Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker would have people believe he is a large thinker. A doer in state government that gets things done. He believes people should be free from government interference, unless of course you belong to a union, then he believes his “mandate” as an elected official is to interfer with and dismantle the structure of unions.
But he doesn’t say this on the campaign trail. As The Washington Post’s columnist Dana Milbank states in a recent column following Walker speaking to the American Legislative Exchange Council, which by the way is underwritten by the Koch brothers.
Milbank writes: “The bulk of Walker’s stump speech to the Koch-brothers-financed ALEC was about how his “big, bold reforms took the power out of the hands of big government special interests” — namely, unions. Left unmentioned: how his big, bold reforms produced only half the number of jobs he promised, and resulted in delayed debt payments and deep cuts to education to overcome a budget deficit.
Walker, describing the bargain shopping he does at Kohl’s department store, said he would do the same with taxes. Arguing that “few people could afford” high tax rates, he proposed that “we can lower the rates, broaden the base, and increase the value of people participating in our economy. Years ago, a plan like that worked pretty well . . . We called it the Laffer Curve back then. Today, I call it the Kohl’s curve.”
It was a zany analogy. Kohl’s offers discounted merchandise for middle and low-income consumers. The Laffer curve, as the basis for supply-side economics, meant huge tax breaks for the rich that never trickled down.
But deception is the demagogue’s tool. Walker spoke Thursday about “the death threats not just against me and my family but against our lawmakers,” and about the nails put in the driveway of one lawmaker to puncture his tires. Such behavior is beyond the pale — though hardly unique to Walker’s opponents. And some of Walker’s claims — including the alleged threat to “gut” his wife “like a deer” and of protesters “beating” and “rocking” a car he was in — could not be substantiated by independent authorities.
Such deception, however, is only in the service of the larger deceit at the core of his candidacy: By scapegoating toothless trade unions as powerful and malign interests, he enlists working people in his cause of aiding the rich and the strong.”
But it is interesting to note that Walker never talks about those other powerful government special interests, namely lobbyists for large corporations. The tax subsidies that many of which still exist, even though these are large international corporations now.
He like so many other ill-advised Republicans still believe in the trickle-down effect. And crudely, the trickle down involved is generally waste from the top, with little or no sustainable nutrients for those below.
Unions, like other organizations, can have some bad apples and make bad choices. But the groups protect many workers and help procure basic needs beyond salaries. And if and when the “other 49%” when up and understand that by their involvement, unions are indeed beneficial. And like government, it takes its citizens participation to make it vibrant and effective.
The hubris and other distorted views expressed by Gov. Walker will continue, and hopefully people will wake up to see him for what he is, an elected special interest procurer for those with money.