how suburban sprawl stifles the economy. Right here in Wisconsin, Milwaukee has seen numerous companies move back to the city:
In January 2015 Plunkett Raysich Architects announced it was moving back to the greater Downtown area. 
A long list of companies that have decided to move from the suburbs to Downtown or Walker’s Point in just the last few years, including Stormwater Solutions Engineering (from Pewaukee in 2012), Corvisa Services (Wauwatosa, 2012), Natural Resources Technology (Pewaukee, 2013), Readers Digest (Greendale, 2014), Irgens (Wauwatosa, 2014), HSA Bank (Glendale, 2014) and Stark Investments (St. Francis, 2015). 
In the period from 2006 to 2012, the city was adding a long list of businesses to the redeveloped Menomonee Valley. Many of those companies relocated from the suburbs, including Proven Direct (from Menomonee Falls, 2007), Derse Inc. (Wauwatosa, 2008), Taylor Dynamometer Inc. (New Berlin, 2008), Zimmerman Architectural Studios Inc. (Wauwatosa, 2009), J.F. Ahern Co. (Menomonee Falls, 2012), and a more recent addition, Solaris (West Allis, 2015).
As examples of Republican-policy results: The Fiscal Times wrote, 15 Fortune Companies Paid No Federal Income Taxes In 2014. Bloomberg discovered 10% Of S&P 500 Companies Avoid Paying Taxes. Which coincides with Elizabeth Warren's recent hammering on the failure of Wall Street regulators.

Nationally we've seen the best job growth since the late 1990s. Yet, since Scott Walker, Wisconsin's job growth has trailed the national average.

All of this highlights the fact that Unions Still Matter. They are still the best advocate for good wages, health care, and retirement. They are also the most important institution in the fight against inequality. But the goals of Unions are opposed to the upwardly-redistributive policies of Scott Walker and the Republicans, thus, unions must go.

Maybe Scott Walker should focus more on Wisconsin than his presidential ambitions. Which, by the way, recently cost Wisconsin taxpayers $138,200 for Walker's trip to Great Britain. With his approval rating steadily declining, we can only hope we're in the midst of the downfall of Scott Walker.

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