Scott Walker’s Koch Economics Is Decimating Wisconsin

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It is shameful that the media, or conservatives for that matter, will not admit that Republicans are not deluded in thinking that turning over the wealth of the nation to the rich, Wall Street, and corporations will ever create economic prosperity for the masses. By now only a fool is unaware that Republicans exist to serve the very rich and detest the masses, and yet millions still believe in and trust that allowing Republicans to eliminate domestic spending and abolish taxes for the rich will create wealth for the entire population.

It is always stunning that Republicans have any support for their economic agenda among the population, at any level. Even in states with Republican legislatures and governors suffering monumental economic failures from pro-corporate policies advanced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) that keep wages low, slash safety nets, cut education, and impose socially conservative policies, voters dependably flock to conservative candidates. If the 2014 midterms were any indication, it appears that residents in failed Republican states are either dirt stupid, or truly believe that revenue-killing tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy driving spending cuts and debt are the population’s path to prosperity.

Kansas has received its share of attention for its epic trickle down failure typical of conservative economics, and it is duly warranted. However, the governor of Kansas has not been tapped by the Koch brothers as their preferred Republican presidential candidate for 2016. That distinction goes to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who has his state’s financial demise keeping pace with Kansas for the top Republican economic failure. Hopefully Americans are paying attention to the portent of another massive national economic failure if Republicans control Congress and the White House according to the disaster in Wisconsin.

Last week Scott Walker wrote an op-ed touting his economic bona fides in a piece titled “Small Business is Serious Business.” In it, Walker asserts that he has fostered outrageous success and prosperity for small businesses, including acknowledging the necessity of education despite slashing Wisconsin’s education budget to the bone. Specifically, Walker claims to have put, at the state level, policies in place that if expanded nationally will support entrepreneurs and their enterprises and create an economic Utopia. However, it is important to note that Scott Walker has drawn a government paycheck since 1993 disputing the claim that he knows anything whatsoever about the private sector. His epic tax cuts have, however, enriched large corporations and the wealthy, but they have not created success and prosperity for “small businesses, created jobs, or helped the state’s residents.

Walker writes that “we know that creating a low-tax environment is essential for growth, and we’ve taken bold action to ensure Wisconsin follows that model. We’ve lowered taxes by $2 billion for individuals, business, and on property.” That is true, wealthy individuals, giant corporations, and corporate property taxes were cut drastically.  In fact, as he claims it is largest round of tax cuts in Wisconsin in 14 years, but they only benefitted the rich and corporations and exploded Wisconsin’s deficit over the $2 billion mark.

According to a man without a shred of experience in the private business sector, Walker claimed he knows that “qualified workers lie at the heart of each and every good business; last year, we added grants for technical colleges to train thousands of workers in Wisconsin’s high-demand fields.” It is curious that Walker touts adding grants for technical colleges when as soon as he took office he slashed Wisconsin’s Technical College System by over 30 percent. He has also enacted monumental cuts to education every year to “fund” his tax breaks for the rich that amount to the greatest public education cuts in Wisconsin history.

In fact, Walker’s education cuts produced the second largest per-pupil cut of any state in the nation including technical colleges, K-12 public schools, and Wisconsin’s once-respected university system that has suffered over $650 million in cuts. Walker also denied over 41,000 eligible university and technical students state financial aid. Walker is uninterested in a highly-trained and qualified workforce and it shows in Wisconsin ranking last in the Midwest in job creation.

Every one of the economic problems in Wisconsin, like Kansas and Louisiana for example, are due to the Republican ideology and fixation on serving the rich at the expense of everyone else in their states. Republicans may operate publicly under the guise of creating jobs and a path to economic prosperity for the masses, but they deny reality openly and refuse to acknowledge their state finances are in jeopardy because of serving the rich.

Just last week, for example, with a fast approaching deadline to pass a budget, Walker who pretended that increased tax revenue from massive tax cuts would save more drastic education cuts learned there is no new revenue. In fact, Walker’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations cost the state twice as much in revenue losses than he calculated leading him to slash at least $275 million more from education to keep the debt at the $2 billion.  As Alice Ollstein noted, Walker’s typically Republican “singular focus on slashing taxes for corporations and the rich has taken the state from a billion dollar surplus to a  $2 billion deficit” in a few short years. Walker’s plan to address the crushing deficit is more tax cuts and a new taxpayer-funded sports complex while still cutting hundreds of millions more from education.

Every bit of economic disaster plaguing Republican states like Kansas and Wisconsin, whether drastic spending cuts, massive revenue shortfalls, or mounting deficits are due to tax cuts for the rich and corporations. And yet Republicans continue devastating their states’ economies with their ideological bent to serve the interests of the very rich. What is astonishing, really, is that these Republican economic woes were well under way prior to the 2014 midterms and still, voters re-elected the likes of Sam Brownback and Scott Walker. There is a very good reason the Koch brothers candidate of choice for the Republican presidential nomination is Scott Walker and it is not because he has business acumen or noteworthy economic bona fides; but because he will unabashedly serve the interests of very rich and corporations and destroy the economy in the process.


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