Saturday, January 10, 2009

As The Weasel Squirms

As I had called it, Scott Walker has found himself in a weasel trap of his his own design. Desperate to get himself out of it, he has started to squirm around, and says that even though he still won't ask for any help, he is more willing to accept it, if it is offered. His abdication of his duties (a frequent behavioral pattern for Walker) has predictably kept the outrage going. And I do mean there is a lot of outrage out there, with more people calling for his recall.

In Sunday's edition, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel gave Walker a platform for him to try to defend his decision. Trust me, it doesn't help his cause much, if at all.

He starts out with the same lame example of using the money to buy a sports car. A more realistic example would be fixing up the house he allowed to fall into extreme disrepair.

He then goes on complaining about the County to have a copay on the money given. I have two thoughts on that complaint. First, if you have $500 million dollars in repairs needed to the infrastructure, and there is a 20% copay, then ask for $400 million. The copay makes it come to the $500M, and there is no wasted money.

Secondly, it would be better to get $400M, and pay the $100M, then to have to pay the full $500M ourselves, and still have to pay the government back.

And this doesn't even take into account all the jobs it would create.

But then our dear Mr. Walker has a list of demands before he would accept the money. The first one is there is:
No local match is required by the federal government
In other words, Walker wants the feds to pay for ALL of the disrepair that he has allowed to happen. Um, doesn't this sound like an entitlement mentality that the conservatives are supposed to despise so much? And what of all of the conservative's talk about responsibility and cleaning up one's own mess? Was that all folderol after all?

Walker's second demand is:
No long-term commitments mandated by the federal government
What? Is he planning to secede from the union? He should be up in Alaska with the First Dude.
Or is he inferring that he will take the money, then use it on what he wants, like giving it to potential campaign donors, instead of on what the money was meant for?

The commitment-phobic Walker has one more demand:
No future operating or maintenance expenses.
I was not aware that they had invented roads and bridges and buildings that stayed in perfect repair forever yet. This does give some insight in how Walker was able to allow things to get so bad. He expected the road fairies, the bridge fairies, the bus fairies and all the other ethereal people to come out at night and fix things while people slept.

Walker's hypocrisy kicks into high gear then when he criticizes Doyle for bad budgeting. This is coming from a guy who has hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure problems that he has no clue on how to pay for, hundreds of millions of dollars in pension costs that grow exponentially every year that he continues to ignore them, and has yet to have a year where he hasn't called a fiscal crisis by midyear. The transit system alone is about to implode next year, while Walker fiddles a happy campaign tune. Meanwhile, there is $91.5 million sitting stagnant while he talks tough, without fixing a thing.

Walker ends his defense with the tired, and completely false lament that tax cuts are the fastest and most effective method of stimulating the economy. But has Michael Rosen points out, the truth doesn't back him up:

Fortunately, the County Board is once again prepared to step up and do Walker's job for him. Again. For the umpteenth time.

I haven't made any predictions for 2009, but one that I would be willing to make is that when the stimulus package comes through, and is shown to work, and people are working and being prosperous again, Walker will try to take all the credit. That is what weasels do.


  1. Since the proposal is not even introduced in Congress, we really don't know what any of the details will look like when passed into law. — Scott Walker

    So what, then, is the point of the rest of his opinion piece? If he isn't aware of the details, whatever conclusory pronouncements he's been making are based in speculation.

  2. Walker did it because he loves to grandstand, and he knows that there are some (read Charlie Sykes and listeners) that will believe him no matter what.