Scott Walker has Failed Wisconsin…part 1

Seven months into Scott Walker’s term as Governor, and there is one perfectly clear fact – he has failed Wisconsin. Despite the Walker machine spin doctors, whose script the media follows as it were carved in stone; Walker’s programs will do more to set back Progressive Wisconsin in his first year than anyone thought possible. The middle class will continue to erode; sustainable, well-paying jobs will be replaced, necessary services will disappear or be privatized, public education will be defunded to the point of obsolescence, and access to wealth and prosperity will be available to fewer and fewer people. As the media fails to report the truth and facts about the Corporatic takeover of Wisconsin (and the nation), it falls to those of us in the alternative media to attempt (in some small way) to fill the void. The facts are clear, the economic reality is clear – under Scott Walker and the current GOP leadership, Wisconsin is on a course parallel with that of any governmental unit that practices these economic and social policies. High unemployment, low wage jobs with no stability or security, little or no social safety net, and two classes – the very wealthy, and the working poor. Yet the historic facts are not only overlooked, they are lied about. Lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy have never produced more jobs. Many of the “deficit crises” we are facing have been manufactured by the very people who stand to benefit from them. The list goes on, and on, and on.

It is time for Progressives to take the message to the people of Wisconsin. The media are sitting this one out, and conservative propaganda has owned the message (take the “Prosser vindicated” chatter before the entire report was even released). Wisconsin mainstream media is beginning to portray Scott Walker as a moderate, reasonable and benevolent  Governor (he just wanted to give municipalities the “tools” they needed to balance their budgets). This is a complete fallacy – Wisconsinites deserve the truth, and as Progressives, it is our obligation to shine the light of day on these dark times. In that spirit, Badger Democracy today begins a series of blogs titled “Scott Walker has Failed Wisconsin.” Each posting will address a specific Walker agenda item, expose the lie behind the propaganda presented to media and the public, and the failure to the People of Wisconsin it represents. It is the hope of this writer that each item can be consolidated and shared widely, to take the message to the people in preparation for the imminent recall of Scott Walker. These are messages we can own, and put Scott Walker and the entire Corporatist movement on the defensive – responding to Progressive terms and values.

Badger Democracy encourages participation in this process, and welcomes questions or suggestions on topics – we are all in this together. The following topics are currently in the loop:

Public Education – Scott Walker has failed in the theft of funds from K-12 public education under the pretense of balancing the state budget, the effects on educational outcomes, children’s welfare and performance in public schools, Districts financial stability in future years, and teachers ability to be an active participant in establishing educational policy. All these items are deluded by lies and propaganda surrounding the “benefits” of Act 10, which by all accurate accounts are few, and temporary.

Healthcare, especially for Seniors, Children, Women, and at-risk populations – Scott Walker has failed to sustain availability to low-cost, necessary healthcare for our most vulnerable populations. He is on track to place Wisconsin’s healthcare program in the hands of a commission which is tied to corporate and big-med lobbies, who will make millions by privatizing any aspect of the healthcare system made available to them. He has distorted a study commissioned by the Doyle Administration, prepared by Jonathan Gruber (MIT, an expert in healthcare economics), to the point where Gruber was omitted from the press release, and facts about the benefits of Obamacare to Wisconsin were completely ignored to further Walker’s agenda. This will never be reported by the mainstream media, and the propaganda machine rolls on…

Wisconsin’s fiscal reality before, during, and after Scott Walker – Wisconsin was no more in a budget “crisis” when Scott Walker took office than under Jim Doyle. In fact, Legislative Fiscal Bureau updated information show that Scott Walker not only exaggerated the “crisis,” he exacerbated it with his first action – tax breaks and incentives for the wealthy and corporations, creating a greater revenue gap. Scott Walker’s policies will fail to produce the necessary secure, good paying, family supporting jobs Wisconsin needs. His economic policies in fact “kick the can” down the road more than any other previous Governor, which could lead to a real debt crisis for Wisconsin – one Walker himself has created. Scott Walker’s policies will leave Wisconsin (long after he is gone) revenue-short, jobless, further in debt, and without a strong middle class. This is a message that moderates and swing voters need to hear – Walker’s economic policies are, and will, fail Wisconsin.

Collective Bargaining, Unions, and ALL Working Families – This has been the source of the greatest propaganda drive on behalf of Scott Walker. The fact is, collective bargaining, strong unions, and worker participation in the workplace have proven benefits to safety, productivity, the economy, and wage/workplace equality. The decline of these ideas have had a research-proven, negative impact on the earning power, wages of the middle class. As these rights (as recognized by the United Nations Human Rights Commission) have eroded, so have the conditions of the middle class, leading to a swifter rise of plutocracy. The Corporatists have created a demonized class of workers – pitting worker against worker. We must end this and come together, taking a stand against the true enemy – Corporate takeover of our economy and political system. The facts will counter this propaganda, and we will own this message.

Specific points will be addressed in detail in coming weeks, under the heading “Scott Walker has Failed Wisconsin.”  You are invited to participate, share, create a dialog, and spread the message. This movement started with the people, and we the people will have to carry it forward on foot, email, Facebook, twitter, phone, whatever means necessary. We stand together for Wisconsin and its future.

Solidarity!

16 thoughts on “Scott Walker has Failed Wisconsin…part 1

  1. Excellent. Scott Walker’s brand of fascism (calling it anything else would be denying the truth, really) needs to be exposed. This is not only important for the people of Wisconsin to see, but for the entire nation. This could happen anywhere; so we as progressives should absolutely stand up and let people know that this kind of governing hurts our way of life.

  2. I work for the State and never in my life have I lived so poorly. No pay raises in 5 years . .Furlough days . .Now less money. I feel that Scott Walker needs to look at what the average pay check looks like after defuctions. And have him ask himself if he or his rich cronies could live off it. I would like to see him bus tables for a living

  3. If there is any cause for concern about Walker’s action and it philosophical under-girding, just check his work resume leading to his full time entry into politics–zilch!! He fund raised for the Red Cross. It’s little wonder why his view of wage earners is profoundly reactionary and generated by instruction from big money or some fear of rubbing up a callus. Wearing a hard hat and safety glasses at some perfunctory visit to a factory neither a worker nor a capitalist makes. Scott Walker’s work experience background that he can bring to the important decisions is profoundly anemic.

  4. I’m extremely ecstatic over the creation of this blog! A BIG Thank You to those behind it!! Perhaps another topic could be the privatization of the states energy providers?

  5. There is a post that I read a couple of months ago ( I an sorry I can’t remeber the blog add.) It is called Just an observation, that the country is being directed into the worlds next 3rd world country. I don’t go with conspiricy theories, but to read it and see the parallels that are drawn is scary, If you can find it you should read it .

  6. Excellent prologue. As you point out, Wisconsin is a bellwether for the United States, as we all fall prey to corporate tyranny. Suggestion: you might name some past historical instances of actual corporate enrichment that conclusively prove the case that corporate wealth does not “trickle down.” I’m not asking this because I’m a skeptic, but because I think such historical fact will bolster the argument for all of us – so we may “go and say likewise.” (By the way, I stumbled by accident on your website. I live in Massachusetts, but your publication should be of interest to all progressives.)

  7. I consider public education to be a matter of national security, but I have not seen anyone address this perspective. A strong public education system is essential for the success, even survival, of this or any nation. Without a well educated population, a nation is vulnerable to threats from within and outside forces, as we are beginning to see. Just think of how our education system would be funded if it were part of the Defense budget. Every student would probably have gold plated pencils.

    Thank you for focusing on these issues. We need to know what has, is and will be happening so we can take action against their coordinated attack on us.

  8. Of course I agree with all you are saying, However, progressives don’t seem to GET the fact that this needs to be simplified even further and repeated, repeated, repeated! Did I just repeat myself? GOOD! I am posting this twice because I forgot to check email notification, But I’m glad I have to repeat myself🙂

  9. I am really glad this blog has been started. I must admit it is over all very depresing because it is the truth. The challenge to progressives is to stay informed and energized at the same time. I am finding my FB postings about Walker getting a little less attention from friends and people are posting less. We must not get fatigued. To not do anything is just as complicit as participating in evil.

  10. Pingback: Filtered news 8/30/2011 « Russ' Filtered News

  11. Dr. Laura L. Nelson, Ph. D., former chair UW-L Faculty Senate; former chair Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Department and Communication Studies Department,

    I work for the UW System as previously non-unionized faculty. Why so many other state workers were allowed to unionize, but university faculty were forbidden to do so, I cannot explain. We were finally given the right to unionize in 2008. Right around the time when the efforts to organize were about to culminate– with a substantial majority of faculty in favor of unionizing– Walker essentially took the right to be organized away from us again. One state worker in a previous comment says no raises for the last 5 years, 3.1% pay cuts through furloughs in the last two years, and of course goes on to lament the permanent reduction in take home pay due to Walker’s mandated increases in our contributions to retirement benefits, health insurance premiums, and health care co-pays.

    University faculty have had it worse than unionized state workers. The Board of Regents recognized in 2004 that we were already 14% behind national average pay. We have lost more ground since then. With minimal increases in our pay since 2004 and now, Walker’s cuts in our take home pay, we are even further behind. I translated my 1985 gross starting salary into 2011 dollars and subtracted it from my current salary. I then cut the difference by one third for deductions.
    I then subtracted the Walker reduction in take home pay I will see in October thanks to “Budget Repair.”

    In 28 years of service, I have gained a whopping $200 per month in the value of my nine month salary. I am paid less than brand new faculty are paid on average nationwide in my field. Once, the good benefit package helped to make up for that, but no longer. I am discouraged to the point of feeling physically ill. I am trying to cut close to $400 per month out of my budget– which was already tight. I don’t make a six figure salary like some faculty in higher paid fields like business or computer science. As faculty at one of the regional institutions, I haven’t had the UW Madison advantage. I teach communication skills, essential for all college graduates. My faculty salary is less than $55,000 per year after 28 years.

    Board of Regents President Kevin Reilly has assured me that a report on staff turnover will be conducted this fall. I can assure you that those who can afford to retire are, and those who can leave the Wisconsin System for jobs elsewhere are fleeing. I am encouraging my junior colleagues to get out of here for their own good. Walker has done significant damage to the quality of higher education in Wisconsin which will be apparent this fall and which will worsen through the year as more of our best faculty find work elsewhere. Increases in students’ tuition and fees are NOT going to pay faculty better but to pay for buildings, grounds, and equipment as well as administrative and executive salaries. I will be working to recall this man even harder than I worked to recall my Republican state senator– an effort which was successful. For our own sakes and the sake of the nation, we have to remove him from office before he damages the state further.

  12. Thanks for this. I have let too many opportunites go by where I should have documented Walker (and legislative) tactics and actions for future discussion/publication on these issues.

    One of these had to do with some legislation that would limit or end any possibility of john q. public finding our where politial contributions are coming from. Can anyone shelt light on this or remember the ligislation?

    I still feel first and formost the best way to rid ourselves of this type of crap is campaign reform to inlcude all the b.s. PACS that just spread lies, deceptions & half truths.

  13. What a joke this is! As usual, fear mongering and self serving to the non-thinking. Walker has allowed teachers to get their job back, school districts can now balance their budgets without having to increase class sizes, which would have had to been done if unions continued to control. If progressivism is what you want, move to Europe, Russia or the middle east and leave the US and Wisconsin so we can get back to what this country was founded on..freedom which includes freedom for the government.

    • I am approving this comment, so readers realize how blind people really are to what this is about. I believe you mean freedom FROM not FOR the Government. The reality of what people like Scott Walker (and others whom he follows) have done are evident all over the world. I truly hope you realize that fact someday. The only people who benefit from this type of policy are those who paid to have it implemented. Go ahead, ignore the facts, ignore reality – keep watching FOX News, and listening to Sykes and Belling – everything will be just fine. This never was about the economy – and never will be.

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