Walker loses his sheen… Or does he?

A budget deficit that isn’t.

By Jack E. Lohman

The state’s own bean counters say that there was no deficit when Governor Scott Walker took office, but he created one in January with some tax cuts to corporations (which I support). Then he used this fake deficit as reason to go after the unions.

I’m not a union supporter, except that I see them as a necessary counter-balance. And like all factions they have their “very good” and “very bad” on the Bell-shaped curve. Sort of like those other guys… you know, our elite CEOs and our esteemed politicians.

But now Wisconsin is faced with a serious budget problem, and I want an answer! Is it due to those selfish public employees, or to a very crafty politician seeking kudos and cash contributions from the business class who would like to see unions trashed?

I could almost agree with Walker if I could trust him. I want public employee wages and benefits equalized with the private sector, whether that means an increase or a decrease. And I want politician salaries, health care and retirement decreased as well. As well, put politicians on a pay-for-performance basis. And I want unnecessary and inefficient departments cleaned up or eliminated.

We should all want that.

Read this state Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo that makes clear that Walker did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill, but that he created the crisis by giving away the surplus we did have.

Yea, but those pesky state workers are overpaid!

Not according to the Economic Policy Institute study that shows that Wisconsin workers make 4.8% less than private workers, but this substantiated list of teachers whose pay (and benefits) of up to $200K would indicate that there is a wide range in the field of education.

58% of the public support Walker’s decision.

But even still, I’d still like to hear it from our state’s non-partisan Government Accountability Board. They can hire an outside non-partisan business consultant to assess employee costs and which agencies are inefficient or should be closed, but I surely can’t trust my politicians to make this call. (Sad, but that’s the way it is.)

Is all of this just a political strategy to kill unions and gain national attention? Walker gets his money from conservatives, including the Koch Brothers, and I’d much rather see it coming from his taxpayer constituents. Public funding of campaigns would put my mind more at ease.

As long as the Fat Cats fund the elections we will get distorted and regressive political decisions. I want Governor Walker working for me; not them. And that will only happen when the taxpayers fund his election.

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