Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, has claimed that he needs to bust unions in order to deal with a budget crisis. Well, he’s lying, since this is a ‘crisis’ entirely of his own doing:
The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.
Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.
And how did Walker create a deficit crisis:
[The WI Fiscal Bureau’s report; pdf] holds that “more than half” of the new shortfall comes from three of Walker’s initiatives:
•$25 million for an economic development fund for job creation, which still holds $73 million because of anemic job growth.
•$48 million for private health savings accounts — a perennial Republican favorite.
•$67 million for a tax incentive plan that benefits employers, but at levels too low to spur hiring.
In essence, public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda.
The awful thing is that the union busting won’t even solve the purported problem. This is the economic equivalent of invading Iraq to stop Al-Queda. Or if you prefer, Walker blew a surplus just so he could pay public sector workers less.
This is why one should never elect batshitloonitarians to anything. Because first they came for the poor, and no one spoke out.
But now they’re coming for the middle class, and they might actually fight back.
If we are going to be faced with this lunacy, it is good to see that Republicans are being held accountable for it. No more claiming one thing, and doing another. Republicans own this.