When will ‘The Kathleen’ Falk and Tom Barrett get their Walter Mondale on?
Paging Walter Mondale.
Here is the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 1984: “Let’s tell the truth. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”
Feed the beast! That paean to Big Government got a rousing ovation from the delegates to the national convention in San Francisco, no less, dominated as it was by public employee unions and champions of taxpayer-paid abortion. The American electorate, not so much. Reagan rolled Mondale in every state that November, excepting the Democrat’s home base of Minnesota and the D.C.
Ever since, the party of Big Government has been more discreet — but no less determined to grow government and hope that it “trickles down” to the private sector.
Back to the future in Wisconsin 2012: How much will Barrett, Falk, et al., raise taxes? They won’t tell you, but I just did.
I ask the question because the Act 10 collective bargaining thing has backfired. It appears even the unions are tiptoeing away from their handpicked candidate, “The Kathleen Falk.” So reports the most-feared journalist in Wisconsin, Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Wisconsin for Falk,” the union Trojan horse, has gone dark three weeks before the primary, Bice reports, amid tanking public opinion poll numbers for The Kathleen, who sold her soul to the unions for one last try at the brass ring.
Now the Dems are soft-pedaling the union thing, trying to make the case that Gov. Scott Walker is scraping the paint off Wisconsin’s schoolhouses and chewing an inch off their yardsticks. (Wisconsin State Journal: “Education expected to be major issue in Walker recall.”)
Is it too much to ask other journalists to ask this question: If Scott Walker did not spend enough, how much more would you spend and where would it come from?
How much will you raise taxes?!
I’ve asked this question before. Now The Weekly Standard is getting the same non-answer: If the Democrats are criticizing Scott Walker for cutting spending across the board, how much will they raise taxes? (“I’m not answering; none of us will answer that question.” — The Kathleen.)
Actually, Doug “I’m a” La Follette just did. He’d raise sales taxes. (Found at the end of his press release.)
If taxes are not high enough, then why is our tax burden — state, federal, and local — the ninth-highest among the 50 states? (Steve Prestegard has more over at the Presteblog.)
Scott Walker inherited a Wisconsin state government faced with a $3.6 billion deficit. The previous administration’s attempts to paper over the deficit with one-time federal stimulus money, raids on special funds like the Patients Compensation Fund, and tax increases — even as the state hemorrhaged jobs — did not cure the deficit. With no revenue to share with local governments, Walker gave them the tools to rein in costs by putting health insurance up for bid (thereby ending the stranglehold the teachers union’s in-house subsidiary, the WEA Trust, held). He also loosened up the union’s death grip on antiquated work rules.
Education in Wisconsin is in its death throes? Evidence, please?
So far, no one has countered Gov. Walker’s facts and statistics. (WEAC then and now.) In fact, the state teachers union is actively hiding the facts, going to the extreme of scrubbing its website of past surveys, leaving itself only with hyperbole.
The best statistic continues to be the joint report of DPI/WASDA (WI Association of School District Administrators), which reports that the student/teacher ratio went from 13.27 last school year to 13.51 this. One extra kid every four classrooms. And most of that due to layoffs in Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Janesville — districts that refused to use Act 10.
Gov. Walker makes the case that, in just one year, Act 10 has saved state, school districts, and local governments $1 billion. (Read it and weep.)
WEAC won’t tell you it gouged the taxpayers; Gov. Walker just did.
Liberals are beginning to wonder
Greg Humphrey, a former Democratic legislative aide, writes a thoughtful blog called Caffeinated Politics. He has the same take on the Democrats’ sudden aversion to talking about “union rights,” which he says should be the driving issue behind the recall. Here’s Greg in today’s CP:
“As much as I find Walker troubling in many ways, I also know that education policy should not be a reason to force a recall election. I come from the firm conviction that recall elections are for the extraordinary incidents that might take place which requires citizens to gather signatures and take collective action.
“Arguing policy directions or which set of numbers is most reflective of positive or negative movements with our public schools should be fought out at regularly scheduled legislative elections and gubernatorial contests. Such matters are not legitimate reasons to have a recall.”
Comrade Smart ALEC
Remember the attempted shutdown of the M&I Bank on Madison’s Capitol Square? John Edwards-cheerleader and socialist provocateur John Nichols is promoting the same boycott tactics against the American Legislative Exchange Council, rather than actually, y’know, debate their ideas.
Of course, The New York Times has taken up the cudgel, with its Sunday Page One editorial “Conservative nonprofit acts as stealth business lobbyist.” Featuring graphics of some of ALEC’s private-sector sponsors, it quotes, high in the story, the anti-free speech organization Common Cause:
“We know (ALEC’s) mission is to bring together corporations and state legislators to draft profit-driven, anti-public-interest legislation and then help those elected officials pass the bills …”
Why must we assume that companies’ actually making a profit is against the public interest? They should lose money? Then vote Democrat.
Finally, where is the N.Y. Times’ objection when the Sierra Club helps draft legislation? Or AFSCME? Or the tort lawyers?
ALEC is firing back: "ALEC is an organization that supports pro-growth, pro-jobs policies and the vigorous exchange of ideas between the public and private sector to develop state based solutions. Today, we find ourselves the focus of a well-funded, expertly coordinated intimidation campaign.”
When the Left cannot win the debate it seeks to ban the argument.
WPRI calls out the same scam: The Need for Political Boogiemen.
‘An utterly evil idea’
Speaking of San Francisco Democrats, Nancy Pelosi has signed onto “Move to Amend,” an effort to eviscerate the first freedom enumerated in the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal calls the proposed amendment “an utterly evil idea.”
“… were such an amendment to be ratified … it would render the First Amendment a virtual nullity. Almost all religious, political and media organizations are corporations of one sort or another. … The so-called People's Rights Amendment would deprive Americans of any constitutionally protected right to organize themselves, thereby giving government virtually unlimited power.”
Pelosi, Nichols, et al., won’t tell you but Taranto just did.
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• Brother Wigderson makes the case against Senate candidate Mark Neumann.
• “Who is representing the teachers who received layoff notices this morning?” asks a teacher in the Kenosha school district that eschewed Act 10 reforms. Steve Prestegard recounts.
• Discuss among yourselves: “I’m supposed to be more angry about what Mitt Romney does with his money than I am with what Barack Obama does with mine?”
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