Monday, October 3, 2011

Tort bill won't create jobs

Bill would give preference to corporations over people

The first sentence of Sunday's Journal Sentinel article says it all:
People who successfully sue for injuries would earn a lower interest rate on their judgments than banks and credit card companies who take their customers to court, under a bill Gov. Scott Walker included in the upcoming special legislative session on jobs.
There are two things in that one sentence that need to be addressed.

First: personal injury or consumer credit victims who successfully sue would earn a lower interest rate of restitution (if the defendant failed to make their payments on time) under this bill than corporations would if the situation were reversed. Under one proposal, individuals would receive 4.25 percent interest, while corporations would receive the current rate of 12 percent.

That says a lot about Gov. Walker's intentions right there.

And second: this bill is included in the special session on jobs, which shows you that this "special session" isn't really all-too concerned about jobs at all.

The bill wouldn't do a thing to create jobs. It would put more money in the hands of corporations, who wouldn't be forced to pay higher interest rates, while at the same time preserving these corporations' own right to collect higher rates than the people themselves can attain. We've seen what corporations do when they earn more money -- they don't go out and hire people. They give their CEOs raises, whether they're warranted or not, and leave workers' pay stagnant.

This proposal also shows an incredible double standard: either corporations are people, or they're not. The insistence that they are works fine for conservatives when it involves corporate influence on elections. But when it comes to court-mandated interest rates in legal judgments, conservatives want corporations to pay less to the people, and get more from them. It's total hypocrisy. If we're to say corporations are people, then they should be treated just the same, and not given special treatment.

(Then again, I'm more apt to say corporations AREN'T which case, they should be treated with more scrutiny than they are now.)

Tort reform is an issue that needs serious evaluation, but it's certainly not a job creator by any means. If it were, Wisconsin would be seeing more job growth instead of less right now -- Walker signed a bill limiting awards in injury cases earlier this year, and while we saw a slight spike in job growth, the number of Wisconsinites that are currently employed right now is actually lower than when he took office.

If Gov. Walker's idea of creating jobs is to limit the amount that victims of corporate abuse can attain in legal judgments, then our state is in worse shape than previously thought. Walker came out swinging hard for bipartisanship -- but what he really meant was more of the same he's been dishing out all along: more favors for his corporate donors, and more disrespect to the working class people of Wisconsin.

1 comment:

  1. The man is sick. He deserves prison after recall. Maybe send him to Texas for the Death Penalty.