Dear Teachers: “Thank You For Saving My Sorry Ass.”
Governor Scott Walker, frantically trying to convince voters he should stay governor, is running around like a weasel with its head cut off, saying over and over again that he, personally, saved the taxpayers “ONE BILLION DOLLARS.”
Wow. That’s a lot of money. I kinda wonder how he did it. I mean, seriously, that is a WHOLE lot of money.
(Of course, his numbers can’t be verified and are based on incorrect assumptions but that’s a different post.)
So, Scotty, how did you do it?
“The right tools.”
What tools were those?
“I eliminated the right of teachers and other public workers to negotiate their wages, benefits and working conditions. Except for police and firefighters. The police scare me: they have guns. And firefighters have cool uniforms and those big trucks. I’m hoping they might let me drive one.”
But you told the U.S. Congress that eliminating collective bargaining had no fiscal impact on the state budget.
That means it didn’t save the taxpayers a penny.
And you gave $2.3 billion in tax breaks to the rich and corporations.
“I had to – they were some of my biggest campaign contributors.”
And gave millions to private schools through vouchers.
“I had to – the voucher people were some of my biggest campaign contributors.”
Then you slashed aid to local governments and cut $1.6 billion from public education.
“We couldn’t afford to reward my campaign donors and fund education. So ya, you betcha.”
So what you’re really saying is that you decimated public education in Wisconsin to afford giveaways to special interests.
“I prefer to call it ‘reforms’.”
So you left schools with a huge budget hole.
“You know, I was an Eagle Scout.”
You didn’t answer the question.
“I think that depends on how you define ‘huge‘.”
And the only way to save our schools was to cut teacher pay and/or benefits.
“The reforms gave local governments and school districts the tools they so badly needed to balance their own budgets without raising taxes.”
Wait a minute. “They so badly needed” “the tools” because you took away a whole lot of their funding, right?
And left them no other way to make up the shortfalls, right?
And this had nothing to do with the state budget, right? Because teachers aren’t state employees, right?
“We have put the power back in the hands of the taxpayers.”
Isn’t it true that teachers are taxpayers?
And isn’t it true that teachers taking pay cuts is what saved a “billion dollars”?
And isn’t it true that teachers taking pay cuts is what saved education in Wisconsin after your historic budget cuts?
So isn’t it true that you should be thanking teachers?
Because isn’t it true that the real heroes in this situation are the teachers?