Monday, December 17, 2012

Scott Walker's Five Priorities

As I wrote about once already, Scott Walker sat down for an interview with the editorial board and some of the few remaining reporters at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the largest outlet for corporate media in the state.

Something I hadn't mentioned in that article is that Walker was giving us his "five priorities" for the upcoming budget.  At least the official version of what his top five priorities are, if not necessarily the real ones:

  • Job creation
  • Workforce Development
  • Education reform
  • Government reform
  • Infrastructure improvement
The biggest problem is it became increasingly and painfully obvious that he doesn't even know what any of those words and phrases mean.  

Job Creation

Walker hard at work on his
next budget.
Even from the first time he was campaigning to be governor, Walker has been talking out of both sides of his mouth regarding job creation.  On one side, he promised to created 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term.  On the other side of his mouth, he was saying government doesn't create jobs, it destroys him.

Judging from his record on job creation, it appears that the latter stance was a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Even if you want to use the overly generous total of jobs created that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel came up with, he barely created 1,000 jobs a month.  The more realistic numbers would the number closer to zero, if not below it.  His record is even worse when compared to the rest of the nation or to his predecessor, Governor Jim Doyle.

It is no accident or fluke that Forbes said that Wisconsin is the state with the second worst outlook for job growth for years to come.  

Long time readers will know that Walker's history of failing to create jobs stems from his days as Milwaukee County Executive, when his job creation record was so poor that the state had to take away the Private Industry Council, which was designed to do nothing but help create jobs and get people into them.

Workforce Development

This is another one of Walker's greater hypocrisies.  First he cuts hundreds of millions of dollars from the state's technical schools, and then he complains that there aren't enough workers who are properly trained or educated.  

The issue with this is that while Walker should make sure the resources are there to retrain all of the people he caused to lose jobs, he wants to do it at the expense of other career options.

While there is a need for welders, nurses and tech jobs, not everyone wants to be one of those, much less are cut out to do those jobs.  It takes some brass to tell people what careers they have to choose.  Furthermore, our universities, colleges and tech schools should not become the private training programs for the corporate special interests.  Walker has already given them enough corporate welfare.  His focus should be on the people.

Education Reform

This was another one of his previous priorities.  We saw how well that worked out.  

Walker slashed education funding by nearly a billion dollars and thousands of teachers were laid off, educational programs were cut and schools were closed.  

He's already said at his private "Talk with Walker" sessions that he is planning on expanding the privatization and profiteering of schools, even though repeated studies have shown them to be no better and often worse than public schools.

I gotta side with Ed Heinzelman that there should be a moratorium on this exploitation of our children, until they are brought up to the same standards that the public schools are at.

Government Reform

Yet again, we've heard this from Walker before as well.

Walker's idea of government form thus far is to get rid of civil service positions, with all of those pesky demands for qualified and responsible personnel and replace them with political appointees, whether they are qualified or not, and then to give them big raises.  And he sure has a lot of campaign contributors and cronies that need to be taken care of.

By putting these lackeys into key positions has made it easier for Walker to make sure the corporate special interests are will taken care of.  After all, what good is it to buy a government if they don't cater to your every whim, am I right?

And what could possibly go wrong by getting corporate special interests involved with the government?  It's not like they lose track of $12 million worth of loans to companies, some of who have gone kaput by the time Walker's people figured out they even had a problem.

Yeah, I can't wait to see how much more of our government he sells to the corporate interests.

Infrastructure Improvement

This area really leaves Walker baffled.  It's also the area that one might give him at least partial credit.

During the interview, he actually said that things like the mine that they want to dig up up north was part of the state's infrastructure.  No, really. He really did.

The part of this that is true is that Walker will surely be having massive concrete highways crisscrossing the state.  However, the reason for this is not because he wants to improve the state's infrastructure.  It is solely because he owes the road builders so much for all of the donations they've made to him.

Sadly, in order to get more money to give to his corporate masters, Walker is cutting things like transit systems which tens of thousand of people require to go to work and to the market.  Let's see how this will pull his job creation numbers even lower.

Keep in mind that these are Walker's public and "official" top priorities.  If past practice is any indication, his real agenda probably includes these things:
  • Right To Woe legislation
  • Raiding the pension system
  • Further restriction of women's rights
  • Further restrictions of voters' rights
  • Running for 2014 and 2016
  • Raising money for his legal defense fund through strong arming and pay for play tactics.
Or in other words, his first budget was bad for Wisconsin.  His second budget will be the same, only worse.


  1. Did you substitute "Right to Woe" for "Right to Work"? Right to Work will become Woe, we know that, but........

    1. Yes, the substitution was intentional. Because Right to Work is such a lie I don't like to give credit to it. Right to Woe is much more accurate.

  2. Which of the two tragedies will negatively effect the most people? Walker is certainly in contention for the dubious honor over the incident of Connecticut's mass slaughter of innocents. One doesn't need a gun to be a sociopathic killer. Just starve, medically neglect, unconstitutionally intimidate, and otherwise lie to and debase 99% of your state's population.

  3. Is it possible for a GOP legislature to "democratically" eliminate democracy? If they were promoting Communism instead of Fascism, the federal government would step in? The fool Obama does nothing to support and protect his allies. Bruce Bartlett recently said on the Bill Moyers program that Obama is fiscally to the right of Eisenhower or Nixon. Obama desperately wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, and would have by now if the GOP has not been too fanatical to "compromise." He is stupid enough to believe that he will go down in history as a "great" president if he "reforms" Social Security and other "entitlement" programs by cutting them and betraying the people he was elected to protect.

  4. Any predictions about how Walker and his accomplices might go about raiding the Wisconsin Retirement System? The "official" report released last summer concluded the WRS is in great shape and should be left alone, so of course they will loot it as fast as they can. . .

  5. I heard the Bartlett comments on SS also, but I have also heard Warren Ballentine and Al Sharpton say that he has told both of them in meetings since the election that social programs are not on the table. Any ideas on what he is really going to do?

  6. 8:54, you're absolutely correct.

    Both parties will "chain the CPI," and then claim then lie that it's not a "benefit" cut to Social Security and Veterans' benefits.

    After they "chain the CPI," Social Security and veteran's benefits will no longer rise with inflation.

    Obama and the elites want to do this right now. They think they have the votes in the lame duck Congress. Our only hope is a block from Dems in super safe Democratic districts. Tammy Baldwin (She's a House vote until January 3), Gwen Moore.... Obama and elites need about 25 Republicans to vote for their "Grand Bargain." Every liberal/progressive Dem who votes against it, means they have to flip one more wingnut.

    1. Obama and the elites are simply giving back the leverage on the "debt ceiling," to the GOP. The next Congress is not quite as deep into wingnut land as this one, so they want to push this through now.

  7. Capper, great piece.