There’s a three-prong approach in Governor Walker’s plan that highlights a blueprint for conservative governorship after the 2010 election. The first is breaking public sector unions and public sector workers generally. The second is streamlining benefits away from legislative authority, especially for health care and in fighting the Health Care Reform Act. The third is the selling of public assets to private interests under firesale and crony capitalist situations.
This wasn’t clear to me at first. I thought this was about a narrow disagreement over teacher’s unions. Depending on what you read, you may have only seen a few of these parts, and you may have not seen them put together as a coherent whole. This will be the framework that other conservative governors, and even a few Democratic ones, will use in their state, so it is good to get a working model in place….
Notice that each of these objectives overlap with each other. Privatizing services cuts public workers out while crony deals, skimming and poor services creates distrust in the government, leading to a negative feedback loop.
States will have to deal with their budgets. There are costs coming down the road. But the important thing to understand is that the new wave of governance at the state level isn’t about handling these problems — it’s about changing what the government does in a more reactionary and polarized way. Squeezing regular people to provide benefits will maintain and expand our high levels of inequality. Its about making struggling parties weaker and strong parties richer. Making it almost impossible to raise taxes later is irresponsible and dangerous, but it accelerates this plan. They hoped to handle this all behind closed doors — sadly for them, and lucky for the public, activism and the internet are shining a large spotlight on their actions.
I’m glad Konczal laid this out, but I’m perplexed as to why this wasn’t obvious until Walker’s shutdown (and inadvertent conversation with the ‘fake Koch brother’–who definitely need to call themselves the Kochblockers…). Grover Norquist has been saying this crapdoodle for years. Perhaps it’s my long-term exposure to creationism–and the recognition that there’s significant overlap between the batshitloonitarians and the theopolitical right–but I do take their words at face value. Norquist was serious about this stuff two decades ago; Walker means it today.
The right is somewhat transparent, if you’re paying attention.