Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Republican Austerity Hypocrisy Pattern

The Republicans are, if nothing else, consistent.  They are very well adept at staying on message and once they have a course set, they stay that course, regardless of the fact of whether said course consistently leads to harm. And then when the predictable harm falls, they are usually no where to be found until they've found a scapegoat to blame.

Nowhere is this any truer than when it comes to their stance towards austerity and its predictable results of disaster.

I first noted this pattern with the Republicans under Scott Walker's Reign of Inadequacy as Milwaukee County Executive.

Walker would consistently claim fiscal responsibility by cutting staff and services across the county, whether it was the parks, the transit, the Courthouse,the House of Correction or the mental health complex.  But then the things that people were warning about would happen:

  • The parks were a mess, especially on holiday weekends when there wasn't enough workers to keep up with the garbage.  
  • The ridership on the buses dropped with the higher fares and the decreased services, which in turn caused a loss of jobs.  And all this even as the rest of the nation had an upswing in ridership.
  • Without adequate care to the courthouse, the backed-up toilets even made national news and the building itself, like other county buildings, started to fall apart.
  • At both the House of Correction and at the behavioral health division, the insufficient staffing levels led to numerous injuries of both staff and inmates/patients, escapes and even deaths.
Yet during all this time, where was Walker? He was taking phony bike rides around the state and running his perpetual campaign for governor.  When he would show his face, he was quick to blame the unions or the County Board, even though they were as much the victims of Walker's negligence as anyone else.

Then I started to see this pattern on the national level.

In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg cut snow plow drivers down to the bone and privatized much of it, in order to be "fiscally responsible."  He did this in spite of being warned what would happen if and when a major snowstorm hit.   

Sure enough, Christmas brought a major snowstorm and the Big Apple was damn near shut down for days, especially in the less affluent parts of town.  

Bloomberg, who at least stayed (unlike New Jersey Governor Christie Christie who was too busy vacationing to care about the people in his state), but then tried to blame the workers for his own mishandling of the entire thing.  Not only did Bloomberg short his city of enough plow drivers, he didn't even bother calling a snow emergency.

Now, one can see the same thing happening in Texas and their out of control wildfires.  

Governor Rick Perry, hero of the Teapublicans, had decided to slash funding to the Forestry Service, despite the fact that there was a major drought going on at the time, making conditions ripe for wildfires.

But now that his state is engulfed in flames, where's Perry? Why, he's out travelling the nation campaigning and partaking in debates, and keeping up his anti-federal government and anti-Obama rhetoric, even as he is begging for federal aid to cover the shortages in help he created. No, really, he is.

And now we end up back in Wisconsin where Walker is acting the fool again.  In just eight months, he's caused so much damage that it will take years, and lots of money, to set things back to rights, if it can ever be fully made whole again.  

Even as his actions and laws are hemorrhaging jobs, he's blaming Obama.  And even as industrial leaders are complaining of a lack of trained and educated workers, Walker is slashing education on all levels, including vocational schools, and then blaming the teachers.

Can you imagine what he'll do if we don't stop him and stop him soon? 

1 comment:

  1. Perry also gutted volunteer firefighting budgets: