California’s should tell us … we don’t want to go there!
By Jack E. Lohman
Wisconsin is heading in that direction, unless Governor-elect Scott Walker changes the way state politicians do business. He’s been part of the problem in the past; let’s hope he is the solution today.
California voters have only one group to blame for their $25B budget shortfall; themselves. In the early 2000’s they voted against a referendum that would have created “optional” public funding of campaigns, and so their politicians continued doing what their privatized funders wanted them to do: SPEND MONEY!
And spend it especially on waste… because waste is profitable to those who receive it.
But they have nothing on us. In 2000 over 90% of Wisconsin’s voters approved a campaign finance reform referendum, and Walker and his colleagues gave us a bill with a poison pill destined to kill it dead after the elections. The courts killed it — as the legislature connived — and our budget has skyrocketed since.
If Walker wants to be an effective governor he must decide early on whose side he’s on. Does he want to govern or is campaign money to govern, as it does out west? If the latter, we must throw him and his cronies out in 2012. But if the former Walker could make an important mark on Wisconsin history.
Let’s give him a chance.
If he wants to govern, his crew must pass a public funding of campaigns bill — “optional” to make it constitutional — and before the game starts, not after three years of haggling and tax giveaways. It’ll cost about $5 per taxpayer per year but will save easily twenty times that in wasteful spending. It’s a no-brainer, but those currently funding the elections will oppose it because they’ll lose control of the politicians and their taxing habits.
Walker is correct that the state is spending far too much money. Exorbitant public employee wages and benefits, and unnecessary and inefficient government departments are just a few that must go. But so must excessive contracts to private companies that fund the elections. Spending goes up when campaign contributions go up, so we know the culprit.
And we must quit complaining about not being able to afford needed things while we simultaneously cut our taxes that pay for them.
Walker could be our best governor ever… or our worst. We’ll have to wait and see.
But let’s also put this to rest:
Who really does create jobs?
The little guy who spends money on his family (the demand side) is the only one in the formula that’s indispensable. Somebody’s got to buy something to start the ball rolling. The crafty CEO who positions himself as the middle-man and pockets the profits (the supply side) can be replaced with the workers.
It’s the little guy that buys product that keeps the other little guys working.
It’s nice to have both, but we must whittle down the current CEO waste in the middle. As a former CEO, I know of not one CEO worth more than $1 million per year, but our corporate rules currently allow this ripoff.
But give them credit; their well-rehearsed trickle-down scam has a lot of people worshiping their lie, because they’ve convinced us of how indispensable rich guys are. Importantly, to keep the lie moving they must share their wealth with the politicians that made it all happen.
I wish Obama’s latest giveaway would have been a six-month knife fight, rather than a one-week cave in. And I wish he’d have turned it over to Anthony Weiner to negotiate. As well, why did Bernie Sanders put on a fake filibuster rather than just putting a “hold” on it? And where is Feingold and Kohl on this? Russ can make a real filibuster happen; let’s hope he does.