Perhaps, but the devil is in the details…
By Jack E. Lohman
Tax cuts must be offset, and Governor Scott Walker will have to get the money from somewhere, either…
a) cutting current spending waste (like government giveaways to corporate Fat Cats, no-bid state contracts, and unnecessary roads to nowhere), or
b) cutting expenditures on needed state infrastructure and taxpayer services (Medicaid, revenue sharing which affects schools, fire and police), or
c) both (which is unlikely).
And thereby lies the problem.
The first group funds Walker’s and other state electoral campaigns and the second group does not. Clearly if we had public funding of elections we could trust these decisions to our politicians, but as long as they retain this conflict of interest we cannot. Though he could tap both pockets, don’t count on it. Pork projects and special interest giveaways will likely remain a major part of our state budget.
Our politicians should first create a new corporate status that moves their taxes and health care costs to ZERO if they use Wisconsin employees and protect shareholders from CEO and management fraud.
Double political salaries!
Yea, but for a price. Honesty and effectiveness.
Were an astute businessman to compensate an employee it would be on the basis of effectiveness incentives, and that’s what Walker should implement before moving forward. Importantly, the politicians should not set their own salaries, but our state has a nonpartisan Government Accountability Board (GAB) that could easily oversee this process.
Here are some thoughts:
We taxpayers are paying state legislators to work full time, but they always seem to have a six-month vacation prior to each election. Part of me says that’s six months that they cannot pass damaging legislation, so hurray! But in fairness they shouldn’t be paid during this off-time. Their challengers are not and neither should they be.
We should be paying legislators on the basis of effectiveness. Increased spending on unnecessary and wasteful projects should result in a reduction in pay. Decreased taxes without a decrease in public services should earn an increase in pay.
We should also be rewarding legislators on the basis of loyalty, but we don’t need a complicated process for this. The voters can do it in the voting booth. If a politician opts into public funding of campaigns he stands a better chance of getting elected. Choosing private contributions is at his/her own risk. (In Arizona it actually benefited the R’s, though it also cleaned up the system.)
Capitalism is great, if it is clean and fair. But the unfettered free market is neither of those. Wisconsin should not be adding to the problem, but corrupt politicians as a whole have joined the scare game: “Scare the holy hell out of the people and they’ll accept anything!” Diversion! Blame the good guys to keep the wolf away from the bad guys while they do their deed.
If politicians were working for the taxpayers instead, that would never happen. Is Walker up to fixing that?
See the (admittedly Liberal) Scott Walker Failure Files