Monday, January 23, 2012

Pro-Walker rally misses the mark: it's "not working" for Wisconsin

Nearly every issue touted at Wauwatosa rally hurts working-class Wisconsinites

A pro-Scott Walker rally took place in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, this past weekend, where crowds were estimated to have included between 1,000-2,5000 people who feel the state is moving in the right direction.

Believing fully that "it's working," several conservative speakers -- including Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, GOP U.S. Senatorial candidates Tommy Thompson and Mark Neumann, and Gov. Walker's wife Tonette -- gave impassioned speeches about why they supported the governor, who was notably absent during the entire ordeal.

How exactly "it's working," unfortunately, was exaggerated during much of the pep rally. For example, Kleefisch made a comment that anti-recall supporters should donate to the Republicans this year using some of savings from their property taxes, which she contends came about due to the reforms the Walker administration implemented.

However, that's not the whole story. It's true that tax levies went down, but on average property tax mill rates went UP, suggesting that in many communities across the state the rates went down due to lowered property assessments, not the reforms Walker put in place.

Other instances of the "it's working" mentality that Walker supporters point to are similarly untrue. The pro-Walker camp claims that the state is in a better business climate, and better able to create more jobs; and yet, the net number of jobs the state has "added" is actually a loss of 35,600 since the Walker budget was passed. The balancing of the budget that Walker constantly says his administration was able to accomplish was actually a budget deficit of more than $3 billion. And the claim that Walker was able to pass a budget without raising taxes is also a fallacy, as more than $70 million in taxes have been put in place for working Wisconsinites as a result of his policies.

You can't even look at Act 10 as an accomplishment without a caveat of some-sort. The Kaukauna school district, the "poster-child" of school districts that was able to create a huge $1.5 million surplus due to balancing its books utilizing the new rules ending bargaining, would have had similar savings had it implemented a teacher-friendly, union negotiated contract that was offered beforehand. In other words, Act 10 didn't do anything different, in terms of savings' amounts, than the previous collective bargaining arrangement had.

Many school districts, too, that used Act 10 also had to use one-time federal assistance in order to balance their budgets, aid that won't be available next year when many districts will face deeper cuts.

Greater budget deficits for the state, higher taxes for working families, an unnecessary cessation of workers' rights, and a plethora of other issues that don't benefit middle-class citizens of the state one iota (including billions of dollars in cuts to education and health care and other family services). The crowds in Wauwatosa were there to celebrate how "it's working." Unfortunately, they seemed unaware that it's only working for Walker and his corporate backers. For the rest of the state, it's simply "not working" at all.


  1. I saw middle class people at the rally, happy with their lower property taxes, happy about voter ID, happy about conceal carry and happy that we have a balanced budget..

    I am happy and I am the middle class, you might say I am the 1%


  2. hello thanks you for the helpful information