How to Be an Insufferable Bore
Be born George Will.
Yes, I know I’ve written too damn much about politics lately, but only because that’s all that’s on the damn television, damn radio, and in the damn newspapers because Walker and the Kochs have purchased all the television stations, radio stations, and newspapers north of Illinois so we can’t even talk about the weather because the forecast every day for the past three months has been, “and we’re predicting a continued period of sunshine for billionaires with another 30 months of Scott Walker.”
And it’s not just here: popinjays are using national platforms to publish puff pieces praising Walker that endlessly repeat the same poppycock.
Like George Will.
Enough, I say sir. Enough.
Perhaps the rarefied atmosphere at your altitude is the reason for the fractured fairy tale you authored that appeared in print and online beginning June 1, 2012, parroting Scott Walker’s propaganda about public workers. Back here on earth we call it balderdash.
First: lack of fact checking. Nobody here in Wisconsin has ever heard of anything called a “5 and 12” plan. And the other stuff you spit out, seemingly at random? Many public workers already contributed significant percentages toward their health plans and pension fund out of their regular paychecks – and all of them also paid with pre-tax dollars in the form of deferred compensation.
Second: try the truth, it shall set you free.
You said “For 16 months, Wisconsin … has been riven by furious attempts to punish Walker for keeping his campaign promise to change the state’s unsustainable fiscal trajectory driven by the perquisites of government employees.”
Where does one begin? No one is furiously attempting to “punish Walker” – although he never campaigned on ending collective bargaining for public workers (he also admitted eliminating it had no fiscal impact on the state budget). Nor were we on an “unsustainable fiscal trajectory” nor was that nonexistent trajectory “driven by the perquisites of government employees.”
Scotty didn’t inherit a “$3.6 billion deficit” from the prior administration. What we had was a structural deficit (difference between expected revenue and expected budget requests from public agencies) for the next budget period. We always have a structural deficit because public agencies always ask for more than they think they will get.
We also have a state constitution that requires a balanced budget. So we also always have a balanced budget (at least on paper). As in prior years, the challenge was to reconcile the difference between estimated revenues and estimated budget requests.
Estimated revenues were down because of the recent global economic meltdown. So what does Scotty do? He immediately gives massive tax breaks to his cronies ($2.3 billion worth over 10 years).
And please stop telling tales like this one: “what really motivates the unions and elected Democrats is that Walker ended the automatic deduction of union dues from government employees’ pay.” A federal judge has already ruled that the ban on automatic dues deduction is unconstitutional.
(Seriously – you need some help with the problem you have using excessive amounts of overwrought and unfounded rhetoric. Maybe a 12 step program?)
What you coastal talking heads keep ignoring are the facts.
Walker is being recalled (by hundreds of thousands of residents who are neither union members nor public workers) because he: gave tax breaks of more than $2.3 billion to special interests while slashing funding to local governments and for public education, is kicking thousands of children off Badger Care, converted 37 high-level, high-paying merit selection state jobs into personal appointees, made himself the final authority over all rules made by any state agency, pushed through a far-right conservative agenda benefiting a select few (who happened to be his campaign donors), converted the state into a “pay to play” system of cronyism, rolled back worker’s rights, women’s rights (including the Equal Pay Enforcement Act), consumer rights, tenant rights, voting rights, homosexual rights, comprehensive sex education, wetland and environmental protections, and killed off what had been a growing wind energy industry. And that was just the beginning. He also lied about not raising taxes (increasing taxes on the poor by $49 million), lied about balancing the budget, and is actually running a $143 million deficit.
But that’s not all. He ended up with the worst job record in the country in 2011, raided the mortgage bank settlement designed to help homeowners by diverting more than $25 million toward his budget deficit, and is at the center of a John Doe criminal investigation into illegal campaign activities which has already resulted in criminal charges against multiple former aides (including theft and child enticement) and immunity to several others.
Walker is a man who seriously considered planting instigators in peaceful crowds, laughed about beating people with a bat with his name on it – and sold his soul to the Koch brothers. As the real David Koch said, “We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.”
Please stick to writing about baseball – you’re much better at that – and people expect tall tales.