As you drive around you have likely started to spot some “I Stand with Scott Walker” signs. Do you ever wonder why people stand with Governor Walker or what values they share with him?
Do people stand with him because he slashed over $1 billion from public education, including nearly $800 million from K-12 school, $250 million from our universities and 30 percent from our technical colleges? Do people stand with him because he raised taxes on lower-income individuals and senior citizens?
Do people stand with him because he cut over $30 million from Veteran’s Affairs? Do people stand with him because he and Republicans have stopped health insurance exchanges that would offer lower cost insurance options for small businesses and farmers?
Do people stand with him because Wisconsin had the worst job growth in the country (in fact we lost nearly 24,000 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) from March 2011 to March 2012? Do people stand with him because he is the first governor in Wisconsin’s history to need a criminal defense fund?
I know some support the governor because they say he balanced the budget when Wisconsin was broke. Wisconsin was not and never has been broke. If the state was so broke then why are we giving out billions in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy? Do you balance your budget by cutting your income? Why are we spending hundreds of millions more on unaccountable private and voucher schools that are performing worse than public schools? How are we affording the massive pay raises for Republican political appointees? Lastly, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has said the budget will end with a larger budget deficit than the one Scott Walker inherited.
Governor Walker told a billionaire donor last year that he had a “divide and conquer” strategy for Wisconsin. He’s passing out billions in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, while trying to divide and conquer the rest of us. I have no doubt some stand with Walker because he stripped collective bargaining rights from public employees. He said these changes were necessary to balance the budget. In his testimony last year to Congress, when asked how much money changes to collective bargaining would save, he admitted, “It doesn’t save any.”
Part of his “divide and conquer” strategy has been to try to convince Wisconsinites that by taking from public employees their lives will somehow be better. After Walker’s changes has your health insurance or retirement situation improved? Other than the very rich, who is Governor Walker lifting up?
More hard-working people in Wisconsin deserve health insurance and some certainty when they retire, not less. Our neighbors, our friends, and our family members that have been divided in the past year and a half are not the problem, Scott Walker is.
On June 5 let’s fix the problem, stand up to Scott Walker, and vote for Tom Barrett.