Friday, February 25, 2011

Hinky Business in Wisconsin

This happens to me all the time. I listen to some argument made by the conservatives and I think, hmm, this makes sense. And then I research the subject and find out that the facts have been twisted or are all together lies and there are weird ulterior motives in place. Case in point, Wisconsin. Governor Walker and his republican state legislature are trying to pass that much protested bill to cut the benefits of state workers. And initially I thought, well, it sucks but the state is in debt after all, so what can you do? Having read more about it though an entirely different picture emerges. For example, why, if the state is in debt, did Walker and the newly elected republican legislature cut taxes that will add $117 million to the state deficit in the next two years? (For comparison, this year's shortfall is $137 million). Why is he also promising a total repeal of the state’s corporate income tax? Source - Ezra Klein article. In fact the shortfall this year in Wisconsin isn't even all that great, something like 1% of the total budget. Source and source. The other interesting point is that Walker's bill only targets unions that did not support him in his election, meaning those that lean liberal I suppose. It is heartening to see though that some of these unions still came out to protest in solidarity. Finally, it would seem that the unions have already agreed to the benefits contribution increases etc and the only issue being protested is the right to collectively bargain. So ultimately, it's not about the money, it's about taking away union powers. And conservatives would have me believe that unions are there to protect lazy workers who feel entitled to their jobs. I am, however, suspicious, considering the source.

No comments: