Eliminate state treasurer? Sure. While we’re at it, let’s ax these pointless jobs

You won’t get five paragraphs into Friday’s Wisconsin State Journal staff editorial without guffawing like a ’shrooming Arizona octogenarian at a Carrot Top concert.

Not that there’s anything particularly risible about the editorial as a whole, but there’s no way to avoid busting a heart valve or two when you come upon this gem:

“Wisconsin shouldn’t have to pay somebody to do nothing.”

Nothing? Like not accepting hundreds of millions in federal Medicaid dollars (i.e., our own tax dollars)? Like not taking advantage of millions in high-speed rail dollars? Like not creating jobs at a rate that would keep us on pace with Michigan, the Serbian sinkhole of the Midwest, or Minnesota, a state whose economy is based almost entirely on dry-cleaning Vikings fans’ knickers after Packers games?

Of course, the WSJ wasn’t talking about Scott Walker, and governor is not a job you can really afford to outsource — though at this point, even the most indefatigable union rabble-rouser would be happy to replace our current chief exec with a semi-skilled grade-school dropout from a right-to-work state. 

No, this editorial endorsed the candidacy of Republican Matt Adamczyk, who’s running for state treasurer with the express intention of eliminating the post.

To quote the WSJ:

Adamczyk, of Wauwatosa, is the only candidate running for state treasurer specifically to nix the job and its nearly $70,000 salary.

Top leaders in both major political parties have supported doing away with this figurehead position. They’ve whittled its duties down to virtually nothing.

So Adamczyk, a Republican deserves broad public support for his common-sense goal.

It’s a daring ploy, and if the job truly is as pointless as it sounds, it just makes sense. Why perpetuate this farce? When he’s done eliminating the state treasurer position, maybe he can apply to be Mike Ellis’ hairstylist.

But state treasurer is hardly the only job we should stop throwing money at. Here are a few other places we can make deep cuts:

  • Former Vice President John Nance Garner, who served under FDR, famously said the vice presidency was “not worth a bucket of warm p*ss.” Only he didn’t say “p*ss,” because it’s almost impossible to pronounce words without vowels. (And clearly, people were a lot more vulgar in the ’30s, what with their relentless glorification of intemperate hobo culture and all its attendant donnybrooks and wood alcohol benders and whatnot.) So if the vice presidency isn’t worth a bucket of such-and-such, what could the lieutenant governorship possibly be worth?

    Officially, the lieutenant governor takes over if something happens to the governor. That’s pretty much it. Lieutenant governors used to preside over the state Senate, but they don’t even do that anymore. If you go to the website of the current lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, it looks like she’s running for student body president of Hogwarts. It’s hard to discern any concrete role. So, yeah, we could probably lose this position without much worry. How about we just hire a backup governor on retainer, or keep one in suspended animation in the same Area 51 facility where Dick Cheney stores his cryogenically frozen orphan organs?

  • While we’re at it, how about we take failed ex-presidents off the dole? Do they really need the help? According to this MSNBC story, former President George W. Bush receives more than $1 million per year in pension benefits. It’s like if you took a job at a Best Buy, invaded Office Depot for no reason, bankrupted the store, and then insisted on drawing a seven-figure salary every year for the rest of your life. Does that make any sense at all? To be fair, we can also cut off Jimmy Carter, even though most of his pension (which for some reason is less than half of Bush’s) probably goes toward feeding and clothing adorable street urchins and comforting elderly former activist nuns

(Continued)

 
  • It’s becoming more than obvious that representing our state in the U.S. Senate is no longer a two-person job. Bless his heart, it’s difficult to think of much of anything Herb Kohl did during his four terms in office, other than keep the crazies from taking over. Then Ron Johnson showed up (cue nuttery) shortly before Kohl retired. Johnson’s greatest accomplishment to date is attempting — and, so far, failing — to score political points by screwing over his own staff through a punitive lawsuit that completely misrepresents provisions of the Affordable Care Act. (See “For the last time: Congress is not exempt from ObamaCare.”)

    Now, it wouldn’t make much sense to actually give up one of our two Senate seats, but couldn’t we just go with one representative and let the other senator’s votes be decided through a weekly fan poll on Packers.com or something? We’ll figure it out.

  • Honorable mention: TV weatherperson, non-alcoholic beer sales rep, whatever Carson Daly is supposed to be, library reference desk staffer (could easily be replaced with an outgoing voicemail message that says, “for God’s sake, man, have you never heard of Google?!”).

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.