Monday, July 4, 2011

Loots And Slobbers

Owen Robinson, rabid anti-union blogger at Boots and Sabers, really put his army boot in his mouth while jumping on Scott Walker's union busting agenda.

Robinson links to a story, one of several that Walker and his acolytes are trying to foist on the unsuspecting public, showing "all the wonderful savings" which stem from Walker's assault on the working class. In this specific example, it's the Hartford School District.

Robinson sounds off with pride, first calling it "Awesome!" and then adding this:
Walker’s collective bargaining changes continue to have a positive impact for taxpayers across the state.
Considering that the "savings" from Walker's union busting is about $300 million out of a $66 billion budget, that's like cheering on the guy using a teaspoon to bail out the Titanic.

But is it really having a positive impact?

Consider this: In Milwaukee County alone, there are somewhere around 48,000 government workers, including state, county and all the municipal employees.  Walker's union busting will remove $155 million from the local economy, because that's the money that these workers won't have any longer to spend.

The people that get hurt by this are the owners and employees of the small stores, restaurants and taverns, since those are the areas people first cut in their personal budgets.  Then bigger companies will feel the pinch, like cable companies, as people realize that they'll need to cut back on luxuries.  Also, big ticket purchases will drop, which will lead to things like more real estate problems and less cars being sold.  And you know the companies aren't going to allow a hit to their profit margins, so that means they raise rates and/or lay off workers.

The estimates of people in the private sector that are going to lose their jobs just from this one bill is continuously being added to, but the latest I've seen is 31,000 people around the state will lose their jobs because of this decrease in flow of money.  To be honest, even that number seems low to me.

So, now we have teachers and other public employees making even less money (even though they already were making less than their private sector counterparts). This, in turn, has a negative impact on local businesses, causing further job losses, a further drop in spending and so the downward cycle continues.  Not exactly what I call "a positive impact," but that's the whole problem with the right's trickle down economics theory, isn't it?  Something's trickling down, but it sure as hell ain't money, much less enough to keep the economy going or growing.

Now, any conservatives that bothered reading this far are probably screaming at their monitors, "[Redacted] you, capper, you damn union thug. At least Walker's lowered our taxes, you dumb [redacted]!" or something akin to that.

Well, technically, that's a true statement.  But before they celebrate, they need to open their myopic eyes and look at the whole picture, which is provided by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau:
In summary, the changes included in the Joint Finance Committee's budget would decrease net taxes by $23,572,000 ($5,135,000 in 2011-12 and -$28,707,000 in 2012-13) and would increase net fees by $111,340,800 ($37,248,900 in 2011-12 and $74,091,900 in 2012-13).
As the gentle reader can see, the increase in fees the first year alone is greater than all of the tax cuts for both years combined.  And then the fees double again in the second year.

Now, in summary, we will have even less of money circulating in the state, causing higher unemployment and some businesses to close down altogether.  Compounding the pain, we also will have exponentially higher fees to pay each consecutive year of Walker's regime.

If that's a positive thing for the tax payers, I'd hate to see what the hell a negative impact would be.


  1. Great post, thanks.

  2. And by the way, those alleged "district-saving" cuts by messing with collective bargaining are only due to Walker and co's absurd budget-cutting in the first place.

    As usual, the media fails to give you the full story- that these "school district crises" were completely avoidable. But when your goal is to devalue public education and sell it off to your buddies, guess that fits.