Say what you want about Gov. Scott Walker, there’s no doubt he’s forcing us to expend some serious mental energy on the excruciatingly dull, albeit important, particulars of state finance. via Chris Rickert:
You are certainly correct to put the blame on both parties, but what you leave out is the role failed neo-liberal policies play in the deficit.
It is sort of a myth to believe government programs have been increasing for the sole purpose of bigger government. We need to realize the neo-liberal, free trade lobby that dominates both parties requires government subsidization of labor.
Right now, its easy to attack bus drivers who make 100 k when a mayor thinks he will save money through overtime instead of new hires. Its easy to attack teachers who have basic, decent healthcare coverage. The “other” that is used to counter these union jobs tend to have their wages subsidized by government through Badgercare, Medicaid, IEC, and education, savings, housing, child care, energy tax credits.
So, while it is certainly valid to claim it is not sustainable to have 60% of our population’s wages subsidized through government programs, proclaiming “I can’t see you” is not a viable solution.
Historically, drastic cuts on the state level would be made up on the county level. That will not happen with Walker’s budget because he has crippled local communities ability to address the needs abandoned by state government. Maybe we can join those states where parents just drop their children off on the capitol steps.
What we need to do to address our budget problems is a radical departure from the current economic order. We need to withdrawal from the WTO and all related trade agreements. We need to reinstate a tariff system that encourages American production and wealth generation. When you have a populace with family supporting jobs and benefits, amazingly a smaller, republican government is possible.
Republicans remind me of cat trying to catch a mouse running with the stick and cheese in the opposite direction. The Republican’s ideas of lowering taxes on the wealthy and free trade only creates a system in which government must get larger and larger to address societal needs.
I hope in a future column you address the economic basis of our current budget problem.