Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giving Us The Business

Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) opines, in the Journal Sentinel, about Scott Walker and his initiatives to improve the "business climate" in Wisconsin. "Wisconsin is finally open for business again."

Olsen rolls out the usual litany of Republican-supported, business-friendly goals: curtailing frivolous lawsuits, increasing business incentives, and bolstering public-private partnerships. The lawsuits they are so worried about are a minuscule cost. The incentives they support rarely show a good return on the investment. And, public-private partnerships usually involve public money being used for private profits with little benefit spilling over into the host community.

He then continues on, attacking government jobs. Those aren't real jobs. The work they do and the services they provide are meaningless. Who needs police, fire fighters, clean air, clean water, roads, airports, sewers, street signs and traffic lights, or sidewalks?

One of the most disingenuous lines is, "Fairly or unfairly, Wisconsin has been perceived by many to be unfriendly to commerce with a high tax burden and cumbersome regulation." The only reason Wisconsin is perceived as such is because the right-wing has been pushing the Wisconsin Tax Hell nonsense story for years, in an attempt to cut taxes for their corporate cronies.

Next, Olsen declares that we must make sure our students are graduating from high school and ready for college or a career. This from a member of the party that continually badmouths teachers and repeatedly cuts funding for our schools and for student aid.

A real knee-slapper is the assertion that "we have to learn to do more with less" because of the economy. But the economy has improved. Corporate profits are back to pre-bubble levels. Productivity continues to increase. The only problem is none of it is trickling down to workers. As has been par for the course for the past few decades, economic gains have been usurped by a select few. Mostly the private sector, corporate CEOs that Scott Walker and Luther Olsen are so interested in helping even more.

He closes with the absurd, and often parroted, right-wing talking-point that government is increasing spending, growing in size, and adding onerous regulations on individuals and business. As usual, the Republican version of reality is at odds with the evidence. But, if they stuck with the facts, they wouldn't have much of a story, nor a plausible ideology to cling to.

For Further Reading:

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