Sunday, April 17, 2011

Doing Wisconsin

Scott Walker has shown he is an unwavering party-line parrot in his latest Journal Sentinel op-ed. If platitudes, false economic ideas, and revisionist history are your preferred path back to the promised land, Scott Walker in your man. On the other hand, if you are part of the reality-based society, Scott Walker and the Republicans' plans for our government and society are horrible.

Walker starts by spouting off about a positive environment for job creation. He conveniently ignores the billions in investment and thousands of jobs he has lost and pushed away. He then spews the well-worn "lawsuit abuse" line of the right as yet another positive change for the business environment. Another blatant giveaway to business, since frivolous lawsuits are a minuscule to nonexistent issue.

Next, he boasts of the change of the Department of Commerce to a quasi-private organization as somehow being a catalyst for job creation. He doesn't mention that we have such organizations already. Why haven't they worked? Why will Walker's millions poured into this duplicative venture produce any different results? This is simply a less-transparent vehicle through which Republicans can funnel money to their cronies and their projects.

He then goes on to confuse and misconstrue budgeting and basic economics. He talks of "balancing the budget" "without raising taxes" and without "a drastic reduction in services." Again, why can't we raise taxes on the extremely wealthy? If the only option is to cut spending, the only outcome can be a drastic reduction in services. We all must do with less because a select few very wealthy people need more and more.

Walker also uses the tired comparison of government budgets with household budgets. He claims government is running up massive debt while expecting our kids to pay for it. This fairytale conveniently ignores the fact that Wall Street and market fundamentalists collapsed the economy. So, the government is wrong to try to clean up the mess private sector made, and the private sector and their ideology aren't at fault for destroying the economy?

Scotty's next claim is, "We strengthen public safety, reform education, provide a safety net for needy families and children, protect seniors and honor our veterans." Since his budget cuts funding for all these constituents, his claim that these services are being strengthened is an elaborate delusion. A great example of the classic Republican strategy of doing one thing (with obvious results) and claiming exactly the opposite has happened.

Near the end of his regurgitation of Republican talking-points he states that his reforms will make government work better. Just believing this will apparently make it so. Sadly, the history of Republicans policies has resulted in horrendous outcomes for the majority of citizens. The anti-tax, less-government crusade of right-wingers has made U.S. citizens lives more volatile, not less.

He closes by repeating his claim that he will create 250,000 jobs, control government spending, and reform government. And that all sounds fine and dandy, but he never specifies how he will do any of this or why he believes it will work. I guess less government and tort reform are all Wisconsin needs to turn the economy around. Again, it appears just believing it and repeating it will make it so. It's time we throw these discredited Republican "ideas" into the trash bin of history where they belong.

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